Lightning makes working with fasteners in SOLIDWORKS fun again. We just released version 2.4.
We are on a mission to improve working with fasteners in SOLIDWORKS. We do this with two products:
You can use Lightning without our library and our Fastener Models without Lightning. But together, we can create magic.
Lightning makes it incredibly easy to add a washer to a (mated) bolt or nut:
If the bolt is mated to a plate, we delete the coincident mate, add the washer in between and add new mates. If the bolt is floating, we only add mates between the bolt and the washer.
But patterned bolts don’t have mates! So from now on, when you select a patterned bolt, we’ll ask you if we should add the washer to the seed component of this pattern. It looks like this:
It even works when you create patterns of patterns. We’ll keep going up the feature tree until we find the original component (to add a washer underneath) and the first pattern (to add a washer as a seed component).
SOLIDWORKS 2023 has been out for a few months now. And Lightning is now fully compatible.
By default, our add-ins work fine in a new SOLIDWORKS version. But Lightning needs an update to be able to read custom properties from SOLIDWORKS 2023 files in a super-fast (100 files per second) way.
Lightning is only made for fasteners, and we can do smart things because of that:
The article Supported fastener Types in the Knowledge Base shows all fastener types that we support and their properties. We currently track five properties:
We now display these properties in step 3 of the Settings window. This should make it clear that a screw cannot have a washer, for example.
Most of the changes in this update are under the hood, and Lightning has improved a lot. These are the ones that you may notice:
We found and fixed two bugs:
As always, please let us know when you think you found a bug. We respond quickly and generally fix it in the next version.
Now that adding washers is more robust, it’s time to look ahead. For the next version, we are trying to add two main features:
Lightning makes working with fasteners fun again. You can add, edit and replace fasteners much faster with this affordable (€100 or €160 per year) add-in.
We have a 14-day free trial. The add-in contains a helpful getting started video and 100 free fastener samples. All features are available during the trial.