SmarTeam SolidWorks 2011 Certification

Wow.  For those of you in the SolidWorks – SmarTeam communities, be prepared to be pleasantly surprised if you haven’t read about this elsewhere already.  With the release of SolidWorks 2011 early last week, ENOVIA SmarTeam provided the fastest certification they have ever provided for a new version of SolidWorks.  In less than one week, SmarTeam had certified SolidWorks 2011 SP0 with ENOVIA SmarTeam V5R20 SP4 (it certainly took more than a week to certify the new version, but this is some impressive scheduling on Dassault’s part).  There are some details, and a few caveats, but in general it seems like the SolidWorks and ENOVIA brands are working closer together than ever inside of Dassault Systemes.  Continue Reading

SolidWorks EPDM 2011 Launched

For avid SolidWorks users, this certainly isn’t the first announcement related to the launch of SolidWorks 2011.  But as you might expect, this article is more focused on the latest release of Enterprise PDM than on the release of SolidWorks itself.  It appears that EPDM 2011 will be another solid release of SolidWorks’ flagship PDM solution, and that there are a handful of very interesting new capabilities.  Continue Reading

EPDM Document BOMs vs. EPDM Item BOMs

A lot of people in the SolidWorks Enterprise PDM community were excited when EPDM Item BOMs were introduced, but the EPDM Item Explorer and its related features still cause some confusion about how to use both EPDM Document BOMs and EPDM Item BOMs.  Unfortunately, it’s impossible to definitively settle the question of whether to use EPDM Document BOMs, EPDM Item BOMs, or both, in a short article.    However, there are some general rules of thumb worth considering in determining whether EPDM Document BOMs or EPDM Item BOMs best fit a company’s business strategy:  Continue Reading

Composer for All Your BOMs

With so many different perspectives on the BOM in today’s organizations, companies have come to expect that different departments will be creating and re-creating content to describe their products.  Some will do it with Microsoft Excel, some with Microsoft Word, others with Adobe Illustrator, and others still with an alternative CAD package like AutoCAD.  With new tools like 3DVIA Composer, all of this extra effort can be saved.  Once metadata is stored in a set of CAD files, 3DVIA Composer lets users slice and dice the content and BOM information in whatever way is relevant for a particular audience, with full associativity for downstream changes.  Setting xBOM management in PDM aside, let’s look at how 3DVIA Composer can present very different views of a product’s BOM, visually.  Continue Reading

Swapping Models in SolidWorks

Design Automation is very powerful when creating unique “same as, but” models for new jobs. But in many cases, people are doing configure-to-order (CTO) just as much as they are doing engineer-to-order (ETO). Configure-to-order means utilizing standard components and using the automation to determine the logic for which component, or which size of a component, to put in an assembly. Configuring an automated design sounds simpler, and in many ways it is, but there are a few things to note and some design automation best practices to follow when planning to swap models in SolidWorks.  Continue Reading

EPDM Document BOMs

SolidWorks Enterprise PDM offers a number of ways to work with BOMs (Bills of Materials).  In EPDM 2008, SolidWorks introduced the Item Explorer, along with Items and Item BOMs.  Although many in the community welcomed this addition to EPDM’s BOM capabilities, EPDM users should not overlook the possibilities inherent in the EPDM Document BOM.  Here are some of the key capabilities of, and possibilities for, using EPDM Document BOMs: 

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SolidWorks Assembly Mates for Design Automation

When creating your SolidWorks assembly master models and preparing them for automation, a lot of decisions need to be made in developing the best mating schemes. One important consideration in this development is the creation of the relations between components. The design intent in your models can be established by parameters that are driven by your automation tool, or by relations within SolidWorks.  Let’s dig into this a bit deeper to uncover some an important design automation best practice related to SolidWorks mating.  Continue Reading