Archive for October, 2010

SolidWorks 2011…It’s Alive!

Monday, October 25th, 2010

[Insert non-copyrighted picture of Frankenstein's monster here] It’s alive!
Cool pic eh? Just in time for the season! Halloween and Engineering Data Specialist Month!

SolidWorks and SolidWorks Enterprise PDM 2011 are now available for download, ready for production use. Hopefully you have been doing some preliminary testing during the beta phase, so you can hit the ground running using the cool new features in 2011.

Jeff Sweeney

CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

Tell WDS not to search your EPDM Cache

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

October is Engineering Data Specialist month. I’d like to thank the thousands of you for the cards, flowers and well wishes. It’s readers like you that make blogging all the worth while.

Windows Desktop Search, is a nice little application for finding your files on your desktop. It could be better, but it is free and comes preloaded with your Windows 7 machine.

One of the things I don’t like is that it wants to search my SolidWorks Enterprise PDM’s local cache…if I wanted to find file in my local cache, I’d use EPDM’s search.

It is actually pretty easy to create exceptions to where WDS searches in Windows 7.

Control Panel -> Indexing Options -> Modify

IndexingOptions

Remove the checkmark next to the directories you do not want indexed, click okay and your done!

NoLocalCache

Happy Engineering Data Specialist month to you and yours!

Jeff Sweeney

CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

Auto Update Word Fields

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

SolidWorks Enterprise PDM’s datacards make it easy for you to put information from the datacard directly into your Microsoft Word document. Simply connect the datacard’s variable to the Word’s custom file property, then link a Word field to that custom property.

The problem is that Word does not automatically update fields when you open the file. (Excel will, why won’t Word?!) I know many people use some API code to automatically update the fields every time the document is opened (there is some sample code in the administration manual showing you exactly how to do this) but what if you don’t like to use API?

Wouldn’t it be nice if Word had a setting to automatically update the fields before you save the document? Unfortunately, as far as I can tell it doesn’t….but I may have the next best thing. In Word 2007 go to “Word Options” WordOptions then at the bottom of the display section you should see:
before printing

[For Word 2003 look in the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the Print tab. Hopefully someone out there can tell me where it is for Word 2010.] At least with this method all hard copies should be correct.

Going back to the API solution. If you put the field update code mentioned above in your “Normal.dotm” file, even files you created in the past will begin to automatically update –and as a bonus you will not be bothered to “Enable Macros” every time you open your documents.

Jeff Sweeney

CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

VLOOKUP going to next larger number

Monday, October 11th, 2010

This week I have working on a rather interesting DriveWorks project where I had to select the proper size of schedule 40 pipe that a given shaft coupler could just fit inside. As an example, if I had a coupler that has an 1.4″ outside diameter, I would choose the 1-1/2″ size pipe. (From the first table below.)

The problem is that if I use VLOOKUP to search the table, VLOOKUP returns the next size smaller from the table. Thus I would get the 1-1/4″ pipe –  too small for my 1.4″ coupler.

Pipe Size

Outside Diameter

Inside Diameter

1

1.32

1.05

1 1/4

1.66

1.38

1 1/2

1.9

1.61

2

2.38

2.07

2 1/2

2.88

2.47

3

3.5

3.07

So I modified my table in this way:

Pipe Size

Outside Diameter

Inside Diameter

3

3.5

-3.07

2 1/2

2.88

-2.47

2

2.38

-2.07

1 1/2

1.9

-1.61

1 1/4

1.66

-1.38

1

1.32

-1.05

Now if I ask VLOOKUP to find the pipe size (searching for -1.4″), it returns the proper size because -1.61 is the next size smaller.

I had to reorder the records in the table because VLOOKUP wants its searching values in ascending order.

Certainly if I wanted to get the actual inside diameter, I need to use the ABS function to return me back to positive values.

Jeff Sweeney

CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

SW CEO, Jeff Ray, Blogs about the “cloud”…

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

See SolidWorks CEO, Jeff Ray’s “follow up” to all the “CLOUD” talk that was made at SolidWorks World 2010 back in January.

http://blogs.solidworks.com/solidworksblog/2010/10/an-update-on-some-things-we-announced-at-solidworks-world-2010.html

Randy Simmons

Application Engineer, CSWP 3DVision Technologies

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