The original idea of this work was the research of SolidWorks capabilities and was started in 2014. The author decided to develop some more ideas based on his research and suggestions to implement useful features from some other popular CAD and 3D-modeling software to show what could be improved in SolidWorks.
The author’s original research contained some old data taken of articles in Russian magazines for the year 2005 and from his personal experience. Later the author changed his sources to websites about CAD, 3D-modeling, and animation to be up to date with the modern features and improvements in software packages. The basic way was to compare the features of different software packages to SolidWorks and merge them with the later. The features were to be described and explained to understand why they would be useful in SolidWorks.
In the first decade of the 20th century, before mass computerization of manufacturing, production required lots of human resources, because humanity had to do most of the process manually, starting with technical documentation and finishing with product recycling. Eventually, manufacturing volumes grew as well as production speed and complexity of the product. Because of that manufacturing staff included hundreds of people.
When computer appeared, it was almost instantly embedded into agriculture, medicine, military, and social industry because of its practical advantages. At first, processing used in manufacturing was slow enough, yet people could save much time and human resources thanks to it, due to automation of some processes. As computer embedding tendency grew, first computer-aided design (CAD) systems appeared, capable of automation of the whole cycle of production from technical documentation to production process.
Nowadays world industry uses so much CAD systems that you can’t find any firm, factory or construction bureau which wouldn’t use CAD. This worldwide embedding caused creating CAD software complexes which include several types of capabilities at once. Mostly you can find different systems of volumetric modeling and express tests in such software. It is obvious that several corporations take part in developing that kind of software to supply the world industry. One of the giants in this area is Dassault Corporation with their software – SolidWorks.
In December 1995 unknown American company SolidWorks Corporation developed the first version of the 3D modeling package – SolidWorks 95. During the next 23 years, 25 new versions of the program were created, over 3. 5 million copies were sold which are used in numerous project organizations and universities. During its existence, SolidWorks made a huge work, transforming an average level modeling system, which it was in 1995, into a complex CAD, one of the most elite systems of parametric modeling worldwide.
Hundreds of innovations and new technological solutions, first invented in SolidWorks, became “classic” in CAD application development during the last 20 years and are now used by most CAD developers worldwide. SolidWorks Corp. was first created in 1993. Beginning with the new version of a software package developed in 1995 SolidWorks became a center of attention for CAD analysts. They were first to realize the full functionality of 3D modeling software in Microsoft Windows. Before that such development were only realized in Unix OS, where they were used for decades. Nowadays Unix-like CAD software became the past, porting the applications into Windows.
In 1997 SolidWorks Corp. was included into IT holding Dassault Systemes, and to the present day, analysts assess this purchase as one of the most successful strategic solutions for Dassault. Nowadays SolidWorks is one of the most popular and widely used 3D modeling packages, which includes wide specter of integrated CAE/CAM/PDM modules and over 500 specialized applications. Since 1998 each new version is developed in 15 languages.
Worldwide standard of CAD
SolidWorks is a system of automatic projection, engineering analysis, and preparation of products of any difficulty and purpose for manufacturing. SolidWorks Corp. developments are known for a high level of quality, reliability, and productivity, not to mention a qualified support team, which makes SolidWorks one of the best solutions for industry. Complex solutions of SolidWorks are based on high-level technologies of hybrid parametric modeling and the wide specter of specialized modules. Industrial embedding of SolidWorks allows to shorten the whole cycle of production and lower the costs.
Traditionally, CAD-systems are focused on the creation of geometric models of products from geometric primitives, and most of the time working with such systems is spent on the selection of items of required types and, most importantly, on choosing the optimal sequence of their creation. Special software products are utilized to perform engineering or technological analysis, as the results of which model is corrected, and sometimes quite substantially. SolidWorks creators started to implement the system elements of an expert system designed to reduce the amount of necessary thinking of the designer for CAD-system as a tool to minimize costs and suboptimal sequence work on the model, typical for existing parametric CAD-systems. SolidWorks software package deeply develops this approach. SolidWorks software package is largely based on technology SolidWorks Intelligent Feature Technology, abbreviated SWIFT. This complex is an embedded expert system that allows for the earliest stages of design with a high degree of automation to solve the optimization problem of the project. This engineering and rapid analysis (strength, aeromechanics, kinematics and dynamics of mechanisms), and manufacturability analysis (applied to machining or molding requirements for plastics), and due diligence compliance selected electronic document standards, as well as analysis of dimensional chains, check collection products search conflicts, automatic dimensioning and process notation, and even automatically create a new project based on an existing on a number of formal parameters.
Solidworks 3D CAD
3D CAD is the basic and the most used tool in the package and this thesis is mostly about its features. As the name suggests it allows user-friendly experience in solid modeling. It is used mostly by engineers and designers, while architects prefer another Dassault Systemes program — CATIA. 3D CAD allows creating both 2D and 3D designs. A range of tools can help the engineer reuse existing 3DCAD models and 2D drawings, which accelerates the design process, saves time and development costs and increases productivity.
One of the common requirements for any engineering project is a drawing. Solidworks 3D CAD links a 2D drawing directly with a 3D solid model, so updates to the 3D model can be automatically reflected in the 2D drawing. Without an automated update system, all drawing views must be updated manually whenever a design change occurs. This becomes an even bigger problem when a component or assembly exists in many different assemblies or at many different levels of the same assembly because it requires that all the drawing views containing the modified components be updated.
Part and Assembly Modelling
Handle all aspects of your part and assembly modeling with SOLIDWORKS 3D design system. Effective product design involves a wide range of tasks that demand flexibility in your software. 3D solid modeling offers several advantages over traditional 2D design, but you want 3D CAD tools that you can use every day while being powerful enough to handle all the aspects of your design process. With SOLIDWORKS, you get an intuitive 3D CAD system that combines ease-of-use with powerful modeling capabilities that can handle your most complex design projects. SOLIDWORKS accelerates your design, saving time and development costs, and making you more productive.