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Commentaries & Highlights

Thursday, September 24, 2015

SOLIDWORKS 2016 Launch (Commentary)

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Key takeaways:

  • SOLIDWORKS 2016 boasts a new redesigned user interface complementary to Windows 10 and supports high resolution, high-pixel density displays
  • SOLIDWORKS Visualize incorporates technology from Dassault Systèmes’ acquisition of Bunkspeed

On September 22, 2015, Mr. Gian Paolo Bassi, CEO, SOLIDWORKS, opened the SOLIDWORKS 2016 Launch event at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. Speaking from the front of the podium in the Institute’s full-scale reproduction of the U.S. Senate Chamber, Mr. Bassi reminded his audience of customers, analysts, and press sitting at the 100 replica Senator desks of SOLIDWORKS’ mission: who they are; where they want to go; and how they will get there. Mr. Bassi summarized the impact of SOLIDWORKS for the attendees present in the impressive room as well as on-line streaming viewers by recognizing the almost 3 million licenses of SOLIDWORKS software are in use in over 210,000 companies across 80 countries. He spoke of the current industry trends of computing everywhere, connected objects, smarter products, and additive manufacturing, as well as new business trends as seen in the “informal” economy represented by such companies as Uber. His message was summed up in “how SOLIDWORKS moves forward.” He painted a future of SOLIDWORKS providing and growing an innovation platform for their customers by investing in new technologies, building on what they already do, reacting to emerging possibilities, and constantly staying at the productivity frontier. CIMdata has often discussed the need to create and build on platforms for all major business domains such as PLM. SOLIDWORKS together with Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform supports this concept.

Mr. Kishore Boyalakuntla, Senior Director of Product Management at SOLIDWORKS, took center stage to provide an overview of the upcoming SOLIDWORKS 2016 software revision due to be released October 1, 2015. Mr. Boyalakuntla highlighted three major areas of improvement from what is reported to be over 600 enhancements. The first and the most impactful change was a new redesigned user interface aligned with the interface concepts introduced in Windows 10. The new implementation can take advantage of high resolution, high-pixel density displays. In addition, the user interface provides a new icon style that is consistent with Dassault Systèmes’ portfolio of 3DEXPERIENCE products. One enhancement sure to please users is Selection Breadcrumbs that are a context-based view of the current selection. The breadcrumbs show related elements up and down the hierarchical tree, from the user selected object through the top level assembly or part. CIMdata recognizes the benefits this capability provides users who today can often get lost within a complex hierarchy of design elements.

Mr. Boyalakuntla continued with a discussion of how both SOLIDWORKS Visualize, incorporating the Dassault acquisition of Bunkspeed, and SOLIDWORKS support for Model-based Definition (MBD) are improving customers’ ability to design and produce innovative products. Mr. Boyalakuntla introduced Mr. Kurt Anliker, Director of Product Introduction at SOLIDWORKS, who demonstrated SOLIDWORKS 2016 improvements in sketching and part modeling with the introduction of a parametric-threads feature and sweep enhancements.

The SOLIDWORKS team peppered the flow of presentations with short customer stories bringing clients on stage to discuss their innovative products and the impact that SOLIDWORKS had on their design. Two of the most memorable were presentations from StrongArm Technologies (www.strongarmtech.com) and Skully (www.skully.com). StrongArm designs and produces human performance equipment—lifting harnesses for workers who depend on their own physical strength, such as warehouse workers, parcel workers, shippers, handlers, lifters, as well as nurses, doctors, and physical therapists in the medical field. Skully designs what may be the world’s smartest motorcycle helmet with a rear view camera and a transparent heads-up display that projects a focused image that appears floating in front-right of the wearer’s view for such applications as GPS tracking and road directions. CIMdata congratulates SOLIDWORKS for showcasing such customers who no doubt have produced truly innovative products.

SOLIDWORKS continues to deliver value to their extensive customer base with targeted enhancements that improve the ease of use and performance of product modeling. Their positioning of SOLIDWORKS together with the 3DEXPERIENCE platform products fits well with overall industry trends while being sensitive to not over burden their customers with software applications they may not need at their current business maturity level. SOLIDWORKS 2016 should be well received by their worldwide customer base.

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