xDesign Made Simple

[fa icon="calendar"] January 28, 2021 / by Warren McCray

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If you never heard of xDesign, you are in for a treat. As you all know we made leaps and bounds in technology within the last 10 years, and it is still growing. More and more companies are faced with new challenges and are hungry for great products without the overhead and expensive IT cost typically associated with engineering. The cost of servers and their upkeep is enormous. Many companies no longer maintain an IT person on staff, those requirements are more and more being outsourced. This does save money, but it is a partial solution to the problem. Currently there are many companies and organizations looking for a solution that does not require IT overhead. If this is something you are looking for, you are at the right place.

During this blog, I will introduce you to this app and help you see why it is growing in demand, and its capabilities are constantly improving.

xDesign is an app that runs on any device that can access the internet, via a web browser. The software is not installed locally so it can run on a Chromebook and does not require a windows operating system.

This application is offered within the 3D Creator Role offered on the 3DExperience Platform. If you are not aware of this contact your local SOLIDWORKS reseller, or reach out to us at: https://www.tpm.com/

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Gaining Access to xDesign

To gain access to this technology, you must be invited to the 3DExperience Platform. The invitation can come from a variety of sources. If purchased by a company the point of contact will receive an invitation from Dassault System’s. If your company already has access, the invitation will be from your 3DExperience administrator. Once your log in and your password has been established, you must select your tenant (ie: welcome to ABC Corp (DS-R1234678910)) and select a collaborative space. You may also be invited to a dashboard by another user where the app can be easily made available.

If you need to launch the app, click on the Compass at the top left-hand corner.

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The Compass will light up and provide access to the roles that have been assigned to you. If the 3D Creator Role is not listed, see your 3DExperience administrator. You can also scroll down to the apps below or just click on the 3D Creator role link. It will display the apps assigned under that role.

Apps are not sold individually, the roles are. There are many Roles to consider as you become more familiar with these products. The Collaborative Business Innovator (CBI) Role and the Collaborative Industry Innovator (CII) Role are essential for collaboration and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM). There are packages one can lease or purchase for a full year or by the quarter which is great for those businesses on a tight budget. This is also an easy way to start designing products with little upfront investment. When the app launches it looks like this:

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The Menus

The welcome screen reflects the many ways you can get started. It also has links for additional training on the 3DExperience Edu web site. There is also a link to the 3DSwym SOLIDWORKS 3DEXPERIENCE User Community.

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The Quick Tour link will prompt you to create a new Component, you must enter a Name and a Location.

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Under the Design Guidance Tab, there is a User Assistance, and a Learning Assistant… to guide you thru your design. With an interactive video to guide you thru the process.

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There are in context menus to reduce mouse travel.

To activate a sketch, pick a plane and click on the “Create or Edit” sketch icon and start sketching.

There are some unique advancements as well as similar hot keys you may already be familiar with. For example, the “S” key will bring up a short cut menu.

What this means is there will be a minimal amount of down time getting up to speed with this product. Sketching is simple and intuitive.

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The Features

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There are many new features and capabilities you will have that is not available within other CAD programs. xDesign has a single modeling environment, so there is no need to create assemblies from a separate file. With xDesign you can create parts or assemblies on the fly. There is even an option to switch from an extruded feature to a revolve or a sweep feature all from the same easy to use interface. Just select your desired feature and click on the green check mark.

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Now just repeat the process for your next feature. It’s that simple. You can add or remove material on the fly. Applied features like fillets can be added easily.

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So, you can see I was able to model a simple part without any videos or additional training. From here I can add a material from a large database. Or I can apply a color. There are several options to choose from. To apply a color, click on the Design Features at the top of the Design Manager on the left. A pop-up menu will appear, and a beach ball icon (in color) will appear. A menu will pop up allowing you to choose from two selections: Sets or Faces. The Sets option will select all faces on the model. Click on the color swatch box at the bottom of the menu and select a color or drag within the gradation of tone area and watch the model change in color as you drag the pointer. Select any color you desire and click on the green check mark at the top right corner and you are done.

As you can see xDesign runs on any device with a browser connection. It is intuitive, easy to use, and has many of the short cut commands you may already be aware of. You can create parts or assemblies from one single environment. Want to learn more about xDesign or other software programs on the 3DExperence platform? Visit our web site at https://www.tpm.com/ or call 1-800-922-1145.

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Topics: Manufacturing, SOLIDWORKS, Three Minute Thursday

Warren McCray

Written by Warren McCray

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