2011 – Saving the Planet

Posted on September 8th, 2010. Posted In Software Review,SolidWorks Community

Asheen Phansey, the PM for SolidWorks Sustainability, came up to show us Sustainability. “Show” isn’t really the right word. Asheen is so passionate about sustainability, I felt guilty for not recycling the gum I chewed earlier in the day.

Here’s the deal for me, though: I get sustainability. I recycle, I try to minimize waste. Basically, I do my part as best I can. However, I’m an individual who has that freedom. The same would hold true, probably, in smaller companies. Once you get into large corporations, multi-nationals, etc., then you’re screwed without buy-in from the people that control the bottom line. SolidWorks has provided excellent tools so that you can see just what kind of impact your design will have, but it’s all for naught if the check-writers don’t care. Asheen and I talked about this a bit, and he agreed. He, however, is a force to be reckoned with and I don’t envy any corporate bean counter that comes up against him.

As for sustainability within SolidWorks, the jury is out for me. I’m going to try to incorporate using it in my current design, so we’ll see what happens.

Admittedly, Simulation isn’t my cup of tea. I use it minimally, but leave the hardcore stuff up to those that know. However, I am learning more about it. I may even take the exam some day…maybe.

Stephen Ensby, the Simulation Product Manager, was quite happy about the changes they’ve made to Simulation. Their thought was ‘the least amount of work for the most benefit’. To me, this sounds basically synonymous with ‘work smart, not hard’, a saying that I’m quite fond of. As I mentioned, Simulation isn’t my strongest facet when it comes to SolidWorks, but I don’t want to leave out what’s been changed. The last thing I need to do is aggravate the Simulation team. I may need them in the near future.

Stephen touch upon a number of improvements:

  • Revamped Solvers
  • Multi-threading, i.e. better usage of multiple cores.
  • Enhanced UI
  • Faster Meshing
  • Better Reports
  • Planar Simplification

I don’t have much of an opinion on any of this. I just haven’t used Simulation enough to know if these are good things, great things or what. Ah, hell, I think it’s all great. Let the fanboy comments start.

2011 Part II – No more shiny stuff

Posted on September 6th, 2010. Posted In Software Review

That’s what customers are saying, according to Shaun Murphy, no more bells and whistles. What does that mean for the development folks at SolidWorks? It means they’re going back into the code to make it better, more robust. To that end, a major focus for the 2011 release was lowering the memory footprint.

We’ve all been kicked in the ass by the memory foot. I can’t imagine that there are many who haven’t received the ‘low resource’ error message. Shaun says that the internal memory management has been improved so that we won’t be subject to that message nearly as often. One thing for everyone to remember here is that SolidWorks is a Windows based software, so it is, therefore, subject to the follies of Windows. This means that there will still be memory usage similar to what you see in MS Office. The longer it’s open, the more resources get used. 2011 is going to lengthen the amount of time you need between restarts. Yup, that’s a good thing. Really, how can you complain about that? For years, people have been screaming for this, so if anyone complains, I’ll be sending Josh your way to headbutt you.

Another improvement they made was holding 2011 SP0 to the stability and performance of 2010 SP4.0. While there will be those who cringe at the thought, but I’m happy with it. I’ve been an early adopter for years, anyway. The fact that I have less to worry about just makes me happier, and, contrary to popular beliefs, I like to be happy.

I was one of the lucky ones to be flown to Concord, put up in a hotel and fattened up on some great food last week. So much for the diet I’ve been so strictly sticking to. Although, being able to go home, see family and friends, enjoy a few cups of Dunkins and get to hang out with the peeps at SolidWorks makes falling off the diet wagon worth it. (Yes, Mr. FTC man, SolidWorks did pay for my airfare, hotel and some meals).

Where do I begin? I know that you’ve heard about all the good stuff already. Ricky has posted about them. Matt has been posting almost non-stop. Matt Lombard, Gabi, Jason and Brian are all in on it, too. What could I possibly add to the mix? How about just my opinions on all that I saw and heard? After all, who doesn’t want to hear my opinion?

In an effort to do everyone justice, I’ll be breaking this up into a few posts. I’m sure that most of you are like me, all it takes is for one shiny thing to totally

Page 1 of 11