• POSTED IN CAD

    What Improvements Should You Expect After Switching CAD Software?

    by Jerry Fireman on December 5, 2016

    Switching to a new CAD software system requires an investment in time and money. Which raises the question of what kind of a return can you expect on that investment? Tech-Clarity, an independent research firm that specializes in CAD and related technology, recently surveyed 192 companies that have switched CAD software systems to find out what benefits they had achieved and was it worth the effort?

    what-improvements-should-you-expect-after-switching-cad-software1

    The survey showed that companies have reported significant improvements, starting with a substantial reduction in the amount of time required to bring new products to market. Top performing companies reduced product development time by 19% and time to implement engineering change orders (ECOs) by 15% while average performers reduced product development time by 14% and ECO time by 8%.

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    • POSTED IN ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, 3D PRINTING

      When uPrint you win. How the uPrint will change the way you design.

      by Rob Stipek on December 2, 2016

      3D printing has become a beneficial tool for engineers and a necessity forwhenuprintyouwin streamlining and designing in the manufacturing industry. Unfortunately, many companies have yet to implement this technology for either the lack of perceived value or simply the unwillingness to change traditional processes. For manufacturers that are still on the fence, the Stratasys uPrint and uPrint SE plus are two affordable, yet powerful desktop machines that are capable of solving all of your manufacturing needs in real time. Built to perform, Stratasys uPrints are capable of creating anything from functional prototypes to manufacturing floor tools.

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      • POSTED IN SIMULATION, SOLIDWORKS

        Save a Life – Optimize that Design with SOLIDWORKS Simulation

        by Drew Buchanan on November 30, 2016

        The beads of sweat drip off my forehead as I drill my climbing anchor into the rock. I maneuver the rope through the anchor’s 9mm slot for the rope to fit through. After the rope is tucked through the anchor, I place the strap through my carabiner and secure it, then begin my climb upwards. As I move upwards my left foot slips on a piece of shale, and my hands lose their grip. I fall backward hoping my carabiner and anchor system holds. Thankfully, the carabiner’s suggested 9 KN engineering rating holds fine, and I fall only five feet instead of the 100 feet to the mountain floor.

        I realize many of you may not spend your free time hanging out on the side of a mountain 100 feet in the air on a small rock ledge—trusting that engineers adequately designed a four inch curved piece of metal to hold your weight. Regardless, we all rely on products we use daily that have been designed and optimized by engineers for our safety.

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        • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING MATERIALS, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, 3D PRINTING

          3D Printing Changing how Manufacturers Produce Complex Composite Parts

          by Rob Stipek on November 28, 2016

          3D printing technology is rapidly changing how manufacturers are creating 3d-printing-changing-how-manufacturers-produce-complex-composite-parts1concept models and end-use parts. One of the fastest growing applications is utilizing 3D printing technology for the tooling of complex and low volume composite parts. Boeing and other companies in the aerospace and automotive industries are finding that using composite materials instead of metal, greatly reduces the weight and cost of their part which, over time, has saved thousands of dollars. So how are these models produced? There are two primary ways 3D printing is making this possible.

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          • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING

            Food for Thought: Could 3D Printing Help with Thanksgiving?

            by Angelle Erickson on November 22, 2016
            food-for-thought-could-3d-printing-help-with-thanksgiving1

            The holiday season has officially begun, and many are beginning to prepare for guests to warm their homes and spectacular spreads of holiday treats, and oh—the turkey feast! But with much anticipation, there is always the panic of preparation. Need a helping hand in the kitchen? 3D printing has found new innovative ways to make food preparation and the culinary experience even more fun and exciting.

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            • POSTED IN DATA MANAGEMENT, PDM, SOLIDWORKS

              SOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM Retirement - Are You Prepared?

              by Christa Prokos on November 21, 2016

              If you use SOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM to manage your product design files, the time to start planning your migration to either SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional or SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard is now. You are probably already aware that this juncture would come.

              Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corporation gave ample time for customers to prepare for change when in the summer of 2015 it announced that it would phase out the aged product data management tool. SOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM had reached the limit of what it could do with its architecture, the company said, along with advice that customers will be better served by migrating to either PDM Professional or PDM Standard.

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              • POSTED IN DATA MANAGEMENT, CAD, PDM, SOLIDWORKS

                Upgrading to SOLIDWORKS PDM 2017 Part 3: PDM Professional Post-Upgrade Tips

                by Tom Starks on November 18, 2016

                Upgrading software should be something to look forward to, but it can also be time-consuming and challenging if you are not properly prepared. This is the final installment of a three-part blog series to help you with an easier and successful upgrade to SOLIDWORKS PDM 2017 Professional or Standard.

                In Part 1 I covered tips to help you prepare for your upgrade. In Part 2 I took you through the post-upgrade process, covering commonly missed items. For this blog, I will provide additional post-upgrade tips that apply to SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional. These tips will allow you to take advantage of the new 2017 tasks, since tasks are not available in SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard:

                • - Add the SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional 2017 SWPDFTaskAddIn
                • - Using the new SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional PDM 2017 Tasks

                Let’s get started.

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                • POSTED IN CAD, SOLIDWORKS

                  Do More with SOLIDWORKS 2017 Sheet Metal Enhancements

                  by Rodney Harper on November 16, 2016

                  Sheet metal parts are common across a wide range of industries from special machines, housings, and other critical product components. When your work involves creating sheet metal parts, you need the most flexible design approach possible. This includes flattening functionality. SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD software gives you the ability to do all of this and now the new SOLIDWORKS 2017 release gives you even more critical new functions.

                  Four main features in SOLIDWORKS 2017 that have been enhanced:

                  1. Three bend corner relief
                  2. Normal Cut has improved flattened results
                  3. Punch Table support for mirrored and derived parts
                  4. Define individual options per sheet metal body in a multibody part

                  I’m excited to show you the new 2017 functionality. Improved manufacturability, less confusion from the manufacturing floor, and improvements in the interface will result in a better return on investment with SOLIDWORKS. Now let’s take a look at some examples I’ve put together for you.

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                  • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, 3D PRINTING

                    The 3 Newest SOLIDWORKS 3D Printing Features

                    by Sean O'Neill on November 14, 2016

                    3D Printing is allowing the manufacturing world to innovate and iterate quicker than ever. It's important that our CAD design tools innovate in parallel. Accordingly, one good question buyers should ask is, "What SOLIDWORKS 3D printing features are available to SOLIDWORKS users?"the-3-newest-solidworks-3d-printing-investments11

                    In a survey done by technology research firm, Tech-Clarity, about 54% of companies claimed that the ability to support internal workflows was a key influence in selecting a CAD system. That was good enough to make it a top 5 consideration for your peers. A glance at the broader manufacturing landscape also shows that the 3D printing market, increasingly expanding its scope of capabilities and materials offered, projects to be a >$30 billion market by the year 2022.

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                    • POSTED IN DATA MANAGEMENT, CAD, PDM, SOLIDWORKS

                      Upgrading to SOLIDWORKS PDM 2017 Part 2: Post-Upgrade Tips

                      by Tom Starks on November 11, 2016

                      Often times, the thought of a software upgrade can be daunting and cause concerns over how time-consuming or challenging the process could be. With help from the experts, you don’t have to worry. This blog series provides tips and tricks to help make it easier for you to upgrade to SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional or Standard. In Part 1 I covered tips to help you prepare for your upgrade. However there is always something that needs to be done after an upgrade and in this blog, I will cover the following post-upgrade tips:

                      • - Run the PDM Database Upgrade Tool
                      • - Manually upgrade any PDM Add-Ins like Dispatch or SWTaskAddIn

                      So let’s get started!

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                      • POSTED IN STRATASYS, 3D PRINTING

                        Stratasys J750 Changes How Engineers Validate Design

                        by Rob Stipek on November 9, 2016

                        For a design engineer, what is the best way to validate a CAD model? The most effective and efficient way is to use a 3D printer to rapidly produce a prototype. With a PolyJet 3D printer, for example, a designer can not only verify a design, but can also receive feedback on the look and feel of the physical prototype, or part.

                        PolyJet 3D printing is an extremely precise and detailed additive manufacturing technology that uses photopolymers to build up layers of material to create the desired part. The most technologically advanced PolyJet 3D printer, the Stratasys J750, was released earlier this year. The J750 gives design engineers greater capabilities that can improve the product development process even more. It is a step above the already industry leading precision 3D printing technology Stratasys offers.

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                        • POSTED IN CAD, SIMULATION, SOLIDWORKS

                          Save Time with SOLIDWORKS Simulation Feature: Blended Curvature-Based Mesh

                          by Drew Buchanan on November 7, 2016

                          Finite element modeling (FEM) continues to evolve and makes solving multiphysics problems easier and easier for users. No longer, are the days of dedicated engineers or programmers sitting in cubicles writing code to solve finite element problems. SOLIDWORKS Simulation has set the bar for making FEM easier for users while still being computationally powerful. In this blog, I will cover one of the newer capabilities in SOLIDWORKS Simulation that can save you a lot of time: the “Blended curvature-based mesh” feature.

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                          • POSTED IN PDM

                            SOLIDWORKS PDM Upgrade Tips Part 1: Preparing for Your Upgrade

                            by Tom Starks on November 4, 2016

                            Your organization relies on SOLIDWORKS for product data management. How else would you centralize all your engineering data and related files in a secure repository? But if you use SOLIDWORKS PDM, then you know that the software does more than just provide a secure repository. Some of its benefits include integrating workflows, automating design and approval processes, providing version control and enabling collaboration across teams and locations. Now with SOLIDWORKS PDM 2017, you can do even more.   

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                            • POSTED IN CAD, ELECTRICAL, SOLIDWORKS

                              SOLIDWORKS Electrical 2017 - Collaboration Made Simpler

                              by Angelle Erickson on November 2, 2016

                              Teamwork is tried and true regardless of the industry you work in. In product development, the relationship between electrical engineers and mechanical engineers is highly dependent on how well they can collaborate on a project. Having the right tools to work effectively and efficiently not only controls the quality of product designs but the production time frame as well.

                              SOLIDWORKS Electrical is one such powerful tool for engineers. It not only displays a design to the very last detail but also makes communication extremely easier on both the mechanical and electrical ends of the project.

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                              • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING MATERIALS, 3D PRINTING

                                3D Printing Halloween Sci-fi Props

                                by Danny Jackson Levy on October 31, 2016

                                “More human than human” is the famous corporate tagline from the fictional company, Tyrell Corporation, in the 1982 Sci-fi classic movie Blade Runner. This quote is what kept me going as I worked to perfect the replica blaster that I have always dreamed of owning. Created by the infamous Hollywood prop maker, Richard Coyle, the original Blade Runner handgun prop is considered one of the most sought after sci-fi guns next to Han Solo’s blaster. 3d-printing-halloween-sci-fi-props1

                                The model I chose to create was designed by Andrew Forster and integrates the key characteristics of Coyle’s blaster. The forty component assembly was designed and toleranced for FDM 3D printing and requires a significant amount of post-processing to finish to spec. Since this was my first time making movie props, there was a great deal of learning involved to take the project from start to finish. For those interested in using 3D printing to make props, here are tips from my experience so you don’t have to learn the hard way.

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                                • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING

                                  Efficiency, Flexibility and the Factory of the Future with 3D Printing

                                  by Christa Prokos on October 28, 2016

                                  The adoption of industrial 3D printing continues to grow with global spending on printers reaching nearly $11 billion in 2015. International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts that spending will rise to about $27 billion by 2019.  

                                  Statistics aside, examples of industry growth are making recent headlines. “Airbus Standardizes on Stratasys Additive Manufacturing Solutions for A350 XWB Aircraft Supply Chain,” reads the headline of an October 13th press release from leading 3D printer and materials manufacturer, Stratasys.

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                                  • POSTED IN CAD, SOLIDWORKS

                                    Tips for New SOLIDWORKS Users Part 3: Fully Define, Every Time

                                    by Toby Schnaars on October 27, 2016

                                    Welcome back to our series of tips for new SOLIDWORKS users. As I mentioned fully-define-every-time1in my last blog, I started teaching SOLIDWORKS CAD software to both new and experienced students in 2001.  This blog series covers three great tips I’ve learned over the years to help new SOLIDWORKS users get started off on the right foot:

                                    1. Always start your sketches the same way – and know when you are in sketch mode
                                    2. Keep your sketches simple
                                    3. Fully define, every time

                                    Today, we will finish up by covering the final tip:  Fully define, every time.

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                                    • POSTED IN CAD

                                      How to Select a New CAD System

                                      by Jerry Fireman on October 26, 2016

                                      With so many different computer aided design software options out there, how do you pick the one that will have the greatest positive impact on your business? Tech-Clarity, an independent research firm that specializes in CAD and related technology, recently surveyed companies that have switched CAD systems in order to find out what drove the decision process of companies that achieved the most favorable results.

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                                      • POSTED IN STRATASYS, 3D PRINTING

                                        How 3D Printing Improves the Sand Casting Process

                                        by Rob Stipek on October 24, 2016

                                        Sand casting is the process of using a mold made of sand to create metal casted parts. It is one of the oldest processes used to create metal parts, dating back thousands of years. The basic process of sand casting involves several steps: First, a part shape, runner layouts, and gates are placed into special sand to create a mold. Next, a molten metal material is poured into the mold and cooled to solidify it. Last, the sand mold is broken away leaving a metal part that is ready for clean up and production.

                                        Sand casting is used for a wide range of industry applications with the primary manufacturers being foundries and pattern shops. If this process seems so simple and has been around this long, how can 3D printing improve the sand casting process?

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                                        • POSTED IN CAD, SOLIDWORKS

                                          Get a better connection with SOLIDWORKS Interconnect

                                          by Angelle Erickson on October 19, 2016

                                          Collaborating with a customer or a supplier shouldn’t be a challenge, but with the many versions of CAD software being used in the industry these days, these challenges can exist. SOLIDWORKS 2017 has made helping customers and viewing different formats easier with Interconnect, a tool that will be part of their 2017 release.

                                          SOLIDWORKS 2017 is not only smoother and faster than ever before, but they have made enhancements to almost every feature and product in their software line. Interconnect is the icing on the cake for those who need to not only open and view data from other CAD software but who need to make changes that can be saved and reopened by the original user.

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                                          • POSTED IN ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, 3D PRINTING

                                            The Business Boosting Benefits of 3D Printing

                                            by Christa Prokos on October 18, 2016

                                            About thirty years ago, 3D printing emerged as a new technology that could create objects from a digital file using a process known as additive manufacturing. Today, news coverage continues to follow the business boosting benefits it affords. 

                                            If you are new to 3D printing, here is how it is done: First, you make a virtual design of an object using a 3D-modeling CAD program to design a new object, or if you would like to make a design file of an existing object, you can use a 3D scanner to copy it. Next, the 3D printer prints the object by applying layer after layer of material to produce the complete object. The material can be anything from clear, rubberlike and biocompatible photopolymers to tough high-performance thermoplastics. It just depends on the application for which the object is created, and the 3D printer used.

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                                            • POSTED IN CAD, SOLIDWORKS

                                              Large Assembly Mode Made Easier with SOLIDWORKS 2017

                                              by Angelle Erickson on October 14, 2016

                                              As many users know, not every design produced in SOLIDWORKS is small. Some designs require over 100,000 parts and being able to view, manage, document, and assemble a large product should not be a daunting task. Luckily, SOLIDWORKS’ Large Assembly Mode has made that process easier. Available in SOLIDWORKS Standard, Professional, and Premium packages, Large Assembly Mode has key features such as configuration tools, large design review, and magnetic mating allowing users to view the whole picture or work in specific areas without the risk of losing data.

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                                              • POSTED IN CAD, SOLIDWORKS TECH TIPS, SOLIDWORKS

                                                Tips for New SOLIDWORKS Users Part 2: Keep Your Sketches Simple

                                                by Toby Schnaars on October 12, 2016

                                                Welcome back to our series of tips for new SOLIDWORKS users. As I mentioned in my last blog, I started teaching SOLIDWORKS CAD software to both new and experienced students in 2001.  This blog series covers three great tips I’ve learned over the years to help new SOLIDWORKS users get started off on the right foot:

                                                1. Always start your sketches the same way – and know when you are in sketch mode
                                                2. Keep your sketches simple
                                                3. Fully define, every time

                                                My last blog covered the first tip. Today, we will move into the second: Keep your sketches simple.

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                                                • POSTED IN ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, 3D PRINTING

                                                  3D Printed Prototypes Essential to Automotive Industry

                                                  by Rob Stipek on October 10, 2016
                                                  3d-printed-prototypes-essential-to-automotive-industry

                                                  Balancing deadlines and quality work isn’t an easy task to accomplish, especially when you are challenged with creating complex automotive designs. OEMs and their suppliers are constantly looking for ways to improve process, while saving time and money. This is where using 3D printing for prototyping has become an essential part of the automotive design process.

                                                  Validation of a design base on what a computer image shows you isn’t a foolproof way of ensuring design quality and traditional prototyping methods can be costly and expensive. By incorporating an onsite 3D printer, design engineers can print their CAD models and have them in hand within a matter of hours, ensuring quality and design validation at a speed and price that far exceeds traditional means. The value of having a part in hand to make a proper determination on design quality can be the catalyst to a project’s success.   

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                                                  • POSTED IN ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, 3D PRINTING

                                                    Celebrating National Manufacturing Day

                                                    by Angelle Erickson on October 7, 2016

                                                     

                                                    celebrating-national-manufacturing-day-whitespaceThe first Friday in October is celebrated as National Manufacturing Day, where we commend those who have made American products with passion and determination. These are the same people who have inspired the upcoming generation of students to become further educated on developing the future. As we enter the fourth industrial revolution which will focus on the integration of data and communication, companies are focusing on skills, continued innovation, and setting new standards to drive the next generation.

                                                    So where does Fisher Unitech see manufacturing heading for the future? I asked Danny Levy, a 3D printing Application Engineer who works with our manufacturing customers, what his thoughts were on the topic. His insights were inspirationally optimistic.

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                                                    • POSTED IN CAD, SOLIDWORKS

                                                      Tips for New SOLIDWORKS Users Part 1: Sketch Mode

                                                      by Toby Schnaars on October 3, 2016

                                                      Hello and welcome to the wonderful world of SOLIDWORKS. I’m excited to be your guide. I have been using SOLIDWORKS CAD software for 18 years, since my first training class back in 1998. I began teaching the software to both new and experienced students back in 2001. Throughout the years I have found that there are three great tips to help new SOLIDWORKS CAD software users get off on the right foot:

                                                      1. Always start your sketches the same way – and know when you are in sketch mode
                                                      2. Keep your sketches simple
                                                      3. Fully define, every time

                                                      This blog is the first in a series of three that will provide details on each tip. So let’s get started!

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                                                      • POSTED IN CAD

                                                        Is it Time to Switch to a New CAD System?

                                                        by Jerry Fireman on September 30, 2016

                                                        Your CAD system was cutting edge when you purchased it years ago but now it feels like a dull razor blade. Which raises the question – should you replace it now or try to get more out of your existing software? In favor of switching is the opportunity to pick out the latest and greatest solid modeling software that provides the best fit with your product development process. On the negative side, there are costs such as the new software, upgraded hardware, training, conversion of legacy data, etc. How do you decide when it’s time to switch?

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                                                        • POSTED IN CAD, SOLIDWORKS

                                                          What’s New: SOLIDWORKS 2017 Technical Communication Tools

                                                          by Angelle Erickson on September 29, 2016
                                                          techcomm

                                                          It has been said that communication is the key to success. So when bringing an idea to life, designers and engineers must be able to communicate their plans and thoughts with the rest of their team. In order to portray this, users have looked to SOLIDWORKS Technical Communications tools and have been successfully able to demonstrate and depict the most complicated designs in an easy to understand display format.

                                                          The life cycle of a design begins with an idea. Often times, there are several stages involved in order to bring a design to life. Drawings and files are handed off from department to department to guarantee the original concept is portrayed properly and accurately. Eliminating spoken or written instruction between teams decreases the opportunity for error, which in turn will increase the production time. That’s why SOLIDWORKS’ Composer tool is used so often by designers and engineers to transcribe assembly instruction, provide a part list, and gather media for presentations.

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                                                          • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING MATERIALS, STRATASYS, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, 3D PRINTING

                                                            The Power of PolyJet Technology for 3D Printing

                                                            by Rob Stipek on September 27, 2016

                                                            If you’re new to PolyJet technology, it works similarly to inkjet printing, but rather than jetting drops of ink onto paper, PolyJet 3D printers jet layers of photopolymer materials onto a build tray. With PolyJet materials, users get a unique way to create high quality 3D printed parts that incorporate color, texture, and multi-material capabilities all in the same build.the-power-of-polyjet-technology-for-3d-printing

                                                            Why does PolyJet reign supreme?

                                                            PolyJet technology produces highly realistic, functional 3D models in a wide range of materials. It also provides properties that span from rigid to rubber and opaque to transparent, solving all of your printing needs. There are also materials that perform similarly to engineering plastics which combine toughness and heat resistance. PolyJet enables designers, engineers, and artists to produce finely detailed models and prototypes for virtually any industry.

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                                                            • POSTED IN DATA MANAGEMENT, PDM, SOLIDWORKS

                                                              Latest and Greatest - SOLIDWORKS PDM 2017

                                                              by Angelle Erickson on September 23, 2016

                                                              The release of SOLIDWORKS 2017 is right around the corner and drumming up a lot of excitement for power users and new users alike. With every new SOLIDWORKS release, users anticipate enhancements and features that will increase their productivity and help make their design and product development processes easier.pdmcomp

                                                              There is no better way to bring an idea and design to life than with the power of SOLIDWORKS. With multiple tools and functions such as electrical, simulation, and visualization, it’s possible to design a product seamlessly and effortlessly.

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                                                              • POSTED IN CAD, SOLIDWORKS, 3D PRINTING

                                                                3D CAD and 3D Printing Meet Virtual Reality

                                                                by Christa Prokos on September 22, 2016

                                                                Virtual Reality, commonly referred to as VR, is becoming more and more prevalent in our lives. Just look at the obvious example of gaming. You probably know at least one person in your circle of friends or family who has told you to try out their VR headset to see something in a new way.

                                                                3d-cad-and-3d-printing-meet-virtual-realityBeyond gaming and entertainment, VR is also used for business and educational purposes such as training, research, and engineering. We asked Dan Wagner at Prism Engineering, a Fisher Unitech company, to tell us more about VR and how he and a technical team of 3D CAD and 3D printing experts are using it for their engineering purposes.

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                                                                • POSTED IN CAD, SOLIDWORKS TECH TIPS, SIMULATION, SOLIDWORKS

                                                                  The Right Tool for the Job Part 3: Getting Your Fix with Fixtures

                                                                  by David Roccaforte on September 20, 2016

                                                                  In the first blog in this series, I introduced SOLIDWORKS Simulation Standard, our entry level but high value analysis package. In my second blog, I discussed the single body limitations in Sim Xpress and compared that with the extended capabilities in our more full featured tools. In this post, I will discuss the fixed constraint option in Sim Xpress and compare this to the capabilities of Simulation Standard.  

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                                                                  • POSTED IN CAD, SOLIDWORKS

                                                                    Top New SOLIDWORKS 2017 Enhancements

                                                                    by Christa Prokos on September 15, 2016

                                                                    If you use 3D CAD design and modeling software, “The Power You Need to Drive Innovation,” is a headline that is bound to catch your attention—especially when it’s describing the release of SOLIDWORKS 2017.

                                                                    Industry news is a buzz about the launch of SOLIDWORKS 2017, the 24th annual release of the CAD, simulation, data management and collaboration software. User feedback drove 90 percent of the enhancements in this release. In the CAD tools alone, there are 250 new features and enhancements, and a total of 520 new enhancements spread across all SOLIDWORKS products.

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                                                                    • POSTED IN STRATASYS, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, 3D PRINTING

                                                                      Come Experience the Game Changing 3D Printer: Stratasys J750

                                                                      by Rob Stipek on September 9, 2016

                                                                      Ask anyone in business, higher education or the manufacturing community what their top objectives are and they’ll probably say it’s to achieve more, to solve more problems, and to act faster than what’s now possible—all while saving money in the process. Ask what’s holding them back and you’ll probably find a diverse variety of obstacles in their day-to-day work processes that hinder their progress.

                                                                      Having the right tools to do the job is one crucial element in solving problems and becoming more efficient and productive. Additive manufacturing, widely known as 3D printing, is one of those tools. It helps businesses, educators, and manufacturers breakdown production barriers. Using 3D printing reduces time and effort to produce parts, models, prototypes and other objects. And today, the game changing 3D printer is the J750 from Stratasys. You can come experience all that the Stratasys J750 has to offer at an upcoming Fisher Unitech J750 Roadshow Event

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                                                                      • POSTED IN CAD, SOLIDWORKS TECH TIPS, SIMULATION, SOLIDWORKS

                                                                        The Right Tool for the Job Part 2: The Single Body Limitation in Sim Xpress

                                                                        by David Roccaforte on September 8, 2016

                                                                        In my last blog, I introduced SOLIDWORKS Simulation Standard and how it is a lot of analysis power for the money. One point that I made is that there are many times when SOLIDWORKS users might be trying to do too much with the free Xpress tools or might not realize what they are missing in a more complete solution like Simulation Standard Professional or Premium. In this blog, I will discuss the single body limitation imposed by Sim Xpress.

                                                                        Sim Xpress allows only a single body and "fixed" constraints that stop motion on the chosen face in the X, Y, Z directions. The main reason for this limitation is that it prevents users from creating an unstable model by accident. Fix any face in X, Y, Z directions on a single body and you are going to have a stable model. In other words it's a slam dunk that the solver will able to solve for equilibrium and we can find a solution. This limitation guarantees a solution but limits the areas we can accurately extract stresses from and limits the types of situations we can accurately reproduce.

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                                                                        • POSTED IN DATA MANAGEMENT, PDM, ELECTRICAL, SIMULATION, SOLIDWORKS

                                                                          Join Us at a SOLIDWORKS 2017 Launch Event Near You

                                                                          by Christa Prokos on September 7, 2016

                                                                          sw17cropWe are excited to announce that Fisher Unitech and our friends at Prism Engineering will be hosting a series of SOLIDWORKS 2017 launch events beginning next month on October 5th. With hundreds of new enhancements and features, the newest version of SOLIDWORKS promises to be the most powerful release yet.

                                                                          So if you’re just as geeked out about SOLIDWORKS 2017 as we are you’ll fit right in! Join us at one of our live launch events to engage with our experts and gain some tips and tricks, along with a deeper understanding of how industry-specific tools can address your personal designing needs.

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                                                                          • POSTED IN STRATASYS, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, 3D PRINTING

                                                                            Stratasys to Demonstrate Next generation 3D Printing at 2016 IMTS

                                                                            by Rob Stipek on August 25, 2016

                                                                            The 3D printing and additive manufacturing solutions company, today announced it is previewing demonstrations of next generation manufacturing technologies at IMTS 2016 as part of its SHAPING WHAT’S NEXT™ vision for manufacturing. SHAPING WHAT’S NEXT builds on Stratasys’ industrial FDM® 3D printing expertise to respond to the needs of customers’ most challenging applications, addressing manufacturers’ needs to rapidly produce strong parts ranging in size from an automobile armrest to an entire aircraft interior panel. The Stratasys ecosystem of additive and traditional technologies, software workflows, materials development, and professional services align with individual application needs, better meeting quality, cost, and delivery metrics while unlocking the capabilities of additive manufacturing to revolutionize how parts are designed and built.

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                                                                            • POSTED IN CAD, SIMULATION, SOLIDWORKS

                                                                              Simulation Standard: The Right Tool for the Job

                                                                              by David Roccaforte on August 23, 2016

                                                                              As the SOLIDWORKS Simulation Product Specialist at Fisher Unitech, I generally blog about tips and tricks using our analysis tools. Today’s blog covers one of the biggest engineering crimes that I witness these days: Trying to make your engineering problem fit the tools that you have, rather than using the right tool for the job.

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                                                                              • POSTED IN ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, 3D PRINTING

                                                                                3D Printing Goes for Gold at the Olympics

                                                                                by Angelle Erickson on August 16, 2016

                                                                                3D_Printing_Goes_for_Gold_at_the_Olympics

                                                                                Michael Phelps had an extra pep in his step during the 2016 Olympic Games opening ceremony in Rio de Janeiro. His Under Armour sneakers were more than just comfortable, they were 3D printed. Under Armour has incorporated additive manufacturing into its product development process along with other major brands such as Nike and Adidas.

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                                                                                • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING MATERIALS, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, 3D PRINTING

                                                                                  FDM Additive Manufacturing and its Impact on the Automotive Industry

                                                                                  by Rob Stipek on August 15, 2016
                                                                                  The automotive industry is a very competitive market to be in. OEMs and Suppliers alike are constantly trying to better develop processes that increase production, productivity, and innovation while at the same time reducing cost and waste. One of the increasingly vital tools that automakers are coming to rely on is Additive Manufacturing, specifically Fused Deposition Modeling.
                                                                                   
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                                                                                  • POSTED IN POLYJET, FUSED DEPOSITION MODELING (FDM), ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, 3D PRINTING

                                                                                    FDM and Polyjet Additive Manufacturing for Production Parts

                                                                                    by Rob Stipek on August 8, 2016
                                                                                    fdmpoly

                                                                                    Everyone knows that additive manufacturing is great for taking a CAD design and turning it into a physical model. Prototyping and concept modeling have traditionally been where additive manufacturing has found its niche with production, design, and manufacturing engineers. Today users of professional 3D printers are taking the next steps in the evolution of the technology and finding ways to incorporate additive manufacturing into production parts. Producing end use parts with additive manufacturing technology not only dramatically reduces your production costs and delivery times, it also reduces inventory while creating new supply chain efficiencies and new business models.

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                                                                                    • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING

                                                                                      Stratasys Announces New Promotion for the Workhorse uPrint 3D Printers

                                                                                      by Rob Stipek on August 3, 2016

                                                                                      Designers and manufactures in all industries are finding that having a true professional in house 3D printer can be crucial to product development success.  World leader in 3D printing Stratasys has announced an exciting new offer for those interested in bringing on board a professional grade 3D printer. The work horse Fused Deposition Modeling 3D printers uPrint SE and uPrint SE Plus for a limited time been given a special price reduction of a 30%. These machines are ideal for organizations looking for an affordable entry point into the world of professional 3D printing.

                                                                                      uPrint SE List Price Reduction   From $13,900 to $9,900 uPrint SE list Plus Price Reduction   From $18,900 to $13,900
                                                                                      With accessibility to thermoplastic ABS materials, these machines can build parts that help engineers do everything from validating designs to creating jigs and fixtures.

                                                                                      Click here to download the uPrint spec sheet and learn more. 


                                                                                      • POSTED IN STRATASYS, POLYJET, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, 3D PRINTING

                                                                                        SUP 706 Game Changer for Polyjet 3D Printing

                                                                                        by Rob Stipek on June 29, 2016

                                                                                        SUP 706 support material is a game changer for those looking to create complex and detailed prototypes and concept models. This hands-free soluble support material promises to make the cleaning and post processing of 3D printed models, in particular those requiring intricately placed support materials, fast and easy. This material specific to Polyjet 3D printing, educes post-printing processing down to a two-step, automated soak and rinse process.soluble1

                                                                                        Business that have projects that are time sensitive are reaping the benefits of SUP706 as time consuming post processing is drastically reduced and productivity is vastly improved upon.

                                                                                        “The development of SUP706 provides a great combination of advantages for 3D printing users,” said David Tulipman, director of product management for PolyJet consumables at Stratasys. “Owners of PolyJet-based 3D printers can now print small, intricate features with greater reassurance, and clean several parts at once, enabling high volume 3D printing that’s both cost-effective and hassle-free.”

                                                                                        To learn more about SUP 706 and other 3D Printing support materials that are opening up new 3D printing application check out Fisher Unitechs upcoming webcast on the benefits of using soluble support. Click here to learn more and sign up.


                                                                                        • POSTED IN STRATASYS, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, 3D PRINTING

                                                                                          Fisher Unitech and Milacron Team Up for 3D Printing Injection Molding Event

                                                                                          by Rob Stipek on June 17, 2016
                                                                                          Last week world leading provider of 3D printing technology Fisher Unitech and world leader in injection molding machining Milacon teamed up for an event showcasing the value of using 3D printed molds for low volume production. The event which was hosted at Milacron state of the art Batavia facilities introduced attendees to how industry is realizing the value of using 3D printed molds along with an onsite demonstration of just how the process works.

                                                                                           

                                                                                          Team members from both companies ran through presentations regarding how to pick the right injection molding machine for the right applications, Polyjet technology overview, and the process in which injection molders should follow when running 3D printed molds. This event was very technical in nature with the goal of providing attendees with a solid educational base to which they can apply in their own design shops. With the great turn out and positive feedback from attendees, this is the type of event that both Fisher and Milacron hope to replicate in the coming months.  If you have any questions regarding 3D printed injection molds and polyjet technology please click here to download “Top 5 Reasons to Integrate PolyJet into YourProduct Development Lifecycle”

                                                                                          • POSTED IN FUNTECH NEWS

                                                                                            Important Announcement

                                                                                            by Angelle Erickson on June 9, 2016
                                                                                            We have an announcement to make!
                                                                                            At Fisher Unitech, we make innovation possible, so we’ve expanded our reach to assist more designers and engineers.  We’re excited to announce our acquisition of Prism Engineering Inc.
                                                                                            We are pleased to introduce...
                                                                                            Prism Engineering is the Mid-Atlantic’s leading provider of SOLIDWORKS and Mastercam. With Training and Support centers in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, Prism has a proven track record of value and satisfaction to their customers.
                                                                                            Why Prism is the perfect match
                                                                                            Together we take pride in half a century of combined experience working with product design and additive manufacturing customers. With the addition of Mastercam to the lineup, our hardware and software solutions now includes the world’s best-in-class CAM software, allowing customers to improve their productivity and advantage in the market.
                                                                                            The value of values
                                                                                            We believe strongly in our Core Values, and we have seen first-hand that Prism Engineering adheres to these same values.  Prism Engineering emphasizes the importance of their relationships, growth, work ethic, teamwork, and communication within their colleagues and their customers. Together we will strive for customer success and are excited to expand our team!

                                                                                            For further questions related to this acquisition please visit our website


                                                                                            • POSTED IN SIMULATION, SOLIDWORKS

                                                                                              Simulation Tech Tip: How can I simulate freezing water expansion?

                                                                                              by David Roccaforte on June 8, 2016

                                                                                              Now that spring is here ice is probably the last thing on your mind. Unless your designing a product where stress induced from freezing is a problem. One of my customers posed an interesting question.  How might we emulate freezing water in FEA ?

                                                                                               As you may know water expands when freezing and this can wreak havoc on any structure where water is contained or trapped.  Hence all the lovely pot holes in the spring punishing our fancy alloy wheels.

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                                                                                              • POSTED IN CAD, SOLIDWORKS

                                                                                                Why You Need To Know About Variable Pattern

                                                                                                by Jay Pinheiro on June 1, 2016
                                                                                                With the release of SOLIDWORKS 2015, Variable Pattern was added to the available pattern types. For long time users who may have attended training in the past, this addition may go unnoticed. So why is it so important and why should you add it to your repertoire? The Variable Patterns most radical enhancement was its ability to pattern Reference Geometry. Let that sink in. Yes, you can pattern planes and sketches, not just Features, Faces, and Bodies. Let me give you an example of just how powerful this is.
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                                                                                                • POSTED IN CAD, SOLIDWORKS

                                                                                                  Productivity Tools in Solidworks Simulation: 4 Part Blog

                                                                                                  by Justin Lafaive on May 31, 2016

                                                                                                  What if I told you there was a way to use tools inside Solidworks Simulation that would make you more efficient when running and/or setting up your FEA studies?  In this blog series, I will take through a wide range of tools that are primarily in Simulation Professional to help you do just that!

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                                                                                                  • POSTED IN STRATASYS, POLYJET, 3D PRINTING, UNCATEGORIZED

                                                                                                    3D Printing for the Injection Molding Process

                                                                                                    by Rob Stipek on May 26, 2016
                                                                                                    In the world of injection molding, the amount of challenges that mold makers and part designers face can be overwhelming. Factors such as weld lines, air traps, balanced fill, and sink marks are just a small handful of issues that can be incredibly detrimental to producing a really good quality plastic part. Many designers utilize different simulation tools to ensure quality, but there is no substitute for being able to hold and touch a physical part, however tooling an aluminum mold for a small volume of parts can be rather expensive and take a fair amount of time to create.  This is where many injection molders are utilizing 3D print their molds saving both time and money when producing low volume production parts and prototypes.

                                                                                                    Utilizing Polyjet 3D Printing technology to create molds can be a great option under the right circumstances. These printers use a photopolymer to layer by layer build a molds core and cavity. The mold can be put into a mud base and injected with the actual material that the end use part will be made of. By doing this mold makers can produce parts that are high quality at a fraction of the cost. Granted these molds are not as durable as tradition injection molds but for low volume production 3D printed molds can be a major cost reduction tool.


                                                                                                    • POSTED IN STRATASYS, FUSED DEPOSITION MODELING (FDM), 3D PRINTING

                                                                                                      Stratasys Announces New Acceleration Kit for Fortus 900

                                                                                                      by Rob Stipek on May 20, 2016
                                                                                                      Earlier this week Stratasys released a new acceleration kit that will get builds in their

                                                                                                      Fortus 900 machines done faster and more effectively. The top of the line Fused Deposition Modeling machine current customers are using features the T20 extruder tip, this can be upgraded to a new T40 tip which will provide customers:

                                                                                                      · The largest available slice height for FDM systems.
                                                                                                      · Throughput 2-3 times faster on average compared to T20 tip.
                                                                                                      · Plug-and-play’ solution that requires no additional hardware.

                                                                                                      900 users will need to have the latest controller (Version 3.19) and insight software (Version 10.8) updates in order to utilize the upgraded tip. The Fortus 900 delivers to its customers all the available benefits that Stratasys FDM printers have available, this new tip enables user the ability to continue producing high quality parts, but in a way that enables more control and faster build speeds.

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