What can you do in two minutes? Maybe grab a cup of coffee or respond to a client email? Or, you could learn a new technique to help you build better models in SOLIDWORKS.

Changing the view orientation of your 3D drawings is simple. With just a few clicks, you can manipulate your model to show various angles and depths.

Check out the step-by-step instructions in the video below.

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Stratasys recently announced a new PolyJet 3D printing material to its lineup – Endur. Endur has the chemical characteristics and composition to give models and prototypes a polypropylene-like look and functionality, much like the characteristics of standard plastics.

In the video below, Boaz Jacobi, Product Marketing Manager at Stratasys, talks about the capabilities of Endur and examines some applicative models that look and behave like polypropylene in terms of flexibility, strength and toughness.

As a durable and flexible addition to Stratasys’ growing materials portfolio, Endur offers both high impact resistance and elongation at break, resulting in tough parts. The material also has a heat-deflection temperature up to 129°F / 54°C, has excellent dimensional stability, and it comes in a bright white color.

Endur is ideal for:

Snap-fit closures – Endur delivers good impact resistance and dimensional stability for reliably snug lids, buckles and caps.

Packaging – Endur’s smooth surface finish and bright white color are perfect for consumer product packaging and white appliance models.

Living hinges – Increased durability and flexural strength makes Endur a great fit for thin, flexible hinges that can withstand functional testing.

Endur is now available for use with all Objet30 Pro, Objet EdenV Series, and Objet Connex Family 3D printers.

Get the Endur Spec Sheet.

Get the PolyJet Materials Data Sheet.

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Nowadays, it’s not hard to find a college student or recent graduate with SOLIDWORKS experience. That’s no surprise. But what is surprising to most members of industry, both rookie and veteran, is just how young some students are when they make their first sketch, create their first extrude and finish their first part using SOLIDWORKS.

No, I’m not talking college students here–I’m talking about High School, and even kids as early as 9 years old. So why are these future designers and engineers even using SOLIDWORKS?

This can be credited to many dedicated teachers and mentors involved with programs like FIRST. FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is an organization that helps to inspire our future designers and engineers to pursue careers in Science, Engineering and Technology. They are most known for the high school FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC), however, there are many other competitions for children starting as early as age 6.

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of serving as a judge for the 2014 South Florida Regional. Never before was I surrounded by so many bright young minds who were so inspired and enthusiastic about Science and Engineering.

So how does SOLIDWORKS fit in to all of this? The main goal of this post is to share all of the resources that SOLIDWORKS makes available to students, teachers, and mentors involved with FIRST and countless other programs. The most important thing to note is that every student participating in FIRST and many other student design contests can have their very own license of SOLIDWORKS. Just follow this link and every single team member can get her or his own license of SOLIDWORKS.

For each competition, an FRC team is given a Kit of Parts (KOP). SOLIDWORKS posts SOLIDWORKS models of this KOP, which is made available to every FRC team. The KOP can be downloaded here.

But it doesn’t stop there. Through the SOLIDWORKS Customer Portal, you can find full curriculum and lessons plans for not just FIRST but SAE as well as many other student projects.

Oh and did I mention that you can download a SOLIDWORKS model for the entire FRC playing field? Check out 3D Content Central to get these files.

The resources and content is out there and readily available. Ask ModernTech for these files and you can help to inspire a student to pursue a career in STEM, create an award winning first place robot or give a student their very own seat of SOLIDWORKS.

Written by Stephen Petrock. Stephen is an Elite Application Engineer and Technical Content Manager working for ModernTech out of their Fort Lauderdale office. He is a regular contributor to the SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog, an avid support of FIRST as well as an obnoxiously enthusiastic advocate for STEM.

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Microsoft will end active support for Windows XP on April 8. SolidWorks customers using Windows XP users will no longer receive security updates, support or hot fixes, putting systems at risk for malicious software and compliance problems.

More than 40 percent of ModernTech’s support requests are due to an unrecoverable computer crash. We recommend SolidWorks users upgrade to Windows 8 to keep your system secure and running smoothly.

Customers running an out-of-date version of SolidWorks may face compatibility issues after the upgrade. Our Subscription Service ensures you have the latest SolidWorks software and service packs. Call us at 877.553.9001 or email us to get set up.

For those using an older version of 2D CAD and not ready to invest in a system upgrade, consider DraftSight. DraftSight is an open-source professional tool for your DWG files. It is available as a free download through Dassault Systemes.

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ModernTech is a proud Cobalt sponsor of the Hardin Valley Academy FIRST Team 3824 “RoHAWKtics”.  Located in Knoxville, Tennessee, Hardin Valley Academy’s team designs and develops functional robots to compete in FIRST® Robotics Competitions.

For more information on the RoHAWKtics team, visit their website or watch this video.

What is FIRST® Robotics? According to the RoHAWKtics Team

The FIRST® Robotics Competition stages short games played by robots. A team of high school students and engineers-mentors design, build, and program a robot from a common set of parts. The remote-controlled robots compete in rounds, the rules of which change yearly. Teams form in the fall, receiving the competition criteria at the annual FIRST Robotics Competition Kickoff in early January. The six-week “build” period commences and is capped off by regional competitions in March and April. Attended by thousands of fans, these three-day events are typically held in university settings and consist of anywhere from forty to seventy teams. Referees oversee the competition while judges evaluate teams and bestow awards for design, technology, sportsmanship and commitment to FIRST. The Chairman’s Award is FIRST’s highest honor, recognizing a team that exemplifies the values of the organization, such as teamwork, self-confidence, communication, and leadership. A national competition is held at a later date.

The intense six-week “build” period for the Hardin Valley Robotics team is spent constructing the most efficient robot. From this experience, the students learn to work collaboratively, experience real world application of classroom curriculum and develop invaluable problem solving skills. The partnership with the mentors allows students to explore career opportunities while establishing lasting contacts with engineers in the community.

The HVA Robotics team was established in 2011. Although robotics is typically associated with STEM disciplines, HVA’s team includes students not only from the STEM academy, but from a variety of other academic interests, derived through Hardin Valley’s academy-based system. Students from Business, Law and Public Affairs as well as Liberal Arts handle marketing, communications and advertising for the team. Even Health Science students can contribute by sharing their understanding of human anatomy and physiology so that the team can translate that into robotic design.

Since the inaugural RoHAWKtics team in 2011, they have competed at the regional and national levels, and have won a rookie all-star award. They have also begun a partnership with Oak Ridge National Laboratory and have had the opportunity to work at their Manufacturing Demonstration Facility. This has given them the unique ability to use many different types of machinery including 3D printers and have large open spaces for trial runs and other activities. They have since chosen to offer the use of this facility to all other FIRST teams.

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Bo-Dyn bobsled designers worked directly with ModernTech Application Engineers for SolidWorks training that provided them with the technical design skills they needed to produce a winning Olympic sled. The ModernTech team is thrilled to have been a part of this incredible bobsled journey and can’t wait to see the upcoming race!

The Bo-Dyn team utilized SolidWorks CAD to model the behavior of the sled on the track and it saved the company numerous iterations in the design process. Working with the athletes, Bo-Dyn Bobsled customized the sled design to make it perfect for steering and control, which has led to numerous wins for the four-person bobsled team.

Watch the personal interview with the Night Train bobsled team below and read our press release.

Best of luck to the Night Train team at the upcoming 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia!

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The NEW Objet500 Connex3 is the only 3D printer for color and advanced multi-material combinations!

With its ability to combine vivid color and multiple materials, the Objet500 Connex3 is the only 3D printer that empowers you to simulate the precise look, feel and function of finished products. And with a wide range of advanced material options and dozens of composites, your designs will come to life as realistic models earlier in the design process.

Check out the video below and visit our Connex3 page to learn more about this exciting new 3D printer just announced this week at SolidWorks World 2014.

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Stratasys brings exciting news for the world of FDM Technology — a new material called Nylon 12.  FDM Nylon 12 works on Fortus 900mc, Fortus 400mc and Fortus 360mc 3D Production Systems.

Nylon 12 parts built on a Fortus 3D Production System are the toughest in the industry, exhibiting 100-300 percent better elongation at break and superior fatigue resistance over any other additive manufacturing technology. Nylon offers the best Z-axis lamination and highest impact strength of any FDM thermoplastic, as well as excellent chemical resistance.

End-use parts created in Nylon 12 are highly durable and are able to withstand high vibration and repetitive stresses.

Check out this video of Fred Fischer, Director of Materials and Applications for Stratasys, as he puts Nylon 12 through its paces.

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3D printing technologies date back to the 1970s but are now widely adopted because of advancements in 3D modeling and printing methods, innovative print materials, and availability of low-cost printers.

We invite you to view the Basics of the 3D Printing Revolution whitepaper, which discusses the uses of 3D printing, as well as the different technologies and materials available.

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Mojo now offers more choices than ever, allowing you to print models faster – in color – while saving money by reducing the amount of materials needed. Mojo is affordable and fast, and prints finely resolved models in nine colors (ivory, white, olive green, yellow, nectarine, blue, red, steel gray, and black). This little powerhouse is the most compact, accessible way to get professional desktop 3D printing. It’s easy to use, fits right in your cubicle, and will reinvent how you design and create.

Learn more about this 3D printer by visiting the Mojo 3D Printer page.

Mojo Desktop 3D Printer

Mojo Desktop 3D Printer

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