Featuring more than 250 user-requested enhancements, SolidWorks 2008 is designed to allow operators to concentrate on solving design challenges rather than on using the software. The program features a new user interface that predicts which tools operators will need and makes them readily available while providing task-based command selection.
One of several new features built on the Swift framework, Swift Instant3D allows users to create and modify 3D model features by manipulating drag handles directly on the model. Another Swift-framework feature, Swift DimXpert, sets geometric dimensions and tolerances on parts and provides visual feedback on whether a model has been properly described. Other new features include the Design Clipart capability, which allows users to search their systems for sketches, tables, images or DWG blocks that are inside existing designs.
In addition to supporting native DWG blocks, the software alerts users to any changes in a referenced DWG block. Users can natively edit DWG blocks in the DWGeditor by right-clicking the block. The DWGnavigator feature allows design teams to manage all of their 2D files from the SolidWorks desktop, the company says. Other tools include CosmosWorks Design Insight, which displays the portions of CAD models that carry applied loads, and DFMXpress, which flags elements that are difficult, expensive or impossible to machine. An automated tolerance stack-up tool, TolAnalyst, helps avoid hidden fit and function problems resulting from variation of tolerances in an assembly.