SolidWorks aims for the stars with 2019 release

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The Maunakea Spectroscopic Explorer 10-metre-class telescope is being designed in SolidWorks

SolidWorks has launched its 2019 offering of the widely used 3D CAD software, choosing its online launch to showcase the increase in power behind the software, reinforcing the message that it is ‘Powered by Dassault Systèmes’ 3DExperience platform’.

“We are using SolidWorks to support implementation of the Maunakea Spectroscopic Explorer 10-metre-class telescope that will open new possibilities for scientific discovery,” said Greg Green, an enthusiastic mechanical designer and instrument maker at the Canada France Hawaii telescope facility.

Green isn’t messing about: the final version of the project consists of well over 100,000 parts, with the day-to-day design and engineering generating ‘a large and growing dataset’, with the message from SolidWorks being that the 2019 release offers new technologies and workflows to improve collaboration and enable immersive, interactive experiences during such mammoth projects.

Among its new features, SolidWorks 2019 says it has added greater design flexibility to quickly interrogate or rapidly make changes to a model thanks to an enhanced Large Design Review capability.


It also ‘dramatically improves’ high performance view manipulation to scale with higher-end graphics hardware – of which were seeing more and more options for the everyday CAD user.

In addition,SolidWorks 2019 allows teams to communicate outside of the design community by adding markups to parts and assemblies directly using a touch device, storing them with the model, and exporting them as a PDF.

“This latest SolidWorks release is packed with enhancements and innovations built based on insights and feedback from the SolidWorks community,” said SolidWorks CEO Gian Paolo Bassi in the lull after the launch.

“Designers and engineers who prioritise design performance, attention to detail and innovation, as well as seek the powerful storytelling capabilities of VR and AR, can experience the prototyping shop of the future – one where digital design data makes it easier to visualise parts in 3D and improve how designs are translated from virtual to real.”

As far as storytelling goes, SolidWorks Extended Reality (XR) is a new application for publishing CAD scenes into VR, AR and web viewers – including lights, cameras, materials, decals, and motion study animations – and should be right up there as one of the most interesting features in the new version.

Bassi and his team believes SolidWorks XR will improve collaborative internal and external design reviews, sell designs more effectively, train users how to assemble and interact with their products, and boost confidence in designs throughout the product development process.

We’ll have a closer look preview in the coming weeks.

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