Thursday, June 27, 2013

SolidWorks 2014 is Beta Testing - Are You Signed Up?

The SolidWorks 2014 Beta 1 is now available! Sign up now to become a 2014 Beta Tester!

It's that time of year again! SolidWorks has released the 2014 Beta for download. For die hard SolidWorks fans, this is an opportunity for us to get our hands on all the great functionality that was previewed at SolidWorks World.

On a more practical level, if you've never beta tested, you really should consider doing so. It provides a great opportunity for you to understand the new functionality, put core functionality through the paces with your models, and begin formulating a deployment strategy.

A few tips to remember if you are beta testing:

  • Leverage a test machine that mimics your production hardware. It's well worth the time to set up a test machine for beta testing. It will give an accurate picture of what to expect when you deploy 2014 in a production environment.
  • If having a test machine isn't feasible, there are some really great options for creating a virtual environment that are free. Consider looking into a program like VirtualBox ( It's open source and only requires that you have a license of Windows that can be activated. You should note that virtual environments are excellent for testing functionality, but aren't ideal for testing performance or graphics.
  • NEVER work directly on your production files (this includes Design Libraries, Templates, etc). Make a copy of them and keep them separate. Once you upgrade the files to a Beta version, there's no way to get them back.
  • Have fun! There are always great prizes available for those who are involved in the Beta program!
To learn more about the Beta program and to sign up, visit the SolidWorks 2014 Beta site.

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