3D CAD & DESIGN

Where In the World Is My SOLIDWORKS Explorer?

Where In the World Is My SOLIDWORKS Explorer?

You may have noticed something interesting when searching for SOLIDWORKS Explorer in your Windows Taskbar search recently – it’s not there! What happened? In 2020, SOLIDWORKS has replaced SOLIDWORKS Explorer with SOLIDWORKS File Utilities. Luckily, they retained many of the important functions like Pack and Go, Rename, Replace, and Move with just a right-click in your File Explorer window.

Let’s make sure you already have it installed.

April 26, 2022
How to Manage Multiple Installations of SOLIDWORKS

How to Manage Multiple Installations of SOLIDWORKS

Every year, SOLIDWORKS rolls out a new version of its software and provides Service Pack updates throughout the year for continuous improvement. A lot of these upgrades originate from customer feedback, so be sure to enter Enhancement Requests through the Customer Portal!

Thankfully, SOLIDWORKS lets you maintain multiple versions concurrently under one serial number and on one machine. This can be especially handy for version compatibility when transferring files between companies since SOLIDWORKS files aren’t backwards compatible. Additionally, maintaining the older version can soften the transition of company-wide version upgrades, where older version files need to be retained or where certain feature upgrades aren’t immediately desired.

April 21, 2022
SOLIDWORKS: What You Need to Know About Sketch Text

SOLIDWORKS: What You Need to Know About Sketch Text

In design and manufacturing, applying text to parts can be a critically essential tool. From basic part numbers and functional indicators to brand decals and customized insignia, there is a wide range of necessary text functions. Understanding the capabilities of SOLIDWORKS to best utilize the letters, numbers, and/or symbols will be a very helpful skillset to put your specific design intentions into action. Whether engraved, embossed, or 3D printed, it all starts on a foundational sketch level, so let’s start with the initial setup.

April 14, 2022
DraftSight: Importing PDF to DWG/DXF

DraftSight: Importing PDF to DWG/DXF

Though much of the design and engineering world has moved on to 3D CAD solutions over the last couple decades, DraftSight is often used as a collaboration tool to communicate with other departments, companies, or vendors using 2D design data, even if you yourself are working in 3D. In many cases, this design data may be provided in PDF format, making it difficult to modify and revise. Fortunately, the PDF Import functionality of DraftSight allows users to quickly convert PDF files into DWG format, unlocking all the revision, editing, and design capability within.  

April 6, 2022
DraftSight vs AutoCAD: Which 2D CAD Tool Works for You (And Your Bottom Line)

DraftSight vs AutoCAD: Which 2D CAD Tool Works for You (And Your Bottom Line)

In today's 2D CAD environment, there is a plethora of choices and capable tools. AutoCAD has been a staple in 2D CAD for years, but with Autodesk's recent changes to their licensing models, it has become a tool that no longer offers versatile licensing options.

Not only did Autodesk eliminate perpetual licensing back in 2016, but over the last two years, they have slowly worked to phase out network licensing options, requiring any user that needs access to the software to have their own login. For many companies, this is not cost-effective because they do not work exclusively in 2D, so users are not working daily within the software.

For lighter AutoCAD users, Autodesk did introduce “flex” licensing, where companies can purchase tokens to pay only for days when they use the software. On the surface, this seems like a good compromise for light users, but companies need to pay close attention to their usage – the cost of daily tokens can add up quickly.

March 29, 2022