SolidWorks 2012 – A Quick Look At Things That Tickled My Fancy #SolidWorks


Apart from the pre-view at SolidWorks World 2011 earlier this year & reading a few reviews on the upcoming features.    I’ve had little spare time to look for myself at what is in store with SolidWorks 2012. 

After receiving the news this week that we will be updating to SolidWorks 2012, I thought I should download the “What’s New” guide & see what’s in it that takes my interest.

These are a few notes I taken as I have a quick first read.   



I like Mouse Gestures, should I say I like & use Mouse Gestures only in SolidWorks. I’m not fussed on Mouse Gestures in DraftSight. 

This is due to many hours & almostly total Keyboard Shortcut use in AutoCAD & so the practice has continued in DraftSight. 

Now ever in SolidWorks I’m almost totally Right Hand Mouse (or correctly LogiTech TrackMan) use & Left Hand Keyboard use.

SolidWorks 2012 see’s the ability to assign Macro, OK, Cancel & Escape to Mouse Gestures.  I can see me assigning OK immediately to my Mouse Gesture (but not the others)   


Never really had a use for the Status Bar before.   In fact I had it turned off for many years but I like the thought of being able to toggle Units from there. 

Although we are set to Metric (millimetres) we do download on occasions components that are modelled  with Imperial measurements. 

Being able to toggle units on the fly or more importantly being able to change the Imperial measurement to something useable (for us) will be beneficial.


Never understood why this wasn’t standard.  It happens when you select the first Plane for the first sketch.  It’s one of those “one less keystroke” options.


This is currently one of the most written and talked about features.  Anyone who uses patterns will know the joy of sitting watching the little green bar waiting for a part to re-build.

The ability to roll down to a selected feature and stop the re-build above that point will be a great time saver



More & more I’ve moved across to modelling using Multi-bodied Parts (and Multi-bodied Sheet Metal parts) instead of Parts and  Assemblies. 

It makes sense that more features associated with Assemblies will migrate into Multi-bodied parts.  This is one that will ensure that I’ll continue to increase my use of Multibody parts


Of the new Solidworks Costing introduced for 2012 I can see myself at least trying Sheet Metal Costing.  We use a fair quantity of sheet metal components, some are one-off parts and some are produced for years as production components.

I’m fortunate to have a number of Sheet Metal – laser cut – computer fold companies that we use.  After years of dealing with them I “normally” have a  reasonable idea of what the part should cost before I send off for quoting. (Although they do have the ability to still surprise me every now and then).  More out of interest I look forward to seeing if this “tool” will be able to be set up to give acceptable estimates.


Well that’s my take on a few of the new and revised items after a first quick read. 

There looks to be some interesting additions in Drawings but they are going to need a hands on test drive to get a better grasp!

One slight disappointment is that there is no mention of PhotoView 360 or Appearances!  

I would have personally liked to see some additional textures, more  Painted Car Textured (to play with for my Car Rendering addiction”) .  Certainly more Powdercoat
options & some more timber gain options.

Looking forward to a fresh install when SP0 is released.




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