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Configurations: Moderation is the Key to Survival

Travis Quick on May 21, 2015 at 10:22 AM

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You’ve nurtured your model from concept. You have an intimate knowledge of every fillet, extrusion and sweep. You've accommodated its need to be different using configurations and are now ready to release your design to the world in the hopes that it will be accepted and flourish. It can, and it will. Your model will survive checking, inspection and most importantly time – if configurations were used in moderation.

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Model Based Definition: A Clear View for Manufacturing

Mike Strand on May 12, 2015 at 12:15 PM

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From air quality technology to ophthalmic lens manufacturing, companies from a wide variety of industries showed up at one of our recent Productivity Pack Workshop events to see some new engineering technology. The focus of the event was on becoming more productive, and we covered topics including Simulation, Electrical, Inspection, Costing and MBD. In this blog post I will run through SOLIDWORKS MBD.

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Six Ways to Communicate the Quality of Your Product

The Alignex Team on May 5, 2015 at 3:41 PM

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You put significant time and money into developing your products, and want to be sure that they are assembled correctly and quickly on the shop floor, and that the first experience for your customers is a good one. 

Here are some of the top ways to improve technical communication at your company:

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Using DriveWorksXpress to Automate Your Assemblies

Jesse Butwinick on May 1, 2015 at 9:36 AM

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Are you tired of recreating similar projects within SOLIDWORKS? Many of our customers are finding their design cycles decreasing through the use of DriveWorks design automation. In a previous postHow to Reduce Your Design Cycle with DriveWorksXpresswe discussed how DriveWorksXpress can be used to automatically configure a custom part in SOLIDWORKS. But it doesn’t stop there. Your entire assembly can be controlled within the simple to use interface. Fully detailed drawings can also be created for you with the push of a few buttons.

DriveWorksXpress has the ability to greatly decrease your design cycles for various projects, whether you want it to drive just a portion of or the entirety of your assemblies. Either way you will find the process will be the same. Parts can be linked to the DriveWorksXpress forms, their suppression states controlled in the assembly, and the drawings created with pre-defined details. Automating all these processes means your engineers get back valuable time that can be focused on creating new and innovative products.

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An Important Technical Advisory on Updating SOLIDWORKS EPDM

Josh Seda on April 21, 2015 at 8:30 AM

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The purpose of this technical advisory is to educate companies on the proper process for upgrading SOLIDWORKS Enterprise Product Data Management (EPDM) in an environment which includes both CAD and PDM. Since this process typically only happens once a year, customers often ask for a reminder on the process and the order of the updates.  The  PDM system must be upgraded prior to or at the same time as the CAD software. This is true for SOLIDWORKS EPDM or any SOLIDWORKS PDM Solution Partner.  The only exception is Workgroup PDM which is upgraded as part of SOLIDWORKS.

We will describe this process as it pertains to a basic SOLIDWORKS Enterprise PDM update and cover different things to consider before, during and after the update process.

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Step Up From SimulationXpress for Advanced Design Insights

Tim Spielman on April 17, 2015 at 9:25 AM

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Many SOLIDWORKS users have discovered SimulationXpress to be a very easy-to-use, first-pass analysis tool to test their products and quickly generate reports to document results. While SimulationXpress can certainly help us understand the effects of forces and pressures on individual parts, there are many cases where a more advanced SOLIDWORKS Simulation package will allow us to gain better insight into the design. This can often help us make important design decisions that improve quality, increase performance, and reduce costs.

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How to Reduce Your Design Cycle with DriveWorksXpress

Jesse Butwinick on April 9, 2015 at 10:27 AM

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Would you consider your line of products to be the same, but different? Have you ever found yourself creating copies of your SOLIDWORKS parts and assemblies just to have them as starting points for new designs? Then you may be missing out on a tool that could cut your design cycle by a significant amount of time! I am of course referring to DriveWorksXpressa design automation tool that is free with every license of SOLIDWORKS.

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Integrate Your CAD and CAM with SolidCAM Xpress

The Alignex Team on April 2, 2015 at 10:35 AM

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Program Your CNC’s Right Inside SOLIDWORKS

SolidCam Xpress can be the program that launches you into CAM. With it SOLIDWORKS users can get a completely integrated, 2.5D machining and 3 axis surface machining tool at a very affordable price.

It is great for those who have been interested in taking the next step in leveraging their CAD designs to develop the tooling data in an automated process. It will also allow those who have other, non-integrated CAM solutions to test out the benefits of SolidCAM with SOLIDWORKS at a lower cost. With a no-penalty upgrade path, SolidCAM Xpress becomes the perfect starting point to build from as your CAM knowledge or needs evolve.

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More Efficient Product Development with Rules-Based Design Automation

Mike Lamora on March 24, 2015 at 3:05 PM

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In today’s competitive landscape our customers are faced with many challenges that affect the organization's profit margin. Some of those challenges include increased engineering and manufacturing costs, pressures to offer customization of standard products and bottlenecks in engineering. The old adage of "throwing more bodies" at a project is just not feasible anymore.

We often talk about how to get your products to market faster than your competition. At Alignex, we have many tools to help with your product development process for new product development. A topic I want to introduce to you today is design automation. In a past SOLIDWORKS poll, 65% of responders said that a majority of their designs are based on previous designs.

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Attending a SOLIDWORKS User Group Meeting

Mike Strand on March 17, 2015 at 8:33 AM

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The power of a user group is evident once you attend. With a room full of engineers and designers who all use the same program, there’s a great chance of discovering a new technique, feature or process that elevate a design. A few of us from Alignex attended the Sioux Falls meeting to join the discussion which ranged from new features of SOLIDWORKS 2015 to facts about the larger SOLIDWORKS community.

User groups are a great place to learn more about SOLIDWORKS and engineering in general. There are also lots of video resources as well as offerings in schools and colleges. Here are a few interesting stats about the community of SOLIDWORKS learners:

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