SOLIDWORKS Composer: What’s New for 2016?

SOLIDWORKS adds many new enhancements in each consecutive release. While some number of these are truly new features, many of the enhancements look to improve the user experience by making common tasks faster and easier to manage. These ‘delighters’ may seem small, but can save a lot of time and frustration.

Let’s take a look at a few of these, new for SOLIDOWORKS Composer 2016.

Revamped Timeline for Animation

Composer makes quick work of animations, with a simple and intuitive timeline-based animation mode. Keys are can be easily added to control the location of actors, their appearances, the camera orientation, etc.

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New for 2016 we see better organization of these keys in the timeline. Users can now quickly look across a row and see sorted keys based on each different property that can be controlled at any time. It makes even easier to identify what keys are control what actors.

Border on Active View

Just because it’s something little, doesn’t mean it isn’t great. In fact, I think this one is my favorite enhancement.

In previous versions, once you activate a view and start manipulating it, there’s no way to tell which view you started from. In short, if you were just trying to update an existing view, you’re forced to remember which one you’re working on. Along comes a co-worker, to ask if you caught the game last night’ suddenly you can’t remember what you were doing!

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In 2016, we see a subtle gray border around the view you had last activated. This makes it very easy to identify which view we were working on. Even if co-worker interrupts and breaks your focus, you’ll be right on track.

Restore Active View Visibility

Have you ever started working on a view, and half way through hiding some actors realized you made a mistake?

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Previously, you’d have to manually show each of those actors, or else re-activate the view without saving, thereby lose any other changes you’d made. New for 2016, there is a ‘Restore Active View Visibility’ command, right on the ‘Home’ tab. This returns all actor visibilities to their original state from the active view, without touching any other properties you may have changed!

Hopefully you find some of these great enhancements to SOLIDWORKS Composer 2016 just as delightful as I do!