Now don’t get me wrong. You can live on more than just gravy substitutes, but with that piled around your computer as you beta test SolidWorks 2011, people will know you are DEAD SERIOUS.

There are two reason why you should get gravy’ed and beta. They were both results of cool ideas that worked, but became really, really annoying really, really fast. One I even gave a SolidWorks 2010 best new feature award. I slap myself, repeatedly with a mug of cold gravy. I’ve been waiting four Service Packs to do this post and now… the time has come.

Soon after I implemented SolidWorks 2010 at a company, I received the following email:

There’s this really annoying half-blue, half-yellow circle that shows up and keeps me from being able to select lines that are anywhere near each other when dimensioning. Also, there’s a box that covers the sheet whenever I select a dimension. That last one isn’t a big deal it just looks dumb and makes me shout random state capitals.

State capitals people. State. Capitals. That’s just wrong. But in this email lies two reasons why you should start boiling some giblets in preparation for the upcoming beta of SolidWorks 2011.

Reason 1: Rapid Dimensions
The first thing mentioned in the email, the half-blue, half-yellow circle, is the Rapid Dimension tool. It made it through SolidWorks 2010 beta, and soon became the bane of many a dimension laying drafter. An option to toggle it off or on was added in SP4. That’s four updates after beta, not including multiple betas and early visibility releases.

The annoying Rapid Dimension tool, getting in the way of dimensioning brillance.
The annoying Rapid Dimension tool, getting in the way of dimensioning brillance.
You can now toggle off the Rapid Dimension tool after selecting a dimension or when in the Dimension command.
You can now toggle off the Rapid Dimension tool after selecting a dimension or when in the Dimension command.

Reason 2: Dimension Pallet
The dimension pallet also went through beta and came out as the perfect way to add to and modify your dimension, except when it was in the way. This was taken care of in SP3 and now shows up as a flyout which makes the pallet visible only when you click on it.

The dimension box. It practically covers the entire drawing.
The dimension box. It practically covers the entire drawing.

Now but a spec, the dim box shows up as a flyout for access to the same annotations.
Now but a spec (to the upper right of the cursor), the dim box shows up as a flyout for access to the same annotations.

It takes one user to point out when a feature sucks, but when you get a whole mass of users saying it, there’s bound to be some change. The idea is that it happens before the program leaves beta. Wanna join the insanity? You can get the gravy mix ready and sign up for SolidWorks Beta through here.

Author

Josh is founder and editor at SolidSmack.com, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.