November is here and so is SOLIDWORKS 2024 with all the latest releases and updates, including 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS R2024x GA (general availability). There’s much to be excited about in this release, including the long-awaited and heavily applauded Insert Assembly into Part capability, featured at 3DEXPERIENCE World in February. Previous Release Compatibility is here too, which enables you to work with colleagues and stakeholders who have an older version of SOLIDWORKS as you can save your files up to two years prior to the previous release. But really once you see what is new, you’re not going to want to wait to get onboard with 2024. There’s a number of enhancements that are going to help you communicate your design intent more clearly as well, and your stakeholders are going to thank you for it.
For this blog I will get into more details on the above and focus on the CAD features as there are some really big things. Let’s dive into the new CAD features.
Previous Release Compatibility – Collaborate with team members and stakeholders who have older versions of SOLIDWORKS.
You asked and we listened. With Previous Release Compatibility you can collaborate with other users who have an older version of SOLIDWORKS. How? When you go to the Save As menu you will have the option to save your SOLIDWORKS files, including parts assemblies and drawings as versions that are up to two years prior than the latest release.
We realize it takes some time for everyone to get the latest version so we have provided a flexible option so you can continue to collaborate and meet your deadlines without delay.
But of course, I encourage all users to get the latest version as soon as possible so they can start using all the new great enhancements in 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS R2024x GA.
Assemblies – save time with new assembly modeling workflows that speed up large assembly design, documentation, and collaboration.
This update has several enhancements that will simplify assembly design. For starters you can now apply rules to simplify components when you use the Defeature command to defeature your model using the Silhouette option. You can specify criteria for component selection, the defeature method, and the defeature orientation. For example, you can create a rule to simplify fasteners as cylinders when the filename for a fastener contains the words bolt, nut, or washer. You can also save the rule set to use with other models.
Similarly, you can filter out unwanted components on the fly when you are importing a STEP file. You can do this by filtering your view and checking off what you want to import. So, when you open the STEP file it will be much faster as you won’t have to download all components, as you can just quickly select the ones you need.
This last one was a big crowd pleaser when it was previewed at 3DEXPERIENCE World and for good reason. The new Insert Assembly into Part enhancement is a huge time saver as it enables you to apply all the part features to it using the existing 3DEXPERIENCE platform data model, representing post-assembly machining operations. What this essentially does is enable you to add features more easily on the assembly level, that are typically done on the part level.
Parts and Features – easily capture and communicate design intent in less effort.
There are several enhancements that will speed up sketching and ensure your design intent is clear for downstream use, including a new option to preview and edit a dimension as soon as you select one or more entities.
In addition, you can create bidirectional linear patterns with a single click using the new Symmetric Linear Pattern option. This speeds the creation of a bidirectional Linear Pattern by eliminating the need to define the second direction to the Linear Pattern. It also guarantees both directions will be symmetric and have the same number of instances in the pattern.
You can also display the unit of measurement as a custom property in notes and tables.
And last, you can create cylindrical bounding boxes that are useful for bodies with cylindrical geometry such as rotational, circular, or turned parts. SOLIDWORKS captures the bounding box parameters and records them in the Custom Properties dialog box.
Drawings and Detailing – create cleaner, more detailed drawings faster.
In this update you can create drawings that communicate designs more clearly with standardized chain dimensions layout, efficient dimension reattachment, and reduced DXF export post-processing.
For example, you can clean up dangling dimensions simply by reattaching them to the proper reference points. You will love how clean you can get your dimensions and more easily meet drawing standards.
You can also ensure that chain dimensions remain collinear even with limited space.
And to reduce post-processing, you can exclude hidden sketches from DXF™ flat patterns before you send them off to manufacturing.
The new sheet metal features are also going to help you meet manufacturing standards with less work.
For instance, you can automatically propagate slots when creating a tab and slot feature in an assembly component and propagate the slots to other instances of the same component in the assembly.
In addition, when you use the Tab and Slot tool, you can specify that the slot is normal to the sheet even if the tab is at an angle to the slot. Slots that are “normal to” are essential in the manufacturing process and you can adhere to manufacturing practices by providing a normal cut option in your designs. In the Tab and Slot PropertyManager, under Slot, select Normal Cut.
Last, eliminate the need for form tool creation with the option to create a stamp/form feature on the fly using just Sketch.
Routing Discrete Wires – represent real-life harness conditions.
Ensure manufacturing receives more accurate models and drawings with the latest routing enhancements.
For example, you can create flattened route configurations of route assemblies containing discrete wire bundles, which retains the associativity of the discrete wires in a bundle.
You can also edit flattened configurations containing discrete wire bundles using the current editing tools available under “Edit Flattened Route” property manager.
Catch the video below to see some of the enhancements in action.
That wraps up the CAD features I’m most excited about. Stay tuned for an upcoming blog that will focus on the new 3DEXPERIENCE platform enhancements in 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS R2024x GA. Stay up to date on all the latest updates to SOLIDWORKS and 3DEXPERIENCE Works solutions at: https://SOLIDWORKS.com/xWhatsNew.
To see what is new in SOLIDWORKS 2024 and other solutions visit: https://www.solidworks.com/product/whats-new.