So letâ€™s start from the top.
NURB: I just installed 2009 to discover that, yet again, SolidWorks has failed to make any major changes to the Drawings module. Sure, they added the QuickView function so I can preview sheets without clicking on them (which is insanely annoying), but no other major upgrades were done to the usability of the program. How is it that Solidworks can be so popular with so many industries, and yet be so terrible at drawing creation? My clients don’t want to look at eDrawings on their screens, they want things on paper, and it needs to look professional. Professional (i.e. some design thought put into the page layout) looking drawings are possible with SW, but it takes about 10 times longer to do it than it would in Illustrator.
NURB, did you ever take the specific 1 day training course for Drawings? I only ask because like any other program Solidworks is HUGE. Not saying that you donâ€™t know whatâ€™s doing in the program, but there are certain areas that you may make you life a little easier if you knew what was available.
You say that the customer/end user wonâ€™t accept eDrawings or maybe even Adobe 3D PDF, and I ask why? (this could lead to a much larger discussion, but itâ€™s worth touching upon) In todayâ€™s world the â€œneedâ€ for 2D is starting to become less and less. Not saying that it going to go away, but when you start to look at â€œwhere things go wrongâ€ itâ€™s usually in the interpretation/translation phase. From what the designer/engineer came up with and how the manufacturing aspect understands it. With manufacturing machines understanding the 3D data that is made in the computer, the chances of â€œthings going wrongâ€ are 100 fold less likely to happen.
One of my biggest peeves is a company that chooses not to â€œmove forwardâ€ because of some archaic and/or outdated system. No one thinks a second thought when it comes to sending an email. If a company asked you to send a fax as a way to communicate back and forth over a 10-15 times with 10 different people because they â€œthatâ€™s what they wantâ€, youâ€™d grow a second head because we can all look at that as just something thatâ€™s not done anymore. (Sorry, didnâ€™t me to go off on too far a tangent. As you can tell this is a HUGE issue with some of the companies that I work with. And we had to push HARD to get them on eDrawings, but now they wonâ€™t take anything else)
â€œTables are insanely cumbersome, if you have a large complex assembly your performance is slowed substantially,â€
For the Tables, do you have your own BOMâ€™s tables already set up as a template? AFA Assembly performance goes, itâ€™s possible to have a cray computer and bring that to a halt if one models â€œhoweverâ€ one wants. Meaning, and not knowing what kind of assemblies you have. Once again, that Advanced Assembly course has a lot of info in regards to how to better manage Assemblies. More than just outside of large assembly mode, there is also â€œQuick Viewâ€ and â€œSpeed Pakâ€. But things to always take into considerationâ€¦. having tons of external references (Top Down Assembly), patterns, and/or helixes can all lead to poor assembly performance. Keep in mind Win XP 32bit canâ€™t use more than 3gigs of RAM.
VanDeBar: â€œit is simply impossible to snap your dimension correctly on an organic surfaceâ€.
So letâ€™s take that at face value. The dimension tool should just be able to touch anywhere on a face, and add a dimension to it? How? Where? The program is acting as it should. I know that this may seem like me just defending the program, but I ask, in what program can you just â€œaddâ€ a dimension anywhere on a surface. I am truly asking what the solution would be. If you use the â€œcurvatureâ€ display and mouse over a surface you will see a dynamic change of the curvature value. This might be a start, but even if itâ€™s not a parametric dimension that is needed, it seems that without knowing â€œwhereâ€ the witness line is going â€œtoâ€ then itâ€™s all for not.
mas2: There is also no way to easily get standard settings to work across a range of computers so that there is some consistency between them. Everything seems so awkward to work in and there is no “layers” to easily move between when you want other stuff in front.
In a team environment, the Solidworks templates can be located on a server. If everyone is pointing to that location then all is well. If there is a company wide change, it changes for everyone. Out of the box the standard templates are pretty vanilla flavor and it takes someone going in and customizing it to your company. Once that is done, everyone will be on the same page. As far as layers go, there is a layers tool bar that you can have whatever items you want to be on whatever layer is needed. Sometimes, though people want SW drawings to act like ACAD drawings and they really arenâ€™t the same thing.
MasterBlaster: If your Spline has too many points, I would point you to Matt Lombardâ€™s posts on Splines specifically. In general â€œLess pointsâ€ are better when it comes to splines. dezignstuff.com/blog/