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Archive for July 9th, 2013

Where’s SolidWorks?

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

I know we’re in the midst of the dog days of summer as far as the season goes, but we’re also in the dog days as far as the MCAD industry goes, as well.

Historically, this time of year things are relatively slow for business in general, and the CAD industry is not immune to this phenomenon.

However, one CAD vendor in particular has been uncharacteristically quiet since well before these dog days of summer — SolidWorks, or more properly, DS SolidWorks.

Most of SolidWorks’ competitors have made announcements the past few weeks — some relatively major, some relatively minor — but they have made at least some announcements. Not so, SolidWorks.

For example, Autodesk announced some new cloud-based offerings, Solid Edge announced ST6, and PTC announced new versions and products in its Creo line. The most significant bit of news coming out of SolidWorks during this time period has been the release of its 2013-2014 Education Edition.

I can remember a time, and not all that long ago, when a virtually continuous stream of news was coming out of SolidWorks — new software products and services, products designed with the software, new customers, and so on. Periodically, a SolidWorks staffer would even reach out to me to see if there was anything I needed from them, or would discuss future developments and industry trends off the record.

I realize that things can’t stay the same forever, and CAD vendors are no exception, but those days of candidness with a relationship that fostered goodwill between a vendor (in this case SolidWorks) and a member of the industry press are no longer. It’s become more of a “What have you done for us lately?”

Not only are a lot of good folks I’ve known over the years gone from SolidWorks, so is much of the excitement within the company that translated into positive energy for customers, as well as members of the media. In years past (starting in 1995), development managers, technical staff, inside and outside PR/communications, and executives were always approachable and available. These days, I can’t get a phone call returned or a response to an email. Things have changed, and in my world, not for the better.

Although not totally groundbreaking technology, check out SolidWorks’ “Next Big Thing” — Mechanical Conceptual — that was announced in January 2013 at SolidWorks World:

Exactly where is SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual that was announced in January? Where does the next version of the SolidWorks product line stand? Where is the old SolidWorks customer and user community excitement? I ask the question, “Where’s SolidWorks?”

Nothing stays the same, but SolidWorks, c’mon back, you’re missed. Get over the dog days and back in the game that for many years and on many levels made you one of the very best players in the game for mechanical design.

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