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It is a tool for mechanical designers to do their concept design work.  Its specialty is with mechanisms (moving parts).  Its purpose is to help get ideas or concepts into 3D right away while fostering an iterative design process and maintaining multiple configurations.  According to SolidWorks, 31% of project time is spent working with concepts.  On average, there are 6 conceptual iterations in an individual design.  There are often both internal and external groups that are part of the conceptual process.  Ease of use in collaboration is important in making this process smooth, so that all groups can give input into the design.  This is where the Social aspect comes in, which we will talk about in a few moments.  The detail design process within SolidWorks can often limit creativity in the conceptual process.  This tool is designed to capture concepts digitally, provide capability to manage multiple iterations, and most importantly be easy to use and easy to change.

Social

Social integration is designed into the “foundation” of SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual.  Designs can be shared with both internal and external groups who are “stakeholders” in the project through “private communities”.  The example page shown appeared to be a derivative of a 3DSWYM page that allowed users to post comments on the design.  No other details were given.

Instinctive

SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual is always saving designs and capturing iterations as you work.  Not only does this allow you to easily go back and use a previous design, it also remembers how components were used.  Speaking of components, there is a BIG difference in this area.  SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual introduces a single modeling environment (which of course is quite different from SolidWorks).  This allows the user to NOT have to worry about the file structure, Bill of Materials, or subassembly order while developing the concept.  It was said to be a “more natural” way to do concept design.

Here a couple of key statements made about this software:

  • “SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual merges the benefits of history, parametrics, and direct editing into a single interface.  It is the best of all worlds.”
  • “It will be easy to make a change (any change) and respect the previous design intent that they had already put into the design.”

The software was said to be “instinctive” and is constantly learning.  Since everything is stored in a database, the software understands how you use components and becomes smarter with every use.

Connected

SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual is always connected online.  It prevents the loss of data due to deletion, application crashes, or accidental over-writes.  It provides a connected interface (without the burden of a PDM interface) to other team members so that screen shots can be shared within the interface and designs can be updated real-time for teams working in separate locations.

 

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