More than 250 enhanced CAD features have been added to the latest version of Dassault Systèmes' (DS) 3D CAD (computer-aided design) software, SolidWorks, which garners over 3.1 million users. Driven by Beta-program user feedback, new features in SOLIDWORKS 2017 are designed to streamline design processes across multidisciplinary teams, and strengthen relationships with customers, vendors, and suppliers for improved product time-to-market. 

SolidWorks 2017 includes tools that enable access to a wide variety of CAD parts. It is available through a desktop version, and customers can gain access to online services through MySolidWorks.com. It enables designers to upload CAD models to the Internet as eDrawings, and its 3D Interconnect feature removes barriers to third-party data. 3D Interconnect reads neutral and native CAD data, converting it to base parts that can be integrated into assemblies. Product data can also be made available through Android and iOS mobile apps to improve collaboration across teams and with customers and vendors. 

Partnerships with major manufacturers give users access to multiple supplier inventories, including ones for electrical components.  Teams can directly calculate the cost of entire assemblies and determine the availability of modular parts. Users can ultimately submit their design to manufacturers to predict manufacturability. DS also announces improvements in SolidWorks PCB, powered by Altium, for designing printed circuit boards (PCB) that comply with the mechanical design. 

New chamfer, fillet, and advanced hole-specification tools facilitate changes to existing parts. For example, fillets can be replaced with chamfers in existing parts, and pre-saved specifications can be added to previous hole definitions. Constructing stepped holes is faster than it is in previous versions, and surfacing features like wrap, drag and drop, emboss, deboss, and 3D curve have been improved to generate surface characteristics on complex 3D geometry. A magnetic-mates feature lets users better organize complex assemblies by setting up connection points for drag-and-drop mating and easy repositioning. 

SolidWorks Simulation includes design-verification tools that identify stress "hot spots" and analyze part performance based on user-defined parameters. As part of the analysis, it may recommend alternative designs, such as chamfers rather than sharp corners in high-stress regions, to improve the strength of the part. All analyses are communicated in the RealView bar on the screen. In addition to linear-static analysis, Simulation can also perform non-linear or dynamic analysis.

SOLIDWORKS 2017 launch events start today and comprise of webcasts, seminars, and workshops to familiarize users with the new software. Seminars take place in various regions across the U.S. For more information about the SOLIDWORKS 2017 launch, including product demonstrations and upcoming reseller events, click here. Free trials are available and users can request a quote.