SOLIDWORKS software is a CAD solution many rely on in industrial sectors and product design. The software has been around since the mid-90s, and the latest figures estimate that there are roughly 9.3 million active users across 80 countries. It is established on parametric modeling and is mainly used to create 3D models and assemblies. SOLIDWORKS has also been adopted in additive manufacturing. It allows engineers to save their models in an STL format, the format required for a 3D model to be done by 3D printing software.
SOLIDWORKS was forged by MIT graduate Jon Hirschtick and was purchased by Dassault Systems in 1997. The software now encompasses several programs for both 2D and 3D Design.
What is Solidworks?
SolidWorks is CAD (Computer-aided Design) software owned by Dassault Systèmes. It employs the principle of parametric Design and forges three kinds of related files: the part, the assembly, and the drawing. Therefore, it will reflect any modification to these three files in the other two.
Main features of Solidworks
1. Part Modeling:
Part modeling is creating a virtual prototype of something by modeling each part separately, which can then all be assembled to create the model of the final product.
2. Sheet metal:
Sheet metal parts are produced with a constant thickness. They begin as one flat sheet and then are cut and bent to create the final product. So when it comes to forming a sheet metal part in SOLIDWORKS, you have two options for the first step: converting to sheet metal or building up from a bottom.
3. Weldment and Structure System:
The Weldment within SolidWorks allows you to make some fantastic fabricated structures, with only some preloaded shapes and 2D or 3D sketches. The sketch lines specify where and how the structural portions are laid out. But, of course, weldments aren’t just for structural metal shapes, either.
The new Structure System is an advanced weldment atmosphere that lets you create and modify structural associates of different profiles in a single feature. Primary members are specified using 2D and 3D sketch segments, points, edges, reference planes and surfaces.
4. Mold Tools:
You create a mold utilizing a sequence of integrated tools that handle the mold creation process. You can use these mold tools to analyze and correct deficiencies with either SOLIDWORKS or imported models of parts to be molded.
5. Motion study
Motion studies are graphic simulations of motion for assemblage models. Motion studies do not alter an assembly model or its properties. Instead, they simulate and animate the movement you prescribe for a model. For example, you can use SOLIDWORKS mates to restrict the motion of components in an assembly when you model activity.
6. The Solidwork Simulation
SOLIDWORKS Simulation is the simple-to-use portfolio of structural analysis tools that use Finite Element Analysis (FEA) to predict a product’s real-world physical behaviour by virtually testing the CAD models. The portfolio delivers linear, non-linear and dynamic analysis capabilities.
7. Photorealistic rendering and 3D Animation:
PhotoView 360 is the SOLIDWORKS add-in that creates photorealistic renderings of SOLIDWORKS models. The rendered image combines the lighting, appearances, scene, and decals included with the model. PhotoView 360 is available with SOLIDWORKS Premium or SOLIDWORKS Professional.
SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD authorizes you to display your Design under real-world conditions with special animation tools enabling you to create dynamic presentation resources.
Bring your designs to life and genuinely demonstrate their function and assembly with SOLIDWORKS animations regardless of an audience’s language or technical knowledge.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Solidworks
After knowing what SolidWorks and its feature, now let’s talk about the advantages and disadvantages of using SolidWorks in your projects.
Advantages of SolidWorks:
1. Quick design sharing
Share your demos and designs remotely with clients, team members, investors, and more.
- Share data and designs in real-time with as many people as you need.
- Send designs via the web, apply them in other mediums and use them in animations for presentations and demos.
With automation, you can concentrate on running your business.
Replicating existing 3D design patterns usually slows down the design approach. This is where SolidWorks CAD modeling arrives since it has built-in automation.
- Automatic dimensioning of 3D CAD models means that you can quickly go from the inception of an idea to the design phase.
- Create multiple configurations by establishing guidelines and parameters to develop current designs. This means you can create numerous variations of an idea simultaneously. It would usually carry to make only one.
- Automate the creation of new designs by setting parameters and rules—store libraries of existing formulas, parameters and information.
3. Check Calculation and Interference quickly.
SolidWorks software helps calculate geometric measures and forces related to deflection, part stress, vibration, motion and other aspects.
- Improved design accuracy since the software makes sure the math is correct based on the set parameters.
- It saves time, so you don’t have to do the math yourself.
- Features allow you to check for interference in large assembly designs.
- Easily make changes regarding additional variables.
- Visualize assembly process or inner components.
- Dissect models by exploding them.
Due to standard built components included in 3D CAD.
SolidWorks modeling helps you shorten the design cycle, speed up time to market, and eliminate repetitive activities.
5. Innovative Designs
- Visual graphics help investors and customers understand components’ features and properties. They also help in preparing proposals.
- Explore various design methods and align electrical and mechanical designers with embedded simulation tools. This helps to consider different “what if” scenarios.
Disadvantage of SolidWorks Modeling
SolidWorks, like any other software, comes with its challenges. Some of them are:
- Limited operating system (OS) compatibility requires a Windows computer since there is no Mac OS version.
- You have limited 2D functionality. AutoCAD might be a better option if you primarily design in 2D.
- Higher cost. The cost is higher for initial license investment to access frequent updates and technical support. Students can receive a reduced-cost license for educational usage. However, Dassault does not give free rights.
- They introduced their relatively new focus on cloud-based apps a little late in the game. As a result, it might require some work to make it truly enterprise-class.
- It requires a higher initial cost for the workstation.
If you are working on 3D modeling and manufacturing, SolidWorks is an excellent choice. SolidWorks 3D rendering allows you to take full advantage of realistic details, thereby making your processes and production more efficient.
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