• Dassault Systèmes continues to make significant progress on the 3DExperience vision they laid out 5 years ago. This strategy has seen them transform from a software vendor offering distinct solutions for a variety of functional areas to a company that leads with a strong business transformation message backed up by a platform of solutions. I dropped "PLM" from the title of last year's strategy review. I feel even better about that decision a year later. They now have a broad software suite brought to market as solutions tailored to support key initiatives in the vertical industries they serve. As times goes … [ read more ]

    Dassault Systèmes Strategy 2017+
  • The Finding PLM to Fit Mid-Sized High-Tech Companies ebook explains how smaller companies in the high technology industry find themselves stuck between full-featured Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) systems that feel out of reach and less capable solutions including cloud-based file sharing or very basic data management applications. They know they can’t afford the errors and inefficiency inherent to informal data and process management, but can’t afford a large time, resource, and financial investment to fix their problems. Unfortunately simple solutions like web file sharing, while very attractive, fall … [ read more ]

    Finding PLM to Fit Mid-Sized High-Tech Companies
  • The How-to Guide to Transitioning from 2D CAD to 3D CAD  shares best practices for moving from 2D to 3D. The guide shares the reasons you should consider going from 2D to 3D, common challenges to avoid, and benefits enjoyed by other companies who gone to 3D. The guide then shares advice to make your switch from 2D to 3D CAD a success. The recommendations were developed by analyzing the responses of Top Performing companies and comparing them to Average Performing companies.This eBook is one in a series of three:Transitioning from 2D CAD to 3D CAD Migrating from 3D CAD to a new 3D CAD Adopting … [ read more ]

    Best Practices for Going from 2D to 3D CAD
  • The Reducing Cost of Quality in CPG report shares perspectives from a survey of over 175 CPG companies to determine how Top Performers manage consumer packaged goods quality. The research finds that these leading companies are able to achieve better quality results with lower internal costs. The report analyzes their processes, organizational structures, and enabling technology to determine how they can get better quality results without placing a financial burden on the business.Please enjoy the summary below, or click the report to download a PDF overview (free of charge, no registration … [ read more ]

    Reducing Cost of Quality for Consumer Packaged Goods (survey report)
  • What type of experiences prepare engineering students the best for "real world" industry work? What should new graduates know when they start their first job?Please share your experience, thoughts, and lessons learned in this new survey on the engineering skills gap. We are exploring questions such as, what types of things do you look for in a new graduate? How can engineering colleges and universities improve their curriculum to better prepare students for today's modern products?  What concerns do you have about the future engineering workforce?Developing the future workforce is critical to the … [ read more ]

    What Skills Do You Wish Engineering Graduates Had? (Survey Invite)

SolidWorks Vision 2016+


SolidWorks_logo 2SOLIDWORKS World 2016 was held in Dallas, TX earlier this year. At the event, SOLIDWORKS revealed much about their strategy for this coming year and beyond. This post outlines 5 takeaways about SOLIDWORKS’s strategy for 2016 and beyond.

This post is part of our CAD and CAE strategy series which complements our series on the Strategies of the Major PLM Vendors.

Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS CEO Gian Paolo Bassi Gian Paulo Bassikicked off SOLIDWORKS World describing the challenges facing the SOLIDWORKS community. He said creating products faster is no longer enough to be competitive. He explained that the community is looking to develop products that are smarter, connected and create an emotional connection with customers. Products are no longer standalone, but need to create exciting experiences for customers. As Dassault Systèmes puts it, we have entered the Age of Experience. SOLIDWORKS’s strategy has been built around these ideas.

The viewpoint from an engineering perspective is that the world is changing, and we are entering a new economy where more people are involved and want to shape products. The ability to tap into this as a source of innovation can help companies compete, but it requires new ways of working. SOLIDWORKS is looking to offer those new ways sww16 exectuive teamof working, while maintaining its commitment to their existing products.

Gian Paolo reminded everyone that SOLIDWORKS’ mission has been, and still is, to make great designs happen. The focus at SOLIDWORKS is to improve current product design approaches while also keeping an eye on the future. SOLIDWORKS is taking advantage of the latest technologies to offer new capabilities for those who want it, while maintaining and improving the existing solutions. The following is a list of five ways they are accomplishing this.

1)   Flexibility and choice to work the way you want

As Gian Paolo put it, there will be three strategic pillars of offerings:

  • Desktop
    This is the product SOLIDWORKS users know and love and it will continue to offer hundreds of enhancements every year. However, to add more flexibility to it, there will be additional licensing options:

    • Perpetual with maintenance: This is the traditional way that SOLIDWORKS has been licensed and will continue to be available for the foreseeable future.
    • Term License: This option allows customers to “rent” SOLIDWORKS for a limited time to meet occasional needs such as a surge in business or temporary employees.
    • Online trial: This allows you to try out SOLIDWORKS by running it in a browser, without any installations or hardware investments. Right now this option is only available for a trial license, but in the future it may become available as a commercial license option too.
  • Connected
    These products, SOLIDWORKS Industrial Designer and Conceptual Designer, are focused on the conceptual phase of design, where innovation happens at a faster pace. These solutions offer a social environment to encourage collaboration and innovation. They also store design work in the cloud, so that collaboration and sharing ideas with customers and extended teams is easier.
  • Online
    This will be a new generation of offerings. Currently, this pillar is in a technology preview state, but the offerings will run in a browser, anytime, anywhere, on any device.

SWW16_Gian Paulo DCO

2) Empowering news ways of working for those who want it

The big development is Xdesign, which is a major part of the Online pillar of offerings.  The technology previewed at SOLIDWORKS World 2016 showed a new design offering that runs in a browser and takes advantage of touch screen technology. Different users can simultaneously pull up the same design on an iPad, iPhone, and desktop. The idea is to improve efficiency, but also enable companies to more easily tap into each other’s ideas. By expanding sources of innovation, SOLIDWORKS hopes to help its customers compete in the new economy. Xdesign will also offer many cool design features to extend the design paradigm. For example, functionality called Design Guidance will allow users to define performance requirements in terms of constraints and loads and the software will automatically generate the geometry. A private beta version will be available in May. For more information on Xdesign go to: xdesign.solidworks.com.

3)   Enhancing collaboration between mechanical and electrical engineers

SolidWorks PCBTo develop smart connected products, mechanical and electrical / electronic engineers need to collaborate.  To support this, SOLIDWORKS has announced SOLIDWORKS PCB, which was developed in partnership with Altium. It allows engineers to to design Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) and visualize and synchronize the data in the SOLIDWORKS 3Dmechanical design environment. PCB changes will automatically update the 3D model in SOLIDWORKS and, vice-versa, 3D model changes will update the PCB model. For more information on SOLIDWORKS PCB, go to: www.solidworkspcb.com.

4)   Investing in our future engineers

SolidWorks Apps for KidsContinuing its focus on the future, SOLIDWORKS is also investing in future engineers with a suite of apps targeted at kids aged 4 to 14. The suite is still under development, but the initial apps will be: Capture It, Shape It, Style It, Mech It, Show It, and Print It. The goal is to encourage creativity and get kids excited about design and engineering. With the Print It app, they can even send their design to a 3D printer. The user interface was designed with kids in mind and is heavily icon-driven so that even pre-readers can have fun with it. The functionality scales to keep older kids engaged as well. For more information or if you would like to sign up a child aged 4 to 14 for the beta program, go to: appsforkids.solidworks.com.

SolidWorks Apps for Kids

5)   Providing options to support new business models, leverage the community, and expand the ecosystem

SOLIDWORKS has developed several new services and offerings that have the potential to help companies continue to benefit as a member of the SolidWorks community.

    SOLIDWORKS Make is described as a “cloud-based 3D personalization platform” that enables a company to offer its consumers options to personalize products from a web page. The company can then produce the product by sending it to a 3D printer. It is currently targeted at smaller retail items such as jewelry and eyeglasses, but has the potential for other applications where simple customizations are desired. The tool offers customization options such as shape variations, choice of colors, materials, and decorations.  The demo used at SOLIDWORKS World showed a person using a webcam to virtually try different eyeglass options and see how they would look on his face. For more information go here: www.solidworks.com/make.
  • SOLIDWORKS Manufacturing Services
    Manufacturing Services will be embedded into the SOLIDWORKS platform as a marketplace for users and manufacturers to find each other and connect. The idea is to make finding a manufacturing partner as easy as buying a product online. This service is coming soon, but a timeline has not been announced yet.
  • Part Supply
    Part Supply is a search service available to customers on subscription. Users can sketch approximate geometry and the service will perform a geometry, contextual, and meta data search on 3D Content Central for an appropriate model, which should save time, especially for supplied components. 3D Content Central is a cloud-based database of user-contributed and supplier certified content.
  • SOLIDWORKS Visualize
    SolidWorks VisualizeIn the interest of connecting different groups and encourage thinking about the whole experience associated with a product,SOLIDWORKS has launched SOLIDWORKS Visualize. This product is a rebranded version of Bunkspeed, which was acquired a few years ago. The product enables photorealistic renderings and animations. It helps companies develop marketing materials earlier, but it could also help product developers visualize, consider, and define the product experience for the final customer using a realistic virtual setting. This product was announced at the SOLIDWORKS 2016 launch, but was just made available in February. SOLIDWORKS Visualize Standard will be included in any SOLIDWORKS desktop subscription, while Visualize PRO, with more advanced functions such as animations, will be sold by the SOLIDWORKS VAR channel. For more information, go to: www.solidworks.com/visualize.

3D printing is another area where I also expect to hear more from SOLIDWORKS. It has already become embedded into several of the areas mentioned above. It also got a lot of attention at SOLIDWORKS World and SOLIDWORKS has a growing partner network in this area, as there are many opportunities to help customers innovate.

In summary, while SOLIDWORKS is doing a lot, with all that they do, we can count on this theme driving their vision: SOLIDWORKS plans to offer options and flexibility so that companies can choose what will work best for their business so that they may innovate and make great designs.

SOLIDWORKS World 2017 will be in Los Angeles, February 5th to February 8th.



  1. It appears that we are starting to see the forming of the Apple business model with a closed ecosystem. The true question is will the customers want to work in such a system? Will the apple “tree” be able to bear fruit and will the actual fruit be digestible by organizations?

    I guess “..maintaining and improving the existing products.” is the key here. Does “maintaining” apply to the older desktop SOLIDWORKS and “improving the existing” apply only to the collaborative products?

Speak Your Mind