CAD with intelligence

The most obvious attributes of SolidWorks 2008 and CosmosWorks are the amount of artificial intelligence built in to help users

. There are more than 250 enhancements in all, many aimed at easing the transition from 2D to 3D.
Intelligence in the Office Premium edition includes DFMXpress, which identifies geometry that is likely to be difficult, expensive or impossible to machine - such as deep, narrow holes, or features that are likely to be hard to access in order to machine.
It does not stop users doing these things, but highlights that they are possible problems.
Similarly, ToolAnalyst calculates worst case and RSS (Root Sum Squared) maximum and minimum values so that designers can see whether it is likely to be easy to make an assembly of parts that can be expected to go together and work. If problems are likely, the software outputs a list of contributors so that users can see which dimensions are critical - and which are not - and where tolerances need to be tightened and whether this will solve possible manufacturing and assembly problems or not.
Jeremy Hines of SolidWorks, when demonstrating enhancements to CosmosWorks Designer, said: "The load/restraint advisor is a tool we have had for a couple of years, but it will now answer questions such as whether to use support or load, what type of load to use, and what contact represents part interaction."

Author
Tom Shelley

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