What is SOLIDWORKS Composer?

So SOLIDWORKS Composer is a bit
of software that allows us to create things like instruction
manuals, procedural guides maybe kind of maintenance manuals but
all using our SOLIDWORKS CAD data. So it uses CAD data to produce
that kind of content. The nice thing is that it runs
alongside SOLIDWORKS so any changes made to your SOLIDWORKS
CAD data get reflected in your instruction manual. That means that you should be
able to run this concurrently so you can actually start your
documentation before your designs are actually finished. We can create technical
illustrations so we call those vector graphics which are
scalable, so they’d like a technical author’s dream format
if you like. We can also create just regular
pictures, so we can create JPEGs things like that, but they’re
not photo realistic as such, they’re more kind of technical. So for me I guess the holy grail
of a of an instruction manual like the Haynes motor manual or
IKEA manual. And that’s because they’ve used
either flat block color will they use black and white line
art. It’s very clear, it’s very
precise and there’s no kind of attempt at photo realism. So it’s, it’s not really
designed for photorealistic images but certainly for clarity this is the product to use. So,
composer is a standalone product. It runs alongside SOLIDWORKS you
don’t actually need to have SOLIDWORKS on your machine to be
able to use it. It’s been designed to be used by
the non CAD user. So typically speaking you might
find that maybe somebody in tech pubs. might use it, or it can be
used by the design engineer themselves. I know certainly when I was in
the industry I was responsible for creating my own content, my
own designs. But it’s been designed to be
used by anybody. Just to give you an idea, the training course is just two
days long for composer. So the most common methods are screen
capture, so just people using print screen, taking photographs
of finished product as well as if you create an instruction
manual maybe you take one of these apart and actually take
photographs at the same time, hand sketching using something
like illustrator to do it. All of these methods don’t run
concurrently. So if there’s any change in the
CAD data all of that has to be reworked.