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Attention all SOLIDWORKS users! SOLIDWORKS World 2017 Top Ten Idea submission is open


The SOLIDWORKS World Top Ten List is now open for idea submission and discussion. The SOLIDWORKS World Top Ten List is an opportunity to submit your ideas for enhancements to SOLIDWORKS. Once ideas are submitted, you will be given the opportunity to vote for your favorite ideas. SOLIDWORKS Development considers all ideas.  The Top Ten ideas will be presented at SOLIDWORKS World 2017 in Los Angeles.


Ideas can be viewed and submitted by visiting the SOLIDWORKS World 2017 Top Ten List area of the discussion forum. Click on “Content” just under the Top Ten List banner. You can also click on the categories on the left side to sort by specific areas of SOLIDWORKS (Assemblies, Drawings, Simulation, etc.). When submitting an idea to the forum, please be sure to assign it within the proper category.  This will allow everyone to find your idea by area of interest while voting is open.  Prior to submitting an idea, please review the ideas already posted to make sure that there are no duplicates.  If you find your idea is already present, feel free to follow it so that you can vote for it later.


As always, we encourage friendly and professional comments and discussions to all ideas that may help clarify or better communicate other uses and needs. This potentially assists others when voting and helps us better understand everyone’s needs and ideas too. Submit your enhancement ideas by December 15, 2016.  Voting will begin immediately the next day on December 16, 2016. Whether or not you’re attending SOLIDWORKS World 2017 in Los Angeles, we look forward to seeing your ideas. You also just may see your idea in a future release of SOLIDWORKS!


Important dates:

  • December 15, 2015 is the end for new idea submissions.
  • December 16, 2015 voting on all ideas begins.
  • January 20, 2016 voting ends.

The following is a list of open issues and enhancements requests.


Q4 -2014  New


1) Unread Items  - Indicate unread/read content everywhere when logged in.

   Status: Enhancement - Open.


2) Remember me - Allow users to check to remain logged in.
     Status: Enhancement - Open, reviewing possible solution.


3) When using the "Ask" feature, when you review content the "No, take me back" goes back the page you started on with the search string no longer in the "Ask" window.

Image 15.png

   Status: Enhancement - Open and we are looking at ways to enhance this workflow.

Forums - Edit Profile Errors

Posted by 1-3PL95X Sep 11, 2014

Hi Everyone,

The errors we are experiencing when trying to update a profile will be fixed late Friday evening the 12th.  If you can't wait that long, there is a workaround available:


The current workaround is to always change the value of the "Software Version" profile field when updating your profile. To update your profile, change the desired field(s), along with the value of "Software Version" and click save.  You can then change the "Software Version" field back and hit save.


As mentioned, this should be fixed with an update Friday evening.



Greg Jankowski

Status updates

Posted by Greg Jankowski Employee Aug 11, 2014

One of the items we turned on in the new update was status updates.

This has been confusing as to when, and why to use this feature, so we have disabled it.



If you use your phone and go to, you will see the mobile site.


You can login, view your inbox, activities, and read and reply to discussions.



Greg Jankowski

Forum - Comments

Posted by Greg Jankowski Employee Aug 5, 2014

I closed the poll on the Forum update. Here are the reasons:


1) Polls have limitations when compared to discussions (goes to a flat structure after 100 replies (changing that), and you can't jump to the last reply.)


2) Too many different comments and hard to follow. Create separate discussions here under the General area.
     Note: I would prefix "Forum -" in front of your question so everyone know it's a forum discussion.


3) We can't branch different topics into a new discussions on a poll.


We have made a number of changes based on the feedback so keep them coming.



One of the most popular and useful things about any community is the ability to see what you have read & have not read.


You will now find easier access to the content tab with the discussions selected in every space (just finishing this now).

This will (as long as you are logged in) show you what you have (regular font) and not (bold font) read.


You will find these links in the Quick Links area and below the Recent Content.



We also added this as a call to action on the home page.


To make it easier to get to your Inbox and Activity Streams, we have added the Inbox to the top level navigation.




Both the inbox and activity streams are great ways to easily find what interests you and reply to content and notifications right from the inbox.

When you follow a space, group, post, or discussion, you will be presented with options:



By default there is a Connection Stream and Inbox. You can also setup custom Connection Streams.



The Inbox

The inbox can be to easily read and reply to anything your following, notifications, and direct messages.



  1. Announcements and direct message are accessible from your inbox.
  2. Inbox also supports read and unread items.
  3. You can like or reply right from your inbox.
  4. You get a visual indicator next to your avatar when a new item is in your inbox.



  1. You must follow the item at the content/space/place level.
  2. Not easy to see all the spaces, groups, content, and people from the inbox. Go to the Content, People, and Places tabs and filter by "Following".
    Then you can unfollow any item from there.
  3. Your inbox get busy when you try to follow too many thing in your inbox.



Connection Streams

A connection stream is different. It shows an activity view and it configurable based on spaces/groups, tags, and people.

You can setup multiple connection streams (up to 10).



  1. You can have multiple connection streams.
  2. You can edit and add people, places, and tags right from the edit connection stream area.
  3. You can like or reply right from your connection stream.
  4. Recommended and trending content is shown.
  5. Content is formatted in an activity format (that can be a + for some, and - for others).



  1. Connection Streams do not support read and unread items.
  2. Content is formatted in an activity format (that can be a + for some, and - for others).




If you want to change your email and digest preferences:


1) Go to!input.jspa


2) Then set your email preferences:



If you had followed discussions or blogs in the old version, you will see this connection stream.
If you don't want these old updates, turn this off as well.

Image 1.png

Greg Jankowski

New update is live.

Posted by Greg Jankowski Employee Aug 2, 2014

The update is in place.


Remember to join us for the update Webinar on Tuesday.


SOLIDWORKS Forum update

Tue, Aug 5, 2014 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM CD

To register visit,


The webinar will be recorded and made available with the SOLIDWORKS Forum.

Back in the spring of 2011, on the heels of the successful showing of Dream to Design at SWW2011 in San Antonio, a new initiative was launched to do a next-in-a-series of short films. I’ve always enjoyed using SolidWorks to promote inspirational videos and for a long time I had a script that I was working on to tell the story of a physicist / SolidWorks user who while working late one night, dreams about discovering and inventing the strongest material known to man. The material would come to be known as “Nanovim” and it would be commercialized to the point where it would make the Space Elevator, popularized by Arthur C. Clark's novel "Fountains of Paradise" a reality.

The protagonist inventor would then travel to space on the space elevator to witness the inauguration of the LANSE (Large Array Network Solar Emitter) which would eventually provide clean, limitless power to earth and eliminate hunger, poverty human strife – well you get the picture… After all, it is a dream and our protagonist does wake up eventually.


Supported by Product Marketing, I wrote and revisit the script with the help of Chin-Loo Lam and live action sequences were shot a Cramer Studios in Norwood MA  in the summer of 2011 and post production was that summer and fall. Jay Patternson, a fellow SW Product Definition Specialist at the time was the technical consultant. Because of budgetary constraints that year for SWW, the film was never finished.  I contributed and collaborated with Greg Leuenberger, of Sabertooth productions, who help with the CGI on the first film (Dream to Design) and Paul McCrorey of McCrorey Digital to do the extensive CGI for the film.  Anna Wood of Renderbay provided her render farm to do rendering and Andy Brown also helped out with modeling. We accomplished approximately 75% of the post production. A good number of the space ships and sets were conceptualized in SolidWorks and then finished in Modo and all animation was done in Modo and Adobe After Effects.


I had a lot of fun working on this with Paul and Greg, and some of the work they we did together culminated in some of the most complex models I’ve seen created – especially the space station and solar array.  Here is just a short sample of a sequence. You can view the entire rough cut test of the film here. Many of the scenes are not yet rendered and most of them are unfinished but it gives an idea of where the story goes.


A few fun facts:

  • The protagonist’s workplace, the building shown at dusk at the beginning of the film is actually our Waltham build (just after we moved in.)
  • At 00:25 there is an Easter egg that establishes the time frame of the film, can you spot it?
  • At 00:50 the idea here is in the near future SW designer would be able to do simulation on a molecular level and with a massive amount of cloud computing resources.
  • FOS=1000 I think that says it all…
  • The Word NanoVim comes from the combination of Nano (Micro) and Vim (Latin for Force)
  • At 2:00 the scale model shown with the government officals and our protagonist was designed in SW and then 3D printed by Jeremy Luchini on a Stratasys printer.
  • At 2:52 – The design of the Space Elevator vehicle is such that the cabin is on top while a heat shield is on the bottom (and cargo hold in the mid section) so that in the last part of the trip fast gravity reentry would be possible. Three arms that extend from the vehicle are the conveyors for crawling up the 3 flat-ribbon Nanovim cables.
  • At 3:38 the entire space elevator cabin is CG, created rendered and animated by Paul, with the exception of the actors and the recliners that they were seated in.
  • At 3:50, meteor termination site; the idea, per Clark's Vision is that if a space elevator could work, it would need to be tethered to a counterweight positioned 22,000 miles above the earth. A meteor which is positioned into geosynchronous  orbit would suffice as that anchor but also be a manufacturing site for the raw material “NanoVim” (at 4:08.) So the elevator actually originates from the meteor and is built down to the earth termination site where the Elevator vehicle first departed.
  • At 4:11 – We had to establish that after arriving at the meteor, our protagonist would travel from the meteor to the space station so that he could witness the ignition of the LANSE. This was a fun shot for me since I’m a hugh BSG (Battle Star Galactia) fan and wanted to do a hand-held look from space which is such a signature element of BSG. I spent months figuring out how they (Lightwave guys that did the CGI for BSG) did this effect. What finally worked for me was to shoot live video of a posted note against a wall with my wife’s canon power shot and then use the overlay of that in After Effects to assign “Tracking” to move (shake)the original CGI frames around.
  • At 4:36 - the space station is a very detailed Modo model with >50M polys and hundreds of custom textures. The  hundreds of view portals reveal fully modeled rooms with "Baked-in" textures. There were three different room versions built and then distributed about the hull of the space station. Although there is a lot of detail, much of it is bump map textures to create the intricate look. the design of this station is an updated version of the space station that was created for the "Better Products for the future video" shown at SWW2007.
  • At 4:42 – this was to be our “big reveal” shot where the viewer first discovers the real reason for the protagonist traveling to space: the Large Array Network Solar Emitter. The shot is not rendered but you can get a feel for the massive detail (in stills below) that Paul and I put into the space station and array.
  • At 4:52 – the Array is built in space and is comprised of thousands of motorized mirror/reflectors which focus on a central collecting tower and transfer an energy beam down to an earth-based collector site and converted to electricity.
  • At 6:11 – I wanted to establish the event from an earth based perspective also.  As a passer-by driving at dusk, witnesses the energy beam coming down to earth. This scene is done entirely in After Effects with still image content.
  • At 6:21 – the protagonist back in the real world - the green screen would eventually show that his present day simulation had succeeded and all was well.


Following are some HD stills from the post-production (click on them to enlarge)


before and after of GenMo building.jpg

Live film of our 175 Water building on Waltham campus and with 3D CGI sign added by Mark B.


Future SW simulation screen (0-00-04-02).jpg

The future of SolidWorks Simulation by Mark B.


practice nanovim test composite.jpg

Practical test for Nanovim  live action sequence and CGI added by Greg L.

Scene 14 (00000).jpg

Live action testing equipment closeup of Nanovim practical test with CGI screen added - Cramer and Mark B.

government meeting composite.jpg

Live action sequence of protogonist meeting government officals and Space Elevator scale model - Cramer and Mark B.

ariel view of site3.jpg

Daylight test of ground-based Termination site - no textures - Mark B.

potagonist view.JPG

Lighting test (no textures) to establish size and scale of ground based termination site - Mark B

elevator cabin composite.jpg

Live action sequence of Space Elevator Cabin and with CGI added  - Paul M.

meteor site.jpg

Space Elevator - Meteor Termination Site - Greg L.

nanovim factory composite.jpg

Live action sequence of NanoVim factory and CGI added - Greg L.

Scene 49 - station identifier- (0-00-02-12).jpg

closeup of space station 5 identifier - Mark B.

Scene48a -  eye candy (0-00-04-06).jpg\

Space Station 5 - Mark B.

scene47 - shuttle approaches space dock (0-00-00-18).jpg

Docking sequence of Shuttle with Space Station - Mark B.


Closeup of Space Station 5 before reveal of LANSE - Paul M.


Protagonist arrving at Space Station 5 dock - Mark B.

LANSE reveal.jpg

Reveal of LANSE (Large Array Network Solar Emitter) - Paul M.


Closeup over topside of LANSE - Paul M.


Reactor (bottomside) of LANSE - Paul M.

arrary reactor.jpg

Ignition of LANSE - Paul M.

Hello to all,


Welcome to this new edition of the SolidWorks Support Monthly FAQ. The news this month consist in the release of 2013 SP4.0 and the 2014 Beta program.


SolidWorks 2014 Beta program

The beta phase of SolidWorks 2014 has already started!
Visit the 2014 Beta site and click "Sign Up" to be part of the program. You can also keep updated on the latest Beta News and be part of the beta community on the SolidWorks 2014 Beta Forum.
Participating in the 2014 Beta Program is an excellent opportunity to learn about the new functionality and how it can help your design process before SolidWorks 2014 is released. You can also check that new features correspond exactly to you needs and if not help us fine tune them thanks to your feedback.
What's more, the SolidWorks 2014 Beta Program includes 28 individual contests where you can show off your SolidWorks skills and get points and valuable prizes for testing the software: official 2014 Beta Tester t-shirts and Amazon gift cards.


Together we can make the 2014 Beta Program the most successful ever!

If you have any questions please post them on the forum.


Service Pack News

Service Pack 4.0 of version 2013 has been in EV for three weeks now, so some of you may have already tested it. It should be officially released anytime now. It fixes many issues and increases performance, but it also adds some usability improvements. They will improve your experience working with SolidWorks. Here is a short list of such enhancements:


• SPR 686824 : Option to 'Enable Cell drop down lists' can now be changed after the design table is created.

SolidWorks Simulation

• SPR 659016 : Existing SolidWorks sensors (mass, measurement, etc) will now correctly appear in Design Study Constraints or Goals

Enterprise PDM

• SPR 687527: The performance of the Change State dialog has been improved. It should open much faster.

To get the full list of fixed SPRs in any service pack of version, log in the Customer Portal and click on Fixed SPR list in My Support:

Screen capture.png

Direct link here:


Noteworthy Solutions from the SolidWorks Knowledge Base

What could cause the history dialog to be completely empty (shows no history entries) for a file in an Enterprise PDM 2013 SP0, SP1 and SP2 file vault??

If you have a file data card with many "Version Free" type card variables and the variable names are using long names or many version free variable values are updated at the same time - it is possible that the history dialog fails to list any file history for an updated file.  See below for how the empty dialog appears.

Screen capture.png

This is a problem that affects Enterprise PDM 2013 SP0, SP1 and SP2 and was reported under SPR 690066.
To identify if the file that you are seeing an empty history dialog is affected by this SPR and to get a workaround, see Solution ID: S-063147.
Note: This problem was addressed in Enterprise PDM 2013 SP3, upgrade to that version or higher.


Can SolidWorks Explorer 2013 and SolidWorks Workgroup PDM 2013 VaultAdmin be installed on a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 machine?

No, SolidWorks Explorer 2013 and SolidWorks Workgroup PDM 2013 VaultAdmin are not supported on Microsoft Windows Server 2003.
For more details, see Solution ID:


What is the correct reinstallation procedure of SolidWorks® with prerequisites for Windows® 8?

This procedure comprises several solutions: S-031198, s-046201 and S-047790 (if working with PDM).
A pdf document comprising all this information and solutions is attached to Solution ID: S-063228.


What could be the reason if defeature preview is not shown in few SolidWorks assemblies?

One of the reasons could be that you are using 'Windows 7 Basic or Windows Classic' theme.
Verify the theme on Windows 7. If the theme is set to 'Windows 7 Basic or Windows Classic', the defeature preview of assembly may appears blank. It is always better to use an Aero theme.

See Solution ID: S-063344  to learn how to change the theme.


When will SolidWorks Composer be supported on Windows® 8 operating system?

SolidWorks Composer is currently expected to be supported on Windows 8 operating system from SolidWorks Composer 2014 release onwards ( Solution ID: S-063343).


What could cause a crashing issue when using simulation where the file ‘MSHTML.dll’ is found in the Application Event logs?

In a few separate occasions it was found that the MSHTML.dll file was corrupted. To correct the issue it was found that running a Windows update and uninstalling Internet Explorer 10 or 9 corrected the issue. This is because the "mshtml.dll" is one of the important DLL related to Internet Explorer.
For the full procedure, see Solution ID: S-062904.


How to define a surface body (shell) thickness variable parameter in a Design Study

The illustrated procedure is given in a PDF attachment to Solution ID: S-063041.



That’s it for this month. Thanks for reading this edition of SolidWorks Support News. If you need additional help with these issues or any others, please contact your SolidWorks Value Added Reseller.

Also, comments and suggestions are welcome. You can enter them below.

Our One Minute Tech Tip videos are short simple videos that allow you to find and view a topic quickly.  By keeping these videos to a minute you can learn a new tip every day without a huge time investment.  Think of how much you can learn in a minute a day!


Not subscribed to our Subscription Services.yet?  See what you are missing by viewing a featured One Minute Tech Tip video (along with other sneak peeks) on our Featured Content Blog.












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- Have an idea for a Tech Tip Video or other content? Suggest it in our Learning Content .Community

- Looking for more learning resources? Visit the SolidWorks Resource Center

Hello to all,


Welcome to this new edition of the SolidWorks Support Monthly FAQ.

An announcement was made on May 7th, about the acquisition of Simpoe by Dassault systèmes. Simpoe already develops SolidWorks Plastics, our injection molding simulation product. It simulates how melted plastic flows during the injection molding process to predict manufacturing-related defects on parts and molds.
This acquisition doesn't have any immediate impact on customer regarding how SolidWorks Plastics and SimpoeWorks are supported.

Screen capture.png
SolidWorks 2013 SP4 EV

The Early Visibility (EV) version of 2013 SP4.0 will be released during the first week of June. The Early Visibility (EV) program provides you with an opportunity to review and test a Service Pack before general release. To take part, visit the Get Involved page and click Early Visibility Program.


SolidWorks 2014 Beta program

The beta phase of SolidWorks 2014 will begin during the second half of June. SolidWorks 2014 includes many new user-driven enhancements – along with some entirely new areas of functionality. Be part of the SolidWorks 2014 Beta program to test and explore all the new and exciting features for SolidWorks Design, SolidWorks Simulation, and SolidWorks Enterprise PDM!


We are still getting the sites ready. When they are, visit the 2014 Beta site and click "Join Now" to be part of the program. You can also keep updated on the latest Beta News and be part of the beta community on the SolidWorks 2014 Beta Forum.

Participating in the 2014 Beta Program is an excellent opportunity to learn about the new functionality and how it can help your design process before SolidWorks 2014 is released. You can also check that new features correspond exactly to you needs and if not help us fine tune them thanks to your feedback.


Together we can make the 2014 Beta Program the most successful ever!


If you have any questions please email us at


Spotlight on features

A little known fact among SolidWorks Simulation users, you can easily access the three different PropertyManagers that control result plots (called Edit Definition, Settings and Chart Options) without having to go through the usual right-click menu.

Screen capture.png

To do so, once the plot is displayed, you can simply double click the color bar to open the Chart Options PropertyManager, and the plot name or description to open the plot's definition PropertyManager. What about the Settings? They allow to display or hide the mesh boundaries and to superimpose the model on the deformed shape. There is no direct access unless you customize the CommandManager to add the Plot Settings button.
To add the button, right click the CommandManager and select Customize. Go to the Commands tab, select the Simulation category and drag this button Screen capture.png to the Simulation command bar. You can add other buttons. I personally like to add other buttons and in particular Animate.

Screen capture.png

You can find this information as a pdf attachment to Solution ID: S-063050.


Noteworthy Solutions from the SolidWorks Knowledge Base
What changes have been implemented in sheet metal for SolidWorks 2013? What are the differences between SolidWorks 2012 and 2013?

In 2013 SolidWorks redesigned the entire multi body sheet metal functionality. Working with bodies within a sheet metal part is now more distinct and visible.  When dealing with sheet metal in SolidWorks 2013 every single sheet metal part is a "potential multi-body" part, even if the part contains only one body.  Also in In SolidWorks 2013, when creating the first base flange (i.e. first sheet metal body) the default is to automatically break the link between the part and the body. This is done by having the "Override default parameter" option automatically checked. Therefore, in this version when changing a sheet metal parameter, the sheet metal subfolder corresponding to the specific body must be edited and changed.
For more details, see Solution ID:  S-062979.

What could cause part, assembly or drawing files to open in separate SLDWORKS.EXE sessions (instance) when using double-click or right-click open from Windows Explorer on a system running SolidWorks 2013?

SolidWorks 2013 introduces a new application called the SolidWorks Launcher that helps opening files from different SolidWorks versions in appropriate SolidWorks version (when multiple SolidWorks versions are installed).
By default on a system with SolidWorks 2013 installed, SolidWorks file types should be associated to the Launcher (swshellfilelauncher.exe) and when opening files using double-click or right-click Open they should open in same SolidWorks session (SLDWORKS.EXE). 
However if the file types are associated directly to the SolidWorks 2013 (sldworks.exe) application instead, the files may open in separate background SolidWorks sessions instead of the existing open session when you double-click the files.
See  how to fix this in details in Solution ID: S-062896.

What can cause column headers to be empty when viewing Named (saved) BOM's, CAD BOM's or exported BOM's (via XML export rule, export to .csv or API) when using Enterprise PDM 2013 SP3?

If you are using Enterprise PDM 2013 SP3 (version 13.3.815) it is possible that when a named (saved) BOM or CAD BOM is created and checked in to the file vault that the column headers show up with empty text.

Screen capture.png

Once this has happened, exports of the BOM via API or XML export rules will also show the empty column headers.
For Enterprise PDM 2013 SP3 there is a hot fix available which is recommended to apply if you rely on named BOM's or CAD BOM's.

Screen capture.png

See  how to fix this in details in Solution ID: S-062976

Is there a way to find if a particular component is impacting graphics performance of a top level assembly?

Yes. Here’s a tip on using the Assembly Visualization tool to improve assembly performance by finding components which have an excessive contribution to the overall graphics performance – e.g. models with an unnecessary level of detail.

Screen capture.png

Please see  the document attached to Solution ID:  S-062937 for details.