SolidWorks Corporation today unveiled SolidWorks® 2007
software, offering design teams unprecedented opportunities to work
faster and smarter in the quest for better products. In addition to
more than 200 new features, this latest version of the leading 3D
CAD software introduces SolidWorks Intelligent Feature Technology
(“SWIFT”), which for the first time puts expert-level
techniques for 3D CAD's most challenging design operations in the
hands of every user.
Toppling the notion that powerful software is necessarily complex, SWIFT™ technology delivers exponential increases in efficiency while simplifying use of the software. For example, 3D CAD applications have traditionally forced design teams to consume precious time determining the order in which they create part features like drafts and fillets. SolidWorks 2007 changes all that, leaving the SWIFT FeatureXpert to automatically create the new features in the proper order as the designer intended. This allows designers to spend more time on the task at hand – designing great products.
“The new FeatureXpert functionality dramatically simplifies modeling, especially for new users,” said Designer Marla Schmidt of the Sub-Zero Freezer Company. “For instance, a new user probably wouldn't know how to add a draft to a part that already has fillets. FeatureXpert automatically reorders the features so the draft can be applied correctly. We hope for similar benefits from the other SWIFT capabilities in SolidWorks 2007, as well as those in future releases.”
SWIFT accounts for just a handful of the enhancements in SolidWorks 2007, 90 percent of which were directly driven by customers. Together, the enhancements will help customers succeed by providing intuitive, high-performing software that helps design teams set themselves apart.
Focus: Product design, not design tools
Other SWIFT tools in SolidWorks 2007 include the SWIFT SketchXpert, which resolves dimensional and relational conflicts when sketching, and the SWIFT MateXpert, which removes conflicts that arise when users add or modify mated parts. SWIFT is a clear example of how SolidWorks Corporation's approach to 3D CAD focuses more on product design than on the workings of the tools that support it.
This focus is also apparent in a powerful new Search capability that enables users to find anything related to their 3D design work on their desktop, in shared files, in their product data management (PDM) system, or in their supply chain universe with a single tool. The new powerful and easy-to-use Search capability will work in concert with a wealth of new standard content, including that offered through the SolidWorks 3D ContentCentral® part-finding service. As a result, teams will have more time to design great products by minimizing time they spend looking for files and parts that have already been created.
The tool will also pinpoint new routing and weldment content in SolidWorks 2007. SolidWorks users now have more predefined content than any 3D CAD user community, which is critical since at least 60 percent of a typical machine consists of purchased parts.
Harness 2D expertise to power 3D design
Also vital to design teams is the ability to conceptualize in 2D before creating in 3D. Accordingly, SolidWorks 2007 includes dramatic enhancements to capabilities like Sketch Blocks, introduced last year. 2D sketches of belts, chains, pulleys, and gears now automatically exhibit multipart interaction and motion, helping teams refine designs at all stages of their work. This feature combines the intelligence of 3D CAD with the feel of 2D CAD.
The unique SolidWorks Design Checker, introduced as part of SolidWorks 2006 last year, includes powerful new features to ensure drawings meet the defined standards of each user's organization. The new features include auto-correction and the ability to “learn” from a finished drawing – features that make it even easier to avoid expensive, labor-intensive drawing revisions.
In addition, SolidWorks 2007 enables users for the first time to save any file in Adobe Systems' new 3D PDF format, thereby providing complete support for the two prevailing standards for sharing 3D designs, PDF and the SolidWorks eDrawings® collaboration format.
SolidWorks 2007 includes a host of other new drawing enhancements, making it even easier and more efficient to turn 2D drawings into 3D models and to generate finished, professional, production-ready 2D files for manufacturing.
Design new and innovative products
The bottom line in 3D CAD is designing better products. To make products more contemporary and ergonomic, SolidWorks 2007 introduces powerful new consumer design and assembly interaction capabilities. A new Freeform surfacing tool for the first time lets design teams simply “push and pull” control points to create stylish surfaces with intuitive curvature continuity (C2) control throughout. The result is sleeker designs accomplished more quickly than is possible with traditional surfacing commands.
SolidWorks 2007's new 3D gear mates and belt interaction capabilities for the first time simulate belts, chains, racks, pinions, and gear assembly action for testing of more complex assemblies than previously possible. The new functionality optionally defaults to standard component sizes, minimizing the cost and labor of the design.
Powerful new design tools
SolidWorks 2007 extends SolidWorks' history of introducing powerful new design tools to the mainstream 3D CAD market, creating new opportunities for design teams to make their organizations successful.
For example, SolidWorks 2007 includes SolidWorks ScanTo3D capability, enabling users to automatically extract design data from real-world artifacts – such as broken parts that need replacement or concept foam models – and move it into the SolidWorks design environment. The built-in capability includes an easy-to-use wizard interface that steps the user through the scanning and data import processes, and through the completion of a fully defined 3D solid model.
The ScanTo3D software is optimized for use with a new high-resolution, full-color Desktop 3D Scanner from SolidWorks Solution Partner NextEngine, available at a discounted price to SolidWorks users. Additionally, ScanTo3D includes support for several other common 3D scan data formats.
SolidWorks 2007 includes powerful new capabilities in its integrated analysis software tools. COSMOSXpress™, the basic analysis tool included with every SolidWorks 3D CAD product, now includes optimization capabilities, which can save valuable part materials and improve performance by helping ensure products are not over-designed. The COSMOSWorks® Designer analysis tool, included in SolidWorks Office Premium, offers new, unique capabilities for weldment analysis – a complex process made easy, but which is beyond the reach of other analysis tools. SolidWorks Office Premium now includes COSMOSMotion™ analysis software, which will benefit design teams making products with critical moving parts that require well-engineered dynamic properties.
“SolidWorks 2007 is a milestone release because with the introduction of SWIFT, 3D CAD crosses the line from automation to intelligence,” said SolidWorks Corporation CEO John McEleney. “Not only do users have new ways to compress sophisticated operations into minimal commands, they now possess the wisdom and expertise of the most accomplished SolidWorks experts. SWIFT will influence design engineering for years to come.”
SolidWorks 2007 is available now for purchase in 12 languages worldwide through SolidWorks authorized resellers.
See it for yourself
For more information about SolidWorks 2007, including video demonstrations, please visit www.solidworks.com/SW2007PR/ In addition to Launch Week seminars in late summer, in-depth demonstrations of key features will be available from resellers upon request. To locate an authorized reseller in your region, visit www.solidworks.com/pages/company/SolidWorksOfficeWorldwide.html
Launch Week seminars take place Sept. 4-8 in your area and on the Web. To find a seminar near you or online, visit www.solidworks.com/pages/news/ResellerSeminars.html
Date: June 15, 2006