If you missed our September meeting you really missed out. We met in the old Dynetics HQ building and had 42 in attendance. Last minute scheduling permitted Matt Lombard (author of SolidWorks 2007 Bible, SolidWorks Surfacing and Complex Shape Modeling, and soon to hit the bookshelves, SolidWorks 2009 Bible) to join us and share in the SW2009 What’s New presentation with Ricky Jordan. But to digress, the meeting began shortly after everyone filled up on pizza and soft drinks. Among the usual announcements, Ricky pointed out that SW2009 has been officially released. It is available for download now at the SolidWorks Customer Portal for those on subscription service. Word of caution, don’t try this on dialup or even DSL. Ricky pointed out that the installation from download worked perfectly and one advantage to installing from the download … you won’t need the DVD to install later service pack releases.
Next, a show of hands for those planning on attending SolidWorks World 2009 International User Conference and Exposition in Orlando, FL at the Swan & Dolphin Hotel Feb 8-11, 2009. Anyone needing help with justification give Ricky a shout. If you have never been to a SolidWorks World it is truly an adventure with more training presentations in a short 4 days on subjects from everything SolidWorks and then some.
Now to try and give a Reader’s digest summary of the rest of the meeting. Ricky first presented on the new Photoview 360 which is included in all flavors of SolidWorks except SolidWorks standard. As with any new release of SolidWorks there is plenty of material for a What’s New presentation. Ricky and Matt did an outstanding job of cramming as much into the remaining two hours ( after the eating) of our meeting. Actually Matt was kind enough to extend the presentation an extra 30 minutes for those that could stick around. With all the new enhancements in SW2009, there have been some significant terminology changes. Once you get past that it is nice to see that emphasis has really been placed on improving performance, speed and stability. Now just to mention the main highlights. User Interface enhancements includes a movable Command Manager, a Property Tab builder, hyperlink capability with BOM and custom properties, dual dimension display, triad functionality to quickly change model orientation and a magnify tool. Sketching enhancements includes new slot tool (oooh, ahhh!!), numeric sketch input, Instant 3D Resize, stretch entities and move/copy/scale in 3D sketch. Sheet Metal enhancements include convert to sheet metal from solid. cross break, and a combined gauge – bend table. Weldment enhancements include groups, weld gaps within groups and between groups, improved end caps and gussets, trim extend tool. Assembly enhancements include large assembly performance improvement, assembly features propagating to the parts, a new BOM in assembly and speed pack, and Drawing enhancements. Speed pack basically allows you to take an assembly/subassembly and identify faces/features for mating and then use the assembly/subassembly in another assembly with huge performance gain.
Matt took over with his take on Visualization enhancements, the new plastic features, surfacing and spline enhancements and free form As expected, Matt presented his likes and dislikes of the new release but the general consensus is that the new SW2009 is a very impressive release and should prove to be much more stable with better performance.
Thanks again to Ricky and Matt for an outstanding What’s New presentation. We should see the VAR rollout presentations of SW2009 sometime in October.