PhotoView 360 Powered by HamachiIn every major release of SOLIDWORKS you will find hundreds of enhancements that will help boost your productivity and performance. Some of these performance gains happen behind the scenes without you even noticing, while others may require you know a trick or two to take full advantage of their capabilities. So here’s a trick that you can use to create photorealistic images in fractions of the time by using a free piece of software to create your very own render farm.

One of my favorite performance enhancers came in 2013 with the addition of the Network render functionality to PhotoView360. This tool offers subscription customers a way to dramatically cut down the time it takes to render an image or animation with PhotoView360 by combining the processing power of other computers on your network to share the rendering render

But herein lies the problem- you are limited to the machines on your network. What if you’re a one man with a one machine operation? What if your office’s machines aren’t nearly as powerful as the ones your four best friends from college have?  If you want to take advantage of computer horse power that isn’t necessarily on your network, you can turn to Hamachi for help.

Hamachi is a free VPN softwhamachiare from LogMeIn that enables you to easily create your own LAN-like network. With the free version of Hamachi you can connect up to five machines to your network. However, there are paid versions which allow you to connect up to 256 machines. Coupling Hamachi with the PhotoView 360 enables you to very quickly set up your very own render farm, giving you brilliant photorealistic images or animations in fractions of the time.

The steps to get this up and running are very simple. There are two players involved, the coordinator and the client. Think of the coordinator as the quarterback of the operation. The coordinator machine needs to be running SolidWorks Professional 2013 or later, with the PhotView 360 add-in turned on. This is the only machine that needs to have SOLIDWORKS installed. All of the other machines- the clients, need just the PhotoView 360 Net Render Client which is less than 50mb in size.


With these pieces of software in place, you’re now ready to get to rendering! The client machines need to be made available for network rendering by pressing the “Enter Client Mode Now” button. In the PhotoView 360 options on the coordinator machine, be sure to check the box for “Network Rendering” to use the available render clients.2014-07-26_18-08-58



Just press final render and get your photorealistic image quicker than ever before.

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Choosing a SOLIDWORKS package depends on many factors. Regardless of which you choose, SOLIDWORKS will help streamline your workflow and get your work done faster.

SOLIDWORKS PackagesThere are three basic levels of SOLIDWORKS: Standard, Professional and Premium. Below is a brief overview of each. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it should give you a better idea of the differences.


SOLIDWORKS Standard is the right fit for 3D CAD newbies or individuals using SOLIDWORKS for limited purposes. It works exactly like Professional and Premium, just with fewer advanced features. But that doesn’t mean it’s not powerful. SOLIDWORKS Standard includes FEA capability, animations and parts analysis, just as a few examples.

SOLIDWORKS Professional

SOLIDWORKS Professional is made for the serious designer and includes a host of robust features. It boasts photo-realistic rendering capabilities and eDrawings Professional, which is great for sharing your files with non-SOLIDWORKS users. This suite also includes a standard parts library, file management tools and SOLIDWORKS Costing for cost estimates.


SOLIDWORKS Premium is the most comprehensive SOLIDWORKS package we offer, building on the capabilities of Standard and Professional. In addition to the features mentioned above, it offers complete support for advanced 3D CAD design. You can perform static, stress and motion analysis on assemblies (not just parts), tooling and harnessing. If you use ECAD software, SOLIDWORKS Premium interfaces with CircuitWorks for easy electrical design.

For a more in-depth overview of all the differences, check out SOLIDWORKS’ 3D CAD Matrix or view this video.

When deciding to upgrade, think about what you plan to use SOLIDWORKS for and how often you’ll use the software. If you’re still unsure, our expert Sales Team can help. They know all the ins and outs of SOLIDWORKS and can recommend a package that’s right for you.

Contact Sales at 1.877.553.9001 or email us.

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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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