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What’s New in SolidWorks 2013 – Chapter 3: SolidWorks Fundamentals

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Chapter 3: SolidWorks Fundamentals

A grab-bag of new SolidWorks functionality, from equations to measuring to sounds.

Honorable Mentions:

  • API enhancements, including the addition of APIs to SolidWorks Costing and Sustainability
  • New tutorials and a redesigned tutorial window UI
  • Rotate about scene floor (great for rendering)
  • Searching SolidWorks Options
    • There’s a search box in the top-right of the Options window. Thanks for using my idea!
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  • Point-to-point measurements.
  • Quick-Filter Buttons
    • Choose whether to view only parts, drawings, or assemblies – or any combination of the three – in the Open dialog. Also filter only top-level assemblies.
  • Event-Based Alert Sounds
    • SolidWorks can now play an alert sound when certain events occur, such as FEA mesh completion or failure, render or animation completion, or successful file opening. Generally, these are things that may take a long time, and an alert will let you know when you should pause that YouTube video and get back to work.
  • SolidWorks FastStart
    • SolidWorks begins loading components in the background as soon as you start your computer, even before you launch SolidWorks.  I’ll have to use this for a while before I can form an opinion, but assuming it doesn’t kill the performance of your computer, this could be the answer to extreme opening times.

Winners

  • Direct Input of Equations into most PropertyManager fields

In SolidWorks 2012, the equation system was overhauled, but direct equations were only available in sketches. SolidWorks has closed the circle and added direct equation input into most PropertyManager fields, such as extrusion depth, draft angle, and offset distance. Users can also toggle between the equation and the output value in FeatureManager fields.

  • Orientation Dialog Box and View Selector
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     The Orientation dialog box (activated by pressing spacebar) is now much more robust that its predecessor. In addition to displaying the standard views in a more understandable way, it also allows users to save custom views globally, so they can be used in any SolidWorks model.  This is great if you need to render multiple parts in exactly the same orientation.  Users can also more easily update the standard views by simply right-clicking in the graphics area and clicking “Set Current View As…” and selecting a standard view.
     The most noticeable addition, however, is the View Selector. Whenever you press Space, the model will rotate to an isometric view, and display a view box around the model. This box has 22 selectable faces, including Standard (Top, Front, Right, etc), Diagonal, and Isometric from all sides. The View Selector can be activated without the Orientation Dialog Box by pressing CTRL+Space.
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One Reply to “What’s New in SolidWorks 2013 – Chapter 3: SolidWorks Fundamentals”

  1. SolidWorks has tried very hard to provide the functionality that its customers request. SolidWorks 2013 does allow backwards compatibility with SolidWorks 2012.

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