One benefit of the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform is that new features are constantly added to the software and platform. So far this year, we’ve had two releases; one in April with "R2021x" and its first Functional Delivery (back in the early versions of SOLIDWORKS we called these Super Service Packs) over the July 4th weekend. The Functional Deliveries update brought significant improvements for a better user experience. In this article, I list and describe my top 11 favorite features.
1. 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS
Three new 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS roles were added to the platform bringing a tool that I’ve been awaiting a long time, SOLIDWORKS Connected. This tool allows me to license my SOLIDWORKS on the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform, and fully integrates the SOLIDWORKS that I’ve been using for over twenty years into the platform. It takes away the management and administration overhead. With as easy as service packs have become to install with the installation manager, a lot of support time is still spent explaining how to obtain the latest service packs. This is not an issue with 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS. Quite literally, it was two clicks and the installer was launched. Files in SOLIDWORKS Connected are automatically saved in the platform. It is seamless. Finally, we have a Platform CAD tool with power and ease of use. This will truly open design capabilities to the entire organization.
2. Visualize Connected/Connector
In an ongoing effort to integrate the design process to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, Visualize can now be connected directly to my Collaborative Spaces. I can quickly and easily find my CAD models, render and then store them back in the platform.
3. 3DEXPERIENCE DraftSight
DraftSight also now has an integration with the platform. This will be a great way for users with legacy data to store all in formation in one location. DraftSight has many uses including plant layout, modifying legacy prints, communicating with vendors and suppliers. Now this tool can also be licensed and installed from the platform. Files can be easily saved in a collaborative space right from within DraftSight. This further integrates the entire process into a single solution.
4. 3DSheetMetal Creator
The browser-based CAD tools, or xApps as we refer to them, have been expanded once again. This role brings xSheetMetal, which allows me to design sheet metal parts right in a web browser. The same benefits apply as the other xApps, including cloud storage and platform independence. The application was built with a sheet metal designer in mind, and has tools specifically designed and tailored to the task of designing bent metal parts. Just as before, you can easily swap back and forth between the other tools like xDesign and xShape to have a tightly integrated solution.
This new release brings the option of rendering CAD models in the cloud. This is a full-featured rendering tool that runs directly in a web browser. You can render your models on any machine or device that has a web browser. All renders are done in a cloud server, so hardware is no longer a concern. This will allow rendering on hardware that may not have been an option in the past. The other nice feature of 3DRender is that you only pay for renders you create. You basically just pay for the server time used.
6. Spline Handles in xDesign
Spline handles are a fantastic way to manipulate splines to the desired shape. This release adds those handles to splines created in xDesign. This will allow for easier creation of complex geometries. Relations can be added to the handles, and controlling the length also controls the shape of the spline.
7. Rib Feature in xDesign
The addition of the rib tool will save a lot of time modeling in xDesign. It allows for the ease of creation of shapes that would previously have needed multiple reference and thin extruded features. You can now combine a lot of those steps into a single command, saving time when modeling and allowing for a better organized design manager.
8. Drag and Drop instances in xDesign
Now when dragging and dropping a part into an assembly in xDesign, you are prompted for the number of instances. This will save time creating assemblies. If you have four bolts mounting a part that can’t be patterned, you will no longer have to drag and drop them one at a time. There is less swapping back and forth between xDesign and my Collaborative Space, and more time focused on building my assembly.
9. Publish a 3D Model directly to SWYM
SWYM Communities are key way to communicate designs throughout the organization, and that is now easier. With a few clicks, you can now publish a 3D design directly into a SWYM post. Anyone in the community can now easily view, markup and comment directly on the design in the post.
10. SWYM Messaging Notifications
There was a subtle but much appreciated improvement to the notification in the SWYM messaging application, browser notifications. Two benefits came from this addition. When I’m logged into the platform in a web browser, I get notifications that pop up on my screen no matter what Windows application I’m using. Those notifications then stick on the dashboard until I select the icon to open the message. I no longer need to have the messaging tab open or search for messages when I’ve missed the notice.
11. Simulation Integration into SOLIDWORKS Connector
Now, both models and studies are transferred to the platform in the same environment. Prior releases allow for Simulation Studies to be transferred to SIMULIAWorks products, but it had its own interface and solution that needed enabled. Now, it is in the same tool we use to send our designs to the platform, further streamlining the workflow.
These new enhancements in the 3DEXPERIENCE platform let you have a better design experience and will continue to improve cross-functional communication with your different teams. Stay tuned for more updates and what’s to come for 2021.
Ready to learn more about the 3DEXPERIENCE platform? We recommend you watch our on-demand webinar Get to Know the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform.