One of the biggest benefits of using Solidworks, is how big the popularity of the software has grown. This in turn encourages pre-made part manufactures to provide their products on-line in native Solidworks format.
Recently I was tasked with designing a tool to remove optic insert blanks from a mold while the mold was still in the molding press. The tool needed to be light, small, easily machinable, and had to use readily available replaceable parts. My first stop was Reid Supply. They supply and stock over 17,000 items. But the best part is all their catalog items are available for download in Solidworks format! So off I went to download away, and easily got what I needed for my project. Once in Solidworks I was able to make sure everything fit just right, and was able to create a quick animation showing the procedure for the correct use of the tool. Furthermore I was able to perform some simple strain tests to make sure my tool would actually work!
So the result was a tool that was easy to make, but more importantly, functions as designed. Thats a true example of how the power and popularity of Solidworks helped me perform my job quicker, and better. Here are a couple of pics: