SOLIDWORKS, 3D CAD

New Updates: SOLIDWORKS 2016 Service Pack 3.0 (SP3)

By Jeff Parker on May 6, 2016

In case you haven't heard, SOLIDWORKS 2016 Service Pack 3.0 is now available.

In this blog, I will give you a look at some of the changes that are available as part of SP3, including:

  • Options for classic backgrounds and icon colors
  • Updates to the FeatureManager Tree
  • License transfer command changes
  • Enhanced functionality in SOLIDWORKS Composer
  • New PCB tools from SOLIDWORKS (SOLIDWORKS PCB and PCB Connector)

Revert To Classic Backgrounds & Icon Colors

The first thing you'll notice is the addition of an icon color setting in System Options. This setting has two choices: Default and Classic. When you select Classic, a tooltip is displayed to let you know about a new background (formerly “Interface brightness”) choice as well.

SOLIDWORKS 2016 Service Pack 3.0

Selecting both Classic and Medium Light takes you from this: 

solidworks 2016 sp3

To this: 

solidworks 2016 sp3 download

The gray background (Medium Light) is the same RGB value as was used in SOLIDWORKS 2014 and 2015.

You may also notice familiar colors in some of the icons. Not every icon changes with the Classic setting. The Classic coloring is applied to the most frequent and visible modeling features (solid features, surfaces, sheet metal, weldments and mold tools).

Take a look at the Surfaces toolbar, for example:

SOLIDWORKS 2016 Service Pack SP

The FeatureManager Design Tree

SOLIDWORKS Service Pack SP3The FeatureManager Design Tree shows both solid and surface features. Some changes in the FeatureManager Design Tree include:

  • Blue part icons (changed from gray)
  • Hidden components, bodies and features like curves and reference geometry use “wireframe” icons with black text (like in 2015 and earlier). The slash (\) is gone.
  • Suppressed items remain grayed out with gray text.

Below is a screenshot showing a resolved component (blue part icon, normal text), a hidden component (wireframe part icon, normal text) and a suppressed component (grayed out icon and grayed out text):

SOLIDWORKS 2016 Service Pack 3

Transferring A SOLIDWORKS License

To transfer SOLIDWORKS from one computer to another, click Help > Deactivate to deactivate the license on the first computer. Then, click Help > Activate to activate it on the other computer.

Previously, Deactivate was called Transfer.

Enhanced Functionality In SOLIDWORKS Composer

Creating Animations

You can create animations quickly in SOLIDWORKS Composer, using a library of predefined animations.

  • You can create animations using the predefined, generic animations available in the new Animation Library workshop. See About the Animation Library > Creating Predefined Animations an the Animation Library Workshop in the Composer User's Guide.
  • You can create custom animations in XML. See Custom Animation XML Example in the Composer User's Guide.
  • Use the timeline to manage animations created in the Animation Library workshop. Using animation blocks, you can control animation keys more conveniently. With animation blocks, you can move a set of keys without altering the global animation. See About the Timeline and Handle Animation Blocks in the Composer User's Guide.
  • Animation blocks are taken into account when using animation markers. You can create animation milestones by identifying key moments in the timeline, then use these milestones to produce a set of images illustrating the 3D scene at given moments in time. See Creating and Using Animation Markers and Milestones in the Composer User's Guide.
  • The Composer API includes events and methods that can tell you when predefined animations are used and how they are used. See the Composer Programming Guide.

SOLIDWORKS Composer Player Plug-in for Firefox

You can replay SOLIDWORKS Composer experiences that are published to HTML using Mozilla Firefox. A new, dedicated plug-in lets you read SOLIDWORKS Composer content in Firefox.

This plug-in is automatically installed and registered when you install the Composer Player. See Publishing to HTML and Publish to HTML (Save As) in the SOLIDWORKS Composer User's Guide.

SOLIDWORKS Composer Player Application Programming Interface

The SOLIDWORKS Composer Player Application Programming Interface (API) is enhanced. For more information, click Help > Programming Guide. 

SOLIDWORKS PCB Powered by Altium

SOLIDWORKS PCB is a standalone electronics design product for creation of printed circuit boards (PCB) which provides a bi-directional link between MCAD and ECAD designs.

SOLIDWORKS PCB allows your printed circuit board to be used in your SOLIDWORKS assembly, reducing the need for prototyping. On-demand synchronization enables designers to check for problems such as misalignment of mounting holes and mechanical interference within the assembly.

SOLIDWORKS PCB Connector Powered by Altium

For customers with Altium Designer, the SOLIDWORKS PCB Connector allows Altium Designer users to create a SOLIDWORKS assembly of a printed circuit board (PCB) directly from within the Altium product.

SOLIDWORKS PCB Connector allows your printed circuit board to be used in your SOLIDWORKS assembly, reducing the need for prototyping. On-demand synchronization enables designers to check for problems such as misalignment of mounting holes and mechanical interference within the assembly.