SolidWorks 2012 Feature Spotlight: SolidWorks Costing Tool

Many people divide SolidWorks Users into 2 groups. And yes, I have my own division of this awesome group of people. You may be thinking those groups are CSWP’s & non CSWP’s or Engineers & Drafters, but what are they you might ask?

I divide SolidWorks Users into the following groups:

1.)    The first group we’ll call “SolidWorks Ninja’s”: Wild eyed crazy technology gurus who absolutely LOVE the new and cutting edge. This group is typically seething at every extremity to get a glimpse of what’s happing at SolidWorks Corporate in the next service pack and especially the newest version of SolidWorks. (They are usually the same people that know what the next iPhone will be able to do before anyone else has heard of the new one, or they have an Android and create their own apps and hate iPhones.) They love to be so close to the cutting edge that they can’t wait for the SolidWorks box to be shipped to them to run the next version that instead they have to download it as soon as it’s available online. Or better yet, they become a beta tester to appease their fixation on the SW technology and throughout the year they submit enhancement requests.

To this group my hat goes off, because you drive SolidWorks to keep pushing the envelope of 3D CAD capability and continue to add new functionality year after year.

2.)    The second group we’ll call “SolidWorks Miners” are the ones that see SolidWorks as a tool, not as much as a “way of life”. These guys wait until “At Least” service pack 2 comes out before they even think about moving to the next version of SolidWorks. Call them efficient, call them crazy for waiting so long, call them what you will but they do benefit from letting the former group “enjoy” the frustration of finding any bugs that weren’t caught by the Beta testers.  Sometimes you have a “SolidWorks Ninja” that works for a “SolidWorks Miner” company, so they tend to have the latest & greatest at home using their home license and they’re pushing their work to “hurry up!” get with program and install the new one Man!!

To this group I like your style and understand your SolidWorks theology, but now Service Pack 2 is out and has been for a little while. So, why all the fuss to rush to SolidWorks 2012? Even though you’ve been hearing about it since SolidWorks World 2011?!

We’ll I’m glad you asked! If you haven’t found out by now, SolidWorks has included a new tool in SolidWorks Professional and SolidWorks Premium (Sorry SolidWorks Standard users): SolidWorks Costing Tool!

Essentially, the SolidWorks Costing tool helps a SolidWorks designer figure out how much it costs to manufacture sheet metal or machined parts they create by automating the cost estimating and quoting process with a tool right inside of SolidWorks.

This helps you make design changes based on the cost to manufacture, as well as create quotes for customers and as soon as you change a design the new cost is updated automatically!

The “wizard” behind the curtain that drives the Costing tool is the use of templates provided by SolidWorks that allow you to determine the material as well as the manufacturing process used to create your parts, then determine their cost based on those variables. You can also customize these templates to create various items that you need to associate a cost with, such as painting, packaging, etc.

This allows you to create quotes faster and empowers designers and engineers to reduce manufacturing costs at the very beginning of the design process! This ultimately will make you look 20 pounds lighter! (Just kidding, just making sure you’re still listening.)

So, if you have SolidWorks Professional or SolidWorks Premium, and regardless of whether you’re a SolidWorks “Ninja” or “Miner”, there’s no excuse to not check out the SolidWorks Costing tool in SolidWorks 2012. Just ask any “SolidWorks Ninja” and they’ll tell you where you can download it.

p.s. I asked a “EngATech NinjATech” for you so here you go:

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