Archive for January, 2009

Using DELETE FACE for Shell Meshing

Friday, January 30th, 2009

I realized that the word “Delete” did have some positive emotions attached to it after all once I took the SolidWorks Advanced Surface Modeling class that Randy Simmons offered in our Cincinnati office. Here is the why and how:

FEA on sheetmetal components is accomplished by creating a shell mesh. The prerequisite for a shell mesh in SolidWorks 2009 is either a surface body, or a sheetmetal body. Often, the requirements for a shell mesh are realized after the solid geometry has been constructed, as in the figure below:

Sheetmetal part for FEA

In this case, the shell mesh is to be created on the highlighted outside surfaces. To convert the solid structure into a surface body, the user has two choices:

1. OFFSET SURFACE: This is the easiest approach to take. Simply selecting the outside surfaces, and choosing a zero distance offset from these faces will achieve the desired result. It would be advisable to delete the solid body afterward, so that the only body on the graphics window is the surface body.

2.DELETE FACE: This is a little trickier to use. I found this method, but am yet to use it in a specific case. I am sure I will find the need for it at some point:

a. Highlight the required faces for the shell mesh
b. Right click on one of the faces and do an Invert Selection. This should pick up all the other surfaces on the structure.
c. Use the Delete Face command (either by right clicking on the selected faces as in the figure below, or from the Surfaces toolbar, or Insert > Face > Delete), and accept the defaults.

Corrected image for upload

Either method should help convert a solid body into a surface body, thus facilitating a shell mesh for subsequent FEA using Simulation 2009.

Vikram Vedantham

Simulation Product Manager 3DVision Technologies

SQL 2008 arriving on your doorstep

Friday, January 30th, 2009

Yesterday we shipped Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Standard Edition DVDs to all of our SolidWorks Enterprise PDM customers. I personally did not see them but I have been told if you hold the up to the light they look rainbowy.


SQL Server 2005 will still be supported for the foreseeable future. Typically SolidWorks drops support for Microsoft products after Microsoft itself drops support. Thus if you are not experiencing any lost revenue in waiting to upgrade, I recommend not upgrading “just because it is there”.

Look for some performance enhancements, better memory management, data compression and an easier UI after the upgrade.

Jeff Sweeney

CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

3DVision Technologies adds Dimension uPrint Personal 3D Printer

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

3DVision Technologies Corp. is thrilled to add the uPrint Personal 3D Printer to its product offerings.

The uPrint, a desktop-sized printer priced at $14,900, joins Dimension’s (a business unit of Stratasys, Inc.) already market-leading line of 3D Printers. Designed for the desktop, uPrint requires only a 25 x 26in footprint and features an 8 x 6 x 6 in. build envelope.

The uPrint builds models with ABSplus making it ideally suited for testing the form, fit and function of models and prototypes. uPrint also features a soluble support removal system, allowing for hands-free removal of the model support material.

As a personal 3D printer, uPrint makes 3D printing immediate and convenient through every design iteration. There’s no waiting in queue for a shared printer and no waiting for models to arrive from an outside service.

“This new technology will accelerate designers and engineers CAD designs from model to production. It is going to provide our customers with a better way to work,” said Todd Majeski, President and CEO of 3DVision Technologies.”There is nothing more powerful than a design going from a flat image on a screen to a 3D model that everyone on the team can examine at every angle.”

The uPrint is available for purchase immediately through 3DVision Technologies.

Visit  for a complete list of upcoming dates and locations to view this new technology first hand. For questions please call Carrie Cavanaugh at 513-745-2700.

Carrie Patrick

Marketing Manager 3DVision Technologies

MVSWUG Meeting Postponed

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

The MVSWUG group meeting that was scheduled for today. Has been postponed due to weather.

Same time, place and great speaker …just now it will be Monday February 2nd instead.

Jeff Sweeney

CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

Harmonics – Eliminating/Instigating Cacophony using FEA

Monday, January 26th, 2009

The majority of companies that integrate vibrating equipment in their designs face tough challenges to overcome harmful deflections originating from resonance. In such cases, it becomes imperative that the design team either use physical prototypes and shaker tables to evaluate the design integrity or to simulate such behavior virtually.

I put together a case-study on a model to show how harmonic analysis can be easily performed on SolidWorks geometry using SolidWorks Simulation (previously called COSMOS). The tool can help isolate the harmful frequencies in the operating range of the excitation source such as a motor. The user can suitably alter the design based upon the response pattern indicated by Simulation.

Interestingly enough, there is another application for harmonics – where companies desire large deflections. For instance, a company manufacturing sieves would design their automated equipment to operate at frequencies that instigate resonance. Resonance would cause large deflections, and hence help the sieve to sift material through. SolidWorks Simulation would also help understand what the resonating frequencies of the design are, and the resulting deflections because of resonance.

Making the right choice in operating ranges can make a world of a difference between a good design, and a chattering, loud, ready-to-break-down design!!

Vikram Vedantham

Simulation Product Manager 3DVision Technologies

MVSWUG Meeting Announcement

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

Miami Valley SolidWorks User Group Agenda
January 28th, Gander Mountain, Huber Heights, Ohio

5:30pm – 6:00pm Registration, food, and networking
6:00pm – 7:15pm Jeff Sweeney will show us DriveWorks
7:15pm – 7:25pm Break
7:25pm – 8:10pm Question and maybe answers of issues that you have with SolidWorks
8:10pm – 8:20pm Discussion about next meeting date and what we would like to cover
8:20pm – 8:30pm Wrap-up, prize giveaways.

Please RSVP Randy Adams

I haven’t figured out what I want to show with DriveWorks yet. Any requests?

Jeff Sweeney

CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

Christmas is here!

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

SolidWorks Enterprise PDM SP2 was released yesterday. Christmas has finally come!

Sadly I am swamped with other projects so I don’t have a review for it yet. You might have to wait until after SolidWorks World.

If you cannot wait ’till the review I do have one warning for you. Service pack 2 removes the ability for file property changes to be seen in eDrawings [in for an example drawing titleblocks]. In other words if you make changes to the datacard or if a transition changes the datacard, these changes will NOT appear if you open the file in eDrawings/preview.

Cross your fingers for a hot fix.



Jeff Sweeney

CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

Customers Make all the Difference.

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

In a time where the economy has impacted most Americans both personally and professionally it’s critical to recognize the importance of sticking together.

At 3DVision Technologies we realize that we are providing not just a service but a creating a network of individuals all facing similar goals and challenges. And as such, we recognize the importance of our customers and the work they are doing to better the world.

We believe that our customers are some of the best in the business. Their work, determination and drive are what help fuel our own passion of the industry.

This year, we plan to feature some of our very accomplished customers in our blog and we invite you to share your stories as well.

This month I’d like to introduce you to Streamside Systems, LLC. Founded in Findlay, Ohio in 2002, Streamside is a small business that creates and designs alternative methods of cleaning the earth’s water resources. Streamside has most recently been fetured on The Economic Report and I strongly suggest you visit their website to learn more about the amazing work they doing.

Again I want to recognize all of our customers and the work they do and if you have a story you would like to share I invite you to email me at

Carrie Patrick

Marketing Manager 3DVision Technologies

Custom material properties

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

Today I had the pleasure of doing a fake interview with Jeff Ray, CEO of SolidWorks.

Engineering Data Specialist Man: Thanks for “being” with us today.

JR: The pleasure is all mine. It is not very often I get to talk to one of the best SolidWorks users of all time -you’re in the top four I believe?.

EDSM: Jeff, I have been wanting to ask you about the new ability in SolidWorks 2009 to add custom properties to materials in the SolidWorks materials database. Is there any way to access this information other than reading the XML file through programming? I think it would be super cool if you could take this information…

Custom material properties

JR: Excuse, sorry to interrupt, is that a picture of Celine Dion on your wall?

EDSM: ….as I was saying: If we had a way to get this custom material property information into the FILE custom properties it would be extremely valuable! Think of the benefits! The vendor of a material could automatically appear on the BOM; -or now that we can put equations in our file properties, with a “price per pound” material property we could automatically have the cost of the raw material of a part!

JR: Yes, it is true. Without API, putting data in that new custom tab has little more value than giving you practice on your data entry skills. Your ideas sounds like a great enhancement requests don’t they?

Jeff and a pretend Jeff Ray

Jeff Sweeney

CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

“What’s New” out on Video

Monday, January 5th, 2009

Over, and over I have explained the benefits of attending the 3DVision’s “What’s New in SolidWorks 2009″ festivals. I even went to your home town spreading the love.

Perhaps you were on your death bed, or maybe you were waiting in line to get front row tickets to the Celine Deon concert….but aside from those two excuses what other reason could you have for not wanting to learn of the new tools available to get your job done faster?

Now on videoGiven the fact that 83.7% of the best SolidWorks users are also Celine fans [citation needed]. The folks located on the mighty 3DVision mountain felt you should be able to see Miss Deon AND become a better SolidWorks user -and thus have posted videos of what you missed during the rollouts. The videos are broken out into three sections and multiple chapters in each section, so you can watch them at your own pace.

Enjoy and learn something!

Jeff Sweeney

Jeff Sweeney
Engineering Data Specialist
3DVision Technologies

Jeff Sweeney

CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join other followers
Powered By