September, 2011 | CADD Edge Blog - Featuring SolidWorks 3D CAD Design Software

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Latest on the CADD Edge User Conference

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I wanted to post a couple pieces of info about the SolidWorks event we are hosting in October.

  • The registration site is now live, so you can register yourself or a group here
  • A full agenda along with descriptions is also available in PDF format.
  • Finally you have another week to take advantage of the early registration rate.  Register before September 30th to save $50 off the registration fee of $199.

Hope to see you in October.



How to Easily Rename Your SolidWorks Files and Retain the References


A frequent question on our Support Hotline is  "What steps are to be taken when renaming a file in order to keep relations between models and drawings?" 

The short answer is use your PDM system to do it. 

End of Blog..

I'm kidding! PDM is the ideal tool for renaming files and managing refernces but this article is for those that don't have PDM or need to manage files that are outside their vault. If you are unfamiliar with PDM check out this amusing and informative video from SolidWorks.  It gives you the basics of what PDM can do in about 2 minutes. 

The real answer is SolidWorks Explorer.  With SolidWorks you can Rename files and still maintain the links to the files that depend on them.  Here's how:

  • Close SolidWorks (or make sure the files you are going to play with are not open in SolidWorks)
  • To launch SolidWorks Explorer you have 2 choices:
  • Go to your start menu> All Programs> SolidWorks 20xx> SolidWorks Explorer or from within SolidWorks go to Tools> SolidWorks Explorer
  • Once SolidWorks Explorer has opened use this as you would use Windows Explorer to locate your files.
  • Once you have located your part right-click on it and select rename.
  • A dialog box doing a search for all the items that are linked to that document will show up. From there you can rename and the links will remain intact!
SolidWorks Explorer

SolidWorks Explorer can do a lot more than simply rename files.  It can be used to move files, perform a Pack & Go, and even modify custom properties; all without launching SolidWorks.

SolidWorks Explorer - Pack & Go


SolidWorks should run on Windows 8, when it gets here


I'm not normally one to pay attention to a new Windows version until I'm given a computer running it, or I have a support call associated with it.  However after the announcement of the retirement announcement of SolidWorks on XP I got interested in what was coming. 

I read a brief article listing some of the upcoming features in Windows 8 and was excited to read that "All Windows 7 applications will run natively on Windows 8." There may be fine print, that I didn't get to, but if I can take the article for its word you shouldn't have to worry about waiting for Service Packs or new releases of SolidWorks once you end up with a PC running Windows 8. This article on Engadget lists off a few more, like monitor specific task bars for multiple monitor users.

It looks like the release date won't be till Fall of 2012 so you've got time.  But in the meantime, I'll leave you with an image of the revised Blue Screen of Death for Windows 8. Its nice to see they have acknowledged that the old codes were useless. :)

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SolidWorks 2012 has Arrived


describe the imageWhile its been in Beta I've had to be relatively quiet about SolidWorks 2012.  But I've just learned that announcements have gone out to customers and the 2012 pages are now live over at SolidWorks.  The Pre-Release version is now available for customers to download.  Pre-Release is the version that they expect to be the officially released version, barring any hiccups.  This would be the time to check it out with your files before the release is official.


I am genuinely impressed and excited about this latest release of SolidWorks. There are minor tweaks that are going to make my life easier. (easily change document units, and viewing changed drawing dimensions to name two) But there are also some really cool new tools as well. Like SolidWorks costing, which can analyze your sheet metal or machined part and give you an estimate of the cost to make it.

We'll be posting more information here soon. We'll also be highliting the new release at our User Conference in October, so register today.


Coming Soon to CADD Edge! Online instructor led SolidWorks Training


John Hall reports on a new training solution we are working on.

Recently we ran a pilot program to test offering online training to our customers. I'm happy to report that it was a success, and it looks like we will be offering online training classes very soon.

We evaluated a program offering called GoToTraining and wanted to know how it describe the imagewould work for SolidWorks training. Having used GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar many times before, I felt very comfortable with the interface, and it was really easy to teach a class and get through course material. It looks like it's a perfect fit.

 We chose Advanced Parts as the course material to run through, and the class went very smoothly - I expected some bumps along the road with using a new software, but it was almost as easy as teaching a class in a traditional classroom setting. Because we were doing this online, the students could learn from the comfort of their own desk, and didn't have to travel far to get trained.

 Because we were working online, we decided to break the class up into just morning sessions, which worked out really nicely. I found that the smaller time blocks left people time to really dig into the concepts they learned and get through a lot more of the exercises than they do in traditional classroom training.

 Just a few quick tips if you're thinking about taking an online course: it might be a good idea to grab a headset - it seems to cancel out a lot of the background noise. Also, you definitely want to give yourself a little bit of time up front to just familiarize yourself with the interface and how to login. You may even want to put up a sign on your office/cubicle so other folks don't come up and start bugging you while you're trying to learn!

 Anyway, teaching this class was a lot of fun, and it went over very well with our students, so a big thanks to our volunteers for testing this program!  We anticipate sticking to more advanced topics for these classes. We and our our pilot program participants felt that the Essentials SolidWorks course would still be best done in a classroom setting. If you are interested in the online training program, keep an eye on the blog, or contact your account rep and ask them to let you know when the courses are available.


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