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 DriveWorksXpress—a design automation tool that is free with every license of SOLIDWORKS.
DriveWorksXpress grants engineers’ access to an easy-to-use, user controlled interface that automates the design changes in your products. Many engineers find themselves searching through their catalog of previous projects only to make a copy for future designs. This process can be made obsolete when the design changes are recognized as rules. What materials and gauges are at your disposal? What tolerances must you stick to? How large or small can your product become? What requirements are made by your customers? These are the rules your company must abide by to ensure the product you are offering is something you can deliver. DriveWorksXpress captures these rules to make your SOLIDWORKS models intelligent.
How Does it Work?
Every feature, sketch, part, and assembly is defined in SOLIDWORKS with dimensions. And DriveWorksXpress allows the control of these dimensions with simple forms. Fill in the blanks, drop down menus, scrolls, and check boxes are directly linked to the geometry of your models. When this form is filled out and the user says “go”, the tool will automatically make the necessary design changes to meet your customer’s requirements while sticking to your manufacturing practices.
See it in Action!
There are three simple steps to setting up your DriveWorksXpress project:
1) Capture your SOLIDWORKS model
What geometry needs to change?
2) Create your custom form
What options should control the captured model?
3) Link your form to the model with your rulesHow should the options affect the geometry?
This is all that is needed to completely automate your parts. As the form is filled out the rules are put into action to give you a finished product in seconds!
Grab yourself a coffee and enjoy the following video—How Can I Generate Parts with DriveWorksXpress?—which will dive deeper into this project. Find out how you can automate your product line through the use of DriveWorksXpress.
Interested in more information? Check out our recent Alignex Blog article—More Efficient Product Development with Rules-Based Design Automation—for an introduction to design automation or fill out our DriveWorks contact form to speak to a product specialist.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in April 2015 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Written by Jesse Butwinick
Jesse Butwinick is an Application Engineer at Alignex, Inc. When Jesse isn’t teaching SOLIDWORKS classes or solving a customer’s biggest design frustration, he enjoys building furniture with SOLIDWORKS’ weldments design function and teaching himself how to use new technologies.