SolidWorks 2014 Delighters

Posted on October 17th, 2013. Posted In Software Review

No, that’s not a typo, it’s a term that I heard someone at SolidWorks use a couple of years ago and I decided to use it because I think it’s the perfect descriptor for the things I’m going to be talking about in this post. My favorite ‘delighters’, the things in SolidWorks 2014 that make me smile wide.

First, I want to acknowledge Tom Spine and his team for their work in making this version of SolidWorks more friendly towards those of us who happen to be color blind. Just a bit of proof that they do listen, as I’ve been bitching about color signals for a few years now. Sadly, I just don’t know what Jeremy and I are going to banter about now. Though depending on the outcome of the ALCS, we might not ever speak again…I digress.

Next up, the simple little change they made to the ‘Width’ mate. In the past, with the Width mate activated, you’d have to choose two faces of the first part, move your cursor over to the second selection box to activate it, then back out to the second part to select its faces. Not anymore, my friend, not anymore! Now, after selecting your first two face, the second selection box is automatically activated. This one is so awesome. Now I just need to break the habit of moving my cursor to select the second box…

(This part may be a bit NSFW…)┬áLet’s talk about mating, shall we? SolidWorks has had the context toolbar for a few years now, which has been especially great in the part and sketch environment. Now, you can use that same magical toolbar to apply standard mates when in an assembly. Can you say time saver? They also added slot mates. You can now mate pins and slots, shafts and slots or even slot and slot. Hell, you can mate slot-to-slot-to-slot for you “adventurous” types.

While they made a bunch of changes in the drawing environment, my favorite is the ability to automatically find virtual sharps. So rather than having to remember to selecting two lines that intersect, and then click on the sketch point tool, all you need to do is right-click the sketch entity, select ‘Find Intersection’ then complete the dimension. Quite nice, no?

So there’s a ton more changes that are in SolidWorks 2014, but these are my favorite changes and this is my blog. If you want to get more, in-depth, info, cruise on over to Dan Herzberg’s blog. He’s got a multi-part series going on a whole slew of the changes.

I’m already leaning on the powers-that-be at work to get 2014 installed at work ASAP. I’ve been messing with it at home a bit, but not to the extent that I will be now.




  • Tom Spine

    Thanks for the kind words, Jeff. Put a big smile on my face. But I want to pass the color work credit to Chinloo Lama and John Ross in my team — they did all the real work, I just pointed the direction.

    — Tom Spine, SolidWorks User Experience

    • JeffMirisola

      They were well deserved words. I really do appreciate you guys listening, and acting upon what you heard.

  • Quintin

    The new sheet metal functionality is also a real winner! The bend lines in the lofts, the corner treatments and the swept flange with the conical hold line!