Coming from working in the automotive industry, it is easy for me to see the benefits of the yearly new features and updates the SOLIDWORKS portfolio has to offer. But the automotive industry isn't the only industry that has benefits, such as aerospace. This industry breaks new ground on revolutionary technology, as engineers and designers need a tool that will supplement creative freedom, not curtail it. Both industries have seen major benefits of utilizing a central design platform in the last 30 years, one that allows for design, documentation, validation and production.
On the back-end of design comes manufacturing. The manufacturing process is just as vital as the design phase. We need tools that guarantee the precision of build, the accuracy of tightening of parts and the documentation of procedures.
Let’s talk about five of the latest products that have helped revolutionize the aerospace and automotive design game.
- 3D Interconnect helps make the ability to work with many CAD file formats more efficient since it is likely that your design team works with companies that do not use SOLIDWORKS. It’s as simple as opening a file and selecting the non-native SOLIDWORKS file of choice. 3D Interconnect was among the top features added in SOLIDWORKS 2017 upgrade and continues to be highly relevant for designers in these industries. No longer do we need to install secondary translators or save the file as a CAD-neutral format.
- SOLIDWORKS MBD helps in several ways. The biggest advantage is that we are not pushing a 3D CAD file to a 2D space and documenting that design. Imagine having a jig that interfaces with an engine block. Working with a fabrication team that accepts a 3D PDF with the same geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) you’re already using will mitigate any potential inconsistencies when going from one design mode (3D) to another (2D).
- SOLIDWORKS Inspection is the quintessential product on the list. Are you creating first article inspection reports and capturing your build data? Well, this tool will connect the drawing to the report. It's this link that will speed things up in a big, big way. In 2018, SOLIDWORKS added the ability to work with 3D files that have product manufacturing information to Inspection.
- SOLIDWORKS PCB better connects the electrical team to the mechanical team. Again, it’s all about taking the translation out of the process. What if your electrical engineer can create a board, using the technology he or she already knows, from other software and can talk directly to the mechanical engineer? No doubt, this is just another way SOLIDWORKS is pushing the design freedom that much further.
- Tulip connects all the data during the build phase. What torque gun is to be used when installing the clutch subassembly? To what torque does a bolt get tightened? How many bolts were torqued during a step in the build phase? Are you currently tracking that data in a secondary manner that is not connected to your quality assurances? Tulip is the connection that will mitigate translation errors and will make the connection directly during that build phase.
In many ways, just like the Internet of Things, the evolution continues more rapidly now than ever. The more points of reference and bigger the network is, the more data The Internet of Things will have to make informed decisions. As the automotive and aerospace platforms continue to push the design bar, the technology behind the design software and hardware will continue to give engineers and designers tools to streamline their creative avenues.
The advantages for these industries don't stop at the 3D CAD software, they expand to the 3D printing side as well. Discover the best materials for these applications in our High-Performance 3D Printing Material Guide.