We already knew that France-based Dassault Systèmes, leading 3D design software manufacturer and creator of SOLIDWORKS, had a pretty good year, after releasing their fourth quarter financial results last week before heading to Los Angeles for SOLIDWORKS World 2017, which ends tomorrow. They announced the release of the new SOLIDWORKS 2017 software back in September, and its innovative 3DEXPERIENCE platform has been making waves all year, everywhere from the aerospace sector to a startup initiative in India. Today at SOLIDWORKS World, the company made a big announcement: they will be opening the Dassault Systèmes North American 3DEXPERIENCE Lab this year.
The 3DEXPERIENCE platform was originally created in 2012, and the company launched the first 3DEXPERIENCE Lab in Europe back in 2015. Now, they will be extending their open innovation laboratory and startup accelerator to North America, which represents the next step in the Lab’s continued global growth. Startups, students, entrepreneurs, and makers alike on this side of the globe will now have access to to a Fab Lab environment, where they can “leverage virtual technology” to continue product development for projects. 3DEXPERIENCE successes like open source drones, 3D printed personalized organs, and additively constructed robots led to the need for the North American 3DEXPERIENCE Lab.
The lab will open this May, at Dassault Systèmes 27-acre US headquarters near Boston, Massachusetts. The award-winning campus is already home to 800 employees and contractors, and was built with an eye toward sustainability, using 2,000 tons of recycled steel and 61,000 tons of structural materials re-used as fill. The overall energy use of the campus is reduced by 29%, thanks to high-efficiency rooftop HVAC units and boilers.
Any individuals or startups from North American research laboratories or industrial innovation departments will have access to the cloud-based 3DEXPERIENCE platform, technical skills, mentoring, and worldwide ecosystem, so long as their projects address one of the following: life, ideation themes, city, lifestyle, Fab Labs, or the IoT. We’ve written about some of the ongoing projects with these themes before, like the Living Heart Project and the 3Dvarius. One or two-year programs are available for people to “accelerate their product development.”
Bruno Latchague, Dassault Systèmes’ Senior Executive Vice President, Global Field Operations (Americas), said, “North America has been a wellspring for some of the most impactful startup and entrepreneurial technological innovations of our time. By expanding the 3DEXPERIENCE Lab to North America, we hope to continue this tradition of invention by offering entrepreneurs, makers and startups unique resources to work on disruptive innovations, leverage collective intelligence and create an impact on society. SOLIDWORKS World 2017, whose community embodies the spirit of innovation, is the ideal venue for sharing the launch of this exciting new endeavor as it also complements our ‘SOLIDWORKS for Entrepreneurs program.’ It offers mentoring and great access to the entire scope of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform for startups using SOLIDWORKS applications to digitally create smart products.”
In addition, the North American 3DEXPERIENCE Lab will be home to a new digital fabrication space. The Fab Lab was designed and set up together with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Center for Bits and Atoms. All Fab Labs are closely aligned with the Center, and there are over 300 in existence, in 34 countries.
In the 3DEXPERIENCE Fab Lab, users will able to refine product ideas, or create their own prototypes, using the lab’s cutting-edge computer-controlled tools and processes. It will also be used as a laboratory in the future, for hardware-software interfaces, by “integrating design and fabrication tools into end-to-end real-time systems.”
At SOLIDWORKS World today, we caught up with Dassault Systémes’ Head of Innovation, Frédéric Vacher, who expressed his enthusiasm about the progress the company has made over the last three decades. Since 1986, he told us, Dassault has gone from 3D design to digital mockups to product lifecycle management to 3DEXPERIENCE, accumulating a total of twelve brands for twelve different industries.
“3DEXPERIENCE Labs was created to give community of innovators access to disruptive technology, to look at the world with fresh eyes,” he told us.
The 3DEXPERIENCE Lab can allow people to optimize and validate their processes and products, using the same expertise and virtual collaborative applications that have changed the way products in our society are designed, supported, and manufactured. There have been many successful projects that were completed using Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform, such as the Vehicle Program Intelligence program, and I’m sure there will be many more to come. If you’re not at SOLIDWORKS World 2017 this week, feel free to tune in to Dassault Systèmes’ last live webcast from the show tomorrow morning at 8:15 AM, Pacific Time.Don’t forget, 3DPrint.com is also at SOLIDWORKS World this week, so stay tuned for all the latest news and announcements from SWW17. Discuss in the 3DEXPERIENCE forum at 3DPB.com.