What do cars, cell phones and SOLIDWORKS have in common? All three have made tremendous advancements since their invention. While we are excited about the new improvements in our cars and phones, we are over the moon about how much easier SOLIDWORKS has made our lives. Since SOLIDWORKS 1.0 was released in 1995, there have been roughly 7,000 enhancements. In the 2018 upgrade alone, the software has introduced 250 new advancements, including 186 major feature updates! Over the years, the updates fit into five major categories: User Interface, Sketching, Parts, Assembly and Drawings.
To make life easier for you, the user, SOLIDWORKS has put a lot of effort and focus into the interface. This relates directly to how a person interacts with the software. From shortcuts for the magnifying glass to help you see better to being able to hide/show all items together rather than one-by-one to save you time, the end goal for all the advancements is to help make it easier to bring your ideas to life.
The foundation for almost all of your models is sketching. Which makes sense then, that sketching is a major focus when it comes to upgrades. These upgrades include features such as negative and zero dimensions, link text to properties, segment sketch, shaded contours and sketch relations to point.
3D parts are the core, basic building blocks of SOLIDWORKS mechanical design software. This means that parts are an important aspect to keep pushing forward. Over the years SOLIDWORKS has made upgrades to chamfer to fillet, conic fillets, revolve end conditions, planes, zonal sections and more.
SOLIDWORKS is a great asset for building complex assemblies. These can be made up of parts or other assemblies, which means they can get very intense and complicated. But SOLIDWORKS always aims to help your designs come to life, which makes upgrades to assemblies a high priority when it comes to advancements in the software. Since 1995, assembly improvements have been abundant including tab to hide, assembly level BOM, hole alignment, assembly visualization, component preview window and more.
You can create 2D drawings of 3D solid parts and assemblies you design. They are linked with parts and assemblies, and any change you make to the part or assembly will change the drawing document. Through the years, the drawing feature has seen many enhancements, such as drag/drop annotations, change highlight, BOM enhancements, bent leaders/jog lines, magnet lines and the addition of watermarks.
2018 has brought its own unique set of upgrades to SOLIDWORKS. From Smart Explode Lines to SOLIDWORKS CAM to Stereoscopic VR Rendering in Visualize, there is an upgrade that can help all aspects of your business.
Interested in learning the details of the major updates over the years? Check out the presentation from SOLIDWORKS World 2018: What's Old? SOLIDWORKS Through the Years.