Thinking about SOLIDWORKS but aren’t sure if you’re ready to bite the bullet? Need some ammunition to convince your boss to make the switch?

Check out these 5 signs SOLIDWORKS is the right solution for you:

1. Increased Productivity

Solidworks_screenshotYou might think you’re just fine doing things the old fashioned way with 2D CAD. Or, you may already be using 3D CAD software and see no reason to switch. According to a SOLIDWORKS customer survey, 95% of the companies responding reported an increase in productivity with SOLIDWORKS, and it only took them about two and a half months to see these improvements.

2. Tools That Cover The Entire Design Process

SOLIDWORKS runs the gamut with its many uses —from design and validation to technical communications and data management. SOLIDWORKS products work together to make your design process quick and seamless. You can focus on creating top-tier products, not your design tool.

3. Faster Time To Market

Getting your product to market before the competition in the name of the game for any business. The sooner it’s out there, the more market share you capture. SOLIDWORKS can get you there. More than half of customers said they got their products on store shelves faster as a result of SOLIDWORKS.

4. Easy To Use

Whether or not a product is user-friendly is a top consideration for designers. Survey respondents reported SOLIDWORKS is much easier to use than their old CAD system, and that held true whether they were coming from 2D or 3D CAD software. They also said they were more satisfied in their design work now that they were using SOLIDWORKS.

5. Bigger Profits

For the money you spend on SOLIDWORKS, you’ll see that back many times over. Third party research found significant monetary gains with SOLIDWORKS, no matter the industry or previous CAD system used. Customers report higher sales and profit margins with SOLIDWORKS.
We have more signs to come. Stay tuned! If you have a suggestion you want to see on this list, send an email and let us know.

Have questions about how to purchase SOLIDWORKS? Our Customer Service staff would be happy to help you.

You may also want to check out our free introductory trainings and summer webinars.

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Plastic packaging is a common part of everyday life: bottles – containers for foods, beverages, medicines, and more fill our pantry shelves and recycling bins.  Thin-walled and hollow plastic bottles are made on a large scale with a process called blow molding, where hot air is blasted into a precisely calibrated metal mold, and the waiting thermoplastic assumes the shape of the mold. Because of the heat and pressure inherent in the blow molding process, large-scale production requires traditionally machined metal molds. However, for short turns, the molds can actually be 3D printed using PolyJet-based 3D printing technology from Stratasys.

Plasel Precision Plastics, a worldwide provider of these types of packages, designs and engineers each type for a variety of industries and customer applications.  Recently, a Plasel customer needed to prototype a new package design to make sure it would fit with an automated conveying system.  Plasel used Stratasys 3D printing technology to create a blow mold for a run of 100 package prototypes.  Choosing 3D printing over traditional machining for these prototypes offered savings of time (90% faster) and money (94% less expensive) compared with traditional machining methods for blow molded prototypes. The 3D printed blow molds allowed this small-scale production run to happen in just two days. “Stratasys 3D printed blow molds were ideal for producing the prototypes our customer urgently needed to get their new product to market,” explained Nir Hadar, a research and development manager at Plasel.

To recap, 3D printed blow molds provide a quick process for design validation before metal molds are machined for big runs. Modifications to designs – including caps, snaps and hinges – can be easily and inexpensively made, and these prototypes can be used to check form, fit and function.

Watch the video below to learn how blow molding with PolyJet technology is used or contact us today to learn how your business may benefit from short run blow molds utilizing Stratasys 3D printing.


Note: Article content provided by Stratasys.

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A 2014 update allows SOLIDWORKS to automatically scale your sketches for you. Your initial shape is maintained, but its size grows bigger or smaller according to scale. No more nutty geometry when adding in new dimensions, yay!

Most of the time, auto-scaling helps you be much more efficient in 3D CAD, but occasionally it can cause unexpected results. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could turn this feature off temporarily?

While there’s technically no “off” button, you can outsmart it. You can bypass auto-scaling with a quick little trick. Our Video Tech Tip shows you how to manipulate SOLIDWORKS so that it works like previous versions.

Check it out.

ModernTech Tech Tip- Automatically Scaled Sketches


Want more details or information on updating your SOLIDWORKS software? Check out our Training Schedule or contact our Sales Team.

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SOLIDWORKS Graphics CardsA good graphics card can mean the difference between a so-so experience and a great experience in SOLIDWORKS. A certified graphics card helps keep your system running smoothly and your designs loading properly.

Why You Need a Good Graphics Card

It may seem like you can just grab any ol’ graphics card, but if you want your SOLIDWORKS drawings to render correctly, you’ll want to do some research.

Incorrect cards can affect your computer stability and make it prone to crashes. Gaming cards, for example, will not function properly with SOLIDWORKS. You need a card specifically made to handle engineering workflows.

Recommended Graphics Cards

First and foremost, be sure to invest in a good CPU with lots of memory. Without a good system, a high-end graphics card is useless. Once you’ve found the right one, then you can look for a corresponding graphics card.

There’s no “one size fits all” when it comes to graphic cards. It really depends on why you’re using SOLIDWORKS. Whether you do simple or complex modeling, the most important feature is a workstation-card that supports Open GL.

Here are two recommended product lines to get you started on your research:

  1. NVIDIA Quadro
  2. AMD FirePro

Both of these product lines range from basic varieties all the way up to high-performance cards.

SOLIDWORKS Graphics Card Testing

Find the right grapics card for your systemIf you don’t have the time to the research or a willing intern to pass it off on, try out SOLIDWORKS’ graphics card testing page.

Think of it as an eHarmony for graphics card but much more accurate. All you have to do is use the dropdown menu to find your computer model, card type and SOLIDWORKS version. It will let you know if it’s a match.

We’re Here to Help

If you still aren’t sure what graphics card is right for your system, contact our Tech Support team for help. You can also get great advice from our Sales Team.

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There are a multitude of ways to get practice with SOLIDWORKS. In addition to webinars, intro trainings and seminars offered by ModernTech, you can find tons of resources online at MySolidWorks.

Free Resources and Downloads

My.SolidWorksMySolidWorks is your personal portal for all things SOLIDWORKS. It’s a great place to mine for knowledge. You can browse blogs, forums, industry news, videos and more, all in one place with a single login. Imagine how smart you’ll sound when you throw out a new SOLIDWORKS technique in your team meeting.

MySolidWorks is home to thousands of SOLIDWORKS users. If you find yourself in a design conundrum, you have the expertise of the SOLIDWORKS Community at your fingertips. Someone may offer you a solution you never thought of. Or, you may even have an answer to another poster’s question.

With your good deed for the day done, you can do a little something for yourself.  Free models are available for download via 3D ContentCentral to jumpstart your next design. Thumbs up for saving time!

MySolidWorks Learning

MySolidWorks LearningNew to the site this year is MySolidWorks Learning. These online modules are great supplements to ModernTech instructor-led trainings.

These short lessons typically contain a video presentation, followed by a hands-on exercise to practice what you’ve learned. You can pick and choose individual lessons or follow along to specialized learning paths.

The best part is, you can do it when it’s convenient for you. Maybe you have a long commute to work. Just pull out your smart phone or tablet and do a lesson. Or maybe you have some time during your lunch break. Pop over to your computer and log in. If you don’t finish, MySolidWorks will save your work so you can pick up where you left off later.

Preview a Lesson

MySolidWorks is constantly evolving, so keep an eye out for new updates.

MySolidWorks and ModernTech Go Hand-In-Hand

The lessons are about 6 minutes each and only give a brief overview of the problem. If you’re looking for a more in-depth SOLIDWORKS training, our training solutions may work best for you. Our certified Application Engineers know SOLIDWORKS inside out and would be happy to help.

Check out our training schedule or call us for trainings in your area.

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Arcs 1Drawing lines in SOLIDWORKS is a no-brainer, but objects are made of more than just straight edges. There are a few simple tricks to create curves and rounded planes in your models.

SOLIDWORKS can automatically connect straight lines with an arc with only a few clicks. You can create a tangent or normal arc. Then, you can add dimensions to that arc. You can see how it’s done in this Video Tech Tip.

If you have trouble seeing the video, click here.

Our SOLIDWORKS Certified Professionals would be happy to give you a more detailed explanation of arc dimensioning. You can check out our training schedule for sessions in your area.

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With 3D printing, the possibilities are endless.  ModernTech offers both PolyJet and FDM technologies and can print in a wide range of materials, making it possible to match nearly any application you need such as transparency, high-strength, high-temperature resistance, flexibility, and more.

ModernTech uses only state-of-the-art equipment and the latest technologies to provide customers with top quality, precision prototypes – fast.  And to make things convenient, we offer free online quotes.

Watch our video below to learn what our Rapid Prototyping Team can do for you.

Ready to print now? Request a Free Quote, Email us or call our RP Services Team at 877.553.9001.

 

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REP_SW_Q2SalesPromo_Upgrade_240x240SOLIDWORKS has announced an incredible deal on their software. Until June 15, you can get a free upgrade to the next level of SOLIDWORKS when you buy SOLIDWORKS and Subscription service.

With a more advanced SOLIDWORKS license, you’ll have expanded capabilities that provide more insights into your designs, increase your productivity and extend the value of your 3D models.

If you are planning to update your SOLIDWORKS software anytime in the near future, now is the time. Check out this chart to see how much you could save:

Q2 PromoReady to take advantage of more SOLIDWORKS features? Contact our sales team to find out how you can upgrade instantly! This offer cannot be combined with any other discount.

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Nearly all products and parts go through inspections for quality, adherence to safety regulations and other requirements. While necessary, it can be tedious and time consuming. You could easily spend hours every day putting together inspection documents.

SW InspectoinSOLIDWORKS Inspection can reduce the time spent on this process by as much as 90 percent. It is a First Article Inspection (FAI) and in-process inspection software that uses existing CAD data, PDF or TIFF files create industry standard reports and inspection documents (i.e. AS9102, PPAP, etc.).

This software, available as a SOLIDWORKS add-in or standalone application, automates the document development process to prevent transcription errors from manual data entry. Using optical character recognition (OCR) technology, it reads hundreds of characteristics, dimensions, tolerances and notes typically entered by hand.
SOLIDWORKS Inspection also monitors for revisions to prevent quality inspection staff from redoing their work when a design is changed. Ballooned drawings and reports can be published as XLS or PDF files that can be opened independently of SOLIDWORKS.

Check out this First Look video via SOLIDWORKS or check out our Inspection page.

SW Inspection First Look

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The manufacturing industry relies heavily on jigs and fixtures to maintain quality and production efficiency. They are used to position, hold, protect, and organize components and assemblies. These tools are virtually invisible when production is running smoothly, but their importance becomes very evident when problems arise.

Jigs and fixtures are most commonly fabricated from metal, wood or plastic in quantities of 1 – 100+ using a manual or semi-automated process. On average, each tool takes between one and four weeks to design and build. However, Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) provides a fast and accurate method of producing jigs and fixtures. By using FDM, the traditional fabrication process is substantially simplified.

FDM jigs and fixtures are made from tough and durable thermoplastics that can withstand the rugged manufacturing environment. With several bio-compatible options, they are also ideal for use in medical applications.

Many of our customers who have purchased 3D printers for prototyping are learning how effective it can be for printing jigs and fixtures. One such company is Oreck Manufacturing. For each series of vacuums that Oreck makes, it produces 40 – 50 assembly fixtures, making assembly line changes expensive and time- consuming. By using 3D printing in lieu of traditional machining methods, Oreck has reported significant benefits such as:

- Reduced fixture production costs of 65%
- Reduced fixture production time from 30 days to 1 day
- Reduced labor costs – typical direct labor of only 15 minutes per fixture

Watch the video below to learn how Oreck uses FDM 3D printing in their manufacturing process.

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