With this major new upgrade, SolidWorks continues to make sophisticated CAD and 3-D modeling functionality available to the broader design chain beyond its traditional base of hardcore CAD jockeys.
The SolidWorks 2008 upgrade delivers more than 250 enhancements, among them interface improvements and additions to the SolidWorks Intelligent Feature Technology (SWIFT), all designed to foster productivity among engineers and CAD users along with reducing the overhead of learning CAD. The new SWIFT Instant3D capabilities, for instance, let users perform expert 3-D CAD operations by dragging and selecting pieces of a design while new visualization functions enable users to drag handles to select areas of a design for real-time editing. The 2008 release does away with a lot of the standard dialogs, input fields and esoteric commands common to CAD packages, instead enabling users to select faces and drag them to on-screen rules to determine exact values.
To promote reuse among engineers, SolidWorks 2008 has more powerful search functions for locating SolidWorks or DWG files on the network in the PDMWorks PDM system or out on the Web. There is also a preponderance of features intended to bridge the gap between designers and manufacturing personnel, the goal being to reduce lead times on delivering products. One such capability, DFMXpress, is a validation tool that identifies geometry that's overly expensive or difficult to manufacture, helping development teams rule out flawed designs much earlier in the process. New simulation capabilities delivered through the COSMOSWorks Design Insight module help engineers identify areas in a design that are over-engineered as part of an effort to reduce materials costs.
Samsung's Galaxy line of smartphones used to fare quite well in the repairability department, but last year's flagship S5 model took a tumble, scoring a meh-inducing 5/10. Will the newly redesigned S6 lead us back into star-studded territory, or will we sink further into the depths of a repairability black hole?
In 2003, the world contained just over 500 million Internet-connected devices. By 2010, this figure had risen to 12.5 billion connected objects, almost six devices per individual with access to the Internet. Now, as we move into 2015, the number of connected 'things' is expected to reach 25 billion, ultimately edging toward 50 billion by the end of the decade.
NASA engineer Brian Trease studied abroad in Japan as a high school student and used to fold fast-food wrappers into cranes using origami techniques he learned in library books. Inspired by this, he began to imagine that origami could be applied to building spacecraft components, particularly solar panels that could one day send solar power from space to be used on earth.
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