Several presentations stand out in my mind from the Wednesday General Session. This was the session that really got down to the business of talking about the SolidWorks community and the future of the SolidWorks software.
Richard Doyle introduced the SWUGN regional leaders to the General Session. I’m guessing this is the first time many people even heard of this group. This is an important group that is responsible for increasing the number of SolidWorks User Groups nationwide; and worldwide too.
Another memorable presentation was Engineers in Crisis comedy skit used to introduce us to many of the new functions and improvements that will appear in SolidWorks 2009. The skit consisted of a supposed talk show host addressing many frustrations that CAD users (unnamedly SolidWorks users) experienced when using their CAD software. The frustration was collectively referred to as PAS (Performance Addiction Syndrome).
Who isn’t addicted to something that performs well? They showed short videos of some engineers who were going mad because of issues they were having with an unnamed CAD program. To help, three “doctors” presented the videos and then explained the solution offered in SolidWorks 2009. This one particular engineer in one of the stories was vexed by “too many steps.” This was prolly the funniest of the bunch. I remember when they showed him getting out of his co-worker’s car. His co-worker double beeped his remote to lock his car. The engineer (Bill, I think) preceded to yell something like, “You only need to beep it once! Doing it twice is too many steps! Ughh!!!” The interviews with his boss and co-workers were icing on the cake.
Anyway, the point was that SolidWorks 2009 would be adding functionality and simplifying some tasks. Just to name a few:
- Big news is that SolidWorks 2009 will accept negative dimensions when adding dimension values to objects within a sketch!
- Handling of large assemblies has improved substantially.
- Features created at the assembly level will be transferred to the part.
- BOM tables can now be directly added to the Model Assembly.
- Slot tool has finally been added. (In fact, I recently participated in a questionnaire regarding how this feature will be dimensioned on the drawing.)
- In sketch mode, dimensioning for sizes of objects will automatically pop up and ask to be populated when the object is created.
- Routing now supports flat cables, and so on.
This skit was immediately followed by a demonstration of the speed differences we can expect from SolidWorks 2009. They had a side by side comparison between SolidWorks 2008 and 2009. It does appear that performance will indeed be massively improved. This is of course based on the presentation. I will reserve my final judgment for when I get a chance to use 2009 for myself.