SolidWorks Support Monthly News – January 2014

Hello to all,

Welcome to this new edition of the SolidWorks Support Monthly News .
On behalf of the entire SolidWorks Services team, let me wish you all a happy and prosperous year for 2014.


Reminder: Windows 8.1 support for SolidWorks 2014

SolidWorks 2014 SP1.0 is the first version of SolidWorks officially supported for Windows 8.1.
Some users have tried installing SolidWorks 2014 SP0.0 on it. This  may lead to an error connecting to the entitlement server and the installation fails.
Now that version 2014 SP1.0 has been released, it is best to use it. Should you be unable to use SP 1.0, there is a possible workaround explained in solution ID: S-064260.
In any case, if you encounter problems installing SolidWorks 2014 on a computer featuring Windows 8.1, please contact your reseller to raise a support call with SolidWorks Technical support to receive assistance

Vote, vote, vote!

You can vote for ideas for the SolidWorks World 2014 Top Ten List.

We are excited by the number of Idea submissions for the SolidWorks World 2014 Top Ten list. This year; we have the most submissions ever!
Now’s the time to vote for Ideas that will make it to the SolidWorks World 2014 Top Ten List: visit the SolidWorks World 2014 section of the forum, click on the Ideas tab and cast your votes.
When voting, you are allowed to up or down vote as many ideas as you like. Voting will close on Wednesday, January 15, 2014.

You can vote by clicking on the respective arrow next to the Idea title.

Vote up and down

Promote the ideas that will shape the future of the SolidWorks products. Every vote counts!
See this video on how to cast your vote

Spotlight on features — Sheet Metal: Understanding the new and old feature tree

In SolidWorks 2010 we introduced the multibody sheet metal functionality. With version 2013 we redesigned the area to improve on our existing functionality
Before version 2013, the sheet metal feature tree looked like this:2013 sheet metal feature tree
In SolidWorks 2013 or 2014 the same tree will look like the following:
2012 sheet metal feature tree

 This change is much more than “feature tree” deep.  First, we added an upper level “Sheet-Metal” folder. This folder controls the part’s parameters. A “Part” in a multibody environment is defined as the total groups of bodies. That is the upper level sheet metal folder allows the user to change the sheet metal parameters to all the bodies that have the “Override default parameter” unchecked.  sheet metal feature tree 2

It is important to understand that depending on the feature tree displayed in your part you will be either working with the new or old functionality. For example, creating a sheet metal part with version 2012 and saving it in version 2013 or 2014 will not change the version 2012 “old” feature tree style. That is internally — and only for this part — version 2013 or 2014 will still be using the “old” code.
You will only get the SolidWorks 2013 “new” feature tree style if you create a new part with version 2013 or 14.
Sheet metal parameters are saved early in the document and they persist even after all the part’s features have been deleted. This is why if you delete all the features from a sheet metal part created with version 2012 and create a new sheet metal part using version 2013 or 2014, the feature tree will have the “old” version 2012 tree style. This is an important concept to understand, if you use old templates with sheet metal features in it, it would be convenient to recreate those templates using version 2013 or 2014.

Solver Performance Boosted in SolidWorks Simulation 2014

The performance of the SolidWorks Simulation solvers have been significantly enhanced in version 2014. The 2014 installation package includes a new version of iterative solver component, which is used for the SolidWorks Simulation 2014 FFE Plus solver. FFE Plus Performance improvement is in the rage of 10 % ~ 15 % in general. No penetration contact problems with this solve show an improvement of up to 40%. There is also a significant improvement when using more cores (up to 8).

Solver Performance in SolidWorks Simulation 2014

The new solver option “Large Problem Direct Sparse” has been introduces, which is ideal for contact problems with millions of Dimensions of Freedoms (DOF). It should especially be used in the setup exceeds 2 Million DOF. The existing direct sparse solver was not capable of handling such large problems in version 2013 and there was no alternative for some cases, until now. This solver benefits from a greater number of cores; up to 8 cores. However, after 8 cores the performance does not improve with more cores.

% improvement with cores

The Direct Sparse Solver has also been enhanced. We implemented a general
improvement in data structure, memory management and code optimization. The
performance improvement can be seen in both Single CPU and Multi-core
applications. Latest testing shows a 20~30% improvement on average compared
with SolidWorks 2013.

Screen capture6

This will provide a noticeable boost to our daily work and give yet another reason to upgrade, along with the many other exciting  enhancements in 2014; especially in the Simulation area.

Noteworthy Solutions from the SolidWorks Knowledge Base

icon - SW   How can the following script error, seen during the startup/launch of SolidWorks on Windows 7, be resolved, “The value of the property ‘getVertical’ is null or undefined, not a Function object”‘?
This issue has been found to be caused by recent (November 2013) Windows Updates that include the installation of Internet Explorer 11 (IE11). At the time of writing, this version of Internet Explorer is not supported for use with SolidWorks. Refer to the SolidWorks System Requirements page for a list of supported versions. Uninstalling IE11 has been found to resolve the script error. To uninstall, follow the prodecure in Solution ID: S-064518.

icon - SW   Why does SolidWorks Student Design Kit (SDK) 2013-2014 fail to launch with the error: ‘This limited life version of SolidWorks has expired’, even though I am still be entitled to use it?
From Solution ID: S-065084. There is a known software issue which causes this problem in the SolidWorks Student Design Kit 2013-2014 version.
Screen capture
A hotfix is available at the SolidWorks user forums here:

Icon - EPDM What can cause the following warning to randomly appear when working in an Enterprise PDM 2014 SP0 or SP1 vault view: “Could not get the files from the database. This could happen during heavy database traffic, please try the operation again later”?
This warning normally will show when the client loses connection to the server.
The Explanation and solution is given in Solution ID: S-064815.

icon - Flow Simulation List of extra items in the Engineering Database of SolidWorks Flow Simulation brought by HVAC and Electronic Cooling
The table in attachment of Solution Id: S-064513 summarizes the differences in the content of the Engineering Database in version 2013, for users who only have Flow Simulation without additional modules, and those having HVAC and/or the Electronic Cooling module.

That’s it for this month. Thanks for reading this edition of SolidWorks Support News. If you need additional help with these issues or any others, please contact your SolidWorks Value Added Reseller.
Also, comments and suggestions are welcome. You can enter them below.

Julien Boissat

Julien Boissat

Sr. Technical Customer Support Engineer, SolidWorks, EMEA at DS SolidWorks Corp.
I have been a Tech Support engineer for Simulation products since 2002. I was previously a product manager at SRAC, the original makers of COSMOS for those who remember that time! ;-). I am currently in charge of the content of the certification exams for simulation products. I also initiated and still author the Simulation Knowledge Base and participate as much as possible in the expansion and evolution of the SolidWorks Knowledge Base. Finally, I handle the SolidWorks Support Monthly News blog.