What’s New in SOLIDWORKS 2017 User Interface

The new and improved SOLIDWORKS is here with the SOLIDWORKS 2017 release. This is our first “deep dive” into the new features, enhancements, and other goodies contained in this release. To see an overall review of what’s new take a look at this article.

The first changes probably to catch your eye will be the changes to SOLIDWORKS’ User Interface (UI).

User Interface (UI)

The changes to the SOLIDWORKS 2017 user interface are nowhere near as dramatic as what was done in 2016, but this by no way diminishes the impact. Consider these more of the “nice-to-have” variety that might seem small but will make a difference making sure the software stays out of the way of you making your design.

Here’s a list of everything changed:

  • Customizing Configuration Sort Order
  • Disabling Selection Accelerator Toolbars
  • Dynamic Reference Visualization
  • FeatureManager Comment Enhancements
  • Hide All Types
  • Interface Updates for SOLIDWORKS Rx, Task Scheduler, and Sustainability
  • Property Tab Builder Redesign
  • Selection Breadcrumbs
  • Shortcut Menus
  • Suppressing Configuration and Display State Names in the FeatureManager Design Tree
  • Touch-based Interactions

Configuration Sort Order

The order of your configurations is finally sortable, meaning they are no longer stuck in the order they were created. By right-clicking at the top-level of the configuration tree you can adjust the Tree Order. The options include Numeric, Literal (alphabetical), Manual (drag-and-drop), and History-Based.

SOLIDWORKS 2017 User Interface Config Sort Order

The Selection Accelerator Toolbars that appear with Fillet, Move Face, and Delete Face can now be turned off (disabled). Do this by clearing Show selection toolbar in the PropertyManager or by clicking the X at the end of the selection toolbar.

SOLIDWORKS 2017 User Interface Selection Toolbars

Originally introduced in 2016, the Dynamic Reference Visualization is now less curvy to reduce the amount of overlapping text and lines. A circle now identifies the feature whose parent and child relationships are being viewed. [NOTE… LOVE IT! Best UI enhancement in my modest opinion].

Solidworks 2017 User Interface Dynamic Reference Updates

Comments are now applicable to just about any node in the FeatureManager and comments can also be created standalone, not associated to any feature. To make it easier to locate comments, new indicators appear next to the node in the tree.  The comments are now viewable within the PropertManager as well.

SOLIDWORKS 2017 Comment-Indicator

When you add a comment a time stamp is automatically appended. To help detail the comment use the new feature to insert a screen capture.

SOLIDWORKS 2017 Comment Updates

Use the new Hide / Show Items in the Head-up View tools bar to quickly hide or unhide all items… all without leaving the graphics area.

SOLIDWORKS 2017 Hide All Types

Selection Breadcrumb updates include better feedback as only the applicable mates are shown for the selected face, edge, vertex, or feature. The part’s reference planes are accessible from the breadcrumb, with the option to set their visibility. As well, use the breadcrumb to pre-select the plane to use it as a sketching plane, with a feature, or when creating assembly mates.

SOLIDWORKS 2017 Breadcrumb Updates

Shortcut menus are streamlined and standardized. You will not find a better example than the Sketch Entities menu, which is much more compact to reduce unnecessary mouse travel. The middle mouse wheel now works to scroll through menus that run off the screen.

SOLIDWORKS 2017 Shortcut Menu Updates

See the SOLIDWORKS 2017 User Interface in action

Feature Image “Chadburns Ships Engine Order Telegraph Great Lakes Naval Museum April 24, 201034” by Steven Depolo