Anytime you are working off a network drive it is always going to be slower. Also what OS are you running?
Win 7 Pro x64.
Our network drives are pretty responsive. Also once the file is open I would think it would be loaded into RAM and so the fact that it is stored on the network drive wouldn't be important. Once the file is open it takes a long time to recognize features.
For a complex part I would think 5-10 minutes is pretty quick. Think about what Feature Recognition is doing. It needs to analysis every edge against every other edge in the part and decide what that edge is and how it relates to the other edges to come up with a solution of what feature it is. Then it needs to create the feature. Rinse and repeat.
I am sure it is a cpu based process. SolidWorks only uses the gpu to display the image on screen. It is also likely single threaded. Would seem to be tough to multi thread that process.
If this is something you do often I would suggest getting a dedicated machine to run Feature Recognition on. Then you can work on other things while it is chugging away. The faster and more modern the cpu architecture the better.
You may want to check if the SolidWorks Task Scheduler can help. Maybe you can load up parts to run over night.
I am just suprised that if it is a CPU based process that it doesn't max out one of the threads to work a little bit faster. Yes it would make sense that it would be a linear process and a CPU would be most efficient.
Unfortunately times are tight and it is unlikely that I would be able to justify a second pc purhcase and solidworks license purchase. But that is a good idea.
The task scheduler is also a good idea. Not sure of all of the ins and outs and what is possible. I know frequently we have to re-do the recognition process because the sheet metal recoginition comes up with errors and the settings have to be tweaked. The CPU's of our programmers are the most modern archecture available (except not being the server Xenon but consumer grade), my machine is a generation behind.
I will still investigate the GPU loading.
If a new computer isn't in your near future, you might want to check the Specs. on your motherboard to see if it will take a faster processor. Might save some money and still give you a bit of a boost.
The limiting factor is that SolidWorks doesn't have the needed direct modeling tools to work efficiently with dumb solids.
I got tired of asking SolidWorks Corp. for the needed direct modeling tools to work on dumb solids and purchased SpaceClaim to augment SolidWorks. That I had to do this is pathetic but it did solve my problem and allows me to work with dumb solids in a much faster and much more efficient manner than FeatureWorks is capable of.
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