Over the years, the Admin Image deployment package has been changed and in this current release it is fairly easy to create them. The easiest way to get this started is from a media disk for the initial release of the version. This may not be what you would want to deploy for the clients. So then you need to do the download for this which can be time consuming for either the Full Download or even just the download for creating the Image. If you plan to go this route, plan ahead and download the package ahead of time. If you want to create the image for both 32 & 64 bit, get both of these downloads into the same folder so the Installation Manager (IM) knows where to find it.
To get this started, open the IM for either version 32 or 64 and when it is on the Welcome page select “Administrative image” here you are able to select how you would like to create it.
You can create a new image which will use SolidWorks default settings for the creation, or you can create it from an existing image you had deployed in the past. This second option will bring all of those settings and options into the image. If you do it this way and you have not downloaded any of the software, it will decrease the download time as it will only download what it needs to patch the old version to the new version. This is especially helpful for service packs, but not as much for new versions. Here we can also choose to create both 32 and 64 bit image as well. In this example, I selected to create a new image and only for x64 as that is the IM I started. We then will select Next to continue. The next page is for the Serial Number(s) you have for SolidWorks, Simulation, Flow, Motion and Workgroup Contributor. We can select Next for this once we have all the serial numbers recorded if they did not fill in automatically. It will then check the serial numbers and installs for verification.
From this page we can select what to include for SolidWorks to install. I recommend creating it with everything your serial number(s) allow, as we can edit what gets deployed with the option editor. We can also adjust our download settings if a download is needed and change the location where it creates the image and where it creates it from.
Next, select Create Now and it will ask if you are using a network serial number and where to point for the server. After that is OK-ed it will go through and create the image in the location selected and when it is done it will tell you it is complete and ask if you would like to see how to install this image on the clients. This will then prompt us to open the Option Editor to customize the Image. We will cover this in a future post.
Many of us have been arms wide open to the new section view assist tool that was released with SolidWorks 2013 but for those who have yet to make the move, this blog is for you. I have seen it a few times now, a customer calls in and is finding that their jogged section view is stretched when this is not the view they intended. Generally, the option for creating a “foreshortened section view” or “an aligned section view” comes up when selecting a jogged section line for creation of the section view. This message can and is often times dismissed leaving the user to default to the last selection. One option is to clear this message from the System Options under messages/errors/warnings; the second option is the topic of this blog.
Let’s take a look at an example of a created section view, I have sketched in my line, inferenced my geometry and selected the section view. I was prompted the above notice in which I wanted to create an aligned section view for purposes of this post.
The section view was created and as you can see an aligned section view was generated from my selected sketch line.
Now this may not be the desired section view, so how can I go about creating a foreshortened section view where the projection is normal to the cutting line? Simple! If you go back to the option of the two, you will see in the description that “Construction lines are excluded from the view.”
I can simply edit the sketched line that I used to create the initial aligned view, but change the vertical sketched line to construction lines.
After this has been done, simply exit the sketch and your section view will update to a foreshortened section view.
The other day, I received a file from a customer that had an odd display issue. It appeared to have cosmetic threads showing as solid lines in one drawing, but not in the other. It turned out that one drawing’s annotations had been put on a layer that was using a solid line font. To change this, SolidWorks 2013 now allows you to right click on the cosmetic line in the drawing and select Change Layer in the menu that shows.
In previous versions, you had to turn on the Layer tool bar to make this change. Now, all you have to do is right click the annotation and select Change Layer.
You will get a floating layer tool bar to make the change to the layer applied to the selected annotation.
Nice little addition that was not shown in the “What’s New for SolidWorks 2013.”
Does it seem like it is taking longer to do searches or even listing all of the files when browsing? One of the things that could be causing this are fragmented indexes in the database.
Many of the databases in your Enterprise PDM vault have an index to ensure that data is found quickly when accessed by other database operations. Over time as more and more operations are run, these indexes can get scattered (similar to the data on a hard drive getting fragmented as you add and delete files) which makes it more difficult to find the information. This can be especially noticeable after an upgrade or after importing a lot of files into the vault.
The indexes can be updated by setting up a maintenance plan in SQL to rebuild and reorganize them. Doing this on a regular basis should help improve performance during searching, browsing, etc.
1. Open SQL Server Management Studio and log in.
2. Right click on Maintenance Plans and select Maintenance Plan Wizard
3. On the Select Plan Properties page enter a name for the plan and a description if you would like.
4. To set up a schedule select the Change… button.
5. Set up the recurring schedule on the Job Schedule Properties window. The example below is set to run weekly on Sunday at midnight. If there is a lot of activity in your vault it can be run daily as long as there is a convenient time when the vault is not being used. Otherwise weekly should be sufficient.
6. Click Next and select the tasks to run. Check the boxes for Reorganize Index and Rebuild Index.
7. Click Next. Click Next again on the Select Maintenance Task Order window.
8. On the Define Reorganize Index Task window, click on the drop-down to select the database(s). Selecting These databases: radio button will allow you to select a specific database or multiple databases. Or select All user databases (excluding master, model msdb, tempdb). Then click Next.
9. On the Define Rebuild Index Task, again select the database(s). Use the same selection as the Reorganize Database task. Leave the other settings as default. Click Next.
10. You can create a report and save it to a text file. Enter a different location if desired.
11. Click Finish on the last window to complete the set-up of the maintenance plan.
12. A window will open and show the actions while the plan is saved. Click Close when completed.
13. If you want to execute the plan immediately, expand the Maintenance Plans and right click on the plan name and select Execute. Otherwise it will run per the schedule.
The time to run the rebuild/reorganize plan the first time will depend on the size of the database and how fragmented the index is. When it is run on a scheduled basis, the time should be relatively short. From what I’ve read, weekly should be sufficient. Performance may be affected during the process so it’s a good idea to run when there is little or no activity in the vault.
If you are really interested in learning more about index fragmentation and rebuilding and reorganizing indexes here are two articles from Microsoft:
SolidWorks 2013 adds new functionality when it comes to processing those renders you always dreamed of. New for 2013 is the capability to network render. In short, this give you the capability to utilize the processing power of up to ten computers from your network to complete a render job. This exciting new feature cuts your rendering time down to an efficient and manageable level. So say good bye to waiting for your machines core to do the job on their own. I’m going to walk you through how to set it up and before you know it, you will own your very own “render farm”!
In order to get this to work you need accomplish two simple tasks. First, ensure that you have SolidWorks 2013 Professional or Premium with the PhotoView 360 add-in turned on. Second, for all of your machine that will be used in the farm, they will need to be branded with the PhotoView 360 Network Render Client. This utility will allow your machine to access their processing power during the render stage. This will effect their performance but chances are, they aren’t using those extra cores anyway.
To install the render client on the farm machines, simply insert your 2013 SolidWorks DVD or use the downloaded SolidWorks install files from the customer portal and start the installation manager.
When you start the install process you will NOT be installing SolidWorks on the farm machines, just the client. You will click through to the product selection window and only select the PhotoView 360 Network Render Client to install.
Continue the install process until complete then repeat on all machines that you wish to add to your farm. Once complete, the farm machines will have a program called PhotoView 360 Network Render Client in the start menu. It will look like this:
This client will have to be up and running on the desired farm machines in order to be used by the machine running SolidWorks 2013. Once you start the client on the farm machines, an interface will open. You have to “enter client mode” for the machine to be active in your farm. This is done by selecting “Enter Client Mode Now” as indicated below. You can also set up a schedule as to when the farm machines are available and when they are not.
Once you enter client mode, you will see a dialog box in front of the client letting you know that it is waiting for a job. This will remain up until you exit client mode. It will also change once the machine receives the task of rendering.
Now that have your render farm awaiting your command, all you have left is to set up your machine to call out for help from the farm. Navigate to your PhotoView 360 menu and select options. From here, you can adjust your PhotoView Network Render options.
Now you are ready to render your heart out. Activate your final render inside of SolidWorks. You will see the normal render window with orange colored squares for each of your cores and blue squares for each of the farms cores. Check out this screen capture from a our small render farm. The 8 orange are my cores while the blue ones are the farms cores. Meanwhile the farm machines will show rendering data in the client.
Congratulations, you are now the proud owner of a PhotoView 360 render farm. Happy Rendering!