SOLIDWORKS 2022: Anything New with Part Modeling?

As the SOLIDWORKS portfolio of tools continues to grow and new, exciting technology is introduced, one thing is for sure—SOLIDWORKS never forgets its roots in classic part modeling. When it comes to SOLIDWORKS, part modeling provides the biggest hits. Now with SOLIDWORKS 2022, the greatest hits are even greater.

It’s what we expect to see when the latest version is released. It’s the core set of tools for creating geometry so you can take your concepts and make them a reality. Although the essence of the foundational tools remains the same, year over year the amount of time and effort to use them to create geometry is dramatically reduced. With each new release you can do more with less (less clicks, that is). In this article we’ll show you all the improvements for modeling and creating parts in SOLIDWORKS 2022.  

Section View: Easier Than Ever

Section views are a classic SOLIDWORKS superpower that gives you the ability to see inside your designs. It’s one of the first things you learn in a beginner SOLIDWORKS class, and it is a go-to tool for any power user looking to get visibility of the hidden details of the internal geometry.

Now, thanks to some amazing enhancements in SOLIDWORKS 2022, the section view tool is even more powerful. With the addition of the cylindrical reference button (highlighted in the image above), you can now create section views using cylindrical conical shapes and axes.

This will be a huge time saver for those moments when a suitable plane does not exist as a reference for a section view. Now you don’t have to spend time creating extra entities because you can leverage all the geometry you already have created.

Coordinate Systems: Better and More Usable, Plus Reference Planes

Let’s revisit one of the real MVPs of SOLIDWORKS 2022: Coordinate Systems. Coordinate systems have been greatly improved in SOLIDWORKS 2022—so much so that they should be promoted to the top tier of your tools. To see some of the great new functionality of coordinate systems, check out our article on User Experience Enhancements. Spoiler alert, coordinate systems have a lot of additional functionality such as adding via X, Y, Z coordinates and even the ability to start a sketch directly from the coordinate system planes.

But what’s most useful is the ability to directly create a reference plane from the coordinate system planes. In just one click, you can leverage the plane of an existing coordinate system to create reference planes or section views.

Draft Across Parting Line:  Streamlined Features

Adding drafts to your design in SOLIDWORKS 2022 has gotten easier. Now you can add a draft on both sides of a parting line. What used to take multiple features has been consolidated to just one draft.  

This capability may be a small extension of a core tool, but it will amount to huge time savings when you’re creating these types of features.

Pack and Go for Parts

Pack and Go is already a go-to tool for assemblies, but now this has been extended to parts. If you are not already using Pack and Go to easily share your assemblies, you should be. With one click, you can gather all the related files for your design into a folder or zip file. Pack and Go includes all the related parts, assemblies, drawings, references, design tables, and even decals and appearances, and packages them all up into an easy-to-share zip file. Some power users use Pack and Go to archive their designs.  

With SOLIDWORKS 2022, Pack and Go recognizes and includes parts that you create using the Split and Save Bodies feature. Now it takes just one click to share parts with suppliers and vendors.

When you use the Pack and Go tool to easily share your part, you will see files listed that were created from the Split or Saved Bodies command. This makes it easy to make sure you include all the files a vendor or partner might need.

Virtual Threads, a.k.a. Cosmetic Thread

In 2022, we can’t talk about threads without first mentioning the new Stud Wizard tool. This amazing new tool enables you to easily create external threads on your geometry. You can see it in action in the video below. Also, check out our article about the Stud Wizard.

What you will notice in SOLIDWORKS 2022 is that the threads that are graphically displayed on your geometry have been improved. These virtual threads, officially known as cosmetic threads, have been around forever in SOLIDWORKS. In 2022, they have been improved to look better and be easier to use.

But first, a Pro Tip. Cosmetic threads can be referred to as virtual threads because they aren’t actually cut into the model. Cutting actual threads would decrease your model’s performance. If you have threads in your design, you should use cosmetic threads. You get the look of real threads without the performance implications. But to get the threads to appear on your geometry, you will need to turn them on. That’s as easy as checking the “shaded cosmetic threads” box in the Detailing section of Document Properties, as shown below.

With this document property turned on, SOLIDWORKS 2022 will show you more threads in a more realistic way than ever before. This is because when you add cosmetic threads to a part in SOLIDWORKS 2022, any underlying appearances or textures on the part now appear between the cosmetic threads.

But it doesn’t stop there. You can turn the photorealism up to eleven with cosmetic threads in SOLIDWORKS Visualize. The cosmetic threads that you apply to your SOLIDWORKS model automatically look great in SOLIDWORKS Visualize, so you can easily create realistic renderings of your designs.

Selection Sets: Now is the Time to Use Them

Selection sets were introduced with SOLIDWORKS 2015 and instantly become a favorite of SOLIDWORKS power users. With selection sets, you can save groups of entities such as edges, faces or even sketches. They are added to the Feature Tree to make it easier to select them again.

With SOLIDWORKS 2022, using selection sets is easier than ever. You can now create selection sets directly from within group boxes of the Property Manager. This means that at the same time you are creating features, you can also save as selection sets. You can add comments to selection sets, as well.

Redo: A Delight with a Surprise

SOLIDWORKS 2022 users will be able to use redo after more operations:

  • Inserting & editing features: Hole wizard, simple hole, linear pattern.
  • Commands and actions: Instant 2D, reorder features, rollback.

Users may not know that redo and undo support can change for different operations with each release. And you won’t know it’s gone for a particular feature until you try to use it. In fact, redo and undo haven’t been available for seemingly random features or functions over the years. That’s what makes a limitless undo and redo the top feature request by users every single year.

A limitless redo is an example of a small delight that keeps improving SOLIDWORKS year over year. Slowly, it seems, Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS is adding more features and extending existing functionality that keeps offering compelling reasons to upgrade. Every year, we ask how it could get any better; we’ll just wait until next year when I know we’ll have the answer. Stay tuned.

Learn about all the new SOLIDWORKS 2022 enhancements with the ebook SOLIDWORKS 2022 Enhancements to Streamline and Accelerate Your Entire Product Development

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