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Susan Smith
Susan Smith
Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »

The Shape of Possibility: SOLIDWORKS World 2019

February 19th, 2019 by Susan Smith

The theme of SOLIDWORKS World 2019 held February 11-13 in Dallas, Texas, was “Where possibility takes form…”

Tracy B Wilson of SOLIDWORKS made the introductions at the General Session, beginning with Gian Paolo Bassi, CEO, SOLIDWORKS, Dassault Systèmes.

In order to get to the form, Bassi believes users need a platform. One of the first examples Bassi gave of the conference theme is with a wheelchair designed for the outdoors – to give disabled people the chance to go out in nature.

“We want businesses and people to make a difference,” said Bassi. “Products are nature and life. This is a bold statement, when you put life into the equation. The great design we make has a very powerful impact, on nature, businesses, communities and on people. We need to create a sustainable future for us and everyone who comes after us. Powerful tools are not enough – we need knowledge to go from possibility to form.”

Bassi went on to state that “We need collaboration to collect and share, marketplaces where we can take things we create but also knowledge and advice, the renaissance, new ways of thinking, learning and connecting, if we want to be enablers of the new renaissance. The 3D EXPERIENCE platform brings you the power of platform thinking, a concentration of tools and technologies.”

What customers want, he said, is to have the choice to work at their own pace and integrate everything, with flexibility. Essentially by expressing the need for excellence in design, simulation and collaboration, all digitally integrated, customers were asking for a platform.

The first announcement made at the event was the following:

3DEXPERIENCE.WORKS, a new portfolio of company’s digital applications on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform is designed for SOLIDWORKS customers and mid-market companies. 3DEXPERIENCE.WORKS combines social collaboration with design, simulation and manufacturing ERP capabilities in a single digital environment to help growing businesses become more inventive, efficient and responsive in today’s Industry Renaissance.

Dassault Systèmes created 3DEXPERIENCE.WORKS following its acquisition of IQMS, whose manufacturing ERP portfolio of software applications for mid-market manufacturers has since been rebranded as DELMIAWORKS.  The 3DEXPERIENCE.WORKS family now includes DELMIAWORKS to serve mainstream manufacturers by providing a full digital thread for business operations.

CEO of Dassault Systèmes, and vice chairman of the Board of Directors, Bernard Charles, spoke about how innovation is improving the real world. “The virtual world extends and improves the real world,” said Charles. “This noble mission aims to make this world a better place to live in. We need to expand possibilities we offer to you. We started to do shapes, objects, looked inside and looked at the complexity, then added time to the digital mockup and called it product lifecycle management. Now in the years to come, we will add emotion.

We call it 3DEXPERIENCE. It’s changing everything and we have to expand in new world areas of innovation.

With 3DEXPERIENCE, you will become story makers.  Why are we doing that? We create the experience you love for everything else in the innovation process. It is an ambitious tool to digitize the world. With 3DEXPERIENCE comes SOLIDWORKS to power this market of business connected to design and production that has been underserved. It has been too expensive, too complex. We want to make it easier to design.”

In a video from architecture firm Zaha Hadid, designers discuss the underlying techno infrastructure that allows them to experience what their customers are looking for. Wherever they’re working around the world, the processes used are there to help insure that vision is achieved. They aim to improve citizens’ lives, with proper emotional connection.

“We are not in a product economy anymore, we are an experience economy,” said Charles.

Among the sponsors of the event were Dell, HP and Microsoft.

A panel discussion comprised of people working very hard to make this 3D experience work explored themes of the various SOLIDWORKS products – Gary Nemmers, CEO of IQMS,  Stefane Declee, CEO of ENOVIA, David Holman, CEO, Senior vice president and CEO of platform and Florence Hu, Senior vice president, DELMAR IQMS.

Gary stated that “over 60% of their customers are also SOLIDWORKS customers – IQMS was developed for manufacturers. The software combines EMS and ERP in one complete integrated native system. Goals are: produce more, reduce errors, manage it in a regulatory industry, with companies coming together, been here with SOLIDWORKS for a very short time.”

Stefan Declee said that  “customization is up and running in zero time, usability, and integration fully immersive inside SOLIDWORKS desktop. It is fully interoperable with other solutions. ENOVIA is the solution.”

David Holman noted that with simulation, “you need coverage of all physics disciplines, all respective interactions. With SIMULIA, you have multi-physics real life scenarios.

Simulation lets us take models with much larger meshes. I can push that off to the cloud, and accelerate business, and can get tools out quicker.”

Florence Hu, senior vice president, DELMAR IQMS joins the family of putting all the different products together into a service.

“A marketplace engineering design service with a platform for customers to find providers is very helpful. Experts can become involved and reply to requests,” said Hu.

Vladimir Popov, CEO of In Re and Rapolas Grazis, innovator, industrial designer and founder of Lava Drops from Lithuania, spoke about their country’s focus on education and innovation.

“We don’t have a lot of natural resources so we have to invest in people who are in charge of innovation,” said Popov. “We had a deployment of 3,500 seats of SOLIDWORKS for education to Lithuanian schools last year.”

Lava Drops is appreciated by the best musicians, according to Grazis. “Nature is my main source of creating. I want to create human with nature, me as mediator between those organisms. I found a way to create musical instruments from natural resources. Woods, things from oceans, each material has its own sound profile.”

Grazis’ mission is to inspire creativity. “We use xDesign in combination with SOLIDWORKS to get seamless collaboration and design. xDesign is a multifunctional tool from model to final product.” Grazis gifted an electric guitar to SOLIDWORKS.

xShape is fully integrated with all SOLIDWORKS products. It is started in SOLIDWORKS, where you can create a circuitboard that’s available on the platform, drag and drop the entire product into a shape, and you see all SOLIDWORKS files. It is perfected for manufacturing. It will be in a familiar environment where you can apply material, simulate flow of plastic, send your design to a mold manufacturer, taking the concept from possibility to form.

Jim McKelvey, co-founder of Square technology, has a business that has grown to $30 million. A glass artist for over 30 years, his industrial design work is on permanent display at the Smithsonian as well as the Museum of Modern Art.  He said that what got him into those institutions was not glass art, but Square.

“I’m a maker; I rearrange atoms,” said McKelvey. “When I’m invited to give a speech, I let them pick what they want me to talk about.”

On February 11, exactly 10 years ago today, Jack Dorsey and McKelvey started Square, and were at that time committed to starting something new, though they didn’t know what it would be.

McKelvey’s beliefs have changed a lot in those ten years. “I thought first thing you should do is look for opportunity,” said McKelvey. “That seemed obvious. And then as we’re seeking this opportunity, I’m a guy who makes things, what should those things be? It was an international playing field. Components were coming from all over the world. If you had a second rate product you would be beaten by somebody else.

The world was changing quickly and we had to build our products. In order to create something great you had to be bold. I don’t belief any of this anymore.”

McKelvey looked at what do you do if you don’t seek opportunities? “Solve problems. I love problems because they are discreet. They are easy to see. The core problem that led to Square was personal to me.”

He recounted a story about glass art he made that he had put a high price on. A customer wanted to buy it, but “I couldn’t take the sale because the  woman only had an American Express card. She couldn’t buy my glass sculpture.”

The business became focused on a problem not an opportunity. McKelvey said they focused on serving people who were underserved.

Another piece of advice: it doesn’t have to be perfect, you just have to iterate fast.

And another: Pay attention to when you’re doing something. Is the timing right?

And: it’s always uncomfortable starting something new. But if you keep going you will eventually get where you’re going.

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