Archive for April, 2012

Exclusive Lunch and Learn Event – May 9

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

3DVision Technologies in partnership with SolidWorks invite you to two exclusive and informative presentations:

Create High Quality Technical Communications
May 9, 2012
9am – 1pm (Continental Breakfast and Lunch included)
Columbus Marriott Northwest
Learn how best-in-class companies are leveraging their 3D CAD data to improve their technical communications.
During this event we will show you how to:
- Leverage your 3D CAD data across your entire organization
- Differentiate product documentation and marketing collateral to win more business
- Simplify and streamline the development of technical documentation

To register for this event, click here.

Make Better Designs and Reduce Risks
May 9, 2012
Noon – 4pm (Lunch included)
Columbus Marriott Northwest
Learn how best-in-class companies use Design Validation early in design to optimize products and prevent errors.
During this event you will learn how to:
- Quickly test and validate while you design
- Improve your product quality while reducing the number of prototypes
- Make sustainable design decisions while lowering material costs
- Speed-up your time to market

To register for this event, click here.

There is limited seating and space is first come first served so you are encouraged to register today. If you would like to register for the FULL DAY please click here.

Carrie Patrick

Marketing Manager 3DVision Technologies

Suppressing Folders in DriveWorks

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Checkout this DriveWorks trick Great Aunt Eleanor taught me!

When possible, she likes to group features for particular part options together in one SolidWorks folder. This can greatly reduce the amount of DriveWorks rules she needs to maintain because it is possible to suppress/delete a folder (and all the features inside) by capturing the folder and building a rule only for it.


A folder can be captured in exactly the same way as you would a feature, by single-clicking on the folder icon and adding it to the Dimensions and Features section of the DriveWorks Task Pane inside SolidWorks. Once captured, you will then be able to build a rule for the folder in the Model Rules section. Having the rule evaluate to be suppress/delete will suppress/delete the folder and all of the contents.


In the above example, if the user is wanting model “312″, one DriveWorks rule removes all the features not needed for this model.

Be careful though, if you have the feature folder and the features inside captured, it could be possible for your feature rules to conflict with the rule for the folder. Thus if you need to capture the features inside of the folder typically you would notcreate a rule for the feature folder.

This functionality is only available in DriveWorks Solo and Pro.

Jeff Sweeney

CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

Restricting your EPDM addin

Sunday, April 15th, 2012

There are a lot of API snobs out there who feel their SolidWorks Enterprise PDM code is too good to be run by just anyone, perhaps only members of a certain user group are allowed to run their precious code.

Perhaps they are writing something that should only be run by administrators.

I personally am a programmer for the people; but if you are related to Marie Antoinette, it is pretty easy to accomplish this act of discrimation. You include an “if-then” statement, like the one below, in your addin’s “GetAddInInfo” routine and you’ll be eating cake in no time.

If AllowedUser(poVault) = True Then
poCmdMgr.AddCmd(1, "Name of the special function", EdmMenuFlags....)
End If

You’ll need to write an “AllowedUser” function that can use the vault object parameter to return TRUE if this person is royalty or FALSE if this is a “commoner”.

Commoners will never even see your routine in their right mouse click.

Remember the “GetAddInInfo” routine is only run once – when you first log into the vault. If a user suddenly becomes an “allowed” user, he’ll have to reload his Windows Explorer process to see the change.

Jeff Sweeney

CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

Strengthening Ribs in Sheetmetal – NEW in SW2012

Saturday, April 14th, 2012

SolidWorks 2012 has a great NEW feature in Sheetmetal that a lot of people have been asking for over the years. It is the ability to EXCLUDE certain faces from trying to flatten, thus making it possible to create things like strengthening ribs on a bracket.





In the past you could of course model this, but when you tried to get the flat pattern it would fail.
Now in SolidWorks 2012 you can EDIT the FLAT PATTERN feature and just select the “rib faces” (on BOTH sides) in the new “Faces To Exclude” box. Then the Flat Pattern will “ignore” those faces and flatten just fine.

It even has some really cool new functionality of being able to just right click a face and use “Select Tangency” to get the faces in a couple quick clicks rather than picking them all individually AND it is smart enough to not run the tangency selection past the fillets!
Pretty cool stuff !! Give it a try !

Randy Simmons

Application Engineer, CSWP 3DVision Technologies

Error report – should you send it in?

Monday, April 9th, 2012

Ever seen this before?


Certainly not as often anymore, but I’ll see it every once in a while.

Do you send the report to SolidWorks? I certainly do. I want the guys at SolidWorks to feel a little sting for my crash! Sometimes I’ll purposefully do the same steps several times so they can see my crash over and over. Revenge is sweet.

SolidWorks does look at the reports. They have a database that collects the reports and they do data mining against this database–looking for areas that may be problematic, spikes in the number of reports, new crash patterns, etc.

Part of the report lists the exact part of code that caused the crash, but this is only the smoking gun. The trick is that oftentimes there are many different ways to get to the same area of a program, that area may work perfectly for 99% of the ways but maybe you found a new combination of steps that cause the crash. If you can recall what you were doing when the crash occurred, no matter how small the detail, be sure to document this in the report.

It may not be your responsibility to debug SolidWorks, but if your report makes SolidWorks better everyone wins.

Jeff Sweeney

CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

100 Versions of eDrawings on the wall, 100 versions of eDrawings…

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

How many versions of eDrawings do you suppose you have installed on your machine?

100? Likely not that many, but if your computer has been around a while, there is a good chance you have more than one. If your machine has the SolidWorks Enterprise PDM client installed on it, you probably have several!

I’ve seen a customer’s computer with six versions installed!

Is it a big deal? If you aren’t a EPDM user, probably not, they are just taking up disk space. If you are an EPDM user, they could be conflicting with each other making your preview slow, or not work at all.

The young pups of the group may think it is as simple as going to your computer’s Add/Remove programs, find any eDrawings applications listed, and remove them.

Ahh if that was only the case! After you remove all of those you are only half way home.

Next you need to find all of your old SolidWorks installations in the Add/Remove programs, choose to “Change” (or “Modify” depending on your operating system and the SolidWorks version)


Then go to the product selection and remove eDrawings from there. Only the more recent versions will have eDrawings there (I think SolidWorks 2009 and up??)


Make sure you keep your latest version or else you’ll be sad.

For EPDM users, I recommend removing them all, then putting in your EPDM install disk, do a “modify installation” and installing eDrawings from there.


This way you’ll know you have [only] the latest and greatest version, and it will be the professional version to boot.

Jeff Sweeney

CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

3DVision Technologies Introduces SolidWorks Plastics

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

3DVision Technologies is thrilled to announce the introduction of SolidWorks Plastics. As one of only a handful of VARs in North American able to provide this product to our customers 3DVision Technologies can now bring easy-to-use injection molding simulation directly to the designers of plastic parts and injection molds.

SolidWorks Plastics 2012 helps companies predict and avoid manufacturing defects, eliminating costly rework, improving quality, and accelerating time to market. Fully integrated with SolidWorks 3D CAD, this easy-to-use software helps plastic part designers, mold designers, and mold makers optimize designs for manufacturability without leaving their familiar 3D modeling environment.

In the next few weeks our Simulation Specialists will blog about some of the fantastic new functions and features that SolidWorks Plastics 2012 has to offer. We will also be announcing several webinars where attendees can view a live demonstration of the SolidWorks Plastics solution.

In the meantime, if you have questions or want more information we encourage you to contact us at 1-800-745-3136 or email us at

Carrie Patrick

Marketing Manager 3DVision Technologies

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