At a special session on the last day of SWW 19, the hilarious SOLIDWORKS News Network (SNN) team gave everyone a sneak peek of what was in store for the SOLIDWORKS 2020 release, such as enhanced features for the Sketch Relations application, the xDesign browser tool, and Detailing Mode. SOLIDWORKS 2020 was designed to work with the 3DEXPERIENCE.WORKS platform, and will help speed up the product development process for its over six million users.
On a pre-briefing call about the release’s new functionalities and enhancements ahead of the conference, Aaron Kelly, the cloud advocacy director at Dassault Systèmes’ SOLIDWORKS, told me that SOLIDWORKS 2020, which he is “really excited about,” is the 28th total release, and that the company does its best “to be as customer-driven as we can, from software and new capabilities to enhancements.”
Dassault Systèmes’ R&D team created SOLIDWORKS 2020 in response to thousands of requests from the SOLIDWORKS community. Now, customers can use the integrated 3DEXPERIENCE.WORKS portfolio to extend their design to manufacturing ecosystem to the cloud.
Kelly, who’s been with SOLIDWORKS since 1996, touched on three main features of the release: a connected ecosystem, improved product performance, and streamlined workflows.
“Our customers are driving us to these three,” he told me.
“We can broaden our product portfolio because of our 3DEXPERIENCE platform.”
In terms of a more connected ecosystem, Kelly explained that with SOLIDWORKS 2020, the company was able to release production-proven applications from its SIMULIA brand.
“This helps extend the existing capabilities of SOLIDWORKS simulation,” he explained. “Customers can simulate more, more accurately, with higher quality. This is really, really important.”
Features and applications like design planning and life cycle management were also delivered from the ENOVIA brand.
Kelly said, “We could add a whole bunch of capabilities within the first year of release that our customers are asking for – they want to manage not just the CAD data, but also product data management.”
Moving on to product performance, Kelly explained that the release responded to customer requests in the Drawing and Large Assembly Modes. Users can now open up large assemblies and detail the thousands and thousands of parts without having to spend a lot of time loading all of the complex geometry.
“So we can support more customer workflows with large assemblies on the drawing side,” Kelly said. “We also need to support large assemblies by themselves, so we’ve spent lots of time enhancing the workflows for these.”
As for more streamlined workflows, there’s a new capability in this release called Make Part Flexible. Kelly explained how lots of industrial equipment features springs, which can compress and elongate in tension.
“What’s important to those who design assemblies is the ability to move through design motion, so they can ensure nothing conflicts or collides,” Kelly told me.
“Previously, you couldn’t model how a spring would contract or expand using the same spring multiple times in the assembly…Now, I can show the motion and have the part updated based on how the assembly moves.”
Additional enhancements include new offerings on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform that extend design capabilities, such as 3D Sculptor; a new Detailing mode and graphics acceleration for drawings; the ability to directly edit and add features to mesh geometry for 3D printing; and improvements to SOLIDWORKS PDM, the SOLIDWORKS Electrical connector, and a new SOLIDWORKS PCB connector.
Kelly also talked about how customers can use the Make service on the platform – if they don’t own a 3D printer, SOLIDWORKS has a free offering where users can upload their data and have it assessed for cost and delivery time at a 3D printing service bureau.
“We’re not doing it ourselves, but working with partners who want to provide the service,” he explained.
If a customer does have their own 3D printer, but still wants a little help with modeling, the service also provides this, since “3D printers themselves don’t often have those kinds of tools.”
You can check out a full list of the SOLIDWORKS 2020 enhancements here.
“We aren’t just bringing powerful new capabilities to the SOLIDWORKS portfolio everybody knows and loves, but also extending it to the cloud through the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, the only holistic digital experience platform in the world,” Gian Paolo Bassi, the CEO of SOLIDWORKS, Dassault Systèmes, said in a press release. “We’ve built a bridge to our platform-based portfolio, empowering our users to take advantage of 3DEXPERIENCE.WORKS offerings. This gives organizations the environment and the applications to truly embrace the Industry Renaissance and its spirit of discovery for new ways of inventing, innovating, collaborating and producing.”
Coincidentally, though the two are not related, I am on site at the company’s 3DEXPERIENCE Modeling and Simulation Conference, held at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, Michigan, 30 minutes outside of Detroit.
“We are excited to bring together the Dassault Systѐmes design, modeling and simulation communities,” the event’s website states. “Our goal is to enable collaboration and synergy so you can grow your skills, accelerate your career and become more valuable to your organization.”
The 3DEXPERIENCE Modeling and Simulation Conference, which runs through Thursday, September 19, includes some interesting-sounding keynote speakers and customer presentations. Additionally, there will be an executive roundtable, networking lunches and a reception, and breakout sessions on everything from autonomous mobility and cognitive augmented design to simulation and using generative design to transform product development. So stay tuned!
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