SolidWorks 2014 What’s New – Chapter 10: Drawings and Detailing

Hi All, sorry for the delay. I hope you’re all having a wonderful Holiday season – I know I am. This year, SolidWorks’ biggest gift to its community may be the enhancements made to drawings. There are dozens of great new enhancements this year, so if you want to learn about them all, check out the SolidWorks 2014 What’s New Document or the video below.

Honorable Mentions

Reattachable Balloons

If you’ve ever accidentally attached a stacked balloon to the wrong component, you know the only remedy was to recreate the entire stack. Not so anymore. Now you can simply right-click on the offending balloon, and select reattach. Now click any other component in that drawing view, and the balloon updates to reference it!

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Soft  Snaps for Angular Dimensions

This always used to bug me. When an angular dimension is placed next to a linear one, it would look weird if they weren’t aligned perfectly, but there was no way to do this. In 2014, however, the angular dimension snaps perfectly to the end of the linear dimension, forming a continuous line.

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Section Views of Surface Bodies

Previously, surfaces bodies could not be sectioned in drawings, and the surface bodies of mixed-body models did not appear at all. This limitation has been fixed in SolidWorks 2014.

SolidWorks 2013

SolidWorks 2013

SolidWorks 2014

SolidWorks 2014

Force Notes Into UPPERCASE (With Exclusions)

This enhancement is a very close runner up, based simply on the amount of time I’ll save because of it. I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve had to retype an entire note block because I forgot to turn on Caps Lock. Or, even worse, I’ve had to go through a convoluted EPDM workflow to change a custom property to uppercase.

In 2014, that’s a thing of the past. Now I can select any note block – even those on the sheet format layer – and check a box in the PropertyManager to force all the text to uppercase. Even custom properties from referenced documents are affected. 

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What’s more, SolidWorks added a global override so all new notes are uppercase, no matter what. You can, however, add exceptions to this rule. The most common exclusions – units of measure – are pre-populated by SolidWorks. You can find this override, and the exclusion list, under Document Properties >> Drafting Standard.

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Angular Running Dimensions

Angular running dimensions are a natural extension of Ordinate Dimensions. You start by defining a zero-degree dimension, and measure any number of angles from that dimension. The dimensions can run on one direction, up to 360 degrees, or bidirectionally, up to 180 each.  12-16-2013 12-02-13 PM

You’ll find most of the options available for Angular Running Dimensions (chain, jog, text position, etc.) to be similar to those of Ordinate Dimensions. Find angular running dimensions under the Smart Dimension command.

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Find Virtual Sharps

This enhancement can be very useful for dimensioning a variety of irregular shapes, finding overall sizes, and determining volume envelopes. To dimension to a virtual sharp, start by selecting a dimension tool. Then, right-click the edge or line you’re interested, and select Find Intersection. Click the intersecting entity, and the dimension is automatically snapped to the virtual sharp. Finish placing your dimension as normal, and you’re done.

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Fixed Shaded With Edges Bleed-Through Issue

By setting the quality of a Shaded With Edges drawing view to High Quality, thin-walled parts no longer show ghosted edges from the back side.

Center Marks and Callouts for Hole Wizard Slots

Continuing the pattern of slot enhancements, any slot created with the new Hole Wizard functionality can now have center marks and callouts automatically applied to them when inserted into a drawing. The same functionality is already available for holes.

Second Sheet Format

The Drawing Sheets document property lets you specify a default sheet format for when you add new sheets to drawing documents. This property lets you automatically have one sheet format for the first sheet and a separate sheet format for all additional sheets.
To specify a different sheet format for a new sheet, click Tools > Options > Document Properties > Drawing Sheets, select Use different sheet format, and browse to select a sheet format file (file ending in .slddrt).

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Improved Symbol Library

The Symbol Library selection window has been completely redone, and is ow easier to use. When inserting a symbol, the drop-down shows the last category of symbols used. To access additional symbols, click the More Symbols button to access the full library.

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Replace Model View

The Replace Model View command allows users to quickly change the file referenced in their drawing. This is most useful when creating drawings of nearly identical parts or assemblies. For example, let’s say you’ve just completed a drawing of a complex sheet metal part. But uh-oh! You were supposed to be working on the sheet metal assembly that included PEM nuts and hardware! Now, instead of doing the whole drawing over again, you can just replace the model view. And, because the assembly contains the part that you’ve already worked so hard dimensioning, all those dimensions, annotations, GD&T symbols, etc. aren’t lost.

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You can even replace a part with a part or an assembly with an assembly. However, if the replacement file is completely different, the dimensions will dangle, and must be reattached.

Check out this video from DS SolidWorks about all the new drawing functionality in 2014:

SolidWorks 2014 What’s New – Chapter 4: Installation

I don’t know much about advanced installations, admin images, etc, so I’ll just breeze through these for the CAD Admins out there, and we can get back to the good stuff. Check the SolidWorks 2014 What’s New document for all the details.

Chapter 4: Installation

Installing SolidWorks Electrical

SolidWorks Electrical used to come from a standalone installer. In SolidWorks 2014, it is included in the main Installation Manager. The SolidWorks IM allows you to choose where to install the Electrical client and server tools.

Environment Variables for Administrative Image Installation

Environment variables such as %ProgramFiles% and %SystemDrive% can be used to define file locations when customizing an Administrative Image.

Accessibility Enhancements: @JeffMirisola Wins victory for the colorblind

An accessibility change which has been championed for years by SolidWorks blogger and Man-stuck-on-the-wrong-coast, Jeff Mirisola, has finally arrived in SolidWorks 2014. From the What’s New document:

“An updated color scheme for certain icons makes the SolidWorks application more accessible to people with color blindness.
Icons in the active PropertyManager use blue to indicate what you must select on the screen; faces, edges, and so on. Adding blue to the icons provides a sharp contrast in colors so that people with color blindness can distinguish one icon from another.
Along with style updates to the main elements of the SolidWorks user interface, there is a new, more readable font.”
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Congrats, Jeff. You finally did it. Now get back to work.

SolidWorks 2014 will be last release to support 32-bit OS

Found in the release notes for ePDM:

“SolidWorks 2014, including SolidWorks Enterprise PDM 2014, is the last release that supports 32-bit operating systems. SolidWorks 2015 and SolidWorks Enterprise PDM 2015 will not install on 32-bit operating systems.”

News to me.