I heard the analogy once that owning SOLIDWORKS is just like owning a car. You can’t just drive it off the lot and expect it to run flawlessly forever, you have to conduct regular maintenance like oil changes and tire rotations.  It’s the perfect comparison. Just like a car, SOLIDWORKS requires an oil change once in a while. That’s where the SOLIDWORKS RX tool comes in. It’s a one-stop-shop for all things SOLIDWORKS maintenance… I like to think of it as my favorite mechanic.

You can access the SOLIDWORKS RX tool right from the Task Pane in SOLIDWORKS:

rx tool

The different tools in the RX can be accessed either by the links down the middle of the Home Screen or by the tabs across the top. We’re going to start with Diagnostics:

rx tool

At the bottom of the page, you’ll find a key to the diagnostic icons down the left-hand side. I really want to highlight the first line of results on this page, because this is usually where I’m looking if I ask you to open up the RX on a support call. Whenever you upgrade (go from 2013 to 2014) or update (go from 2014 SP1.0 to SP2.0) SOLIDWORKS, it is super important that you also update your graphics card drivers, if necessary.  This step is often overlooked, and you’d be amazed at the number of calls I get that are solved simply by opening up this page.

If your drivers are in need of updating, you will see a “Download Latest Driver” button on the Diagnostics Results line.  When you click the button, the RX tool will download the appropriate certified/tested driver from the SOLIDWORKS website.

rx tool

Next, we’ll take a look at the System Maintenance tab:

rx tool

This is where you’ll perform those oil changes. You can choose to limit the oil change to SOLIDWORKS, or it can be extended to your Windows installation to include things like Windows Checkdisk and Defragmenter. This page will help you clean up the temporary files on your machine by starting with the default locations, as well as let you specify a couple of additional locations for clean up. After looking for those temporary files, you can choose to also run Windows Checkdisk and/or Windows Defragmenter on up to two drives.

rx tool

Once you have made your desired selections, you can click the Start Maintenance button.  This will open up the System Maintenance Setup Dialog, and you can choose to clean up now, or by using the dropdowns, you can create a daily, weekly, or monthly maintenance schedule for the RX to follow.

rx tool

And last, but most certainly not least, you have at your fingertips the most amazing capability to capture and define any issue you’re experiencing within SOLIDWORKS.  It’s called Problem Capture.  It’s perfect for those situations where you can produce a repeatable problem within the software.

rx tool

This is a three step process.  You will begin by recording the issue.

When you click Record Video, the RX tool will launch SOLIDWORKS if it is not already running, or give you the option to use the current session.

A dialog box will also appear with recording start and finish buttons – Please be sure to move this dialog box out of the SOLIDWORKS window as it will be captured as part of the recording!

rx tool

Click Start Recording and follow the steps necessary to recreate the problem in SOLIDWORKS. When you are finished, click Finish Recording; SOLIDWORKS will have to close and Step one is complete.

For Step Two, it’s important that you provide all of the files you used to recreate the issue. For example, if your problem is with an assembly drawing, I would need access to the drawing file, the assembly file, and all of the component files for testing. Also, if there is anything else you can think of that might be helpful, you can add additional information with the Add More Files to Zip… button – by default, it’ll show you all of the files you had open during your SOLIDWORKS session.

rx tool

Once you’ve added those files, you will then click Package Files Now… to create a complete set of information from your Problem Capture including the video you created, a snapshot of the the things happening on your machine during the recording, as well as those files you added manually.

rx tool

Finally, continue to step three to add a written description of the issue and give me your contact information.

rx tool

You should see three green check marks along the left hand side; you can choose to exit or capture another problem.

rx tool

At this point,you can submit a Support Request and let us know in your comments that you’ve created a Problem Capture and can email it to the first person available to take a look. You will not need to complete step three as we’ll have all the information we need to get busy on a solution.

Thanks for reading!  I look forward to seeing those Problem Captures in your Technical Support Request descriptions! 😉


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