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Jeff Rowe
Jeff Rowe
Jeffrey Rowe has more than 40 years of experience in all aspects of industrial design, mechanical engineering, and manufacturing. On the publishing side, he has written well over 1,000 articles for CAD, CAM, CAE, and other technical publications, as well as consulting in many capacities in the … More »


February 8th, 2018 by Jeff Rowe

This week was the 20th edition of SOLIDWORKS World and I think I’ve been to 17 or 18 of them. Some have been great, some not so great, but every one has provided something interesting that makes the company and its impact on the MCAD community stand out. This year was no exception as it had several significant announcements.

The theme for this years SOLIDWORKS WORLD was “Think,” which was a good idea but was really more about “experience,” as in 3DEXPERIENCE which is the mantra of Dassault Systemes, and not so much about specific software products. The various experiences that were discussed ranged from 3DEXPERIENCE Design Services to the 3DEXPERIENCE Marketplace|Make that include Socual Collaboration and PLM services. I’m still trying to get my head wrapped around all of this because there was little discussion on what all this means and how it’s all tied together, but it’s an interesting direction that I’ll continue to explore and try to understand.

Dassault Systems 3DEXPERIENCE platform continues to play an increasingly prominent role at the annual SOLIDWORKS event, although this is SOLIDWORKS World, not Dassault Systemes Universe. That aside, I heard SOLIDWORKS and CATIA mentioned a couple times in the same sentence on the stage during the event — a first for me.

However, things got much better as the conference commenced in earnest with classes and the exhibition floor in full swing.

SOLIDWORKS World 2018 Day 1 Highlights

Not to be left off the Internet of Things (IoT) bandwagon, SOLIDWORKS is also making a strong charge into this market by including design elements from SOLIDWORKS mechanical, SOLIDWORKS Electrical, and SOLIDWORKS PCB. During the conference, Seebo announced a SOLIDWORKS add-in for manufacturers to plan and deliver smart, connected products. As a new certified Gold Partner for SOLIDWORKS, theSeebo  add-in for SOLIDWORKS lets users transform existing 3D product designs into a visual model of the entire IoT system, and get auto-generated specs, simulations, and analytics to make products IoT connected.


Unlike in years past, when possible features and capabilities for the next version of SOLIDWORKS are discussed during the third and final general session, this year, a few were introduced each morning. Following are some of the features and capabilities that will likely make it into SOLIDWORKS 2019 to be introduced in the fall:

  • Save as multi-body part enhancements
  • Interference detection for multi-body parts
  • External references user interface
  • Artificial de-noiser for SOLIDWORKS Visualize
  • 3D textures
  • Partial chamfer/fillet
  • Microsoft Surface dial support
  • Gesture sketched splines and slots
  • 3D markup
  • VR capabilities
  • Frequency constraints and stress/factor of safety goals for topology optimization
  • Group mates by status
  • Preview window enhancements
  • Automatically lock Toolbox parts
  • Ability to massively defeature assemblies to protect IP

SOLIDWORKS World 2018 Day 2 Highlights

Next year’s SOLIDWORKS World will take place in Dallas, TX, February 10-13, 2019.

Admittedly, this week’s blog has been just a quick overview of SOLIDWORKS World 2018. In the coming weeks we will dive much deeper into the many things that were introduced and discussed at this year’s SOLIDWORKS World, including augmented reality, visualization, CAM/machining, IoT, Smart Manufacturing, MBD/MBE, simulation, new MySOLIDWORKS features and education initiatives, the 3DEXPERIENCE Lab, SOLIDWORKS Apps for Kids, and xDesign.

Finally, thanks to our hosts at SOLIDWORKS World 2018 for including us and putting on another good show!

Side Notes

During the SOLIDWORKS World event, Lynn Allen, Autodesk’s technical evangelist stopped by to chat. Why she was at the event this year is anybody’s guess, but in any case, it’s always good to see her.

Hanging Out With Lynn Allen

For the first two days of SOLIDWORKS World, temporary hired guns for PTC were outside the convention center handing out PTC Creo branded luggage tags and USB thumb drives. Happily, I haven’t seen a tactic like that for several years. Needless to say, not many SOLIDWORKS World attendees were impressed, much less inclined to change horses.

Regardless of whose event it is, why do competitors feel inclined (or obligated) to flood social media with “announcements” during the event? It strikes me as kind of desperate for attention.

Editor’s Note: We conducted over 20 video interviews with SOLIDWORKS employees and partners that will be posted to the website on Friday, February 16. Check them out to get insight on the SOLIDWORKS ecosystem from different perspectives.

Disclosure: DS SOLIDWORKS paid for conference registration, hotel accommodations, and some meals.


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