January 31, 2011
DS SolidWorks Sells Millionth Education License
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Jeff Rowe - Managing Editor

by Jeff Rowe - Contributing Editor
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SolidWorks also interoperates with the university's 3D printers, enabling students to quickly move from a SolidWorks virtual model to physical prototypes, to a mold, and finally to a forged, plastic, or machined product. And by offering software certifications such as Certified SolidWorks Associate (CSWA) and Certified SolidWorks Professional (CSWP), SolidWorks helps students prove their proficiency with industry tools. “These certifications are valuable for a resume and put students firmly on a path of lifelong learning,” said Herring.

Commentary By Jeffrey Rowe, Editor

We just returned from SolidWorks World 2011 last week in San Antonio, an event that we always look forward to because it gives us the opportunity to reconnect with our readers, SolidWorks employees, partners, and users. The overall tone of this year's event and its attendees were noticeably upbeat compared with the past couple of years.

Over the course of the next several weeks we'll cover what we saw and heard throughout the course of the conference - new products announced and demonstrated by DS SolidWorks and its partners; discussions we had with SolidWorks executives; and our perception of the general direction of the company and its technologies. For now, though, we wanted to focus on an area that from the beginning has been one of the core philosophies of the company - the importance of education. (Therefore, the reasoning behind including the two announcements above) The role of education and its integral nature in the SolidWorks ecosystem is evident by the company's ongoing commitment to it. The company
must be doing something right because it announced during the conference that as of November 2010 it had sold 1,000,000 software licenses to educational institutions since the company began selling software in 1995.

Of the many SolidWorks folks we spoke with during the conference, we were fortunate enough to spend some time with one of our favorites, Marie Planchard, director of world education markets for DS SolidWorks, about SolidWorks' role and commitment to education.

She works directly with educational institutions including middle schools, high schools, technical and vocational schools, as well as colleges and universities. Her job is to communicate with students, teachers, and mentors to better understand what is needed to advance and enhance design and engineering education. It has been really amazing to witness what SolidWorks has done in the past and continues to do today to improve technical education, as well as how this sector continues to grow (exponentially, according to Ms. Planchard).

When asked how SolidWorks is used in education, Ms. Planchard responded, “Our software has educational editions that offer similar features to our premium edition that include visualization, linear and non-linear simulation, flow simulation, motion, stress analysis and sustainability tools. This helps schools like Assabet Valley (who has been featured in Let's Go Design Project 2) learn design concepts through CAD software.”

According to Ms. Planchard, the primary motivation for getting SolidWorks into classrooms is, “Ultimately, we want to help students become better prepared for the job market and enable a larger workforce of skilled designers. We want to continue to inspire students of technology, giving them a broader understanding of what engineers do and why math and science are so relevant.”

SolidWorks Education Edition is a comprehensive CAD teaching tool that features software plus a full curriculum and interactive courseware. SolidWorks Education Edition is an all-inclusive resource for teaching 3D mechanical CAD, visualization, design validation, and data management.

For schools, SolidWorks provides a whole series curriculum. It produces guides for students and teachers in 10 different languages. This curriculum includes a set of pre-prepared projects like designing a windmill or a wooden bridge. These projects involve an assortment of design skills including those completed outside of the software like drawing, drafting and pencil skills. It also teaches a course to educators on the software, curriculum and projects. Through its partnership program, professors can write textbooks and other educational materials.

We applaud and admire the ongoing educational efforts of SolidWorks as a committed organization and Ms. Planchard as a devoted, enthusiastic individual and proponent, and fully support their ongoing efforts in educating tomorrow's design engineers.

The Week's Top 5

At MCADCafé we track many things, including the stories that have attracted the most interest from our subscribers. Below are the five news items that were the most viewed during last week.

In a newly released report, “Working with Multi-CAD? Overcome the Engineering Collaboration Bottleneck,” Aberdeen Group finds that with improvements to multi-CAD environments, top companies release 90% of their designs on time, and with higher quality, while reducing development costs by 31%, and development time by 32%. As companies prepare for an economic recovery, but likely have fewer resources, they must find ways to work smarter. Getting the most out of existing CAD data is one of the ways they can accomplish that. The study describes the capabilities needed to achieve these time savings by overcoming the challenges
of working with multi-CAD data. A complimentary copy of this report available at:

Catalog Data Solutions (CDS) announced that StainlessDrains.com has selected its online catalog and CAD download solution. StainlessDrains.com manufactures environmentally friendly stainless steel drainage system products including Sanitary Area Drains, Floor Drains, Trench Drains, Floor Sinks, Trap Drains, Cleanouts, P-traps and Accessories. “We realized that the internet has changed the buying process - our customers now often research and select products online even before talking to any supplier. Therefore our website has to be found and then make it real easy to find the right product. Once the product is found the
downloadable CAD models save customers time and get our product designed in,” said Shelia Heller, Owner and VP Sales and Marketing, StainlessDrains.com.

Dassault Systèmes and ACT, its exclusive Northern Europe VAR for the CATIA ICEM Shape software portfolio, announced new software licensing options that enable ICEM Surf and CATIA ICEM Shape Design users to cater for peaks in their work-loads. With the new licensing arrangements, customers are able to “borrow” a software license from the master license file and to take it off-site. So, for example, a user of the ICEM Surf 3D modeling software suite could “borrow” a license for the ICEM Surf Real-time Renderer (RTR) module and use it on a customer site for a design review meeting. During the time it is being borrowed
from the License Server, the RTR license is attached to the remote machine. In addition, new software rental facilities have been introduced that enable ICEM Surf users to rent individual software modules for the time needed to complete a special project or to cater for a peak in their workload. An example here could be a vehicle safety analysis project as part of an overall vehicle development program. The user could rent the ICEM Surf Safety Analysis module for the time needed to complete the specific safety analysis project.

SpaceClaim announced product enhancements to SpaceClaim 2011 -- the company's seventh release of its software. New capabilities in SpaceClaim 2011 range from increasingly accessible surfacing, assembly, and model preparation enhancements to strengthened sheet metal and CAD interoperability features. Highlights include:

You can find the full MCADCafe event calendar here.

To read more news, click here.

-- Jeff Rowe, MCADCafe.com Contributing Editor.


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