Getting a First Look at SOLIDWORKS 2024
Every year at 3DEXPERIENCE World, our 3DEXPERIENCE Works technical marketing team performs a General Session demonstration that you don’t want to miss. It’s a software demo that’s also a movie and stage play, and we hope it entertains. After all, tech staff plus acting always go hand in mouse-hand, right? This year, our team wanted to take you on an epic to celebrate being back in person in Nashville. Did you see it this year? Platform Jones and the Lost Features.
Note: SOLIDWORKS 2024 features shown are a technology preview based on early specs, always check our latest official demos at www.solidworks.com/whatsnew
Warning: Spoilers below! First, I recommend you watch all three days of the movie + stage production.
Act 1 – Lost Code from Concord
In the first act, Platform Jones deftly escapes peril, and recovers a diskette of R&D code from the old SolidWorks Headquarters in Concord, MA. Unfortunately, Junior Designer II wasn’t so lucky. It’s too bad, because prior to his grievous injury, we saw his adroitness with his tablet and 3D Creator (xDesign), which is part of 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS Offers. Available now, this is browser-based parametric CAD on any device, in this case a tablet. There’s a lot to like about modeling in xDesign. All the usual parametric tools like Sketch, and you’ll always be using the quick dimensions, and use them all over. Easily touch to add Fillet. A powerful Edit Entity, to convert sketch shapes. Powerful tools like Convert Entities. Print 3D analysis let’s you visualize the layers and required support material based on my print settings.
After bringing the disk back to his office, Platform and his colleague Markup Brody analyzed the contents and found it to be genuine SOLIDWORKS code. They highlighted some good looking enhancements to core CAD that we’ll likely see in SOLIDWORKS 2024:
A new option in 2024 generates preview dimensions when sketching. You can select on the dimension to accept or overwrite the value on the fly:
Hole Wizard with Existing Sketch
A new option located on the position tab in the hole wizard feature lets you leverage completed sketches to locate the hole wizard locations. For sketches with multiple segments, such as a segmented circle, rectangle, polygon, etc., hole wizard instances can be skipped as needed:
Save As… Coordinate System
The default coordinate system can now be redefined when using the ‘save as’ based on pre-existing, user-defined coordinate systems. This capability introduces a much more streamlined approach when working with other CAD/CAM systems:
Mate Reference Lock Rotation
When creating Mate References in 2024, a new option to automatically lock rotation for concentric mates has been introduced:
Insert Component Enhancements
When inserting a component into an assembly, you can now select the default behavior from three options: Fixed, Float, or Fixed at Origin. These options are invoked when you do not manually place a component (uses the green tick mark to accept the placement):
Mate Reference Name Matching
Named mate references will now behave much more predictably when matched names have been defined. If you run across multiple options, a dialogue will appear to let the user select which named mate references is intended to be used:
Unfortunately, Platform and Markup were cut short in their demo as they reached the end of the code, and a missing library error pointing to a mysterious “Well of Features” folder on a USB drive belonging to Brenda Camwood.
Act 2 – Enter Fileloq and Professor Jones
As it turns out, Platform and Markup are already behind their old nemesis, Fileloq. He has just kidnapped Brenda on her way home from R&D Headquarters in France, demanding to know “everything that is to come in SOLIDWORKS ever!”
Platform and Markup use a 3DLean Board to visually plan their rescue mission and capture notes and actions during their stand up meeting:
Fileloq is clever yet stinky, felonious but well-dressed. Hey there’s always tradeoffs in life, like design, right? The team should have subdued him a bit longer, because he overheard their plan and gets to Professor Jones first. Now, Platform, Markup, and Brenda will need to work together to now rescue Professor Jones, and continue their quest for the Well of Features.
Act 3 – The Well of Features and the Guardian
Platform Jones, Markup Brody, and Brenda Camwood are desperately searching for Professor Jones, or at least his 3DEXPERIENCE password, in order to finally track down the lost Well of Features. After remembering his childhood lessons in hexadecimal, Platform remembers that SOLIDWORKS starts with a 5… suddenly he’s logged in to Professor Jones’ 3DDashboard, which is his entry point to 3DEXPERIENCE 2023x FD01, currently full commercial availability:
Collaborative Industry Innovator gives you 3D Play, a web app to view SOLIDWORKS data. In this case years of Model Mania and a half dozen complete customer data sets:
3D Sculptor includes xShape, which is sub-D modeling in your browser. All faces are C2 continuous by default:
Structural Performance and Durability Engineer including explicit dynamic analysis and general contact capabilities. The results are immediately shared in the web, for example of the Biodapt lower-limb orthotic device and crush test of a beverage can:
Electrical Schematic Designer lets you design wiring with single-line diagrams and multi-line schematics, connected to the cloud:
Robot Programmer and Factory Flow Simulation, are connected to the cloud and enable the Virtual Twin of your factory and production lines:
Collaborative Industry Innovator also includes Issues and Change Requests, created and tracked around your CAD data:
Project Planner lets you plan and share Schedules, Tasks, Notes, and Attachments can include your CAD data:
The trio proceeds to travel to Nashville in their “xTrUber,” arriving at a generic office lobby. Soon they are face to face with the Guardian, who challenges Platform to a “head-to-head demo.” Armed with Markup’s 3Dconnexion SpaceMouse and Brenda’s USB drive, Platform bravely heads on stage. He and the Guardian trade back and forth demos of SOLIDWORKS 2024 projects. Here are some of the highlights:
Symmetric Linear Pattern
To complete the Rib design on this vent cover, a linear feature pattern would be perfect. Now in SOLIDWORKS 2024, there is an option for “Symmetric,” which creates bi-directional linear patterns with just one click:
Untrim Surface ‘Exclude Parent Surface’
Untrim Surface has a new option which makes tasks like generating shut-off surfaces for mold design much quicker:
Revolve Cut ‘Flip Side to Cut’
Revolve Cut has a new “Flip side to Cut” option, which makes it handy to clean up an over-built design based on a profile to carve away everything outside your Sketch lines.
Structure Systems Corner Treatments
Structure Systems is the fastest way to build structures like this canopy. Corner treatments are much more streamlined with automatic corner grouping. Simple corners default to planar trim, and complex corners have much more sensible treatments from the start.
Custom Properties with Unit of Measure
SOLIDWORKS 2024 also improves custom properties (and cut lists and BOMs) with the choice to add Unit of Measurement.
Before sharing a proprietary design model, you can create and save “Defeaturing Rules.” These are logical definitions based on properties like mass, build in-house or buy off-the-shelf. And, of course, save that work to a ‘Defeatured’ configuration within the same assembly.
Width Mate Flexible Selection
A Width Mate makes sense to mate this hitch component in place, but be aware of avoiding the classic Width Mate mistake – selecting faces in the incorrect order! Not in SOLIDWORKS 2024, just pick in any order you want and all four constraint options are available:
Underdefined Component Identification
Before freezing a physical product, it’s a common practice to make sure all components are Fixed or Fully Defined. New in 2024, there’s a minus signal when a folder contains underconstrained components. Also, Component Selection now includes ‘Flexible Subassemblies,’ which speeds up selecting and switching them all to Rigid.
Insert Assembly to Part
SOLIDWORKS 2024 has the ability to Insert Assembly into a Part. There’s a lot of potential workflows with this one. For example, whipping up a quick fixture for a primary structural assembly. You won’t affect anyone else’s top level assembly by making your own part. And of course, since this is SOLIDWORKS, when the assembly updates so does the part.
And with that, the Guardian admits defeat — or at least equal, right? — and they proceed to the final challenge. Unfortunately, Fileloq wan’t as tech savvy as he thought. Hopefully he learned two important lessons: the Cloud enables more capabilities than could ever fit on one disk, and there’s an entire well of features available today to explore with 3DEXPERIENCE Works.
Let us know in the comments if you enjoyed the “Don’t Miss This Demo” skit this year. What feature(s) are you most looking forward to? We hope you enjoyed a good dose of demos of 3DEXPERIENCE and SOLIDWORKS 2024, and most importantly, learned the value of being subscribed through 3DEXPERIENCE Works to get the updates before anyone else. I, for one, enjoyed the suspense and can’t wait to see what’s in store next for our heroes.
Check out this page for all our latest demos, www.solidworks.com/whatsnew. And be sure and keep an eye out later in the year for invitations to your local reseller’s Q4 events that showcase our latest technology in SOLIDWORKS and beyond.