I assume that you have already recognized that we have made a lot of changes to the equation functionality in SolidWorks 2012 and there could be more stuff to come in 2013... Above all we have tried to simplify the equation workflows and tried to make the equation editor and the handling of equations more ‘SolidWorks like’.
The Equation Editor is now more powerful and offers more information at the same time. With the different tabs and the filtering capabilities you can focus on exactly this portion of information that is important to you. With the removal of different on-screen dialogs we have made the behavior more consistent.
Another area where we see inconsistent behavior is the difference between linked dimensions and equations in general:
A linked dimension is actually nothing else than a (bi-directional) equation. With SolidWorks 2012 you can now create and edit ‘on the fly’ global variables in the edit dimension dialog. These global variables can be edited on the fly within the edit dimension dialog and every dimension that equals the global variable will update immediately whenever you have made a change to the global variable in either location. I have attached a part that has three dimensions with three equations to the same global variable. So when you edit a dimension you will see that the dimension is tied to a global variable and you can directly edit the global variable on the fly. After a rebuild you will see that all dimensions update accordingly.
To simplify the system and eliminate confusion between linked values and global variables, our goal is to eliminate the entire concept of linked values in a future release and instead use this new implementation of global variables as a substitute. We will likely convert existing linked values to global variables in a future release and eliminate the entire linked value user interface and concept at that time. With that in mind, we have eliminated the ability to create new linked values in SolidWorks 2012 and you can only edit or unlink existing linked values.
Do you see any negative impact to this new approach and the interim solution of allowing editing and unlinking of existing linked values, but not creation of new ones?
Thank You for your feedback.
Product Definition Team