Discoverability & DriveWorksXpress

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One thing that is a constant source of puzzlement is how the average user finds out about all the new tools, software and technology that’s present in the application set they have already acquired. Take SolidWorks. Look at the list of ‘stuff’ it does and its huge, from standard part, assembly and drawings tools, through all the Xpress products and then you get into all the tools that are part of the Office offerings – there’s a huge amount to discover and learn. I’ve banged on about how important printed manuals were in that informal learning process outside of formal training, but of course, the web can play a huge part in not just shortening that learning curve, but also in just flagged up the fact that something even exists and what it can be used for.

DriveWorks worked with SolidWorks in the last few release cycles to introduce DriveWorksXpress – for a tool that’s essentially free for many SolidWorks users, its incredibly powerful – but how do you find out if Rules-based automation is for you? well, the team has just released a whole bunch of targetted examples, to show you the type of thing it can do, including Stainless Steel Extraction/Ventilation Hood, Porch/Entrance Canopy, Vehicle Suspension System, Hydraulic Cylinder.

Automation means you cut out the crappy boring stuff, formalise your standard designs variants and get to work on the really interesting stuff. If you’ve got SolidWorks, its there. Go play. and if that’s not enough, get a copy of their fantastic Little Book of Rules. I take my hat off to these guys and the shear effort they put in – if only all vendors did the same.


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