Performance Gets Another Boost with the Latest SOLIDWORKS

It seems that one of the themes of SOLIDWORKS 2022 is that what was once great yet imperfect has ultimately been perfected. If you don’t believe me, you have to try SOLIDWORKS 2022 and see for yourself. Things such as Lightweight Mode, Large Design Review, Detailing Mode and even straight-up graphics performance have all been improved upon as a response to the ever-growing demands for better performance. If you want better performance with your SOLIDWORKS software, there is only one thing you need to do: Upgrade.

Upgrading is the key to a high-performance workflow in SOLIDWORKS, and so users are encouraged to upgrade to SOLIDWORKS 2022 because the performance improvements in SOLIDWORKS 2022 are simply stellar. In fact, these enhancements are so good that performance alone is a reason compelling enough to upgrade your SOLIDWORKS.

If you think you’ve heard that before, you’re right. I’ve written that line in blog articles like this just about every single year for nearly a decade. But the truth is, I write that because every year it proves to be true—and no more so than this year with SOLIDWORKS 2022. Performance is so good that it truly is reason enough to upgrade your SOLIDWORKS, and below we take a look at four areas that got some of the most noticeable enhancements.

1. 10X Graphics Performance  

Thanks to improvements in the graphics architecture, the look and feel of manipulating your CAD model has been dramatically improved. Think about this for a second; how often are you manipulating your CAD model? Probably all the time. This is an action that is so fundamental that you don’t think about it, like breathing. But you do it thousands of times a day.

With each pan, zoom, or rotate of your model, you will notice a performance improvement of nearly 12 percent. This is measured in frames per second (FPS). The higher the FPS the better the performance due to the perceived smoothness or snappiness of the geometry. In the most realistic (prettiest?) display style—shaded with edges—the average FPS has been increased from 68 to 76 year over year.

2. Lightweight Components

In the SOLIDWORKS community there are two types of people: those who love lightweight components, and those who haven’t used lightweight components yet. Using lightweight components has always been a great way to get epic performance improvements for your large assemblies (for a refresher on lightweight components check out this article here). Lightweight is a “mode” in which you open your models, and which loads only a portion of the data into memory. The result is a so-called lightweight version of your model without the added weight of extra, unnecessary data. The loading of the “heavy data” is known as resolving the model. This is only needed if you wish to make changes to the model. Of course, taking advantage of this is great when you want to just look at your geometry but this has caused issues in the past.

In SOLIDWORKS 2022, lightweight components have been improved to automatically resolve components to ensure you always have the up-to-date version loaded. Previously this only happened when the geometry changed; now this has been extended to appearances and equations as well. See the animation above for an example of this—the out-of-date black appearance is automatically updated to brown.

Whenever an appearance has changed the geometry will be automatically resolved so you can see the up-to-date appearance of the model. It’s the same thing with equation. When working with equations in lightweight mode, any components referenced in an equation are automatically resolved. This eliminates any potential errors or mishaps due to not loading model data when working with lightweight components.

3. Large Design Review

If Lightweight Mode is like sports mode for your assemblies, then Large Design Review is like turning on the afterburner in a fighter jet. It is in a league all its own for assembly performance. You can open and manipulate models in an instant when you use Large Design Review. Check out the video below where an assembly with over 6,000 components opens in seconds.

Large Design Review (LDR) is great for performance. That’s not exactly news; in fact, it’s old news. The real news is just how useable LDR has become. With SOLIDWROKS 2022, the new assembly workflow begins by opening assemblies in LDR and opening what you need to work on. Look how easy it is to go from assembly to subassembly or drawing from LDR.

Now in SOLIDWORKS 2022, from the right click menu in the Feature Tree you can open subassemblies and drawings. The subassemblies can be opened in LDR mode or fully resolved depending on how you want to work. It’s a powerful yet flexible workflow that ought to be the starting point any time you want to work with an assembly.

4. Detailing Mode

Another performance mode for working with large data sets in SOLIDWORKS—Detailing Mode—got even better in SOLIDWORKS 2022. There are so many performance modes for your models that we have run out of analogies to describe it. This may be a problem for an author but for a SOLIDIWORKS user, it is most welcome.

Detailing mode for drawings was released with SOLIDWORKS 2020. Now in its third release, this performance mode for drawings sees its capabilities expanded to include much more functionality. As a result, detailing mode, which was already a great tool, has become much more useable.

With SOLIDWORKS 2022 you now can open any drawing in detailing mode. Previously, the drawing had to be explicitly saved as a detailing mode version. You can also now add standard views to a detailing mode drawing from the view palette and you can add hole tables. But the biggest improvement is that you can now open a drawing in detailing mode without the model data.

Imagine this. With detailing mode you can open a drawing file that is 20 years old, even if you don’t have the part files anymore. Detailing mode has quickly become a hit among SOLIDWORKS power users. If you haven’t used it yet, SOLIDWORKS 2022 is a great reason to get started with it today.

As we see the constant evolution of the SOLIDWORKS software, we see it get better and better each year. When it comes to the performance improvements added to each update, I like to put them into two categories:

  1. Outright performance (maximalist). Adding more horsepower to the software means things just go faster. You can max out your software with the existing hardware.
  2. Workflow (minimalist). The picks and clicks of a command or operation are easier to do. You can do more with fewer clicks.

Let us know, which team are you on when it comes to SOLIDWORKS performance—minimalist or maximalist? What’s great is with SOLIDWORKS 2022, you can have a favorite, but you don’t have to pick only one. Simply upgrade to the latest version so you can get more done.

Learn more about the enhancements in SOLIDWORKS 2022 with the ebook SOLIDWORKS 2022 Enhancements to Streamline and Accelerate Your Entire Product Development Process.

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