SolidWorks World 2014 | SolidWorks 2015 Reveal

SolidWorks World general session day 3 is typically all about the next feature set in the traditional version of SolidWorks.  This year SolidWorks 2015 was the focus and the Product Marketing group performed another skit, as they have since 2007ish, and this year it was a parody of Batman called CADMAN!

The skit was entertaining and corny but they showed off some good stuff to come in the next build of SolidWorks.  These are all on the live blog with pictures of many of these new features. Below is a list of what was shown....

  • Split command now cuts surfaces (SolidWorks)
  • Define asymmetric fillets - set face fillet bias (SolidWorks)
  • Switch pattern from a feature to a body pattern without deleting and redefining. (SolidWorks)
  • Render region tool - draw a box over the screen and render it within the model (PV360)
  • Midpoint line tool - draw a line from midpoint and it auto relates (SolidWorks)
  • Convert spline to Style Spline without replace or delete (SolidWorks)
  • Segment lines with auto-split, co linear relationships and equal length (SolidWorks)
  • Rectangle tool has orthogonal construction lines with new options (SolidWorks)
  • Weldment cut list uses weldment details for the folder description (SolidWorks)
  • SolidWorks Costing now works on SolidWorks Weldments (SolidWorks)
  • View results while Simulation is still solving (Simulation)
  • Ducting feature and wire raceways inserted similar to piping (SolidWorks Routing)
  • Width mate now supports geometry limits.  This is similar to PhysicalDynamics so it detects surface to surface contact. (SolidWorks)
  • Chain pattern - allows alignment to a curve and relationships can allow motion (SolidWorks)
  • Profile Mate - Mate two faces and SolidWorks automatically aligns the surfaces coincident and the center of the profiles are also aligned. (SolidWorks)
  • Open part from drawing in same orientation (SolidWorks)
  • Break View works in parts and assemblies then leverage in drawings.  Works for isometric views too! (SolidWorks Drawings)
  • Angular dimensions can use many model edges to avoid creating construction geometry. (SolidWorks Drawings)
  • Zone lines for drawings (SolidWorks Drawings)
  • Decimal rounding options in Document Options
  • Layer Printing - control print access to specific layers (SolidWorks Drawings)
  • SolidWorks Inspection integration inside of SolidWorks.  It can read many aspects of the drawing like tolerances and other aspects to auto build inspection reports.  This tool also runs outside of SolidWorks and can do OCR (Optical Character Recognition) of PDF and TIFF Files. (SolidWorks Inspection)
  • SolidWorks Enterprise PDM Web2 - A server-side web client that can run in any browser and has mobile specific views for phones and tablets.  It also can call up eDrawings mobile from the device for viewing and markup. (SolidWorks EPDM)

In addition to this list, Neil Cooke also talked about a few things that would be available for users in 2014 as well.  The first was an integrated task pane in SolidWorks, Draftsight and eDrawings to access the 3DExperience communities as well as a new 3DExperience dashboard that will give users a cloud drive that is accessible from SolidWorks, Draftsight, Mechanical Conceptual etc, and allow users to share content to members of their teams.  They also show a complete web based version of eDrawings as well.  

No details to whether this was part of your SolidWorks subscription or if it would come at additional cost.  As details come available, I will update this post.  ~Lou

Mechanical Conceptual | More Answers..Still Questions

Today more questions were answered on Mechanical Conceptual in the general session at SolidWorks World 2014.  Here are a few things we now know:

  • The interface closely resembles that of SolidWorks (Instant3D, contextual tooltips, mouse gestures, tools and icons...)
  • Cloud connected means a cloud database automating document management and collaboration.
  • This will be a hosted solution at first but there are plans to offer a private cloud option that runs behind the firewall.
  • Inviting users to collaborate is free through the SwYm community and they do not have to have a license of Mechanical Conceptual.
  • The cost will be $2988 USD ($250/mo) *unsure if this will be offered in a monthly payment plan but was mentioned on stage.
  • Resellers will begin selling it on April 2, 2014.

Many of these questions were being asked when Mechanical Conceptual debuted at last year's SolidWorks World.  Today they also interviewed four of their "lighthouse" testing group and they explained how it fit into their workflows for concept design.  One of them even said they were opening 56,000 part assemblies in 1/3 of the time of SolidWorks.

This all sounds promising but there are still some questions that remain that hopefully will be explained by the end of the conference.  Here are a few:

  • How does Mechanical Conceptual work with SolidWorks? (Once the concept is done, what is the workflow to move the design further in SolidWorks)
  • Is there an offline mode or a way to work when disconnected. (Being a Chromebook user, I see the power of the cloud and have ways to use my device when disconnected)
  • What operating systems will SWMC run on?  Since this is not just a flimsy thin-client, will it run on Windows, Mac, Linux?  What about mobile platforms?
  • What happens when the service is terminated?  How to I get my data?  I liken this to Google Takeout, an initiative to make is easy to take data out of their services.

It is still early and I will post an update to this post once I get some answers over the next couple of days.  ~Lou


SolidWorks World 2014 Kickoff

SolidWorks World 2014 is on it's way beginning with their annual kickoff in the partner pavilion. The partner showing seems to be comparable to recent years and the promise of new product announcements is all the buzz.  Mechanical Conceptual, announced last year at SolidWorks World, had a place in the DS booth tonight but nothing was being revealed yet.  The anticipation, among many of the attendees, is in the actual details of how this new product will work, cost and integrate into their current workflows. 

The live blog kicks off tomorrow at 8:30am PST and if you cannot watch it live and ask questions, you can come back and replay the event at any time.  If you are interested in having notes for any of the sessions, submit your sessions here.  Coverage of the event will be covered on Google+ and twitter as well under the hashtag #sww14. ~Lou

SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual aka SWV6 at SWW13


Today Fielder Hiss took the main stage at SolidWorks World and revealed a new product that will be delivered from Dassault Systemes to focus on the conceptual design process.  A few things we know after this morning...

  • It is built on the "3DExperience Platform"
  • It is focused on conceptual design (thus the  intuitive name?, looks like they are taking after Microsoft in the marketing department)
  • Will be able to move the concept over to SolidWorks for further design completion
  • Appears to have modeling and assembly capabilities.
  • Design process starts in a similar layout sketch feature with associative nature (like layout sketches in SolidWorks)
  • Has integrated version management for keeping track of concepts (looked similar to snapshots in LDR in SolidWorks combined with a similar swapping capability of that in SolidWorks configurations.
  • Will perform Simulation
  • Has integrated Chat
  • Has screen sharing
  • History-based and Direct Editing
  • Can share to private collaboration social platform (like posting screen shots and markups with threaded discussions)
  • Will be available on Mobile

There was no use of the word "Cloud" which leads me to believe they learned their lesson back in 2010, however they did mention that it was "always connected".  The product appears to be installed locally (maybe a lightweight framework) with its data populated from DS own servers.  They also mentioned the ability to save state in order to address the instance of connectivity unexpectedly disconnecting so data stability in in tact.

There were no bits on pricing or how anyone would pay for it but they are going to be finding customers that would like to try it out for production., which they described as a test case and not a "beta test".  Although that sounds like semantics, this is DS asking for direct input which is very positive.  

Once this private test is complete, DS will open this up for public trials in October/ November this year.  I have heard this before with products like Live Buildings and the original SolidWorks V6 platform since 2010.  The only part of today that makes me think they might be aggressive in their attempts to meet meet those dates was the amount of detail they showed.  Unlike 3 years ago, this looked like a product that could be used and not a technical trial and vision product that they got working on stage in Anaheim.

I am sure more details will come out over the next couple of days but so far this looks like a pretty feature-rich tool but hands on with actual users will tell the truth.  More to come soon... ~Lou

RePlay SolidWorks World 2012

SolidWorks World 2012 has passed and the masses have dispersed back to their homes, families and jobs.  Although SWW12 was 5650 registered attendees strong, that is only a fraction of the millions of users across the globe.

Every year I have a goal to try and get as much of the content out of this show for the rest of those out there who are not able to get to the one major event for SolidWorks a year. So here are a few resources for those of you that fall into this percentage of users outside the walls of the San Diego Convention Center.


Live Blogs:

- General Session Day 1

General Session Day 2

- General Session Day 3 


- SolidWorks Flickr Page

- Google Plus (search for SWW12)


- SolidWorks Youtube Channel

- SolidWorks:HEARD Ustream Channel

- Solidbox - very well produced

Social Networks:

Twitter (search for SWW12)

Google Plus (search for SWW12)

- SolidWorks Facebook Page


- SolidWorks

- SolidSmack

- Rickyjordan

- MichaelLord

- CADFanatic

- Boxer's Blog

- CADCAMstuff

It was a busy week and there is a lot of content out there from SolidWorks World 2012.  I will post some notes and tips that I picked up from this year's sessions.  Many of the responses I got from you is SolidWorks tips so I attended about 4 tip specific sessions and got a few nuggets to share as well.  Next year is going to be in Orlando at the Swan and Dolphin resort at Disney on January 20-23, 2013. ~Lou

SolidWorks 2013 Reveal at SWW12

SolidWorks World general session day 3 is typically the reveal of the next major release of SolidWorks products.  For the past 5 years or so, SolidWorks has presented this in a skit where the guys in product definition will show segments of the new features with some humor.

This year's skit was a parody of "Back to the Future" called "
Back to the Feature" where Marty, Doc, Bif and even a camio of Jon Hirschtick, the founder of SolidWorks.  They should have a video up soon and I will post more pics once that is out.

Here is a quick list of what was revealed in SolidWorks 2013: (listed in order of reveal)

Segment 1:

- Show Hidden Bodies in Parts (parts)

- Assembly Performance Offenders with assembly visualization (assemblies)

- eDrawings markup imports into Drawings (drawings)

- Quick section views (parts/assemblies)

- Revision cloud - a markup tool in Drawings (drawings)

 Segment 2:

- Snap shots in (like in LDR) in any file (parts/assemblies)

- Sub models for Simulation - chop out a focus area to reduce mesh model and is associative to full model (Simulation)

- Bounding box cut-lis creation (parts)

- Multiple camera (3DVIA Composer)

- Multiple camera location on the timeline (3DVIA Composer)

 Segment 3:

- Quick filter in File Open (parts/assemblies/drawings) 

- Envelopes can be any part or assembly and then toggle (parts/assemblies)

- Envelope parts can have phantom lines in drawings (drawings)

- Envelope parts are hidden in upper levels (assemblies)

- Insert multi components at once - Window or CTRL selection in open dialog then drops one, place, drops the next, place etc. (assemblies)

- Multiple explodes in each configuration (parts?/assemblies)

- New favorites folder - acts like Windows favorites (all)

- New mounting boss options and stored in favorites (parts)

- Toggle cosmetic threads or have the graphic threads (parts/assemblies in Options)

- Find common thread types - In interference detection (assemblies)

- Hole wizard has dowel holes 

- Insert dowel annotations in drawings

Segment 4:

- Surface intersect to remove and add - can do both operations cut and up to face (parts)

- Thin extrude supports multiple contours (parts)

- Equation entry everywhere - Even in the PropertyManager (all)

- Vary pattern instance dimensions - can adjust the dimension values per instance (parts)

Segment 5: 

- Collaborate with others  - hover over username tp chat, email call (EPDM)

- DraftSignt integration (EPDM)

- Copy/Paste from DraftSight to SolidWorks - copies into a sketch (parts/assemblies)

- 2012 SP 5 will support backwards compatibility - will open SW2013 but frozen (all)

- Backward compatibility with Configurations - SW2012 could "see" the body and configurations from the future version (all)

- Backwards compatibility supports updates - if changes are made in 2013, the referenced files in SW2012 SP5 will update any visible attributes to impact the geometry and visual effects. (all)

Although SolidWorks has uploaded a lot of videos, I am still waiting for the videos to come out. I will post an update of pics if they publish the video.  

Things we did not see:

Well mobile and SoildWorks V6 platform did not make their presence at any of the SWW12 general sessions and I hope they have plans to share that information soon so we can all get an idea of what that will be like.  Fielder Hiss, VP of Product Management came out and made sure to clear a bad rumor up:



SolidWorks 2013 looks good and some interesting cool features are coming that are additions to part and assembly modeling which I like to see.  I do believe that viewers and collaboration tools on mobile or the web are needed in the SolidWorks portfolio.  Time will tell. ~Lou

SWW11: SolidWorks 2012 What's New Reveal

SolidWorks World general session day 3 is known as the "Reveal" since as long as I can remember this is the designated day that SolidWorks shows off some new enhancements that will might make it into the next major release. So far there are two posts that I have seen that give a good list of the features revealed and they have a good number of screenshots as well:

- - Ricky Jordan

- - Brian McElyea

For the past 3 or 4 years now the R&D group has used a comedy sketch to spice up the presentation of the new features and this year the parody was from the show COPS, called CAD COPS.  The sketch was funny and the features were being shown at a pretty fast rate so I focused on writing down as many as I could.  After reading through a few other peoples notes I think this might be the complete list of what's new in SolidWorks 2012.


- Pin commonly used files in the Recent Documents dialog (also works for folders and in the File Menu)

- Unit Switcher in the lower right of the status bar.

- Freeze Feature (shown at SWW10 but didn't make the cut for SW2011)

- Tab key to hide (Feature from 3dvia Composer)

Sheet Metal:

- Sheet metal flanges has an option "Parallel to base flange" instead of vertex (great for angle changes in the flange)

- Reference the outside tangency to drive flange length stays the same (helps for closed corners)

- Redesigned Forming tools UI for simple placement/flip and utilize configurations.

- Flat Patten feature has a new "Features to Ignore" for unfolding.

- New Swept Flange for complex features and it will flatten.

Dimensions & Equations:

- Placement of diameter dimensions in a sketch will lock into diameter mode.

- New Equation Editor UI showing much more detail including Category, Dimension, Ordered View, and Recent variables used with equations in RED when errors are detected.

- Equation Editor automatically solves equations in the order needed and not by the order entered.

- Equation Editor allows pulldowns of ALL dimensions instead of having to dynamically select from the active model.

- Equation Editor now utilizes the measure tool to create reference dimensions on the fly.


- Exploded views from the View Palette in the Task Pane

- Now can add the exploded view from the Right Click menu or the PropertyManager (no longer in properties and have to then select the check box).

- BOM creation no longer requires pre-selection

- Balloons and be inserted with Auto Balloon and now sequenced (selecting which balloon will be balloon 1 and the sequence will rebuild around the part. BOM will also update)

- Magnet Lines can be used for alignment of annotations like balloons, notes etc.  (from 3dvia Composer)

- View Labels (like section and detail) will be reused if that sequence is removed. (past would use the next label counter even if the previous was deleted)

- Centermarks can be automatically inserted at any time for an entire view not just on view creation.

3dvia Composer:

- Per pixel lighting (more realistic rendering)

- New Compass helps orient and change the appearances of the model.

- BOM highlighting (like in BOM SVG output) works dynamically on hover.

Evaluation Tools:

- New Costing Tool analyzes the model and determines cost by MFG process involved, setup costs.  Tool has a template builder (like property tab builder) and can utilize quantities and other variables to accurately determine model take offs.


- Motion Simulation now supports motion sensors

- Motion also has optimization (these enhancements were the Design Study functions for FEA now in Motion)


- New File Open option called "Large Design Review"

- LDR is basically Quick View/SpeedPak/Lightweight in one UI.

LDR give great performance while still having the ability to:

- Create or Reuse Walk throughs

- Zoom and Pan smoothly

- Full interactivity of the FeatureManager Tree

- Use the Section tool

- Open Parts or Sub Assemblies for editing, Save and update the Large Assembly.

As you can see the list was pretty long and the R&D group rattled them off quickly but it looks like a cleanup release to smooth the edges and complete some of the existing features in the software.  Users want improvement to existing functionality and less brand new functions so this seems to be a response to that. One thing to keep in mind though, none of these features are guaranteed so take this list with a grain of salt! ~Lou

SolidWorks Live Buildings: SWW11 Cloud App #3

SolidWorks World Day 3 General Session is typically the time that various members of SolidWorks talk about Model Mania, Top 10 Enhancement Requests, and the Sneak Peak of what is to come in the next version of Solidworks (2012 this time around).  Last year this was when SolidWorks announced "SolidWorks PDS" which has now been named SolidWorks n!Fuze, so this year a new product was announced as well.

About mid-way through today's General Session, Fielder Hiss, SolidWorks VP of Product Development, explained how there are companies out there designing entire buildings in SolidWorks. He continued to explain how SolidWorks was interested in why companies were using SolidWorks in the building industry and determined that it was because many of the tools in this space were "under-serving the market".  Sound familar to SolidWorks' beginning?

Enter SolidWorks Live Buildings.  SWLB is built on Enovia's Online Platform and gives designers and planners an immersive environment to quickly design structure, floor layout and even place furniture and other decore. SWLB can also assist in planning the proper orientation of a building by approximating how the sun will cast shadows at different times of the year, possibly optimizing the design's sustainability.  The UI has the community aspect for collaboration and online libraries of commonly used models that can be searched and dropped into the design quickly.

At a glance the tool feels like Google's Sketchup and/or 3dvia Shape with a similar simple drag/push/pull UI and intelligent intersection trimming. (ie. drag a wall past the exterior walls and it trims automatically).  At this point all we saw was a 10 minute demo but the product should be available later this year, according to Fielder.

Here are a few screen shots we took during the live blog of the general session. ~Lou

SolidWorks World 2011 Coverage

This will be my 10th SolidWorks World and thinking back how much the Internet has changed this conference is quite amazing. My first year I had no access to my email and getting any cool findings or news out to the masses was just not possible.
Today, as we all know, anyone who wants to know what is happening here in San Antonio will know the second it is announced via blogs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr etc.
This year I will be covering the general sessions (8:30 - 10am M-W MST) via live blogging at and will also take live notes for any of the breakout sessions that I attend (location and links to come).
Here is a list of places to get coverage of this year's conference:

- SolidWorks
- SolidSmack
- Ricky Jordan
- Dezign Stuff
- Deelip
- CadFanatic
- RockSolid Perspective
- SolidWorks Heard

- SolidWorks YouTube Channel
- Videos tagged SWW11

- #SWW11 (SolidWorks World 2011 hashtag)
- #SWWTips (tips from SWW hashtag)

- SolidWorks Facebook Page

- SWW11 group (tag sww11)

There was also an iPhone app that launched last week (shown above) that isexactly what I asked for back when the SolidWorks APAC marketing app shipped (link). This app is great for those attending he conference since it has maps, agendas and other important info but for those of you that cannot be here it links to many of the resources mentioned above.
I will continue to blog and podcast while I'm here and when permitted I will try and get a video stream or two on SolidWorks Heard tv (top of live coverage page at
It's going to be a busy week but we will bring as much as we can to those of you who are not here! (BTW, wrote this on the airplane so hopefully the spelling errors are at a min!) ~Lou


SolidWorks Product Data Sharing

SolidWorks World Conference is never without excitement and new announcements. The General Sessions are always used as the platform to announce exciting future offerings and spark conversation among attendees. This year, SolidWorks ramped up the excitement by kicking off day one with the cloud-based, platform-agnostic SolidWorks version (unsure of the official name or release date), day two with James Cameron and day 3 with the sneak peak of SolidWorks 2011. A final announcement of a new SolidWorks PLM tool called SolidWorks PDS which stands for Product Data Sharing was also debuted with a promise delivery around the time of the 2011 product line.

SolidWorks PDS aims to address a group of users that fall into the category "Version-management challenged", which in my approximation would be about 70% or more of the user base. SolidWorks currently has two products in the PDM space, Workgroup and Enterprise PDM, that give small to large groups a good spread of document and process centric control of engineering project data. I have talked about the importance of data management with parametric CAD before but there are still a very large number of users whose companies do not have a system in place that addresses the issues of references and associativity within the CAD data.

SolidWorks PDS is built on the Enovia V6 cloud framework and brings the benefits of centralized storage, workspace control, sharing access levels, as well as 3 main platforms (SolidWorks TaskPane, web-client, and mobile platforms). PDS utilizes the essential aspects of PDM, simplifing deployment by not requiring any IT infrastructure setup and focuses on automatic version control and data sharing. Files are worked on locally and uploaded/shared to the cloud, enabling users to comment and share files as easy as sharing photos on FaceBook. Users would then have the power to create their own engineering communities, share data quickly and ensure that versions are maintained and backed up off site.

I see this as a tool for those users without a PDM system in place, however SolidWorks PDS might act as the collaboration mechanism for SolidWorks PDM packages in the future. This might be the first step for SolidWorks enterinig back to the 3D TeamWorks days of hosted services (SaaS) and I believe the time is right. ~Lou