Wednesday, 5 March 2014

SolidWorks Composer – Intelligent Views

Today engineers and designers are looking for more advanced ways to communicate their technical processes and procedures. With SolidWorks Composer you can create not only clear and accurate technical documentations but also contents where the user can interact.
Custom views, sometimes called intelligent views capture only the actors and properties you specify.
We can use intelligent view to create different configurations such as a colour selector, language translator, etc.
Language Translator
Not everyone speaks the same language, with Composer intelligent views we could create interactive buttons where users could select their preferred language.
I’m going to use a toy car as an example. Create a view layout with the annotation labels (in English) and a list of languages you wish to include.
 Turn on the View Workshop.
Select all the labels. (Tip: the quickest way is to use the Select tools and deselect Select Geometry filter this way you could just drag a window across the screen without selecting the model). 
Once all the labels are selected create a custom view and name it English. Then replace all label text to another language for example Japanese (maybe use Google translate to help) and create a new custom view.

Each View has a preview thumbnail image. Thumbnails for custom views have a diagonal line and shading.

Select the 2D text box marked English and go to the Link property to select an event URL. In this case, selecting the custom view we’ve just created i.e view://English. Repeat the procedure for the rest the languages.
Once complete, switch off the design mode and test the result by double clicking the different language text boxes.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Upgrade your SolidWorks License Today!!

Recently, TMS CADCentre has received many support calls for assistance with updating SolidWorks to include recent license modifications such as extra seats on a network, new add-ins like SolidWorks Simulation, or upgrades from SolidWorks Standard to SolidWorks Premium.
There are slightly different processes for each, and here’s a quick run-down of the main processes to follow.

Adding Upgrades to your Standalone seat of SolidWorks

If you have purchased an Add-in for your current SolidWorks License such as SolidWorks Simulation Professional or Premium, SolidWorksElectrical, SolidWorks Plastics, or SolidWorks Flow Simulation, you may be able to activate it through the SolidWorks user interface by selecting Help – Activate Licenses. You may need to reactivate SolidWorks first to recognise that it can now activate your Add-in. Highlight the product that you want to activate and select ‘Next’.

If you have created a custom installation of SolidWorks when it was previously installed and selected not to install the components for your Add-in, or if you have a new serial number for an upgraded or separate product, you will need to modify your installation to add the new serial number.
If you have a separate serial number for an Add-in you don’t need to transfer any licenses. But if you have a new serial number for SolidWorks, you will need to transfer the current license before adding the new one. This can be done within the SolidWorks user interface again by selection Help – Transfer Licenses. Select the components you would like to transfer and click ‘Next’.

Once you have transferred the license, you can modify the installation of SolidWorks to change/add the new serial number. Go to Control Panel - Programs – Uninstall a Program, or Control Panel – Programs and Features (depending on your Control Panel settings). Once the list of programs on your computer has populated, scroll down to find your SolidWorks installation, Right-Click it and select ‘Change’.

This will open up the SolidWorks Installation Manager for the version of SolidWorks that you selected.  On the welcome page the first option is to ‘Modify the individual installation (on this computer)’. Ensure that this option is selected and click ‘Next’. You will then be taken to the page to review and modify your serial numbers. If you have a new serial number for SolidWorks or a separate number for an Add-in, please enter them on this page.


Once you have entered in your new/replacement serial numbers click ‘Next’ and you will be taken to the Product Selection page. Please take the time to ensure that all of the products that you would like to have available are checked in the list shown (including any new add-in functions that you may have entered the serial number for). Clicking ‘Next’ will then take you to a summary page to allow you to review any modifications before finally clicking ‘Modify Now’.


Once the modification process is complete, launch SolidWorks. If you have inserted a new SolidWorks serial number, you will be asked to activate your product before continuing. If you have added a serial number for an Add-in such as SolidWorks Simulation, when you turn on the Add-in in SolidWorks, you will be asked to accept its terms and conditions and then to activate it before use.

**To turn on your Add-ins in SolidWorks, go to Tools – Add-ins.

To add allocations to a Network License

The number of SolidWorks seats on a network license is controlled by how many allocations there were when the license was activated on the server machine. If this number has changed, or if there are additional products to add, the license server needs to contact SolidWorks to access the new allocations.
If you are currently using the latest version of the SolidNetwork License (SNL) Manager software on your server, ensure that no licenses are currently being borrowed before making any changes and stop the license manager service. This can be done on the welcome page of the SNL Manager user interface.
Once the service is stopped, also on the welcome page is a button to ‘Modify’ the license. Click this button and the options to ‘Transfer’ and ‘Activate/Reactivate’ will be shown. As long as you are using the newest major release you can simply reactivate the software to pick up extra allocations.
If you are using a previous release of SNL Manager, you will need to install the latest version to be able to activate.
**Be sure to check the SolidWorks system requirements before proceeding at .
Only one version of SNL Manager can be installed on a server, so you will need to transfer the license as detailed above. Then uninstall the SNL Manager program using Windows Control Panel. Lastly, either using a file set, or the media supplied by TMS, install the latest version of the SNL Manager onto the server. It is best practise to reboot the server at this point to fully complete the installation of the software, so please arrange the installation at a suitable time to be able to do this without affecting your network users.
If you have received a new serial number from TMS,  you will need to modify your SNL Manager to enter the new serial number. To do this, firstly stop the service as detailed above and then go to the Windows Control Panel and modify the installation of the SNL Manager software. This will open the SolidWorks installation manager. On the welcome screen select to ‘Modify’ and click ‘Next’. The following page will allow you to check and change/add any serial numbers that you have for the SolidWorks product range. Once you have the correct serial numbers, click on ‘Modify now’.
For a list of the functions and upgrades available for your SolidWorks installation, please see the image below. Or for a more comprehensive solution for your needs please call us and have a chat.



Monday, 23 December 2013

Christmas Baubles

Created by Duncan Crofts, CSWE in SolidWorks 2014
These are just a selection of some of the more funky materials that are free to download with an active subscription through the Luxology website accessed through the customer portal.

TMS CADCentre would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Friday, 29 November 2013

Readymade lessons in SolidWorks Curriculum

If you are planning out SolidWorks lesson content for your course, you may not be aware that SolidWorks has made available a series of ready to run lessons on a large range of topics. These structured lessons are available in the Curriculum section of the educational resources on the SolidWorks customer portal.
The lessons are divided into areas based upon course type and include an set of notes for you (the instructor) and a set of notes for your students along with any model files required for the lessons.
In the 2013-14 Educational edition, SolidWorks has made accessing these files even easier by including links to the information directly into the SolidWorks user interface. Listed below are the convenient steps to follow to allow you access to the Curriculum content for as instructors. I have also added instructions on how to enable the students access to the relevant model files through the SolidWorks Content section of the Task Manager in SolidWorks.

(INSTRUCTORS CURRICULUM Note: An internet connection is required to access content)

1. Launch SolidWorks Education Edition 2013-2014.
2. Go to the SolidWorks Resources Task Pane, under SolidWorks Curriculum, select “Instructors Curriculum”.


3. The SolidWorks Customer Portal will appear in your web browser.

4. Log-in to the Customer Portal.


Note: If first time user, follow instructions in red box below. SolidWorks Education Edition serial number and subscription service is required to access the Instructor Content.

5. After login, go to the Download section of your Customer Portal home page

6. Click on “Educator Resources and Curriculum”

Note: This selection will be grayed out if there is not a SolidWorks serial number associated with the account or the account is not under active SolidWorks subscription service.
7. You will now see all available curriculum and lessons. Click on the curriculum desired
8. Click on the curriculum desired. Click on the blue dot to download the curriculum and model files.

(STUDENT CURRICULUM Note: An internet connection is required to access content)
1. Launch SolidWorks Education Edition 2013-2014.
2. Go to the SolidWorks Resources Task Pane, under SolidWorks Curriculum, select “Student Curriculum”.

3. From the Design Library, click on SolidWorks Content, and expand SolidWorks Education Curriculum, select a zip file to download. 2013 Curriculum will be available within the product beginning May 1st.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Using Library Features to Speed up Design

There may be time when you find yourself doing repetitive features on similar parts. The outcome is you’ll become an expert at those features because you’ve been doing them so many times. There is a more efficient way around this and this is called library features. You may or may not come across this handy set of tools before. It is located on the right hand task pane under Design Library.

Inside you’ll find a default set of tools such as fluid power ports, keyways, hole patterns, slots etc.

To create your own custom library feature
First create a feature you would like to reuse on top of a base template. Whatever base template you create is not important as this would not be included in the feature library. Fully define the sketches. Include a reference location, for my example I defined the distance from the edges of the model. You could also use a sketch point as reference location if you do not wish to use any edges of a model.


Tips: It may be good practice to create a new custom library folder to store your custom features, this way you could backup your files separately or share your features with another colleague.

Have your part open and select Add to Library, a property dialog will appear on the left hand pane. Select the features that you wish to include into Items to Add then select the location to where you would want to store this library feature. Before clicking OK make sure the lib feat part (.sldlfp) is selected as the file type. Once the library feature has been saved you will notice those particular features in the feature tree will have an ‘L’ on the icon indicating it is now a library feature.
You can now drag and drop the feature as many times as you wish. With this handy set of tools you could now speed up your design work.
When placing the feature on to a model you’ll be asked to specify the reference location for this example it will be edges I’ve previously defined in the dimension.

We could also take advantage of the configurations tool for our library feature. For example if we wanted more or less holes for our pattern we could setup configurations to show different amount of holes. Double-click on the pattern feature to bring up the pattern instances, right-click and select Configure dimension. Library feature works independently so it will not make any changes to the original file.
With this technique you could reduce your design time and have the ability to share your feature library with other users. You may even consider creating a custom feature for your company logo. I hope you find this SolidWorks tips and tricks useful.