SOLIDWORKS 2017 is out of Beta and Pre-release PR1 is now available to download,
The SOLIDWORKS 2017 website is live with information and videos of the highlighted features. The SOLIDWORKS 2017 Launch event and will steam live on Tuesday 20st September. You can register to stream the event live
To follow on from my first look at SOLIDWORKS 2017 – User Interface & Sketches let me run though a few of the new features & enhancement that I found of interest within SOLIDWORKS 2017 – Parts & Features
Parts modelling is one of the areas that has received an extensive range of enhancements to many of its existing features. The Wrap tool has had some major improvements. The Property Manager has been updated and now brings it in line, with many of the other features that now use graphical representation icons. These replace descriptions for the feature in the Property Manager. Its big trick, however, is the adding of Wrap to “Spline Surface” which adds the ability to wrap a sketch and create geometry (Emboss, Deboss & Scribe) onto any surface. And not just a single surface but multiply surfaces within the one feature
The Sweep feature has seen a simple but time saving function added. With its ability to now be able to select faces, edges, and curves from existing geometry, that can be used as the sweep profile. This eliminates the need to create a new sketch with context entities. Such a simple but much welcome enhancement
There are more than a few interesting things happening with the Chamfer feature. It has seen enhancements to align it much closer with the fillet tool. This includes additional Chamfer features of Face-Face and Offset Face Chamfers. Face-Face selection will allow the creation of symmetric, asymmetric, hold line, and chord width chamfers.
For me, there are two very impressive enhancements to the Chamfer tool. A note of interest, neither were listed in the Whats New document. However both were first shown earlier this year at SOLIDWORKS World 2016 – Dallas. Multi Distance Chamfers allows the selection of different edges and the ability to applying different distances to those edges all within the one feature. This feature is duplicated to use with Fillets! Why would that be!
That is because the other big enhancement is the interchangeability between Chamfers & Fillets (and Fillets & Chamfers). It is a simple matter of either editing a Fillet/ Chamfer and then selecting the other to change. Or a Right Mouse Button selection on a Fillet/ Chamfer feature in the Property Manager and then selecting Convert Fillet/Chamfer to Chamfer/ Fillet.
Last year’s release saw the added ability to create a sweep Bi-directionally. This year it is the Circular Patterns feature that has received the Bi-directional treatment. Bi-direction patterns can be either symmetrical or different in each direction for both, number of Instances and Angle of Pattern. As with all Patterns, Instances can be selected to skip.
In previous versions you could not window select (either box or lasso) to Skip Instances in a Pattern Feature. This meant that you were required to select each globe individually if you wanted to skip a large number of Instances. There was a work around that was built into the Pattern Feature. You could filter and then face select (either box or lasso) the Instance you what to Skip and then select delete. This would then pull up a dialogue box – Pattern Deletion, which gave the option of deleting the pattern or the instances. If you selected the Instances they would Delete. But they weren’t just deleted, If you then edited the Pattern Feature those Instances would be shown in the Instance to Skip selected pane.
SOLIDWORKS 2017 has made that a much simpler task by adding Window selection for Instances to Skip to the Pattern Feature. With window selection (both box & lasso) the Instance globes change from magenta to white to indicate their selection.
The Section tool is a particular useful tool which has seen increase functionality added over the years. It’s ability to allow interrogation of internal components has been enhanced by now allowing individual bodies and parts to be selected and displayed transparent. The transparent part provides a silhouette whist allowing the view of the internal part. For me the real bonus when Creating Transparent Section Views is that these views are available to use with PhotoView 360. Thus providing the opportunity for the creation of more creative photorealistic renders.
These are all massive enhancements when it comes to parts modeling. The improvement to the Wrap feature will provide a major benefit to those dealing with organic shapes. The change to the Sweep feature will provide a significant time saving for those using the Sweep feature. It is hard not to be impressed by the much improved Chamfer features and its associated benefits with the Fillet Tools
Next time I’ll take a look at SOLIDWORKS 2017 A First Look – Assemblies and Drawings
But before I post that!
I’ll be heading to Boston to attend the SOLIDWORKS 2017 Launch Event. I’m looking forward to seeing & hearing much more detail on many of the enhancements to SOLIDWORKS 2017. Hopefully we should also have some greater clarification on a few enhancements listed in the Whats New that were either not available with Beta or that had little detail These include the much anticipated 3D Interconnect which was not was available during Beta and has since been noted to under go separate Beta. Hopefully we should also get some insight into the briefly mentioned Term Licensing. With a bit of luck this will include cost, terms and how to purchase the new Term Licensing! But all that is for next week!