Check out my Excel tips - all of them can help make better Design tables
Dir. Product Marketing
somewhat surprising to see marketing providing info like this
hope you make a few more
I do not have Excel on my computer. I really haven't had the wherewithall to install it, and I'm only running the SolidWorks design kit, so it's only temporal. I do, however, have Microsoft Suite, which has a spreadsheet program in it. Is there any way that I could get S.W. to use that instead of Excel to make my design tables and BOM's? Thanks.
Thank you so much for this excellent post on the potential to improve the SolidWorks experience with Excel. While I have used design tables, Excel functions, and driven models with these design tables, I was somewhat not connected with the new functionality in Excel 2007.
You presented it much better than Microsoft. You are definitely ahead of the curve with the format of this presentation.
Congratulations!! It is good to see that someone at SW expose the "value" of using Excel in combination with SolidWorks, particularly in using DT's with "control views" to drive the SW model and not just as a mean to "generate" multiple configurations.
Maybe now, SW finally realize that if the functionality of the DT's is enhanced with few simple modifications, SW will become a much powerful tool to people doing product design using the parametric and relational ability of the software. Some of the enhancements that can achieve that are:
Back in 2005 and them again in 2006 we request to SW an enhancement related to this, providing a file (see copy attached) with some details on the required functionality, we never get anything back... so we develop an API to provide us with that functionality. We never understand why SW do not incorporate this functionality into de application (which can be done with just few hours of programming) and which will provide a lot more "added value" to the application for advanced users that some other "toys" which added very little value to real CAD users.
The combination of SW and Excel is powerful, but it is "incomplete" and can be a lot more powerful if few hours are invested to integrate some simple code into the application. In our case we have done ourselves (not just this one, but some other enhancements needed to make more efficient our work, which we do not even mentioned to SW after the experience back in 2005 and 2006), however, our "in-house" developments are not providing any value to other users.
There are some other enhancements related to SW <--> Excel which can be of tremendous value to users, such as the ability to "link" dimension values directly to external Excel cells (using name ranges), Excel is able to perform any complex calculation (including complex calculus, as well as advanced mathematical operations including differential equations, partial differential equations, linear equations, algebra, advance logical, etc.) which SW equations can not do but which are part of the life of any mechanical engineer.
I understand that marketing should look at competitive products and integrate equivalent functionality to "level" the competitive position of a product, however, marketing should also obtain input from users of the software and their needs and incorporate those enhancements which can improve the "usability" of the product by the large majority of users or "potential" users.
thanks for the feedback.
Here are a few answers to the posed questions.
1. Right now Excel is the only spreadsheet that SW uses out-of-box with no programming. For those who do not use Excel, you can still use other applications if you manually create VBA scripts to swap out the cell values for dimensions and suppression states. It is limited, but possible.
2. In regards to the comment about Marketing supplying this type of data. Well -- we are passionate about great design! And to be honest, nobody uses Excel as well as we do.
3. Yes, we also recognize some limitations that we would like R&D to address. The best thing a SolidWorks user should do is voice these issues up through their VARs. We do listen to customers, and the squeaky wheel gets the grease.
I am glad everyone like the screencast. I hope it helps you in your day to day work. If you have any questions feel free to email me at email@example.com
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