SOLIDWORKS 2019 Design & Manufacturing just got Easier
The difference between SW18 and SW19 is not quite as dramatic as that between a caterpillar and butterfly, but there are a number of improvements coming to SOLIDWORKS users. These include performance enhancements, new ways of interacting with models and augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) capabilities. We spoke with Manish Kumar, SOLIDWORKS R&D vice president, to learn what’s coming in SOLIDWORKS 2019.
Large Assembly Improvements
Kumar kicked off our discussion by bringing up an incredible engineering and scientific endeavor, the Maunakea Spectroscopic Explorer (MSE). This project will see the current Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) in Hawaii upgraded from a 3.6m optical telescope to an 11.25m wide field telescope with dedicated multi-object spectrographs. By capturing the light spectra of almost 1 million astronomical objects per month, MSE will do no less than help answer fundamental questions about how stars and galaxies form in our universe.
Of course, building such a telescope is no small feat—a CAD assembly of the MSE could consist of millions of parts. Trying to manipulate such an assembly in SOLIDWORKS 2018 would be a nightmare for even the most powerful workstations.
For SOLIDWORKS 2019
Kumar and his team have made SOLIDWORKS much better at handling large assemblies. According to him, the improvements are the result of a multi-year project to replace the entire graphics pipeline. Though he attempted to demonstrate the improvements with a side-by-side comparison, our slow Skype connection made it impossible to notice a difference. However, Kumar attested that there is far less lag in large assemblies in SOLIDWORKS 2019 compared to 2018.
What’s more, SOLIDWORKS 2019 improves on large design review mode. Up until
SOLIDWORKS 2018, large design review mode allowed users to load an assembly without loading its relevant data. However, this limited what users could do, essentially restricting them to viewing only. In SOLIDWORKS 2019, users can now edit assemblies in large design review mode. They can insert and delete components, create mates, and even turn on the top-level assembly sketch and use that for mating purposes.
Other improvements in assembly design include the ability to group mates based on various conditions, simplifying mate diagnostics. Users can now also defeature apart using only the silhouette. Finally, exploded views have been overhauled, which includes a rollback bar in the feature tree that allows users to step through their model.