Solidworks Viewer - How EDrawings and Drawing Editor help you
EDrawings is the solidworks viewer provided free from solidworks website. The immediate advantage of this is that your customers can view your solidworks files without needing to buy the software. This is can be very helpful in winning the customer over to your design.
If they have the ability to manipulate, redline and discuss the pro's and cons of your design its more likely its acceptance can speeded up and your design intent communicated more clearly.
Letting your customer use edrawings and viewing your model and drawings directly is also easier than having to prepare power point presentations and reports to describe the model and its benefits.
An added benefit is that the customer can circulate the edrawings model inside their organization, making their internal communication easier. The edrawings model cannot be modified so your design is secure from unauthorized modification.
With all that being said, SolidWorks sure does not make it easy for non SolidWorks users to find and use this viewer. This is not good becasue its the higher management folks who need to have this viewer so they can see what they are getting for all the money they laid out for this fancy 3D program. Upper managers are the ones with the money, it should be dead easy for them to download this software.
I thought I would go through the download procedure because at first I thought it was dead simple, but when you see how many screens you have to go through, and the things that can trip you up, its no wonder my customers were having problems. SolidWorks please make this easier !
First go to www.edrawingsviewer.com, this is the most direct method to download the software, but its tricky to find on the SolidWorks home page.
There several types of downloads on that page, the one you need I have indicated with a big black arrow
The next screen that will popup has a miniscule download button, at least thats the way it displays in Internet Explorer, click the tiny download text, dont check the XML box its not necessary if you just want to view SolidWorks files
Next the export eligibility requirements box pops and I have indicated what to check off there.
If all goes well the loader (not the actual program) will start downloading. If you are using Internet explorer and nothing is happening glance up at the browser bar in case there is a "do you want to download this file" warning message.
Once the loader is finished, the dialog below should pop up
Click next and you will immediately get asked to enter your serial number, which of course you dont have. Ignore this screen and just click next
The next screen just confirms the file location that the viewer will be located in, just click next
Finally we get to a screen that asks if you want to install the viewer, click install
You will see this screen if everything is installing correctly
Just when you thought everything was finished you get this last screen. I suggest unchecking the box that asks about checking for updates.
The final screen asks you to register, this is not necessary either, just click later
The edrawing file size format is small, making it useful as a maintenance manual tool in the field. The redlining and markup capabilities in edrawings are helpful in ensuring that modifications and changes are recorded and attended to.
Problems can be identified quickly by simply pointing an arrow to an area on the model and including a note about the difficulty. Much clearer than a handwritten note faxed from the shop or an email with photographs.
People who download the viewer just want to view the file, they are not potential 3D modelers, but if you make it easy for them to use 3D files they tend to send more money to the people who create them. That ultimately leads to the sales of more licenses.