So today was the day. At the doors of the hall waiting to get in at 8:15, was the biggest crowd of all three days. In talking with a few, they were all excited to hear about what they will see in Solidworks 2009. Let me say performance was the buzzword the past three days, and today they proved its coming.
Each year the Solidworks team puts on a little skit to preview the next release. This year was "Engineers In Crisis", a Dr. Phil type talkshow dealing with engineers that have slipped over the edge after not being able to deal with P.A.S. or performance Addiction Syndrome.
First up was Tom. He noticed that things started to get real slow on his CAD system a year ago. Let's see what the doctors prescribed to help Tom deal with the large assemblies he works with.
SpeedPak technology was first up. New sliders in the speedpak interface let Tom adjust the resolution if you will of how many parts of this 560 part assembly show up on his screen. Only what's left on the screen is what gets loaded into the assembly
Next up to help Tom out, sketch enhancements.
As Tom sketches, the geometry he is drawing is automatically being dimensioned, and once he drop the line, he instantly can type in the length he wants.
The new slot tool should help ease Tom's stress. A new tool that allows you to create rectangular, or radial slots, that automatically ca themselves.
The final area to help poor Tom, was a new sheet metal functionality, Solid To Sheet Metal"
You create a solid, and Solidworks will wrap it in sheet metal, and then unfold it!
But Tom needed one more treatment, plastic tools.
New lip and groove, automatic draft and shell features, should set Tom on the road to recovery. In fact Tom now has a new name, crazy, crazy for Solidworks!
Next up was poor old Bill. Too many steps in his day to day work made him uneasy, and Bill took his rage out on his ACME coworker Bob:
That's exactly what you see. The ability to generate a complete BOM without the need to create a drawing. Full BOM functionality is there, at the assembly level.
You can even split it off to a separate screen. Again, full BOM functions are available as shown in the second picture.
But Bill also got tired of assembly created features not carrying down to the part level, 2009 now lets him choose assembly features like cuts to carry over to the part level.
Bill also needed new sketch editing tools.
Using the new stretch tool, Bill can grab geometry, and drag them, and the dimension will automatically update, but only when using this tool. He also has the ability to type in positive or negative numbers.
The last area of frustration for Bill is the toolbox. Let's see if any of these new features help him feel better.
Changing the configuration of a washer can be done on the fly:
With Instant 3D that was new in 2008, Bill can drag the length of his toolbox items to the available configs:
Last up was Joe who needed some changes to the user interface, and Solidworks 2009 delivers:
How about the new magnifier, this allows you to zoom in on a certain area, work without needing to constantly pan and zoom.
View orientation in 2009 is also easier, click one of the arms of the triad, and the model rotates to that view.
Working with dual units has never been easier. The measure tool (and the status bar at the bottom of the screen) now supports dual units:
The command manager can now be docked like a normal toolbar on any side of the screen:
The command manager is now shorter, allowing the placement of standard tool bars at the end of it:
Some more enhancements to cables and routing:
How about ribbon cable support?
Drawings are also getting some changes, and Joe could not be happier:
Multi leader bends, you can also drag and drop chamfer, and hole call outs to other locations:
And let's not forget how excited Joe is going to be about the new title block wizard, double ckick the title block, and have direct edit access to the customizable fields, and you can write the data back to the custom properties in the model:
So that wraps up Engineers In Crisis.
One last area that was covered was performance.
Those are staggering stats! Is it true? Well they opened up an assembly on two identical machines. One was running 2008, and the other was running 2009. Once open, they inserted the assembly to a standard 3-view drawing. 2008 took nearly two minutes to complete this task while 2009 did it in well under 30 seconds!