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DriveWorks Solo is a powerful Design Automation Add In for engineers using SolidWorks. It is used by design engineers across many industries to reduce repetitive design tasks and automate the generation of new models in SolidWorks. DriveWorks can also help companies respond quickly to sales enquiries.

DriveWorks Solo can be downloaded and used for 30 days to automate a SolidWorks Model or even just part of your SolidWorks Project. If you are new to DriveWorks then you might be wondering, how do I use DriveWorks Solo? And importantly, just what should I do with my 30 days?

Follow the DriveWorks Training Tutorial

The first thing that you will want to grab along with your Trial copy of DriveWorks Solo is the DriveWorks Solo Training Guide. In this guide you will be given all the instructions you need to create a new project, in this case a wooden door!

With your DriveWorks Training Guide at your side and your copy of SolidWorks and DriveWorks Solo installed you can begin.

Start by creating a new project. This is a simple process that is fully explained in the Training Guide (page 12), but if you would like a more visual guide to creating new DriveWorks Solo Projects then check out the YouTube Channel.

Check out our YouTube Channel 

Our How To Video Clips are really useful for any SolidWorks Engineer that wants to see what’s involved in Design Automation. We have several playlists guiding you through how to set up a new DriveWorks project and provide a great reference point for your first 30 days.

Click the photo below to access the DriveWorks YouTube Channel

DriveWorks YouTube

Attend a Getting Started Webinar

Our Webinars provide a valuable overview of what’s involved with automating the generation of new designs using DriveWorks Solo.

For the beginners, there is the DriveWorks Solo Head Start Webinar which covers:

• How to capture the parameters in your design that you want to control

• How to create a good looking and intelligent user interface to specify your products

• How to build rules that link the form inputs to the captured parameters that control your designs

Click the title above to register for a Getting Started Webinar.

DriveWorks Solo Training Sessions

If you are looking for some more in-depth training then each month we also run, a DriveWorks Solo Online Training session which runs for 1 hour on 3 consecutive days.

These Webinars will take you through, in detail, the DriveWorks Training Tutorial

The Training covers these areas:

• Session 1: Model Capture, Creating Forms, Building Rules, Running your Project, New File Names and Locations

• Session 2: Replacing Files, Tables, Form Navigation, Improving Your Forms, Driving Replacement Files and Controlling Custom Properties

• Session 3: Documents, Controlling Drawings

These sessions take place at the end of every month so visit the DriveWorks events page to register for the next sessions.

Download a Sample Project

Once you have been through the tutorial maybe it’s time to take a look at the DriveWorks Solo Sample Projects. These template Projects are great for practise and getting a head start on your next DriveWorks job but importantly they also give you the opportunity to dissect a completed project.

This means you can see examples of how rules have been used, review rules syntax, see how forms have been laid out  to display different results and examples of how information is presented on a quote document.

Each of these Sample Projects comes with a useful walkthrough video running you through the basics of using the project.

Toolbox

Look at the online Help File

Like the name suggests our Help File is indeed very helpful. Packed with lots of great information that you can use to help you get set up. The Help File even has a search function to help you find what you need.

If you run in to any problems with your DriveWorks Solo project, this should be your first port of call.

DriveWorks Solo help file screen

Follow us on Social Media and visit the Blog

Keep up with all the latest news on DriveWorks, SolidWorks, engineering, 3D printing and CAD modelling on our Twitter and Facebook feeds or follow us on Linkedin and Google+.

We also have this blog with DriveWorks news, tips and events as well as some interesting analysis on some of the industries that use our software.

Remember of you want to be on the cutting edge of DriveWorks and SolidWorks news, as well as getting news on our latest FREE training webinars then just follow us using the links above.

Get a copy of the Little Book of Rules

To help you learn examples of the rules that you will need to automate your designs with DriveWorks Solo we have created a great “Little Book of Rules”. The Little book of rules contains a guide to some of the syntax you can use in DriveWorks Solo. To purchase the Little Book of Rules simply visit the Lulu site. Alternatively, tell us what you have achieved with DriveWorks and we might even send you one!

Use the ROI Tool

If you are looking to purchase DriveWorks Solo or you want to convince a decision maker that the purchase is worthwhile, why not take a look at our Return on Investment Tool.

The Return on Investment Tool will run through the costs and associated savings that can be made through using DriveWorks. This not only takes in to account the cost of purchasing the software but also the time take to implement the software and, of course, the time savings from automating the generation of new designs.

To visit the Return on Investment Tool please visit here.

DriveWOrks Solo ROi

The DriveWorksXpress Head Start Webinar, hosted on the first Tuesday of every month takes you through the quick and easy steps involved in automating your design process with DriveWorksXpress in SolidWorks.

DWXpressinSolidWorks

You will learn…

• How to capture the parameters you want to control
• How to create a simple form to specify your products
• How to build rules that link the form inputs to the captured parameters that control your designs

You will see how you can start automating YOUR designs straight away.

You can also visit our DriveWorksXpress YouTube channel to learn more today.

There are two sessions to choose from

Choose one of the sessions below 

Click the link to view session times in YOUR own Time Zone 

Tuesday January 7, 2014 

Session 1 – Click Here to register

Session 2 – Click Here to register

The DriveWorks Solo Head Start Webinar,  takes place the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of every month.

Are your designs the Same but Different?

This Webinar takes you through the quick and easy steps involved in automating your design process with DriveWorks Solo.

The Webinar Covers

There are two sessions of the Webinar, to try and cover as many time zones as possible.

Choose one of the sessions below and click on the link on the Registration Page to ‘view in your own time zone.’

Use this Webinar to learn how to automate your designs and like many of our customers you can learn how to reduce design time from 3 days to 3 minutes.

To download your free 30 day trial of DriveWorks Solo here.

Wednesday January 8th, 2013 

Session 1 – Click Here to register

Session 2 – Click Here to register

DriveWorks is pleased to announce that Beacon our value added reseller in India, will be hosting a Webinar as a part of a series of Webinars designed to help you make the most out of the tools you have in SolidWorks.

If you:

Then this DriveWorksXpress webinar might help you to drastically improve your productivity through design automation.

If you have SolidWorks then you already have DriveWorksXpress and this Webinar takes you through some of the steps involved in automating your design process with DriveWorksXpress.

DWXpressinSolidWorks

In the Webinar you will learn…

You will see how you can start automating YOUR designs straight away.

https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/151032687

In the mean time you can take a look at our DriveWorksXpress YouTube channel or visit our website.

DriveWorksXpress is the free Design Automation tool included with every seat of SOLIDWORKS and is a great way to save a little time every day.

  • Automate repetitive design tasks.
  • Re-use existing designs.
  • Generate new SOLIDWORKS parts and assemblies quickly and easily.

You might be thinking that while this all sounds great, you have been using design tables in SOLIDWORKS to save some time already.

Well, here are 5 reasons for choosing DriveWorksXpress over design tables:

  1. File Size – DriveWorksXpress creates new files, which keeps file size to a minimum.
  2. Ease of Use – Control Assemblies, sub assemblies and parts from one user interface without the need to open up each one to update its design table.
  3. Scalability & Share with Others –  DriveWorksXpress allow colleagues with SOLIDWORKS to create Parts, Assemblies and Drawings too by filling out a simple form.  Others do not need to know how you set it up, or which Assemblies and/or parts to open up and modify to get the desired results
  4. Automated Drawings – Update drawings for parts and assemblies quickly and easily.
  5. Rules Driven – Use Rules to determine which calculation or value is required to drive a given parameter. Rules and calculations that affect multiple parts and assemblies are easily linked in the DriveWorksXpress rule editor

The best part is that if you already have SOLIDWORKS, then you already have DriveWorksXpress!

You can find DriveWorksXpress inside SOLIDWORKS here:

Check out the DriveWorksXpress YouTube channel for How to Video Clips and you’ll soon be saving time!

For more information visit www.driveworks.co.uk or contact your local SOLIDWORKS Reseller.

CAD2M Poster

DriveWorks
will once again be in attendance at the CAD2M Customer event and SolidWorks
2014 Launch. 


This year’s event theme is one which really chimes with us here at DriveWorks,
“Successful innovation is done with a team”. TeamWork is integral to company ethos. We are delighted to partner with CAD2M at this event and to show how DriveWorks software can be fully integrated with SolidWorks, EPDM and other company systems.

Event attendees will be able to see a demonstration of the new SolidWorks 2014 release and a presentation on DriveWorks capabilities.

You
will also have the chance to see the marriage of precision engineering and
SolidWorks modelling that is the Vencer Sarth; a new sports car whose accurately modelled SolidWorks design, helped with the
near perfect balancing of the car.

Members of the
DriveWorks Team will be at the event to talk to you about our class-leading Design Automation and Sales Configuration solutions.

If
you are in the area, make sure you drop by and find out how much time and money
your company can save with DriveWorks.

The
event will be held at the Papendal in Arnhem, the home of Olympic sports in the
Netherlands and will begin at 9:00 AM


For more information on the event, how to register and a detailed agenda please visit: http://www.cad2m.nl/relatiedag


Casa

Manufacturing was at one time the backbone of the UK economy, but over time, the growth of low cost, mass produced items resulted in the rates of employment in the manufacturing industry fall. However more recently cusotmer
demands are changing and there is a move in some businesses to more
local manufacturing or assembly.

DriveWorks Mass-Customization

DriveWorks Customising a Cupboard

In a recent SolidWorks Blog we highlighted how Mass
Customisation of products
would see a new wave of highly customized
configurable products being produced through the use of configuration and
automation software
which allows for designs to become more flexible.

One thing that wasn’t mentioned was the impact that such a
shift in manufacturing could have on the economic viability of local
manufacturing. The lower costs and plentiful workforces that have been afforded to
companies with a global manufacturing supply chain have allowed them to create
mass produced products that are cheaper to manufacture.

However, things, it seems, are changing. We are seeing increasing
costs of manufacturing in the developing world and consumers being
less willing to accept a product that is the same as a million others. It also seems that consumers are crying out for something with the personal touch. The same demand for personalisation has driven the massive
expansion of social media; just as we can change our profile picture, consumers
want their products to represent their needs.

The advantage of design automation and sales configuration
then become clear. Allowing product designs to change at the press
of a button and at the command of the consumer, gives a company a huge competitive
advantage. While they may still use many of the same components and parts in their designs,  combining
these items in new and exciting combinations means that the product becomes the consumer’s
creation, not the company’s.

 

Automating Designs in DriveWorks

Design Automation in DriveWorks

So where does local manufacturing or assembly fit in? To
allow for these products to be created and launched in an acceptable time frame
it becomes essential for these products to be assembled if not manufactured in
the country from which they will be sold. Add to this is the increased expertise
that comes with creating customized products and now it is local manufacturing that
begins to make more sense.

 

The advantages of this process don’t end with local
manufacturing either. Any business that has a huge reliance on a well stocked inventory in order to meet the configurations of their customers, will find
that they end up with a large amount of their finances tied up in stock.While in some industries this causes no issue, for others, for
example a PC manufacturer,  this could result in them having stock
that has gone out of date before it has left the factory.

 

Hydrolic cylinder with 3d Preview/Visualisation

Configuring a Cylinder on driveworkslive.com

Through allowing customers to configure their product and
through locally sourcing or producing what is necessary, businesses can offer
their customers what they want without having to rely on a large stock inventory
and while also being able to deliver products quicker.

 

Interestingly Motorola will be using this model in their
upcoming Motorola Moto X. The Moto X while manufactured in outside the US will
be assembled in the US. The reason cited for the assembly in the US is the added flexibility
and responsiveness in both the actual customisation of the phone and the time
of delivery which now promises to deliver a fully customized phone to customers
in only 6 days.

As the needs of consumers begin to evolve and new tastes
begin to emerge, those manufacturers providing a more agile process will be the
ones who can provide the speed and customization that customers want. Mass
production isn’t going away anywhere soon but those companies who can see ahead
understand that the return of local manufacturing can be a real competitive advantage.

For more information on how to implement DriveWorks to automate and configure your products please visit www.driveworks.co.uk 

The next topic in the DriveWorks Webinar Series covers Specification Power Pack and will take place on Thursday 19th September 4pm (BST).

This Webinar will take a look at the
new Specification Power Pack introduced for DriveWorks 10. This is a DriveWorks Plugin which adds
numerous Functions and Tasks with advanced features. The Webinar will cover the
installation and use of the Specification Power Pack, and includes several of
examples.

Whether you are a User of DriveWorks Pro or a DriveWorks Reseller Applications Engineer this webinar will provide you with a wealth of useful information.

To sign up for this webinar go to:

The DriveWorks User Community – for all DriveWorks Pro customers with a valid
subscription support contract.

The DriveWorks Reseller Community – for all DriveWorks VARs.

NESWUC%202013%20Logo%20280x200_fw

If you are a SolidWorks user in the
Northeast of America then you might already know about SolidWorks User Groups.

SolidWorks User Groups are packed to
the rafters full of knowledgeable and friendly users who get together to
connect and communicate with fellow SolidWorks users.

This year the North Eastern SolidWorks User Conference will bring together all
the North Eastern User Groups in one big meet up hosted at the Westford Regency
Inn & Conference center and will hold host to some great speaker’s including
our very own Glen Smith.

We are very excited to announce that this year we will be Platinum Sponsers for the event and we know it will be the best event yet!

NESWUC is a great way to learn loads about SolidWorks and of course DriveWorks.

So if you are in the area you can look forward to:

• Learning from 28 Technical SolidWorks
sessions in 4 time slots

• Connecting with some of the best
SolidWorks users

• Discovering & Learning about some
exciting products to help you with SolidWorks by visiting the product showcase

• A continental Breakfast & Lunch
buffet

• Maybe even leave with some neat
prizes

For more information on this year’s NESWUC visit: http://www.neswuc.com/index.htm

It’s back! The DriveWorks Technical Webinar series is back after the summer break. The next topic in the series is Project and Group Distribution and will take place on Thursday 5th September at 4pm (BST).

This webinar covers what Project and Group distribution is and the benefits it can offer.

It will
Group tablescover information on how to distribute project and group data including: import projects, import specifications and data management.

To sign up for this webinar go to:

The DriveWorks User Community – for all DriveWorks customers with an active
subscription support contract.

The DriveWorks Reseller Community – for all DriveWorks VARs.

One
of our resellers’ 3D vision has sent us a fantastic customer success story,
once again showing us how DriveWorks can be used to streamline your business,
through saving time and freeing up your creative juices for innovation.

Custom
coach manufacturer Farber create speciality vehicles for a wide range of clients
in industries such as Home Land Security, Dental, Medical and communications.  

With such
a varied portfolio of customers comes the challenge of creating custom designs
for each one, in the past this would mean expensive and time consuming
redesigns for each new vehicle.

Farber Speciality Vehicles began their experience with DriveWorks like many of our customers do, by trying DriveWorks Solo in a 30 day trial. After seeing what DriveWorks Solo could do for their business they decided it was time to upgrade to DriveWorks Pro and expand their capabilities.

Now, using DriveWorks Pro, SolidWorks Models are produced in the
background permitting the engineers to spend more time working on other
elements of design.

Farber
Speciality Vehicles have automated the design of custom cabinetry for all their
vehicles, which means they can quickly create high quality custom designs that
meet the specifications of their customer.

To
find out more about Farber Speciality Vehicles click here.

3DVision cover Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.


Try
DriveWorks Solo for free at http://bit.ly/15l2nhP

 


3DVision DriveWorks Case Study_Farber Specialty Vehicles

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DriveWorks can be used to automate many aspects of the design process and it can be used in so many different industries too. To help you learn more, we have created several “completed” DriveWorks Solo Sample projects. These are available FREE
of charge. Once downloaded you can open them up and use them as a starting point for your own projects or just as a way to see what’s possible.

If you haven’t
already got your copy of DriveWorks Solo it is available completely free for a
30 Day trial
which means you can use these projects straight away and see how
versatile and adaptable Solo can be. (Remember –  DriveWorks Solo runs inside SolidWorks so you will need that to generate your 3D CAD outputs)

If you don’t have SolidWorks, then don’t worry, as each project even has its own tutorial
video you can watch. This can be viewed to guide you through DriveWorks Solo in a few easy steps.

Previously
we have featured such varied templates as:

 A custom machine guard – Video Here

Machine Guard Combined WEB

 

 a configure a
conveyor project
 – Video Here

Conveyor Combined

and even a custom wheelchair project. – Video Here

Custom Wheel Chair Combined

No matter what industry
you are in, or even if you’re just curious, there is a DriveWorks Solo project
for you.

Our newest
sample might be the snazziest yet allowing you to configure a shiny new toolbox (Video Here) with a whole host of options that you can play with. Once configured just click ok and DriveWorks Solo will generate all the SolidWorks files too.


And they say there is no such thing as a free lunch!

DriveWorks has long been a
front runner in design automation, providing a versatile set of easy to use
tools allowing you to automate your designs. With 3D printing beginning to
gather pace and commercial 3D printers round the corner, we are asking what
role might design automation play in the 3D printing revolution?

The 3 D’s: Digitalise,
Develop, Deploy

For those who don’t know,
3D printing (or Rapid Prototyping) is a form of additive manufacturing technology
that allows you to create a 3D object by laying down successive layers of a material. You might be wondering,
what is this wonderful material?

The answer to that
question is the key to why 3D printing is talked about in revered tones, with words
like “Revolution” and “World Changing” being thrown about. While currently most
3D printers are printing in plastic, this isn’t where the story ends.

Metal 3D printing is
already out there allowing you to print sturdy and accurate models using only
an STL file. I know what you’re thinking, metal is cool but I can’t eat metal, what
about my dinner, can you print that? Why yes, actually, you can.

NASA have recently granted mechanical engineer Anjan Contractor $125,000 to develop a 3D printer capable of printing food for its
Astronauts , attempting to replace the monotonous mush available 230 miles up with
some delectable digital delights. But it doesn’t end there, oh no.

Need a new body part? Research
conducted by the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute
is pushing the boundaries
of what we thought was possible in 3D printing “We think we can do it
in 10 years — that we can build, from a patient’s own cells, a total
‘bioficial’ heart,” along
with 3D printed skulls it’s clear that in the future we will be looking at
spare body parts as well as spare parts for your hoover. So where does design
automation fit in to all this?

“Design automation is the future of 3D printing design.” Jeffrey Lipton,
Fab@home

In an interview with
Solidsmack
, Jefferey Lipton, one of the members of Fab@home (a university
project set up to bring 3D printing in to the home) stated that he believed that
design automation would become key to 3D printing design, and it’s easy to see
why. Creating 3D CAD files can be a complex and time consuming process, combine
this with the often slow printing times of most 3D printers and Rapid
Prototyping becomes far less rapid.

With design automation
software, it’s easy to capture a design, enabling you to customise it for the needs
of whomever will be using it. This way time isn’t wasted recreating a new
design with only slight adjustments but rather the core design is automatically
changed to fit the new specifications entered by the user. From here a CAD file
can be exported and you can begin 3D printing.

The best part?

While not everyone might
have a 3D printer yet, design automation is very valuable today, in fact
design automation can lead to reduced design times, less errors and adaptable
designs which means design time from start to end is drastically cut.

Manufacturers
with “same but different designs” might have thousands of variations. Design
automation can turn the production of these variations in to a simple and highly efficient process.

We combined DriveWorks Design Automation with our own in house 3D Printer and created variations of one of our Design to Order Furniture projects.

If this sounds like something your business could benefit from, why not try DriveWorks Solo for 30 days and see how it can help you grow your business to the next level.

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This article is a summary of a fantastic case study published by The Fabricator.

Matot , a small Chicagan manufacturer of dumbwaiters founded in 1888 has recently moved its design and manufactuing process in to the 21st century using SolidWorks and DriveWorks to automate much of this process.


Lawfirm
Lab

Example of dumbwaiters in an office and Lab environment

Until very recently, the shop had relied on its workers decades of experience to interpret orders as and when they received them.  In order to ensure that they could cope with the thousands of variations in design the company stocked serious amounts of angle iron, sheets and many other components needed for the manufacturing of dumbwaiters.

With demand booming , the owners Anne and Cece Matot saw an oppurtunity to modernise their ageing manufacturing process. Now Solidworks and  DriveWorks  have become a key component to their manufacturing process, as Jon Lane acting Vice President of operations commented :

 “It takes basic master models and helps us tailor them to become a unique model for a particular customer.”

DriveWorks has allowed the company to capture the knowledge that their workers had developed over the years, whilst increasing the efficiency of their design process by knowing exactly which parts are needed for each order. Now they don’t just manufacture the lifts quicker but they have also reduced the need for raw stock inventory.

Jon Lane acting Vice President of operations commented “There was some resistance at first” but with time opinions have changed and now  “people are thinking in terms of the model and the geometry of the part”.

For many years fabricators such as Matot tweaked their process to fit the order, now Lane says “We design around our process , our process isn’t structured around our design ”

To find out more about Matot or to find out more about DriveWorks please click the links below.

DriveWorks-Design Automation for Solidworks

Matot- Commercial grade Lift solutions 

Logo

 

 

 

 

Tabluka is a UK based company that sells configurable and customisable furniture and other home accessories that can be designed and personalize to the customers’ own taste over the web.

Tabluka Creative Director Daniel Knox says that “The Tabluka concept is different in many ways. Different because it uses the latest digital design technologies. Different because it uses modern, stylish materials. Different because it puts you in control.”

He says that Tabluka has been developed out of understanding consumer needs and the gowing desire for personalised, long lasting and sustainably sourced furniture.

Tabluka furniture is assembled by slotting together the flat packed pieces without the need for any screws, nails or tools – therefore no need for DIY experience. Anyone who watched The Apprentice and the flat pack furniture challenge, will understand the appeal of this when it is done well.
Product

Tabluka are currently using DriveWorks Pro Administrator, DriveWorks Pro Autopilot and DriveWorks Pro Live to allow their consumers to directly configure their own  table and accessories online.

The site has all been created using DriveWorks’ form technology and lets you choose: the table height, width, depth, cormer radius and the wood type and finish. There are even options for cable management, for people who want to bring electricity or internet conenctions to their table!

And one of the most popular features is the ability to personalize the table by engraving family names, dates and special messages.

Tabluka

Benefits cited by Tabluka for using DriveWorks are:

You can visit Tabluka here or follow the Tabluka concept on Twitter at @tabluka

 

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