Thursday, December 18, 2014

New Considerations When Upgrading to EPDM 2015

Enterprise PDM 2015 has brought with it some important changes that will affect your upgrade. No longer do you need to download a license from the customer portal, because everything is now activation-based like many other SOLIDWORKS products. Additionally, there are new requirements of your hardware/software.

System Requirements

It is always important to check the SOLIDWORKS Enterprise PDM System Requirements before doing an upgrade. This year, Windows Server 2008 and all 32-bit systems are no longer compatible with the software. Additionally, SQL Server 2005 and 2008 are no longer supported, but EPDM media kits will be shipping with SQL Server 2014 this year. The Enterprise PDM Installation Guide has been updated this year to include steps on how to upgrade your version of SQL Server to 2014.

The Upgrade

Below are the steps you should follow to upgrade to EPDM 2015.

  1. Download the latest installer from the SOLIDWORKS Customer Portal. It is important not to use the version that is coming in the media kit because it is already out of date.
  2. Obtain your EPDM Serial number if you don't already have it. It should be in the My Products section on your SOLIDWORKS Customer Portal or you can obtain it from your SOLIDWORKS Reseller (like us!).
  3. Block log-ins. Log into your vault from the Administration tool, right-click on the vault, and go to Properties.

  4. Turn off the Archive Server Service on ALL Archive servers. I like to add this step to make sure absolutely no one is modifying any files before I back up the database. This can be easily done in the Archive Server Configuration Tool.

  5. Back up your databases. This can easily be done in the SQL Management Studio. Right-click your vault and go to Tasks > Back up. Make sure to choose the option for a Full backup. Repeat the process for all of your vaults including the Conisiomasterdb.
  6. Upgrade your Archive and Database servers. This is fairly straightforward using the EPDM Installer. It should automatically detect which components you already have installed. You will need your SQL Server name, username, and password to complete this.
  7. Set up the new licensing. You will notice there is an extra option now called License Server in the EPDM Installer. If you already have a SOLIDWORKS Network License Server, I recommend you just combine the Enterprise PDM licenses with the SOLIDWORKS ones. On that server, go to Programs and Features in the Control Panel, right click on the license server and choose Change. Go through the prompts until you get to the serial number section and add in the serial number you received from your reseller. If you don't already have a license server, go ahead and install it on one of the EPDM servers using the EPDM media.
  8. Activate the license. To do this, load the SolidNetwork License Manager which can be found in Start > All Programs > SOLIDWORKS 2015 > SOLIDWORKS Tools. If you aren't prompted to activate, choose Modify > Activate/Reactivate on the License Administration tab. Go through the prompts until it successfully activates.
  9. Upgrade the databases. You can do this from any machine with EPDM access. In the installation media there is a folder in the root called Upgrade. Run the Upgrade.exe inside. Check the boxes next to all of the databases and continue through the prompts until it upgrades.
  10. Permit log-ins. Go to the same properties menu as before inside of the Administration tool and instead choose Permit Log-ins. You don't need to turn on the Archive Server Service because it automatically does so when you upgrade.
  11. Finish licensing. Double-click the license node of your vault to set up licensing. Add a server and put 25734@<servername>. Test a vault view to make sure you don't run into any errors.

  12. Finally, upgrade the rest of your clients and give yourself a pat on the back. You're now working in EPDM 2015!
TIP: Now that EPDM is using SolidNetwork licensing, you can reserve licenses for specific people. Use wepdm_cadeditorandweb, swepdm_contributorandweb, and swepdm_viewer as the license names. Full walkthrough coming soon!

For more training and tutorials on the many 3D CAD Modeling solutions in the SOLIDWORKS family of products and add-ons, please feel free to look through our Webcast Archive, register for an upcoming webcast or event, or look into our 3DU SOLIDWORKS Training and Certification courses.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

CAD Jobs: Design Engineer in Detroit, MI

Our friends at The Armored Group in the Detroit area are looking for a design engineer. Are you their engineer? Check out the job description below and then get in touch with The Armored Group using the contact information provided.

Looking for an experienced and hands-on Design Engineer to design new and improve existing designs of our proprietary vehicles.

You will develop detailed design drawings and specifications for various vehicle applications using SOLIDWORKS software. The successful candidate will review and analyze all existing specifications, sketches, drawings, ideas, and related data to assess factors affecting designs and the procedures and instructions to be followed. Position will coordinate with and consult with others to design, lay-out, or detail components and systems, and to resolve design or other problems.

Applicants should possess at least an Associate's Degree in Engineering. Recent, hands-on SOLIDWORKS experience required. Applicants must be able to effectively communicate both written and verbally in English.

Familiarity with metal characteristics and production processes. Understanding of welding is also a plus.

Please contact Jeff with resume and salary requirements.

(313) 359-1426

Monday, December 15, 2014


If you have ever needed to share a SOLIDWORKS Drawing and scrolled through the "Save As" options, you may have run across a file type known as PNG, or Portable Network Graphics file.

The Wikipedia definition describes a PNG as a raster graphics file format that supports lossless data compression; this is unlike a JPEG or other more commonly known file types, which trade image quality for file size during compression.
PNGs are nice, from a graphics standpoint, in that they support different levels of transparency. Images can transition from a "ghostly" translucency to "crisp" opaqueness, allowing for some really unique effects when it comes to publishing to the web or communicating an idea with a colleague. The PNG predecessor, the GIF (Graphics Interchange Format), is limited in this aspect. Files are either translucent or opaque.
There are settings within SOLIDWORKS to help with the clarity and image quality of the files you save regardless of what file type you choose. Simply select File > Save as and in the file save as dialog box, choose Options. Note that this will only appear once you have selected the PNG as your file type!

Remember: It's the little things!

For more training and tutorials on the many 3D CAD Modeling solutions in the SOLIDWORKS family of products and add-ons, please feel free to look through our Webcast Archive, register for an upcoming webcast or event, or look into our 3DU SOLIDWORKS Training and Certification courses.

Friday, December 12, 2014

SOLIDWORKS TECH TIP: Meshing Tips and Tools for Better Results (Part 4)

Since I am always being asked what makes a good mesh, I decided once again to blog about a list I put together a while ago. This was a general list, in no particular order, of things you can do, things you can use, and things you can look for in creating a mesh; knowing you have a good mesh, you can feel better about the results you are getting.

This is part 4 in the series and will discuss checking for 'convergence' using the Adaptive Meshing tools. These tools help automate this process.

Adaptive Meshing Tools
SolidWorks Simulation has a couple of tools that will automate the convergence process for us. These tools are the H-Adaptive and P-Adaptive solution methods. By automating the process, we can be assured that our solution is converging to a finite solution; however, we can expect much longer run times as a result. See below for the differences in the H-Adaptive and P-Adaptive solution methods. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Stratasys and Worrell Announce Collaborative Partnership to Optimize Medical Devices

In the medical device industry, innovation and optimization of new products is paramount to ensuring that breakthrough ideas are able to come to fruition and aid in achieving patient health. The challenges that medical device manufacturers tend to run into, however, are high tooling costs and meeting very strict FDA regulations. This is where additive manufacturing becomes a very valuable tool to manufacturers, as 3D printing is ideal when complex parts need to be produced in low volume. 

Earlier this week, Stratasys, a world leader in the 3D printing industry, along with product development firm Worrell announced collaboration between the two companies, the goal being to educate medical device manufacturers on the cost savings and speed 3D printing brings to the industry. The current plan is to have both companies strategically market and promote at international
Medical device created via a
3D printed injections mold
trade shows, and also to promote a series of educational workshops. According to Nadav Sella, Senior Manager of Manufacturing Tools at Stratasys, "We have recognized a significant under-utilization of the 3D printed injection molding process in medical device development and we're working with Worrell to help fill this gap."

The partnership was sparked when Worrell was asked to develop a new medical device and began running into the challenges faced by traditional manufacturing methods. According to Worrell CEO Kai Worrell, "We were recently approached by medical device startup MedTG to design and engineer a dual-flow needleless blood collection system that reduced the need for multiple injections, thereby increasing patient comfort and hospital efficiency. Utilizing 3D printed injection molds to prototype the device, we were able to reduce the costs associated with traditional tooling by approximately 70%, as well as cutting times by 95%." It is this type of time and cost savings that the two companies hope to promote in the future. 

Learn more about 3D printers at our website here.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Stratasys Receives Motorsport Technology of the Year Award

This year, Stratasys 3D Printing won the award of "Motorsport 2014 Technology of the Year" at the annual Professional MotorSport World Expo Awards in Cologne Germany. Stratasys received this recognition for their work with Strakka Racing. Utilizing Stratasys technology has helped Strakka Racing produce essential parts in their Championship Strakka DOME S103 LMP2 race car.

The automotive industry has really benefited from the world of opportunity that 3D printing allows
designers and engineers to enable. "3D printing still seems so ingenious that it's almost unbelievable, yet here it is in cost-effective form for the lower echelons of the sport," said David Tremayne, editor, of Grand Prix + and a judge.

The recognition of Stratasys' 3D printing capabilities came from the way the Strakka engineering team utilized multiple aspects of 3D printer usage. The team at Strakka was able to create scale models and concept designs in the early stages of a parts build; then, once the part had been optimized, they created functional prototypes and actual end use parts for their S103 LMP2 race car

John O'Brien, editor of Professional Motorsport World, says "It's a fascinating technology with far reaching implications for all levels of the sport." O'Brien continued by adding, "From accurately recreating components for historic cars that simply are no longer available to creating bespoke prototype parts for the latest F1 and LMP cars, 3D printing is the perfect accoutrement to motorsport."

To automotive industry experts, 3D printing technology is a tool that will be used more as the industry continues to grow and evolve. There is a wide range of applications where 3D printing can be applied. With the quick turnaround and low cost to produce quality parts, you can bet Stratasys can look forward to more awards in the future. 

Read this story in Stratasys' own words on their blog.
Learn more about 3D printers on our website.

Friday, November 21, 2014

CAD Jobs: Engineering SysAdmin in Goshen, IN

Our customer Supreme Corporation in Goshen, Indiana is looking for a new Engineering Systems Administrator. Are you their candidate? Check out the job description below and then contact them at the details listed below.

Engineering Systems Administrator

Responsible for design and maintenance of Solidworks CAD and EPDM systems at Supreme. The individual in this position will have a working knowledge of Solidworks Design software, EPDM and Manufacturing Systems.  Work with senior management to understand the goals and metrics of the business in order to develop the Solidworks/EPDM System and corresponding add-on modules.  Communicate across all levels of the organization, maintain a project/task list, and execute quickly and efficiently.

  • Management and co-ownership of the Solidworks EPDM system
  • In-Depth knowledge of Solidworks CAD design software.
  • Coordinate and produce training material for Solidworks and EPDM usage.
  • Ability to lead employees and drive results across multiple disciplines.
  • Develop and maintain data integrity/security rules within EPDM (according to set policy)
  • End-user Support of Solidworks issues, problems, and updates
  • Collaborate with corporate management to ensure policies and initiatives are aligned with the overall corporate strategy (document management, workflow, engineering data quality)
  • Working with the business owners to understand requirements and needs while ensuring completion and timeliness
  • Maintain technical proficiency through professional reading, professional development courses and general awareness of current issues
  • Will Report to Engineering Director with a dotted line to the I.T. Director

  • The ability to see the big picture and understand how the EPDM platform can add true value
  • Minimum 2 years of experience in system administration of EPDM Platform (version 7 and/or 8)
  • Minimum 2 years of experience in use of Solidworks Design software (2013 or later)
  • Advanced MS Office skills including PowerPoint, Word, and Excel
  • MS SQLServer 2008-2012 experience (query-building, backup and maintenance of SQLServer)
  • General Windows Server system administration experience
  • Excellent project management and organizational skills
  • Excellent communication and listening skills
  • Excellent business acumen, ability to communicate across all levels of the organization
  • Willingness to drive projects to completion
  • An outgoing personality


John Fehring
Director of Engineering

Supreme Corporation
2572 E. Kercher Rd.
Goshen, IN 46528

Office:  (574) 642-4888 - Ext. (289)
Direct:  (574) 642-0811

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Migration from Windows to Enterprise PDM Part 3: Legacy Revision Workflow

Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3

Many companies have several projects stored in their Windows file system prior to an Enterprise Product Data Manager (EPDM) implementation. While it is ideal to leave older projects within the old filing system, it is sometimes important to integrate them into the new PDM system for future use. This is the final entry of a three part blog series entitled Migration from Windows to Enterprise PDM.

It is recommended that you implement in a test vault prior to executing on your production vault. Some instructions are intended for migrating large amounts of data at once. If you are only moving a few documents into the vault, it is still applicable, but some steps may not be necessary.


Enterprise PDM does not automatically detect the revision levels of legacy data once it is entered into the vault, regardless of what is showing in the datacard. The datacard may display a revision, but if you were to do a new release, it would start at the beginning; this happens because EPDM keeps a revision counter separate of the datacard variable for each file. The only way to remedy is this is through the use of API (programming) or a Legacy Revision Workflow

Begin by creating a new workflow. Make sure your Conditions are set to either point to a single directory (such as a folder named Migration or Legacy) or exclude everything. If you choose to exclude all files from the workflow, you can move it to the workflow using a Workflow Link. The condition would need to be of type Filepath and the argument would be !=% (does not equal anything).

Thursday, November 13, 2014

CAD Jobs: Mechanical Engineer in Cynthiana, KY

Our friends at EZ Pack in Cynthiana, Kentucky are looking for a mechanical engineer, and they've asked us to spread the word. Are you their engineer? Check out the job description below, and then contact Larry Horning using the information provided.

- Provide engineered solutions for new products and modifications to existing products.
- Produce full manufacturing specification package including Engineering BOMs.
- To resolve problems at the root cause quickly and effectively and manage engineering change process
- Follow Group standards of in the areas of QFD, FMEA,  prototype development and field testing
- Follow Group engineering standards and associated IT systems,
- Ensure products meet standards and performance levels specified for safety, function and reliability
- Reduce cost through consultation with the production department, purchasing and suppliers.
- To investigate and address Customer Complaints in a timely manner.
- Drive standardization of components
- Stay knowledgeable about competitor design trends; apply latest technology to new and existing designs where appropriate to stay current and innovative.

Basic Qualifications
- Bachelor Degree in Engineering, Mechanical or Industrial  
- 3-5 years experience
- proficient user of Solid Works
- Experience using Product Data Management (PDM) systems
- Technical expertise in mechanical, hydraulic, and pneumatic systems
- Strong communication skills, both written and spoken
Preferred Qualifications
- Ability to identify risks both technical and commercial with proposed product change or new product
- Creativity and innovative thinking
- Ability to work with others to meet deadlines.
- Able to assess workload and commit to realistic time-lines.
- Able to select from multiple design alternatives when a clear best choice is not evident.
- Able to investigate root cause of machinery warranty or performance issues

- Good Presentation and interpersonal skills.
- A "Can do" attitude and ability to interact with a multi-functional team.

Larry Horning
Director of Engineering, Warranty, Service
Phone:  859 235 2022

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

SOLIDWORKS TECH TIP: Drawings - Hide/Show Edges

Did you know that you can hide/show edges of particular features or components? This quick method can help you highlight or clarify a single hidden feature or component in a drawing view without cluttering it.

For example, I'd like to highlight the Spring Mount Feature in a top view of my Clamp:

But when I do, I get too much information:

You can choose to show hidden edges for only particular features by right clicking them in the FeatureManager Design Tree and choosing Hide/Show and Show Hidden Edges:

This method also applies to components in assembly drawings. For example, I've shown hidden edges for just the Plunger component of my dart gun: