Gian Paolo Bassi feels pretty good about 2016. The SOLIDWORKS CEO has set his sights on South Korea in particular, announcing that he plans for the company to record double-digit growth in the Korean market in 2016. SOLIDWORKS has done just fine in Korea so far, but Bassi feels that there’s a lot of room to improve. His confidence certainly isn’t misguided. Despite the fact that the Korean manufacturing industry has seen a recession lately, the 3D printing industry is doing just fine – in fact, SOLIDWORKS’ parent company, Dassault Systèmes, has been growing steadily with their market-leading 3D software, CATIA.
Globally, SOLIDWORKS remains one of the leading CAD software providers, amassing $597.3 million in revenue in 2014. Heavily used by professional product designers and engineers, the software is a staple in the medical, industrial, education, technology and transportation industries, just to name a few. Bassi, who was named CEO of SOLIDWORKS last year, intends to rake in $1 billion by 2018.
“Compared to the 2D sector, the 3D design market is growing twice as fast,” he said. “The size of global 3D design market is currently around $7 billion. I expect it will grow to $10 to $14 billion in scale in the next decade and SOLIDWORKS can be like Microsoft Office in 3D design.”
The company has been focusing more on 3D printing lately, with several 3D printing-oriented upgrades added to the SOLIDWORKS 2016 suite. These include the advanced 3D design rendering program SOLIDWORKS Visualize, along with an application for printed circuit board (PCB) design – a wise move, as 3D printed circuit boards are becoming more of a presence in the industry. This year should see the release of Nano Dimension’s DragonFly 2020, the world’s first professional PCB desktop printer, which SOLIDWORKS software played a major role in developing. As 3D printing continues to diversify with more specialized niches, Bassi intends for SOLIDWORKS to keep up with all of them.
Like most major software companies, SOLIDWORKS is also focusing on the cloud:
“My No. 1 goal is to go beyond a computer-aided design (CAD) company and become a platform company based on business maturity with a diverse product portfolio,” he said. “We will provide a platform that helps our clients cooperate with each other in the process of building diverse devices.”
“Users will (have) access to our design applications from tablet computers and smartphones,” continued Bassi. “This innovation will enable customers to design wherever they are.”
To attract new converts, the company is also providing tools that will make it easy for companies using older 3D software to switch over to SOLIDWORKS. With such an aggressive campaign, it’s certainly feasible that SOLIDWORKS will develop into the Microsoft Office of 3D design over the next few years. Discuss in the SOLIDWORKS 3D Software Expansion forum over at 3DPB.com.
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