The best and most passionate CAD community in the world assembled yesterday in person and online for a first look at SOLIDWORKS 2017. CEO Gian Paolo Bassi was joined by executives Suchit Jain, Kishore Boyalakuntla and Kurt Anliker, along with innovative users Myomo, Chairslayer, and RunnitCNC, to introduce SOLIDWORKS 2017, talk about the future of design and share results of breakthrough engineering projects.
Gian Paolo opened the event by sharing the theme of SOLIDWORKS 2017: the power you need to drive innovation. SOLIDWORKS 2017 has the power to enable designers and engineers to take advantage of the speed of technology to create the new products that will solve the world’s problems. Technology is lowering traditional barriers to business. It’s now easier than ever to access capital and resources to create the next breakthrough product. This provides many new opportunities, but it also means challenges are everywhere and innovation is critical for survival.
For SOLIDWORKS, this power translates to simplifying and streamlining the product design process onto one platform. This means connecting with manufacturers, like Xometry, for rapid fabrication in a matter of clicks or providing real-time personalization with SOLIDWORKS Make. Power means being able to take advantage of optimization-driven design that advises your design process and truly delivers on the promise of “aided” in computer-aided design. It’s a suite of tools, including model-based definition (MBD), to take your CAD data from art to part faster than ever before; keeping you ahead of the competitive and technological curve.
Several examples of how SOLIDWORKS users are already taking advantage of tools that lower the barriers to bring connected devices were presented. The first, Freight Farms, takes big farm production and condenses it into a shipping container. The container is equipped with lighting, cooling and filtration systems connected to a mobile app for constant monitoring. The second, Halo Smart Labs, builds the world’s safest and smartest smoke alarms. In addition to detecting smoke, carbon monoxide and fire, Halo can actually detect the threat of tornadoes. Further, the company did not want to stop at just being connected – it needed to be compatible with every home platform on the market regardless of device or location.
Freight Farms and Halo are two examples of how traditional industries and products are being disrupted every day. Smoke alarms are being re-imagined. Farms are being re-imagined. As technology continues to evolve, everything will be re-imagined. A survey conducted at the Consumer Electronics Show found that 70 percent of all connected devices presented at the show were designed in SOLIDWORKS. If these results are any indication, re-imagination will happen with SOLIDWORKS tools.
Keeping with the theme of lowering the bar to technology and devices, Brand UX Leader and Product Portfolio Management Senior Director Kishore Boyalakuntla introduced 3DPartSupply, 3D Interconnect, 3DDrive, SOLIDWORKS Make and Term Licensing.
3DPartSupply enables you to create a physical shape and find parts to match its likeness on 3DContentCentral and Traceparts. As 20 percent or more of product components are typically common, 3DPartSupply provides more ways to save time and avoid recreating existing parts.
3D Interconnect was created for many customers who work in mixed CAD environments. In the past, these files would need to be translated, a process that often results in lost design intelligence and rework. Now you can simply take CAD data created in many other CAD systems, in its native format, and easily add it to SOLIDWORKS models without translation and continue to build on top of the models and make geometry changes.
3DDrive enables you to collaborate, connect and share files. Part of the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform, 3DDRive connects disconnected products and enables you to securely manage who, how, when and where your data is being accessed.
Term licensing provides flexibility into when, what and how you buy and control intellectual property. SOLIDWORKS users can choose to purchase perpetual licenses or subscription forever or opt for a term license when extra seats or design functionality is needed. Term licensing will include the option to rent SOLIDWORKS Standard, Professional or Premium as well as SOLIDWORKS Simulation, Simulation Professional or Premium.
Director of Product Introduction Kurt Anliker gave attendees a deeper dive into a handful of the hundreds of new features in SOLIDWORKS 2017 – including SOLIDWORKS PCB, Modeling Power, Surfacing, Magnetic Mates and the Stress Hot Spots feature in SOLIDWORKS Simulation. These new features included:
Seamlessly synchronize electronic and mechanical design on demand with SOLIDWORKS PCB that combines the electronics design expertise of Altium® with SOLIDWORKS ease of use.
SOLIDWORKS 2017 delivers even greater modeling power and performance that speed up your design process. After listening to your feedback, SOLIDWORKS 2017 includes a better user experience, plus refined and improved technology, including new tools for Chamfer, Fillet, and Advanced Hole specification.
New surfacing features remove obstacles to creating complex 3D geometry faster by avoiding the need for complex workarounds.
New enhancements here enable you to speed up the process of finding creative breakthroughs for your products by providing greater insight into your design and improving productivity. Among the new features is Stress Hot Spots, which enables you to quickly identify potential stress problems.
SOLIDWORKS 2017 introduces new and enhanced tools and workflows to answer the challenge of working with large assemblies. Magnetic Mates simplifies and speeds the mating process significantly by enabling users to drag and drop mating.
In addition to the product roadmap and SOLIDWORKS 2017 updates, the event also discussed the power of the SOLIDWORKS user community. Suchit Jain, VP of Strategy, Business Development and Community, kicked off the discussion with some impressive stats.
Tied into discussion of the future of product design is how we prepare the current and next generation of engineers to create innovation. Over the last 22 years, 10,000,000+ students have learned SOLIDWORKS and 100,000+ are certified users. These students are moving on to join the engineering workforce and are responsible for amazing products, such as Freight Farms and Myomo. To get an even younger audience interested in STEM, Suchi shared details of the SOLIDWORKS Apps for Kids Beta program, which allows kids to capture, shape, and style their ideas from concept to reality.
Suchit also provided updates on the SOLIDWORKS for Entrepreneurs program, which currently includes over 200 hardware startups working on everything from app-enabled robots to supersonic passenger jets. This commitment to startups also manifests itself into partnerships with more than 60 business incubators. Another way SOLIDWORKS is helping to lower barriers to business and engineering knowledge is through its partnership with the Fab Foundation. The foundation’s Fab Labs are community-driven maker-spaces providing widespread access to modern means for invention. Started by Neil Gershenfeld of MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms, there are now more than 1000 FabLabs around the world.
Given the power of the SOLIDWORKS community, it’s no surprise that inspirational user stories stole the show. First, Andrew Harland, Principal Mechanical Engineer at Myomo, discussed his company’s evolution and the design of its flagship product: the MyoPro® myoelectric upper limb orthosis. One out of 100 people experience some form of paralysis. The MyoPro is an exoskeleton used by people to regain functionality lost to accidents or strokes. Andrew shared details of MyoPro’s complex combination of form, electronics, flexibility and fashion along with the challenges SOLIDWORKS helps him solve in order to pack these features into an effective wearable device. Remarkably, some of its more than 600 users suffered accidents decades ago and are now using the device to regain arm functionality that they haven’t had in 10, 20 or even 50 years!
Finally, users Rob Parsons of Chairslayer and Andy Blood of RunnitCNC shared their inspirational stories along with their passion for fast cars and dangerous things. Rob was paralyzed during a dirt bike crash and Andy was similarly injured in a work accident. The two have since connected and are revolutionizing the world of racing and how people with paraplegia are getting back behind the wheel with Rob’s custom hand clutch system and Andy’s manufacturing work. These are the users who fuel innovation. Their power to transform what life throws at them into truly world-changing ideas is what drives the SOLIDWORKS community.
Two hours seemed to go by in a flash. It was certainly a lot of content to cram into a short amount of time. The event was a great primer for SOLIDWORKS 2017. If you want to get hands-on with the more than 200 user-driven features, click here to register for one of our launch events near you so you can test drive SOLIDWORKS 2017!