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SolidWorks 2009: What’s New - Fundamentals

I was finally able to download and install the new SolidWorks 2009 Beta. It took a few hours to get up and running. When the program opens up, it looks the same as SolidWorks 2008. And just like its predecessor, when you open an existing file, the file has to be converted to SolidWorks 2009. Once it is saved, the file can no longer be opened in any previous version of SolidWorks. For now, I didn’t worry about converting all of my files, since I am only testing out the new release. Since it takes longer to open up a file for the first time, you might want to consider using the SolidWorks Task Scheduler to batch convert your files to SolidWorks 2009.

Another thing that I noticed was that SolidWorks Corp. has updated all of their product names to include the SolidWorks® name. PDMWorks Workgroup and COSMOS, for example, have been changed to SolidWorks® Workgroup PDM and SolidWorks® Simulation. The main SolidWorks product tier has also dropped the Office in their names.

After opening a new Part document, I can tell that the CommandManager tabs have a little larger font size than I am used to.

CommandManager tabs have a little larger font size than I am used to.

Looking to the right side of the screen, I noticed a new Custom Properties tab on the bottom of the Task Pane.

New Custom Properties tab on the bottom of the Task Pane.

When I clicked on the Custom Properties tab, it tells me that a property page for part files was not found. I have to click the Create now button to launch the new Property Tab Builder. This is like File – Properties on steroids, I mean performance enhancers. I’ll have to do a write up of a quick tutorial on how to use this new feature.

Property Tab Builder
Click here to enlarge.

This next one’s really cool. You know how you used to be able to change the view orientation in from a pull down below the triad in the bottom left of the graphics area. It’s back with a vengeance. Rather than having to use a pull down menu, all you have to do now is pick the reference triad itself to change the view orientation. Pick an axis to see the view normal to the screen. Pick an axis that is normal to the screen to rotate the view 180 degrees. Holding down the Shift, Ctrl, and Alt keys add additional functionality. You have to try this one out yourself. Small note: You can now resize the View Orientation dialog box. Another small note: Double click the middle mouse button to Zoom to Fit. One last small note: You know how when you switch to a standard view, the model is automatically zoomed to fit the screen. Pull down the “Tools” menu and pick Options. On the System Options tab, pick View and uncheck Zoom to fit when changing to standard views.

Zoom to fit when changing to standard views.

I remember back in the day, CADKEY had a Bird’s Eye view. Well now that we’re approaching 2009, SolidWorks 2009 has introduced the Magnifying Glass. I’m not sure if I’ll ever use this new feature, but it will allow you to zoom in on an area of the screen and even select geometry without actually changing the overall view. Press the G key, the default shortcut key, to open the magnifying glass. My magnifying glass appears to be broken. Must be a graphics card issue that I’ll have to look into.

You are able to move the CommandManager and the PropertyManager from their default positions with a simple drag and drop. I’m kind of use to them where they are at, but someone must have a reason to move them around.

Undocked CommandManager       Undocked PropertyManager


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