SolidWorks 2019 has an exciting list of new features. I thought it would be nice to put a spotlight on some of my favourites. There are more great features than what I have talked about below, but I figured this was all that you would want to read about in one sitting!
Large assembly performance
A new graphics architecture takes advantage of Open GL 4.5 and allows for smoother performance with large assemblies. It used to be that when you had a large assembly you had two options for working with your data: you could turn off all detail and make the model look like a potato (no matter what it was initially) or you could suffer through jittery viewport navigations with a nice-looking model. Now with SolidWorks 2019 you can have an assembly that looks decidedly un potato-like (unless you are designing an actual potato for some reason) and still can rotate and zoom smoothly and easily.
The introduction of structure systems is a major improvement to the design process when working with weldments, and it allows for a couple of nice improvements to the workflow. First off, there are now more options for defining geometry for weldments, meaning we are no longer limited to sketch geometry. I know we all love going cross-eyed while creating the complex 3D sketches that define our structures, and it was a point of pride to get as much of the information as possible into just the one sketch, but now we don’t have to do that anymore… and it is easier. The other great improvement here is the ability to have more than one profile in the same feature. This lets us save on the number of trim features that are required to make everything fit together as it should.
Have you ever tried adding knurling to a model? It generally wasn’t worth the headache. I mean, it could be done but it would require a lot of features and more time than I am comfortable admitting to spending on it while my bosses are reading. With the addition of the 3D texture this process can now be sped up. This allows for textures mapped to faces to be treated like a heightmap and the geometry is created as mesh geometry in your SolidWorks parts.
Extended reality has become a valuable tool for sharing designs. I resisted this at first, but as I should have suspected, that was futile. SolidWorks it seems was aware that extended reality is something that we need to be prepared to adopt and has now included an XR Exporter. This allows the output of GLTF files which are a universal (mostly) file format to be used with VR and AR solutions. You could always get from SolidWorks to VR or AR but there were some intermediate steps that had to be followed using different tools to convert your data, now it can be done with fewer steps!
If you're interested in learning more about this new feature, we're going to be covering it indepth in a live webinar next month which you can register for here.