SW 2009 – First Impressions

Posted on January 14th, 2009. Posted In Software Review

As I mentioned in a post last week, I finally have SolidWorks 2009 on my desktop. Unfortunately, the project I’ve been working on all these months just got shelved, so I was only able to mess around with the files a little before we archived. However, they’re firing up another project and, it would appear, they’re going to keep me around. This will provide me the opportunity to create a similar project, mostly from scratch, in 2009.

My first impression of 2009? Not too bad, but it’s a first impression with limited use. The install went smoothly, I haven’t had any template issues and nothing seems too amiss. I am developing a love/hate relationship with the dynamic sketch dimensioning. First, it didn’t appear to work. Then I realized you had to tick the ‘Keep Dimensions’ box. Ok, no worries there, though not overly intuitive. However, between the dimensions and auto-relations, I keep getting sketches that are over-defined. I’m hoping it’s just because I’m being an idiot and not one of those new features that are only half done. Time will tell.

Creating a sheet metal part from a solid is pretty slick. I created a semi-complex part and SolidWorks gave me a sheet metal part in no time. I’ve always been a proponent creating sheet metal parts as sheet metal from the get-go. With this new functionality, I could definitely see myself changing my stance. Again, time will tell.

While I opened up the "old" project’s drawings in ’09, and they did open faster, I really haven’t gotten into any of the new functionality available. That will come in a few weeks when we start producing the drawings for the new project.

Currently, I’d give SolidWorks 2009 a ‘B-‘. I haven’t experienced any of the issues I’ve seen reported elsewhere but, aside from the sheet metal improvement, I haven’t seen anything Earth shaking either. The sad thing is I’ll be at SolidWorks World in just a few weeks and on the last day we’ll see a preview of SolidWorks 2010 which will only wet my appetite for all the new functionality.

Time will tell.

Finally, 2009 is loaded!

Posted on January 9th, 2009. Posted In Software Review,SolidWorks Community

I’ve been waiting since it was released to get my hands on SolidWorks 2009. Yesterday, the waiting was over. I’d gone back to my apartment for the day when I got a call from the boss-man informing me that IT wanted to load it and could I come back in. 6 minutes later, I was at the office with the 2009 DVD in my hands. Because I’m testing it, before full release, I created a separate install folder and the install went flawlessly.

I waited until this morning to start playing with it. So far, it’s only locked up once which is a HUGE improvement, compared with all the problems I’ve had with ’08. I’m slowly going through and seeing how the various sub-assemblies, main assembly and drawings react. I’m truly hoping that the performance improvements that have been reported hold true. With all the performance/stability issues I’ve had in ’08, even a 25% improvement would be welcomed.

Stay tuned. As I go through things, I’ll keep you all posted.

FYI – The assembly stats are:

total number of components: 5060
total number of bodies: 11,689

The main assembly file is sitting around 50+MB. The various drawing files range in size from 3.5MB to 40+MB. I’m especially interested to see how ’09 handles the larger drawings, once I’ve converted everything.

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