This Year’s Top 10 Enhancements in SOLIDWORKS Browser-Based Roles


This Year’s Top 10 Enhancements in SOLIDWORKS Browser-Based Roles 

SOLIDWORKS browser-based roles are purpose-built for your needs and include parametric modeling, subdivision (Sub-D) modeling, and much more, and since they run on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform you also get built-in data management and collaboration capabilities that benefit the whole team. The latest enhancements brought in with SOLIDWORKS 2023 for these solutions include 2D drawing improvements, smart mates, and net surfacing, as well as improvements to downstream communication for manufacturing to help you be as productive as possible. 


Let’s have a look at this year’s top 10 enhancements. 


1- 2D Drawings | Manufacturing Definition Creator – Create both 3D definitions and 2D drawings to meet supplier requirements faster. 


Manufacturing Definition Creator easily creates both 3D product manufacturing information (PMI) and 2D drawings. Use either model-based definition (MBD) or 2D sketches to break down the barrier between 3D and 2D and leverage model-based workflows while providing the flexibility needed to preserve existing manufacturing processes and supplier relationships that still use 2D drawings. 


With Manufacturing Definition Creator, you don’t have to create a 2D drawing from scratch, you can use your existing 3D PMI to create a 2D drawing complete with definition, in a matter of a few mouse clicks. 


Manufacturing Definition Creator features 3D definition and 2D drawing capabilities. 


2- Welcome App | 3D Creator – Get up to speed on your new solutions quicker with a personalized welcome experience. 


Whether you’re a new or experienced user, the Welcome app in the 3D Creator parametric design role helps you get up to speed, fast. Access the SOLIDWORKS online communities, switch seamlessly between your roles, and explore the Learning Center where you’ll find tips for getting started, in-depth learning tutorials, and Sample Content. Drag and drop a model into your interface to check out the role’s modeling features. 


In addition to launching your roles, you can open your collaboration and management apps: 3DPlay, the Bookmark Editor, and more. 


Access key role and app information plus SOLIDWORKS online communities directly in the Welcome app. 


3- Design Assistant Smart Mate with Artificial Intelligence (AI) | 3D Creator – Build assemblies faster. 


Design Assistant Smart Mate is one of the many AI-enabled features that uses built-in machine learning algorithms to offer design guidance based on your workflows. This tool is designed to help you create mates by dragging and holding a component in the position where you want it to mate with the surrounding components. The Smart Mate command will automatically launch when you drag a component close to the edge of another component.


Drag and snap components into place with the Smart Mate command. 


4- Net Surfacing | 3D Sculptor – Create subdivision surfaces using familiar CAD operations. 


Create your own primitives using a loft, a boundary condition, or a sweep with the Net Surfacing Command in the 3D Sculptor Sub-D modeling role. Start by defining a surface using familiar parametric commands, then use freeform Sub-D modeling to modify the shape of your customized primitive. You can also toggle between the customized parametric surface or subdivision surface. To increase design efficiency, choose pre-defined primitives or create your own with the Net Surface command. 


Use familiar CAD operations to create a subdivision surface with Net Surfacing in 3D Sculptor. 


5- 3D Print Orientation and Nesting Optimization | 3D Creator – Automatically set your parts up for success and save time on 3D prints. 


The Print3D feature gives you the option to auto-arrange a selection of parts on the 3D printer build plate. Work smart and let the Print3D feature work hard for you to get the most efficient layout of your assemblies. This feature also helps reduce material costs! 


Create the most efficient layout with automatic optimization and nesting and reduce material costs. 


6- OM Tables | Manufacturing Definition Creator – Clearly define your assemblies and provide critical assembly information. 


Easily and efficiently provide the most valuable information with 3D definitions and 2D drawings. Create and include a bill of materials (BOM), and automatically link BOM table values directly with ENOVIA for consistent, up-to-date information. 


Customize your BOM tables using familiar table editing functionality and provide a wide range of linked assembly properties, such as part quantities, revisions, part numbers, and more. 


Create a detailed bill of material (BOM) tables for 3D assembly definition and 2D drawings. 


7- Automatic Corner Trimming | 3D Structure Creator – Save time by automating corner trimming processes.   


Create accurate, manufacturing-ready structure designs, and do it quickly with 3D Structure Creator. The Automatic Corner Trims feature enables you to automatically trim members during member creation, so you don’t have to do this after. Create members based on sketch segments, model edges, points, or intersection planes, or between two members, and check Enable Automatic Corner Trims to trim corners and endpoints. 


Create structure systems faster by automatically trimming members during member creation with 3D Structure Creator. 


8- Recognize Command | 3D SheetMetal Creator – Increase productivity and create complex sheet metal shapes using traditional modeling features. 


3D SheetMetal Creator features easy-to-use associative parametric sheet metal design tools. The Recognize command, for instance, includes solid and surface options so you can easily create complex sheet metal shapes and reduce complex design workflows. In addition to the “thin” option, you can convert solid bodies and surfaces with automatically generated flat patterns for manufacturing that doesn’t require shelled or uniform thickness geometry. 


You can also customize bends, walls, splits, and gap distances with a single command! 


Create complex sheet metal geometry using conventional convert-to-sheet metal workflows in 3D SheetMetal Creator. 


9- Selection Accelerators | 3D Sculptor – Speed up selections and easily shape sub-D mesh. 


There are several new selection accelerators you can access from the context toolbar and by using Shift Select. If you need to select a group of tangent edges or faces, you can use the Select Tangency accelerator on the context toolbar. 


To select edges around the face of a box or quad ball, there’s a Corner Loop accelerator that lets you Shift Select two edges on either side of a corner to select the entire loop, and for creased edges, you can use the Select Crease accelerator on the context toolbar so you can select connected creased edges. Also, shift select will follow along creased edges. 


Speed up geometry selection and modifications using new selection accelerators in 3D Sculptor. 



10- Thickness Analysis | 3D Mold Creator – Ensure uniform thickness and improve design integrity by verifying that parts will fill properly. 


3D Mold Creator provides specialized mold tooling design functionality that enables the faster, automated, and more robust design of mold cores, cavities, and inserts. The Thickness Check tool, for instance, enables you to perform thickness checks using a rolling ball “sphere” method or the normal distance “ray” method. You can easily identify thickness ranges using colors, in addition, to manually investigating thicknesses at specific locations by clicking on the area you’d like to investigate. 


Prevent sink marks by ensuring uniform thickness with the Thickness Check tool in 3D Mold Creator. 


SOLIDWORKS browser-based roles available on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform enable engineers and designers to work more efficiently on designs and assemblies from anywhere in the world. With the release of SOLIDWORKS 2023 hundreds of improvements have been made to accelerate your 3D product design processes. For more information on all the improvements, and to know more about what SOLIDWORKS or 3DEPXERIENCE solutions best fit your workflows, don’t hesitate to contact our Xperts teams

How 3DExperience will help you use SOLIDWORKS  


How 3DExperience will help you use SOLIDWORKS

By Steven Murphy – Elite Applications Engineer

While the 3DExperience platform takes the CAD industry by storm, what does it mean for the average SOLIDWORKS user? Despite the industry trend toward SAAS (Software as a service), SOLIDWORKS will remain available as a perpetual license. The only change for conventional SOLIDWORKS users is access to a wider variety of tools using the 3DExperience platform to augment your current workflows. Knowing what tools you have access to on the cloud will give you a competitive edge and the tools you need to stay successful.


Top Tools to Leverage 3DExperience Using SOLIDWORKS



Everyone is familiar with “the cloud,” or the idea of connecting via internet to servers remotely in order to gain flexibility and save on hardware costs. With the integration of ENOVIAWORKS into the 3DExperience platform, cloud PLM [Product Lifecycle Management] services are readily available to use with SOLIDWORKS files. This includes a complete product data management (PDM) system as well as tools to manage the processes surrounding the part’s fabrication.

For the average SOLIDWORKS user, this means access to revision controlled files from anywhere you can use SOLIDWORKS. Just login to the PLM services pain integrated with SOLIDWORKS and you are off to the races. You can also drag and drop files from the 3DExperience platform into SOLIDWORKS to open and start working. On top of this functionality, the files in PLM can be referenced in chats, integrated into blog posts, and worked with in the 3DExperience “X Apps.” These X Apps provide a range of versatility for part creation without ever leaving the cloud.





XShape is the premier SubD cloud application available on the 3DExperience platform. Many industrial designers know the challenge of replicating complex surfaces inside of any CAD package. XShape allows for the creations of surfaces and parts using push-pull manipulation of primitive shapes while maintaining continuity. This functionality greatly surpasses the ability of SOLIDWORKS Freeform to create your aesthetically pleasing complex surfaces with your CAD file. On top of that, the SOLIDWORKS integration means that you can drag and drop the files from your web browser right into your model.

If you are doing any surfacing, industrial design, or non- parametric modeling, this application is a must have. Because this application was developed with SOLIDWORKS in mind, the seamless transition between software will support your workflow.


XShape SubD Modeling


3DExperience Marketplace

Who knew that you have access to quality industrial suppliers worldwide within SOLIDWORKS itself? You can find the manufacturers that your product needs without having to spend time and effort creating your own supply chain. This especially powerful in an industry where rapid prototyped 3D printed parts are becoming the de facto standard. Directly integrated with your SOLIDWORKS model, you can get competitive pricing, see shipment costs, and determine which provider meets your deadline.


The 3DExperience Marketplace is located in the “3DExperience Platform” add in located in SOLIDWORKS which provides the flexibility that any engineer can take advantage of. Let Dassault Systèmes qualify the manufacturers for you, all you need to do is provide the model!


3DExperience Marketplace Within the Task Pane


The 3DExperience brings value to all conventional SOLIDWORKS users, expanding the tools available to bolster your workflow. The platform provides you with the ability to create new types of models, store and access data online, as well as easily identify manufacturers based on your requirements. From here, the Dassault Systèmes ecosystem will only continue to adapt and grow.


Interested in the 3DExperience Platform? Reach out to our Xperts anytime with any questions or for more information.

How to add the Thickness of Sheet-metal as gauge in a Layout


How to add the Thickness of Sheet-metal as gauge in a Layout

In this tech tips we are going to find out how to add the Thickness of Sheet-metal as a gauge in a Layout:

When one designs products with sheet metal, the industry uses the thickness values from a gauge table. For example, an 18 gauge is equivalent to a thickness of 0.0359 for a steel part. It is possible to use this kind of table in the sheet-metal function of Solidworks.

Continue reading “How to add the Thickness of Sheet-metal as gauge in a Layout”

Need to cancel the check-out of a file from another user on PDM?


Need to cancel the check-out of a file from another user on PDM?

In this tech tip, we are going to find out how to cancel the check-out of a file from another user on PDM because this permission is no longer exclusive to the default Admin user:

PDM Administrators can now allow users to undo the ‘check-out’ of files checked out by other users! Permission was previously reserved for the default Admin user.

The permission has been added to the Administrative Permissions under Groups — Users:

No more files are stuck in ‘read-only’ when a user leaves for vacation!  No need to disconnect from the vault and log in as Admin to PDM.

Even better, if the computer where the files are backed up is available, it is now also possible to archive files from another user profile. No more frustrated users returning from vacation!

To keep control of the possible chaos resulting from power abuse, a line has been added to the history containing all the details of the operation.

Enhancements in PropertyManager in SOLIDWORKS Simulation


Enhancements in Remote Loads/Mass PropertyManager in SOLIDWORKS Simulation

By Sakineh Orangi – Simulation Application Engineer at SolidXperts

In SOLIDWORKS 2019, the Remote Load/Mass PropertyManager was redesigned to improve the user experience and it introduced distributed coupling. The Remote Loads/Mass PropertyManager allows us to apply remote loads, remote masses, and remote displacements for static, topology, and nonlinear studies. One of the ways to access the Remote Loads/Mass PropertyManager is to right-click on External Loads in the simulation tree of linear static, nonlinear static, or topology.



We select the faces to apply remote loads, remote masses, or remote translations and/or rotations.



We define the coordinate system used for the interpretation of the location and directions of the remote features.



After this step, we enter the coordinates of the reference node location in a local or global coordinate system.



In the case of the definition of remote force or remote distance, we check the Translational Components and enter the values of remote loads or remote translation in the three directions X, Y, and Z.



If there are any remote moments or remote rotations, we check Rotational Components and then enter the data.




The connection type can be Distributed or Rigid. If there were several coupling points, we use Distributed coupling. For rigid connection, the coupling nodes do not move relative to each other. The faces where remote loads or displacements are applied behave like rigid bodies.

The mass option is used to define components of remote mass. Data necessary for this option is the value of remote mass and moment of inertia regarding the axis of X, Y, and Z.



Learn more about everything new in SOLIDWORKS from 2015 to 2019 by downloading our White Paper.

To learn more about SOLIDWORKS Simulation, click here.

7 Essential Markforged Composite Features


7 Essential Markforged Composite Features

written by Steven Murphy – Certified SOLIDWORKS Expert (CSWE)

Markforged transformed the 3D printing industry back in 2013 with the ability to create functional industrial parts. While this 3D printing powerhouse innovates with metal 3D printing, we want to take a moment to recognize the powerful features offered by the composite printers that keep them at the top of the FDM world. Here are our top seven Markforged composite features:


1. Fiber

This is the go-to innovation for the Markforged printers – the ability to print with Continuous Fiber Filament (CFF) using Fiberglass, Kevlar, and everyone’s favorite, Carbon Fiber.


3D printed parts 8x stronger than ABS with comparable traits to 6061 Aluminum unlocks design possibilities. Lighter parts with low cost and fast production can be a valuable proposition for many manufacturers. This feature single-handedly allows 3D printing to be a comprehensive solution rather than a prototyping tool.


2. Expand Thin Features

What exactly does “Expanding Thin Features” do? Enabling this feature will thicken your part geometry to meet the minimum wall thickness requirements of the printer. It will automatically take any layer that is too thin to print and  adapt it to meet the minimum requirements. Easily overlooked as it only takes one click to activate, you can see the part salvaged in the slice views below!


This feature really excels at taking parts not designed for additive manufacturing and adjusting their geometry to be 3D-pintable. You need to be careful when using this feature as changing the geometry does not maintain the dimensional accuracy of the original CAD model. The major upside is that the majority of legacy parts can be printed on Markforged printers without any major redesign. This level of automation and intelligence is a huge jump in innovation in an otherwise stale industry.


3. Pause & Remove the Print Bed

The print bed itself is fastened by three neodymium magnets, allowing the user to remove the build plate during any layer. This also means that you can replace the print bed and continue the print from where you left off. This process has a repeatability of 10 microns,  meaning there are no issues in continuing the print from the new position.


Being able to pause and remove the print bed opens up many design options such as embedding hardware or enclosing secondary parts (eg. LED, magnets, or RFID). The repeatability and consistency of the print bed enables many tricks and are well documented in the Markforged blogs.


4. Adaptive Bed Leveling (X7)

The X7 Industrial printer utilizes a built-in laser micrometer to create a contour map of the print bed with 1µm accuracy. While it will alert you to the bed not being leveled correctly, more importantly, the printer will dynamically adjust the extrusion of the first layer to increase the consistency of your print.


The application of the laser measuring system eliminates many of the bed leveling issues that occur with standard FDM style printers. Not only are the parts flatter than traditional FDM printers, but the initial compensation means significantly fewer failed prints.


Bonus: Blacksmith

Check out the Blacksmith AI that takes advantage of the same laser micrometer to adjust the physical part based off of inspection results. The end result is a tight feedback loop that makes extremely accurate parts that become more accurate over time.


5. Turbo Print & Turbo Supports [BETA Features]

The Turbo BETA features allow for support and infill to be printed at twice the layer height of the print. By taking advantage of the support structure, Markforged has increased opportunities to save time and material on your prints.


The turbo features allow for faster print times and reduces material. Fundamentally, it shows that Markforged is committed to improving and implementing solutions. They are willing to continuously improve their product, and will continue to add BETA features.


6. Eiger Dashboard

With a versatile cloud based software, there many metrics tracked for your convenience. The Eiger Dashboard allows for both management and users to track printer statistics such author and material usage.  Not only does the portal include integrated graphics, but the data is also available as a CSV.


In traditional manufacturing, material and time management are a huge part of resource management. Using Eiger, it is incredibly easily track material usage, up-time, and other valuable metadata to make your operation more efficient.


7. Eiger Internal View

With the Eiger “slicer”, users can view the internal features of your part in both 2D and 3D. These views also include the thermoplastic structure, infill, use of fiber, and removable supports. Additionally, the slicing view includes a live slider, which reflects print time and material usage by layer. The best feature when using the internal view is the ability to add and adjust fiber layers (blue sections).


When enabling fiber usage in Eiger, the standard automation of fiber reinforcement does an exceptional job. However, the ability to control fiber layer placement gives you, the user,  the option to add strength to the part without overcompensating with fiber or increasing unnecessary part cost. With clever orientation and fiber layouts, you can create very strong, yet cheap parts! Need bolt holes strengthened to resist shear stress? No problem! Want to take advantage of beam bending theory to reduce cost? Takes only a few clicks. This adaptability and maneuverability in the internal view make this one of the highest impacts features with the Markforged printers.

Try Eiger for free! 



So there you have it – The key features Markforged composite printers have to offer. Even though FDM style printing is a known quantity, Markforged has managed to innovate on key features that keep the technology fresh.


For more information, contact an Xpert today!

Better integration of SOLIDWORKS Electrical for SOLIDWORKS PDM


Did you know that a better integration of SOLIDWORKS Electrical for SOLIDWORKS PDM is now available?

SOLIDWORKS provides you with a new tool: SOLIDWORKS Electrical integration for Professional SOLIDWORKS PDM 2018. SOLIDWORKS Electrical Integration for SOLIDWORKS PDM is a new SOLIDWORKS Electrical component that implements a better integration with SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional.

SOLIDWORKS Electrical Integration for SOLIDWORKS PDM is a free product that will be available to customers using SOLIDWORKS Electrical 2D and SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional.

SOLIDWORKS Electrical Integration for SOLIDWORKS PDM is being released with SOLIDWORKS Electrical 2018
The most important functionalities of this tool are:

• SOLIDWORKS Electrical users will obviously be able to store their projects in SOLIDWORKS PDM from within SOLIDWORKS Electrical.
• Allow the work-sharing between users.
• Variable mapping between both products so that key electrical metadata can be made available in SOLIDWORKS PDM.
• Electrical components libraries will be pushed and synchronized to SOLIDWORKS PDM
• “Where Used” information will be available.
• This product will also manage electrical deliverable files, such as PDF and DWG.
• It will also publish an advanced electrical Bill of Material (BOM) to SOLIDWORKS PDM.

Installation, administration and users guide will be installed in the installation folder of SOLIDWORKS Electrical integration for Professional SOLIDWORKS PDM 2018.

Once SOLIDWORKS Electrical integration for Professional SOLIDWORKS PDM 2018 was installed in SW Electrical, you must define some parameters in the administration of the tool.



You will beforehand have created a folder structure in your PDM vault to host your 2D SW Electrical projects, and logs, as well as a Library folder for synchronization of SW Electrical.

In the tab General Settings:
Choose your Vault and the library folder in your vault.

In the tab Log Settings:
Define the folder of logs inside the vault, as well as its options.

In the tab File Structure:
According to SOLIDWORKS Electrical document types, you can make some Mapping.

To start the collaboration of SOLIDWORKS Electrical integration and SWPDM.
Since you are Project Manager:
Unarchive and open your SW Electrical project
(Files *.tewzip)

Work on your project as usual, when ended.
Make a synchronization of your library towards PDM,
by using Synchronize Libraries.

And make Check-in:

As asked, select the parent file of your project.

A table showing all the files which will be archived will appear, click Add.

Let the process make the creation of all the objects of your project (it can take some time).

Once the process is completed; you will notice that the structure of your project SOLIDWORKS Electrical was duplicated in PDM. by adding a folder BOMS.
and creating a .pdf file of your complete drawing package.


Local PDM view


Local PDM view

You will also notice the creation of all your drawings in .dwg format.

All the PDM tabs will be accessible. You can even design a specific card for your SOLIDWORKS Electrical projects.

As well as file cards which will inherit some properties of their folder card.

In the folder BOMS; you will find all the bills of material for your project. It will be possible for you to open and export your BOM throw Excel such as any other BOM in PDM.

By choosing a file of a BOM (Click + right button of the mouse) to obtain the options such as: Browse to, allowing to go to the localization of the library parts.

This new tool will allow better collaboration between your electric and mechanical engineering departments. If you have any questions just contact one of our Xperts.

On the same subject, take a look at the video produced by SOLIDWORKS:

PDM: Using conditional transition notifications in a workflow.


PDM: Using conditional transition notifications in a workflow.

By Pascale Brouillette – Data Management Specialist at SolidXperts

Conditional notifications can be used during a transition to notify different groups or users according to certain criteria:

– Types of documents

– Data card variables
These notifications can be sent in a predefined or dynamic way.
Here is the methodology for conditions according to SOLIDWORKS document types (file path):

1 – PDM Administration Tool > Work flow > Open :

2- Workflow Transition > Properties :

3- Notifications tab > Add Conditional Notification :

4 – Tab Recipients

– Add Users/Groups :
Select groups that must receive the notifications

– Add Variable :
You can use a data card variable as a notification trigger.

5 – Notifications tab > Notification Conditions

< Click here to add a condition >

– Variable
For the example: The file path

Value / For the example: enter the file path

– Comparison
For the example: Text equal to

The list of operators depends on your selection in the previous step

2D App / to approve drawings

3D App / to approve models

In the end, for this example, you will have two groups of notification recipients

6 – Test: A set of documents have been changed stated by a designer.

7 – Results: Notification Received by members of approved 3D & 2D groups.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Third-party Files Available for Import as Graphics Bodies


Third-party Files Available for Import as Graphics Bodies

By Gregory Bejtlich – Application Specialist at SolidXperts

Following the release of SOLIDWORKS, users can now import third-party files as graphical 3D meshes rather than solid or surface bodies. Previous releases were limited to the mesh file types *.stl, *.obj, *.off, *.ply, *.ply2. Changes for 2019 also include the addition of a ‘Graphical Body’ check box from the ‘Open’ dialog.

Importing as a graphics body can be very useful for manual remodeling or taking specific measurements. Additionally, importing as a graphics body utilizes significantly fewer resources when opening large or complex files.

To access this feature, follow the steps below.

Import as a Graphical Body can be accessed with File > Open (Ctrl + O) or Insert > Component > Existing Part/Assembly within an assembly.

Using the file format drop list, select any third-party format such as Autodesk Inventor (*.ipt) or ProE/Creo (*.prt)

Unlike importing mesh files, users are no longer required to enable the Graphics Body through the options menu. SOLIDWORKS now includes an “as Graphical Body” check box below the file explorer. Select the check box and click ‘Open’.

The Inventor Part (*.ipt) is now imported as a Graphical Body. Notice the feature tree displays the part not as a surface body or solid body – but as a Graphic Body.


Contact Us if you have any questions.

How to fix a toolpath with SOLIDWORKS CAM?


How to fix a toolpath with SOLIDWORKS CAM?

By Ghyslain Lacombe – Application Specialist at SolidXperts

When creating a toolpath, the result can sometimes not be the one you want. In the following example shown in video and screen captures, there is a steel island in the center of a cutting.
How to correct the default toolpath in order to remove the steel island left by the initial toolpath?

1- Region to be machined:

As you can see, the customer wants to machine this region:


2- Result of the initial toolpath:


The result of the toolpath leaves an undesirable steel island: How to correct this?

3- Edit the function: Z Level:

The operation parameters are as follows:


4- In this case, you must change the method from constant to scallop to be able to eliminate material that cannot be machined with the other process.



5- The result still leaves an unmachined region because it is necessary to increase the precision:



6- It is then necessary to reduce the scallop and the minimum cut amount to be able to remove all the material.



7- The result shows that the machining is now complete:



Therefore, depending on the kind of workpiece, you must determine the machining method to use and adjust the number of passes and the scallop for machining to be complete.

Contact Us if you have any questions.

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