May 2021 Feature Drop: What’s New 3DEXPERIENCE Works Design Roles

The browser-based design and engineering capabilities of 3DEXPERIENCE® Works have been recently updated with the R2021x FD06 release on May 29, 2021. All updates to our cloud-based portfolio of Roles happen automatically. The power and flexibility of these applications on the platform are significant and can become an essential part of your product development strategy. Let’s take a closer look at the May 2021 update. (Check out the video below)

Design Better Looking Models with Realistic Materials and Appearance Settings [New!]

Lots of people talk about the idea that perception is reality, and it certainly applies to 3D design when it comes to model appearance, which affects both designer and customer. Dull and boring models get dull and boring responses from your colleagues and customers. Now you can give new life to your models.

Designing your parts and assemblies with realistic-looking materials can inspire you to build a better design because you can accurately represent the final product on the screen. If you don’t like what you see, the model can be changed before having internal or external design reviews.

Customers will be impressed by seeing their products as they will appear once manufactured, which can influence them to A) be really impressed by you and your company or B) make changes to the model now instead of at the end of the process—a win/win for all.

Make your designs more appealing and more realistic. Choose from hundreds of new material appearances to apply to your models such as fabric, glass, plastic, metal, paint, rubber, stone, wood, and more.

Fewer Clicks and Mouse Travel with Rapid3D (Enhanced)

Push a button select a feature. Push a button and select a feature. And so on, and so on, and so on. Sound familiar?

The new Rapid3D functionality invokes the wall on edge command from any edge at the cursor level, which reduces mouse travel and repetitive clicks moving back and forth to the Action Bar. This enhancement also gives a “push-pull” feel to creating extrusions and wall edges.

Streamline the design process with new capabilities for Rapid3D creation by dragging from edges or sketches.

Effortlessly Reorganize Assembly structure with Dissolve (Enhanced)

Have you ever started a new design with multiple parts and then had the (too late) a-ha moment: I could have designed this as one part! Making major changes and regrouping parts can be very painful with traditional CAD systems.

The problem is that you often don’t know how many parts will be needed upfront. However, in a single modeling environment, you can “dissolve” multiple parts into one part. Or go from one part back to multiple parts. Dissolve essentially breaks a component down into its feature level and removes the selected physical product, moving all features and/or components into the parent component. Dissolve has been there a while for sub-assemblies. But now, a group of features that you set to be a part can be dissolved back to features to reuse elsewhere or just to restructure.

And Dissolve allows complete restructuring/regrouping of assemblies with no loss of fidelity. Increase your modeling flexibility and control with this powerful single modeling capability.

More Production Confidence with Clearance Check (New!)

Increased peace of mind is always a good thing before releasing your design to production.

Now you can automatically identify clearance values within assemblies with Clearance Check. You can also select multiple components and automatically identify all clearances in one fell swoop; this eliminates manually measuring from one edge to another.

Think of this new feature as a design for manufacturing (DFM) check of sorts as it enables you to detect potentially costly interferences before fabrication.

Sketch and Feature Equations (New!)

If you have two entities, say a plate and a hole, you can specify hole depth is (always) equal to half the thickness of the plate. So the hole depth, from that point forward, is being driven by the thickness of the plate. When the thickness of the plate is modified, the hole automatically updates based on the set equation.

That’s the beauty of maintaining design intent.

This enhancement picks up all parameters per sketch or per feature and creates equations quickly and easily. You can fully realize the power of parametric modeling with the ability to create mathematical relationships between parameters and create more complex relations between different areas of your designs.

Turn Sketches into an Assembly Mechanism (New!)

Upfront assembly planning is often challenging and can be extremely time-consuming. Now you can convert 2D sketches into fully mated assemblies to validate assembly motion within your 2D sketch. Once validated in 2D, you can go straight into 3D modeling, confident in your assembly design. All your component structures are created automatically from the sketch components.

Quick Tours (Enhanced)

Get up to speed fast with new quick tours for frame design and mold design workflows. Quick tours provide helpful information about commonly used tools in the app so new users can begin designing right away. Quick tours also include tips for SOLIDWORKS users to help them get acquainted with the new design environment.

Small Device Support (Enhanced)

Several enhancements will improve productivity on any device, including touch or small screens. The Auto Dock enhancement docks the command dialogue off to the side of your screen (instead of the middle) and is easily expanded or collapsed once it is docked. Also, Offset Cursor enables you to make precise selections by supplying an offset cursor from where your finger is touching. And, we now have small screen support for Quick tours and User Assistance.

Helical Curves (New!)

We now have a Helical Curve command for generating complex geometry. It is incredibly quick and precise. Enables you to create a wide range of helical curves with variable parameters—all of which are interchangeable—with a rich set of tools.

Copy and Paste Sketch Entities (New!)

Almost everyone who uses a computer knows how to copy and paste. This new enhancement is a huge timesaver for engineers. Copy and paste an entire sketch along with all the dimensions and constraints. Or copy and paste various individual shapes and patterns in your sketch geometry—no wonky workarounds required.

Scaling (Enhanced)

Scaling is a crucial part of design. Scale can account for shrinkage when it comes to manufacturing or reducing the size of prototypes. Scaling can also act as a productivity tool when designing multiple parts that are geometrically similar but different sizes. In the last update, we added the ability to scale non-uniformly. Now you can change the scale direction as well.

This enhanced functionality adds new depth to the command and effectively allows you to scale and mirror in one step.

Loft Surface Feature for Molds (New!)

You can’t always get what you want—that especially applies to parting surfaces during mold design. With the newly added Loft Surface feature, you can create a lofted surface and improve the quality and manufacturability of your parting surface when the automated Parting Surface tool does not give you precisely what you were after.

View Mode Setting Dialogue (New!)

Now you only have to go to one dialogue to set up things like shading, edge display, materials display, visibility, and ambiance—a one-stop-shop for all view settings. This makes it easier and faster to set up your model, whether you are in the middle of designing or creating a distinctive look and feel for your model.

Coloring of Creased Edges (New!)

How do you tell which subdivision edges are creased or not? You could interrogate your model or enjoy the benefits of this new feature that provides visual feedback while modeling. Creased edges now display in colors indicating sharp or smooth creases, as well as the amount of sharpness or curvature. Sharp edges vary from dark blue (very sharp) to light blue (less sharp). Smooth edges vary from dark pink (sharp curvature) to light pink (less sharp curvature).

Selection Tools (Enhanced)

When you are doing free-form subdivision (Sub-D) modeling, you tend to do a lot of selecting just to get the specific geometry you want to push, pull, align, etc.  Now you can box select entities and quickly add or remove them from the selection, eliminating the need to select vertices individually. In addition, you can now select the first and last entities and automatically capture all entities in between.

Both speed design time with faster creation of geometry and more flexibility while modeling.

Design Assistant (Enhanced)

CAD design involves a fair amount of mundane and repetitive tasks. Tasks that could be more quickly and efficiently handled by leveraging machine learning. The Design Assistant uses machine learning to speed up the selection of groups of entities.

When picking edges or sketch entities as references for structure members, the Design Assistant recommends additional selections based on the current model and choices that you have made in the past. If you agree with the suggestion, one click enables the Design Assistant to pick all suggested edges automatically.

You can also customize settings in the Design Assistant by toggling your preferences.

Merge or Split Members

Attain hero status on the shop floor by creating manufacturable designs.

Merge multiple connected members into a single structural member, making your designs physically stronger and reducing unneeded welding. This automatically creates a more precise cut list for manufacturing.

Split member is basically the opposite of Merge member. Therefore, you can automatically split a long member into multiple shorter structural members. Split members are based on distance from an endpoint or based on a number of instances, automatically creating a detailed cut list for manufacturing.

Comply with ISO and ANSI standards in recommended communication styles.

ISO and ANSI Standards (New!)

Adjusting annotation styles manually is extremely cumbersome and error-prone. What are the default units? What kind of arrowheads will be used? What about dimension placement?

This new enhancement will save you a ton of time by adjusting annotation styles automatically per the predefined ISO and ANSI standards. The styling can be automatically switched to comply with either the ISO or ANSI, making it easy to modify your annotations for compliance.

Now you can save time in detailed styling and improve annotation consistency.

Share engineering definitions in the widely accepted 2D PDF format.

View and mark up 2D PDF on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.

Export Existing Views to 2D PDF (New!)

Even though 3D models dominate the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, 2D drawings are still commonly used and often requested within the course of a product development project.

Now you can export your 3D files to a 2D PDF, making it easy to share engineering definitions with others in the widely accepted 2D PDF standard format. Users can adjust the file destination, name, sheet size, and visualization styles. (Note: The views in PDF are only screenshots from the viewport.) Clearly convey design intent, requirements, and specifications to those customers that require a 2D view of your design.

Always Connected

The pressure is constantly on to deliver faster and at a lower cost. With product development teams spread out geographically now more than ever, companies need additional tools to bring products to market faster and more efficiently.

The 3DEXPERIENCE platform makes it easy to work with people inside and outside your company, including customers, suppliers, and manufacturers. You can simplify your communication workflow and improve productivity since everyone works from a common platform.

And because data management is built-in, you have design data audit trails and communication audit trails all in one, easy-to-access location.

If you have more questions about this release, please contact your local reseller. And check out the new release video below!


Mark Rushton

Mark Rushton is a Product Portfolio Manager for SOLIDWORKS and has been involved with 3D CAD and 3D Printing for over 15 years in several capacities from research to consulting for the likes of Rolls Royce, GE, JCB and Dyson. When not playing with 3D printers or other tech, he is most likely out snowboarding, wake boarding or mountain biking.