SOLIDWORKS 2015 – Digging a Little Deeper #solidworks

After my initial read though of the “What’s New” SOLIDWORKS 2015 document and following on from my “First Impressions” I’ve had a little more time with the software and a change to review some more of the new features.

There has been quite a few additions and enhancements to Mates (Assemblies).  Which continues the theme of introducing continuity and similarity across features continues with Assemblies.

Editing Limit Mates in Graphic Area  This is another of the continuity workflow updates of an existing feature.  When using Limit Mates in the past you could only edit the mate values from the FeatureTree.  With SOLIDWORKS 2015 you can now select the mate from either the Feature Tree or from the graphic area.Limit SelectThis will then pull up the standard looking Modify Dimension dialogue box. (or more correctly Dimensions).   This is applicable for both the Distance and Angle Mates.Limit GraphicThe new Profile Centre Mate is one those great short cut /reduced the number of mouse clicks features.  You could always have achieve the results that the Profile Centre Mate feature does by using a number of different available Mates.  However with the Profile Centre Mate it simplifies the process.  It is available to use with common geometric profiles, rectangles, circles and the like.Profile Centre MateIt is now just a matter of selecting mating faces of the profilesProfile Centre SelectThen Mates>Advances>Profile Centre    This automatically centre aligns and Mates the profiles.  Profile Centre - AdvanceIt is not just restricted to mating of the faces.   There is the Option to dimension a Distance Profile Centre - Off setIn either direction.Profile Centre - Flip DirectionWhen using circular profiles there is the same option which was introduced in SOLIDWORKS 2014 of Lock Rotation.  Either by selection in the Feature Tree option of the Profile Centre Mate or by editing the mate and selecting Lock Profile Rotation in the Feature Drop down menu.   This is looking to be a great feature for those working with those types of Assemblies!Profile Centre - Lock RotationWidth Mates Is another of the new mates which simplifies the mate process by using selected geometry.WidthSelecting the Width Reference on the part, then the Tab Reference from the adjoining part and then a required Constraint,  Select Centred for a equidistant position.Width - CentredAdditional constraint options are Free which would allow the part to slide between the two width reference geometry.  Distance constraint for a dimensional position driven from either Width ReferenceWidth - ConstraintThe most interesting I think is Percentage constraint allowing a position to be driven by a percentage distance of the width referenceWidth - Percentage

Who hasn’t opened a reasonably large Assembly, knowing that it is going to take a minute or so to open.   Deciding instead of watching it open you wander off to make a cup of coffee instead.    Only to find that whilst you have been away, that the Assemble hasn’t been opening at all!    But it has been waiting for your response to a Warning Message!    Now with the Summary Report when Opening Assemblies in SOLIDWORKS 2015 you can set an option to Automatically dismiss a warning/ error message.

It needs to be set it the Options>System Options>Messages/ Errors/ Warnings,   Then select the amount of Time used to dismiss.  Which can be set from 1 to 30secondsMessages - Dismiss TimeOutNow when the Assembly starts to open the message(s) will display and are then dismissed in the allocated time.Message Auto DismissWhen the Assembly has opened a Summary Message of the Warnings are displayed is a dialogue box.Summary ReportDetails of the Warnings can then be found by going into Tools> AssemblyXpert Summary OpenThis is a great productive feature.   You don’t want to miss the warning but you don’t want to sit there dismissing the warning as they appear!

Open Profile Cut Extrusion For as long as I can recall you have been able to Cut Extrude – Through All – In both directions using a Open Profile Sketch (as long as the sketch at least intersects the edge or was beyond the part)   Open Profile - SketchNow we see the expansion of this feature to include control over the direction for Through All.     But the real party trick is that there is now the addition to cut extrude to a dimension using an open profile sketch.  (The Sketch as always need to intersect the edge or extend beyond the part)  Open Profile - Cut ExtrudeOpen Profile - Cut Extrude Complete

The Split features can now be used with Surfaces bodies!     Personally I feel that this is a great expansion of the Split feature.   To the point I think that the Split enhancement, along with the expansion of the Open Profile Cut Extrusion must be close to the best two (2) day to day features of the SOLIDWORKS 2015 release. Split FeatureThe function of the Split feature is now the same as it is for Solids bodies.   It requires the use of and the selection of either a plane, a sketch, or a surface. Split BodiesWhich is used to Split and create a number of Surface Bodies.Split ResultBut it is not just Surface bodies!    It has the ability to simultaneously Split both Surfaces and Solids bodies to create multiple bodies all within the one feature. Split - Surface Solid

Linear Patterns have also been given the ability to be controlled by Reference Geometry.  Now with Linear Patterns you can >Select ReferenceLinear - Referenceand then drive the Pattern between those References either by Number (of Instances) or by a DimensionLinear - Reference - Distance

eDrawings 2015 has had a major interface makeover which aligns it with theme of similarity in the SOLIDWORKS 2015 release.   eDrawings 2015 Desktop now has much of the same look and feel of the mobile versions introduced over the past few years.

eDrawings on DesktopDesktopeDrawings on Mobile (Android – Nexus 7)Nexus7 - Android

There are just a few more of the new features that I feel is making the release of SOLIDWORKS 2015 look more and more interesting.

Where from here ……. I might just have to have a look into Drawings (not my strong suit) but there is a massive list in the “What’s New” which makes it possibly the biggest area of enhancements.


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