3DVia can do it, so why not SolidWorks?

3DVia Composer3DVia Composer demonstrations have been all the rage at official SolidWorks and VAR events over the past year or so.  I’m getting quite familiar with 3DVia Composer just from the demos (I’ve never used it).  The more I see it, the more I realize just how much SolidWorks lacks in how it handles assemblies.

The past is the past

At one time, there was a function in SolidWorks that would allow the user to auto-explode their assembly.  The problem with this function is that it never worked well enough to be of much use.  As a result, the auto-explode function is not longer included in SolidWorks.

3DVia does it, so let’s improve SolidWorks

In demo after demo of 3DVia Composer, I see a milieu were assemblies are exploded and rearranged with superb ease.  This same ease should be available in SolidWorks assemblies!

Examples of 3DVia functions that should be added to SolidWorks assembly mode.

  • Ability to explode groups of parts within an assembly with one motion
  • Spherical explode
  • Onion skin mode

Magnet Lines

One new function in 3DVia Composer that should be added to SolidWorks drawing mode is the Magnet Line.   This allows the user to place one line (Magnet Line) on the drawing, then automatically attach to it a whole series of balloons so that they all are centered on that line.  The Magnet Line can then be moved around at any angle.  Regardless to the angle, all of the balloons remained aligned to each other by their common connection to the Magnet Line.

3DVia Composer Magnet Line

In fact, maybe Magnet Line shouldn’t be limited to just aligning balloons.  Maybe it can be used to align any type of annotations.  Maybe the Magnet Line can be made to affect annotations by their start, end or centers.  If sophisticated enough, maybe the Magnet Line can completely replace the outdated MS-Office style alignment tools now available in SolidWorks drawing mode.

Author: fcsuper

As a drafter, mechanical designer and CAD engineer, I've been in the mechanical design field since 1991. For the first 8 years of my career, I was an AutoCAD professional. I utilized AutoLISP and many other AutoCAD customization features to streamline drafting activities for 6+ drafters and designers. I authored several custom functions, one of which was published in the March 1997 issue of Cadalyst Magazine. Since 1998, I've been used SolidWorks non-stop. I've worked to utilize the SolidWorks' user environment to simplify drafting and design activities for 20+ engineers. I've created this website to provide current information about SolidWorks from a variety of contributors. More recently, I am now employed by Dassault Systemes as SOLIDWORKS Sr. Product Definition Manager to improve drawing, annotation and MBD related areas.

6 thoughts on “3DVia can do it, so why not SolidWorks?”

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  2. Yes, the Magnetic Line is quite innovative isn’t it!

    And it does exactly what you hope it does: you can attract all different types of collaboration actors to it, and there are various anchor points depending on the type of actor.

    Makes me wish we had patented the idea!

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  4. that would help me greatly on the types of assemblies that I am starting to work with. I want to explode an different assembly files with similar parts only different dimensions. If any one knows how please let me know. caution711@hotmail.com. I am trying to explode different leaf spring assemblies to set the parts to the same location always.

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