SolidWorks handles all the basic solid modeling and drafting functions with which most mechanical engineers are familiar. These core functions are briefly listed later in Table I. Additionally, SolidWorks Premium (highest-level) package impart advantageous abilities, including:
1. Routing: The routing package allows mechanical engineers to integrate even more closely with electrical engineers. This ability is crucial for a company which works on products that are a strong mix of mechanical and electrical.
2. Presentation/Communication: There are several features of SolidWorks that allow us to quickly and powerfully convey design visions to customers, vendors and project administrators with both technical and non-technical backgrounds. These capabilities include creating photo-realistic product images, animations and the rapid establishment of web sites that allow any user to manipulate parts and assemblies in 3D. These abilities greatly facilitate the development of well communicated assembly instructions, users manuals (text, images and videos), accident reconstruction and product action videos. To view examples from our piston design study, click the links below:
Web Site with a Piston Assembly. (This link is currently expired. Check back soon.)
Photo-Realistic Rendering of a Piston Head (and rendering of a vehicle suspension assembly, also shown below.)
|3D Part Modeling||Create parts with multiple configurations (see Figure 1 for a sectioned piston assembly).|
|Complex Surface Development||Improve the aesthetics and ergonomics of product designs by generating advanced shapes, complex surfaces.|
|Assembly Modeling||Assemble parts together digitally with multiple configurations.|
|Assembly Explosions & Component Numbering||Exploded views of assemblies are developed with part numbers linked to the bill of materials. (See Figure 2 below from our modern piston design study.)|
|Clearance Analysis||Analyze components for interference and ensure the proper clearances.|
|2D Drafting||Drawings prepared to ANSI or ISO standards.|
|Geometric Dimensioning/Tolerancing||The costs of tighter tolerances are balancing against the need for quality. The worst case scenarios based upon geometric dimensioning and positional tolerancing are closely examined.|
|Development of Bill of Materials (BOM)||Development of bill of materials (BOM) in Excel spreadsheets and also on the drawings. We can use these BOMs to develop cost analysis and target prices.|
Often products are designed to meet "worst case scenarios" may not be the best designs for their real life environments. optimization gets much closer to products that performing the best and are most profitable.
|Sheet Metal Parts Creation||Sheet metal parts are created in multiple states (from the initial flat blank to completely folded and contoured.|
|Molded Parts Creation and Analysis||Identify draft and undercut problems. Establish parting lines and surfaces in order to quickly and easily extract any core, cavity, and side core geometry so machining can begin. Understand if your plastic part design can be manufactured in an injection molding process based upon thermal and fluid flow considerations.|
|3D File Output to Rapid Prototypers and Manufacturers||Output of multiple file types to satisfy any manufacture.|
Figure 1: A sectioned view of a model piston assembly, from our piston design study.
Figure 2: An exploded view of a model piston assembly.