Today SolidWorks released a new app for the iPad called eDrawings for iPad. I have been playing around with it for a few days and thought I would share some tips for using the app.
The app is $1.99 U.S. Dollars and is available via the iTunes App Store.
The app takes advantage of the multi-touch gestures available on the iPad:
- One finger rotates the model
- Two finger drag pans the model
- Three finger drag slides between the file menu and the document
- You can pinch to zoom
- And double tapping fits the model to the screen
If you are viewing an assembly that has an exploded view, you will be able to see that view as well. Configurations also carry over so you can view them.
The fly out menu is where you access the configurations as well as being able to tough on a part and have that part highlight:
Once you purchase the app the first thing youre going to want to do is add some of your own content to it. So what are the best ways? Well I'll show you two simple and free ways.
Adding files via iTunes:
Once the app has been installed, and you have synced your iPad with iTunes, you will notice when you have your iPad selected in the left hand navigation pane, then you select "Apps" from the top menu, you will see eDrawings appear in the list of apps you can add files too. Simply click the add button and you can then drag and drop files to the iPad.
Click sync, and your files will appear in the User Files tab in eDrawings.
- The following example uses the Dropbox program, but you are also able to use Box, SkyDrive, SugarSync, Google Drive and an FTP site.
Adding files via DropBox
Dropbox is a service that allows you to store and share files via the cloud. Once you install the app or program onto a computer or any device, they will all share one common folder whose contents are available at anytime. You can even access your files via a webpage. The service is free for up to 2gb of storage, and they sell monthly plans for larger storage abilities.
I downloaded and installed the free app to my ipad, and then downloaded and installed the free program to my SolidWorks laptop. Once that was done I dropped a folder containing a SolidWorks assembly into my 'dropbox' folder. I then went to my ipad, launched DropBox and my folder was there. I selected one of the files and of course DropBox is not able to display the SolidWorks file. So I touched the 'open in' icon, and eDrawings is one of the options:
Selecting eDrawings then launches the app and opens your model:
From this point you can then use the normal functions found in the app. But how about displaying your model in a meeting? The iPads 10.1 inch screen isn't the best screen for a bunch of people to look at. You can plug it in to a projector or tv using an available plug, or if you have an Apple TV you can use Airplay Mirroring:
Airplay Mirroring is something new that came to theiPhone 4, iPad 2 and the iPad 3, along with Apple TV 2 and 3. You can read more about that here: Apple Airplay Mirroring.