Multiple Flow Result Plots in E-Drawings for 2014

April 22nd, 2014

New for 2014, The ability to save multiple result plots in one E-Drawings file.  Previously the result plots needed to be saved in individual E-Drawings files. This caused more files to be generated and shared than need be.

To generate multiple result file plots in one E-Drawings file follow this procedure.

  • Show all plots desired to be included in the E-Drawings file
  • Right Mouse Button on the Results Folder and Select Save Image
EDrawings Save Image

E-Drawings Save Image

  • Choose the E-Drawings File Format
EDrawings Pull Down

E-Drawings Pull Down

Once in E-Drawings you can turn on or off the individual plots as needed to convey the content you wish to show.

Multiple Flow Plots E-Drawings

Multiple Flow Plots E-Drawings

Robert Warren

Elite Application Engineer CAE Technical Specialist 3DVision Technologies

Designing Better Beer w/ SOLIDWORKS

April 22nd, 2014

Say WHAT ??
Free BEER on 3DVision ?

Join 3DVision Technologies for a jam-packed happy hour seminar as we demonstrate how SolidWorks tools seamlessly integrate the complete design process. We’ll take a light-hearted approach, as “master home brewer” Randy Simmons, Elite Application Engineer Robert Warren, and Paesol Veerakitti, highlight the process of designing a “home brew rig” in SolidWorks.

Learn the process of “designing beer” while seeing how the fully integrated tools work together to speed up all aspects of design, analysis and documentation, so you can get your designs brewing faster than the competition.

And did we mention that you all get FREE BEER and FOOD !?
How can you say NO !?

WED MAY 14th @ 5th Street BrewPub, Dayton, OH 2:30-5:00pm

Please click to REGISTER:

Hope to see you THERE !

Randy Simmons

Application Engineer, CSWP 3DVision Technologies

SOLIDWORKS Inspection is here!

April 14th, 2014

The automotive, aerospace, defense, oil & gas, and medical device industries have strict safety regulations and requirements. Most companies working in these industries must provide industry-standard reports including inspection documents such as AS91002 or PPAP forms. Many SOLIDWORKS users are creating First Article Inspections (FAI), Inspection Report, or Ballooned Drawings, but only a handful of you are already using software to do so.

SOLIDWORKS Inspection is a First Article Inspection (FAI) and in-process inspection software that greatly simplifies and automates the creation process of ballooned inspection drawings and inspection reports (AS9102, PPAP, etc…). SOLIDWORKS Inspection consists of a stand-alone application and a SOLIDWORKS add-in that enables users to leverage their legacy data regardless of whether they are SOLIDWORKS files, PDFs or TIFFs. SOLIDWORKS Inspection Professional extends SOLIDWORKS Inspection capabilities by giving you multiple ways to enter measured values directly into an inspection project. Each characteristic’s value can be entered by manually typing them in, using a digital caliper or importing CMM results.

SOLIDWORKS Inspection is a simple and intuitive application that reduces the time needed to create inspection documentation by up to 90%, and virtually eliminates errors inherent to any manual process, thus improving quality and reducing time to market. SOLIDWORKS Inspection lets you

  • Use the stand-alone application or the SOLIDWORKS add-in to quickly balloon engineering drawings and create inspection reports.
  • Work with SOLIDWORKS drawing files, PDFs or TIFFs.
  • Automatically balloon Inspection Dimensions specified by the designer or mechanical engineer.
  • When working with PDF and TIFF files, capture inspection data using Optical Character Recognition (OCR).
  • Compare drawing revision to quickly identify changes.
  • Instantly export finished ballooned drawings as a PDF.
  • Export inspection reports to Excel spreadsheets using standard templates such as AS9102 or PPAP forms.
  • Customize Excel templates using the Template Editor to follow company or industry standards.

In addition to all the key features mentioned above, SOLIDWORKS Inspection Professional allows users to manually or almost automatically enter measured inspection values.

  • Enter measured values for each characteristic directly into the project either manually or by using a digital calliper.
  • Import Coordinate-Measuring Machine (CMM) results.
  • Highlight dimensions in green, red or yellow to instantly see which dimensions are In Tolerance, Out of Tolerance or Marginally within Tolerance – based on the values entered.
  • Export color-coded ballooned drawings and inspection reports.

SOLIDWORKS Inspection will be available from SOLIDWORKS Value Added Resellers later this spring.

Want to see how SOLIDWORKS can help you win new business and get to market faster? Request an in-person SOLIDWORKS demo today.

Pamela Snider

Marketing Manager 3DVision Technologies

Southeast Michigan & Northwest Ohio SOLIDWORKS User Group Meeting

April 14th, 2014

The Southeast Michigan and Northwest Ohio SOLIDWORKS User Group Meeting is here!

This is a great opportunity to network with users and learn how SOLIDWORKS is making their jobs easier and more efficient.

This meeting is free and open to students, teachers, designers, engineers, employers, and anyone with an interest in SOLIDWORKS and the design industry.

April 15th, 2014

5:30pm – 8:30pm

Career Technology Center


Monroe County Community College

1555 S Raisinville Road

Monroe, MI  48161


5:30 – 6:30 pm   Opening Remarks and Dinner

6:30 – 7:10 pm   Presentations

  • Understanding SOLIDWORKS Electrical – 2D & 3D
  • Weldments
  • CSWA in Education

7:10 – 7:20 pm   Intermission

7:20 – 8:00 pm   Presentations

  • Understanding SOLIDWORKS Electrical – 2D & 3D
  • Weldments
  • Tools You May Be Missing By Not Using Simulation Professional

8:00 – 8:30 pm   Closing Remarks and Drawings for Prizes


Contact User Group Leader Dean Kerste

Pamela Snider

Marketing Manager 3DVision Technologies

Register now for the next Indiana SolidWorks User Group Meeting

April 9th, 2014

Only one week to go so Register Now, and sign up for your friends.
Don’t forget to bring your bright ideas or SolidWorks trouble spots to share with others.

Date: Wednesday, April 16th

Location:   Selco Engineering – a division of Capital Industries. (West side of town)
6405 Westhaven Drive Indianapolis, IN 46254

Time: 4:30pm Registration and networking.  Meeting starts at 5:00pm

Meeting Agenda:

  • General Meeting:
  • Introduction to “3D Home Printing”- Peter
  • Dinner (Sponsored by SWUGN)
  • Technical Presentation:  Ryan Cole, DASI Solutions “3D Model Based Definition (MBD)”
  • Door Prizes

Pamela Snider

Marketing Manager 3DVision Technologies

Give each EPDM project its own part numbering scheme

April 8th, 2014

A few weeks ago I was at a customer’s site where they wanted each of their projects files to have their own serial number. i.e. They wanted part numbers for project “A” to be “0010″, “0011″, “0012″, “0013″, etc. and part numbers for project “B” to “10456″, “10457″, “10458″… [Not the file name, just the part number.] Each of their customers had their own part number schema that they were to follow.

My first thought was to make a new serial number and data card for each project….but I really didn’t like the overhead of having a whole bunch of data cards that they would have to maintain just because the default value of one field would have to be different for each project.

Playing around with PigeonHole, I found this little trick. If PigeonHole finds the name of a serial number enclosed inside of # symbols, it will replace the name with the next value from that serial number. Knowing that, plus the fact that I can use variable values found elsewhere on a data card, a simple SQL statement like this:

SELECT '#' + '{Project Number}' + '#'

was all I needed to use to allow them to have a serial number based on the project. The only real trick is that you need to ensure the value on the data card matches the name of the serial number.

In the example above and in the video below, “Project Number” is the name of a variable in the data card which also corresponds with my serial number names.


YouTube Preview Image

This would also work if you wanted the part number counter to start over for each new project.

Jeff Sweeney

CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

IF/Then Logic for your EPDM Data Card

April 7th, 2014

There are lots of ways to build some pretty cool logic to populate your SOLIDWORKS Enterprise PDM data cards. Automatic transitions with conditions, unique data cards based on location or file types are the most typical methods. They work, but the more complex your logic needs to be, the more difficult it is to set up.

Since PigeonHole can connect to SQL’s logic engine, you can use SQL to do some pretty fancy things with “English like” logic. As an example, here is the setup that was used to define the serial number used in the video below:

IF '{Type}' = 'BUY'
SELECT '#Purchase#'
SELECT '#Manufacturer#'

You read it as: If the data card variable “Type” is set to “Buy” use the “Purchase” serial number, otherwise use the “Manufacturer” serial number.

YouTube Preview Image


Jeff Sweeney

CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

Weldments and Bill of Materials

March 26th, 2014

There are many different ways to create structural frames.  One method might be creating it as an assembly with many individual parts.  Another method, which is my preferred  way, would be as a single multibody part…as a Weldment.
Weldment Icon
The Weldment way allows for easy design changes, automatic structural member trimming/extensions, and creation of cut lengths.  This however is typically just a portion of the overall design.  There might be many more pieces that go on the frame.  This is when you would add your Weldment design to an assembly.

Now with your Weldment in the assembly and the other components attached, you need a Bill of Materials (BOM).  It’s possibly to show the cut list for all the structural members in an assembly BOM.  You will need to choose a BOM Type of Indented in the PropertyManager.

BOM Property Manager
Once you choose the indented type, the BOM will show as a cut list.  The QTY column shows a total length for the structural member.

BOM Image
If you then choose “Detailed cut list” in the BOM Type, it will break each member out in their own row with a length value.

BOM Image Detailed
Now your assembly BOMs can show all the individual items even in the Weldment.  But what if you are using Enterprise PDM.  Can you see the cut list in EPDM?  Of course you can.  It is under the Bill of Materials tab.  You would need to set-up a Weldment Cut List template in EPDM but that is very simple.

EPDM Cut List
As you can see, the cut list item names can be shown to make finding the correct member easy.  Just like in a drawing, you can choose to see a Weldment BOM.

EPDM Weldment BOM
This will group all the members together giving you a total quantity.  If you select the “Contains” tab, and RMB on a Weldment member, you get some more useful functionality.

EPDM Contains Tab
When you choose “Properties”, you can see the members data card with the length.

EPDM Data Card Weldment
You will need to add the length field to the card and map it to the “BOM Quantity” variable.

Josh Spencer

Elite Application Engineer, CSWE 3DVision Technologies

Instant Quotation with SolidWorks Electrical

March 24th, 2014

“How much will it cost?” This is oftentimes one of the biggest questions your customers need answered, and they want the answer upfront.

In a typical engineering job cycle, coming up with the quotation for a complex electrical project can take days, even weeks. Even with experienced professionals, this number is still just a ball-park figure.

One of many useful tools in SolidWorks Electrical is the Enterprise Resource Planning, or ERP, database connection. This tool allows users to create customized data information such as parts pricing, shipping cost, vendor, etc. This information can be linked directly to any specific part number in the library, which then generates the pricing report automatically through use of the Report Creation tool in SolidWorks Electrical.


So how does it work?

During the contracting stage, the project is conceptualized in the Single Line Diagram tool of SolidWorks Electrical. As components are added to the drawing, the BOM automatically updates and reflects the total project cost. This makes the pricing report incredibly accurate and allows designers to optimize the design and reduce cost.

Job cycle


The ERP database tool also allows users to link their existing parts database directly to the SolidWorks Electrical Manufacturer Parts Library. This functionality leverages the live-update nature of the SQL database. For example, the pricing information and manufacturer parts information can be managed by the purchasing department and the engineering department, respectively, and both departments will see the others’ updates instantaneously.

In summary, SolidWorks Electrical can eliminate the manual process of looking up and cross-referencing the parts pricing information, which is time consuming and prone to human error. With the ERP database connection tool, the purchasing department can update the pricing information separately while the engineering database would adapt the change automatically.

In a sense, SolidWorks Electrical tools allow the sales team, the engineering team, and the purchasing team to work collaboratively and simultaneously to serve customers more efficiently, and deliver the results with improved speed and accuracy.

This gives your company a competitive edge.

Paesol Veerakitti

Application Engineer - Electrical 3DVision Technologies

Working Folders in EPDM

March 21st, 2014

Many new SolidWorks Enterprise PDM administrators want to setup a working folder [sandbox] location for each of their users.

I’m not a fan.

Disadvantages to working folders:

  • Concurrent engineering is difficult
    • It is difficult for management and the rest of the design team to track the progress of the design
    • If the designer is suddenly called out of the office for an extended period of time, it is cumbersome for other designers to take over
  • Users have an extra, tedious step of having to move the files where they are supposed to be after design is complete, and they often forget. Now the vault is a mess.

I’ll commonly hear the argument from designers that -after their designs are complete, they have many parts left over that never made it through the design process.


They say a working folder makes cleanup easier. “The files that don’t get moved out of the sandbox must be leftover parts and thus it would be safe to delete them.” I think they are forgetting about workflows. When you are done designing, change state on the drawing, all the children go with the drawing to the next workflow state. Sort the files in Windows Explorer by the current state, it is easy to delete the files that were left behind.

From my experience, working folders are far more work and inconvenient than they are worth. Design your parts in the folders where they are supposed to be.



Jeff Sweeney

CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

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