In SOLIDWORKS 2019, there have been several improvements to the drawing environment which includes; reduced time to open your drawings, progress indicators, additional section view types, improvements to tables and more.
In this blog however we are going to focus on the improvements in the time it takes for you to open a Drawing with the model not already being pre-loaded.
For these tests we will not be using the highest spec Workstation but rather an average CAD Laptop with an Intel Xeon E3-1505M Processor, NVidia M1000m Graphics Card, 16Gb RAM and with everything running on an SSD. The results should show the improvements that most users will be able to achieve at a minimum. The higher end workstations should scale up and have greater improvement in general.
All possible variables will be kept the same for all tests so;
- No other applications running in the background except Outlook, Word and a single text webpage – which most users would probably have open most of the time.
- SOLIDWORKS version that will be testing are 2018 SP4 and 2019 SP0 which are the two latest build as of the time of writing.
- Between runs SOLIDWORKS will be closed and re-opened with a small gap of time between so that SOLIDWORKS isn’t still loading or any files are actively still loaded in Memory.
- The same starting file set will be used between 2018 and 2019, however we will update the starting 2018 files for 2019 testing by creating a second copy and updating those to the latest version.
- The times will be measured separately so not by the PC or SOLIDWORKS, with each run having three attempts and the average time being noted. For the largest Assembly we will also look at the times SOLIDWORKS reports.
- All SOLIDWORKS settings will be the same for 2018 and 2019, unless stated otherwise for testing purposes.
- All drawings will be A3 size – with 3 sheets containing;
- Sheet 1 – A3 size Isometric view taking up the full sheet, shaded with edges.
- Sheet 2 – 3-Standard views, Hidden Lines Removed and using third angle projection.
- Sheet 3 – A section view vertically down the centre of the front view and detail view of the top view both from Sheet 2.
- The drawing would be open without the part already being open.
- All files were open using File>Open, not using recent documents.
- The timer would start as soon as the ‘open’ button is clicked and stop as soon as the drawing was fully open (had nothing else to load), and you were able work on the drawing.
- All files were on the local machine and not part of PDM.
- No SOLIDWORKS add-ins were enabled that would affect performance.
The Models being used
For the tests we will use two different sizes of models by using; a small/medium sized assembly and a very large assembly. The simpler assembly was from the “Using PDM” File Set and the large assembly was from the “What’s New 2019” Demo File Set.
It should be noted that in some of the test below we will have the new SOLIDWORKS 2019 option “Enhanced Graphics Performance” turned on. This option will not explicitly speed up any load times as it is designed to improve the performance of compatible graphics cards when you rotate, pan, zoom in/out or perform similar actions on a model. This new feature scales up with higher end Workstations or rather higher end Graphics Cards. Even though this isn’t designed to improve load times it will still be tested to see if there are any improvements.
Testing – Medium Assembly
Testing – Large Assembly
For the large assembly, Large Assembly Mode was used along with the “Lite” configuration where most components are simplified, and this is kept consistent with all the runs. Due to the time it would take everything to update/open it was deciding that the tests for this model would be carried out with only a single sheet containing an isometric view with ‘Shaded with edges’ turned on. This assembly contained 7220 components and contained many imported bodies and complex components which over makes this a very taxing assembly and drawing to open, hence the much longer times.
In the result above the “My Time” is the time I got on a stopwatch from the second I clicked ‘Open’ till everything was open and I could zoom/pan in the drawing. The “Open” and “Rebuild” times are those output by SOLIDWORKS using the “Performance Evaluation” within the drawing environment.
Looking at the results of both assembly tests the time it takes to open the drawings in 2019 is on average quicker than it was in 2018. Looking at the overall trend it appears that the larger and more complex your model is (and therefore the more complex the drawing is) the better SOLIDWORKS 2019 can handle the required performance with only some minor improvements with more trivial drawings.
Therefore, if you company works with some very large or complex models you should see some improvements with 2019. The biggest improvements to SOLIDWORKS 2019s’ performance will however come with general use in the part/assembly environment as the “Enhanced Graphics Performance” option provides large improvements to panning, zooming, rotating, etc.
It should be noted that performance in SOLIDWORKS, as with any program, is always dependant on your specific computer configuration so if you feel like you performance is consistently slower than what you would like or compared to colleagues who have a newer (higher spec) PC then it may be time to upgrade your rig.
Craig Girvan is an Applications Engineer at TMS CADCentre, a SOLIDWORKS Value Added Reseller in Scotland.
You can read more from Craig on the TMS CADCentre blog