SolidWorks:HEARD! - Episode 473 - The Show Will Go On!


The Show Will Go On!:

This podcast covers the some of the changes that are going to happen here at SolidWorks:HEARD and what the future of this site will be going forward in June.  As I posted last week, I resigned from Digital Dimensions after 12 and 1/2 years to join Onshape, the started founded by the same group that started SolidWorks years ago.  This Friday will be my last day and with that I will be shifting the show topic away from SolidWorks in order focus more on CAD, Engineering and the Web as a platform.

This shift is not completely unexpected since I changed the show focus just a year or so ago to include other engineering and cloud hosted applications.  This industry shift to the cloud is a segment I have a tremendous passion for, as I write this post from my Chromebook Pixel ... ;-), and I have spent the better part of 8 years building tools and integrating web technologies for business and personal projects.

The SolidWorks Community has shown me what an amazing group of engineers can do when they contribute to each other, help each other and share their knowledge for the good of the group.  I have never been part of a global group who overwhelmingly cares about sharing their wealth of knowledge and tricks of the trade.  They have taught me what community really means and I am honored to be a part of it. 

So stay tuned for the redesign/rename, which I have not yet selected but am close, over the next couple of weeks and I hope that I can continue to share my knowledge and discovery with all of you as this journey of CAD tech unfolds before us all!  

Thank you again for listening to the show!  It has been an honor doing the podcast for the past 8 years and I hope to continue for many more episodes to come!  ~Lou

SolidWorks:HEARD! - Episode 472 - April Tech News

April Tech News:

This podcast covers the SolidWorks and CAD-related tech news that broke since mid-March covering the SolidWorks Blog, various tech alerts and other industry tech news. Topics covered: 

SolidWorks Tech Blog:

- SolidWorks Mold Tools - 3 Part Video Series
- Working Across the Network vs. Working Locally
- Animating Rotary Motion in SolidWorks
- Imported Files - Turning Surfaces into Solids in SolidWorks
- Comparing your Purchase & Licenses Shown on the SNL Manager (Pt.1)
- How to Design a Garage in SolidWorks
- Using SolidWorks Plastics to plan your mold
- Loop Selection
- Hidden Gems of SolidWorks
- PLC I/O Wire Numbering in SolidWorks Electrical

Tech Alerts:

- SolidWorks 2014 SP3 Early Visibility is available for download
- SolidWorks Hole Wizard and Toolbox cannot be used after Kasperksy anti-virus update
- adds Learning

Support Monthly News:

- Spotlight on features - Improvements to the Animation PropertyManager in SolidWorks Simulation 2014
- Spotlight on features - Sheet metal: Flat Pattern Performance improvements anyone?
- Spotlight on features - Scale Sketch with first dimensions in SolidWorks 2014.
- Noteworthy Solutions from the SolidWorks Knowledge Base.

Industry News:

- Microsoft releases Windows 8.1 Update 1 (quick review)
- Windows XP and IE6 are officially retired
- Office for iPad is launched, editing still requires Office 365 Subs
- Amazon releases FireTv streaming box
- Dropbox makes it easier to handle Business and Personal accounts.
- Heartbleed OpenSSL vulnerability is reveals leaking of user data for the past 2 years!

Windows XP was released the month I first started working in the SolidWorks channel. I remember attending a rollout event and noticing the guys at DDi were sporting the newly released Windows XP.  On April 8th, 2014, Microsoft officially retired this OS after a long 13 year run.  Obviously since then there has been 4 other OSs launched so I think retirement is long overdue.  In the wake of this retirement, Microsoft pushed out the first update to WIndows 8.1, refining further Microsoft's new generation operating system.

A few other products also shipped this month for SolidWorks including SolidWorks Inspection and SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual.  With SW Inspection being a more traditional product, SWMC, on the other hand, is the first 3DExperience platform product so SolidWorks is spending these first months educating everyone, including those of us whom will support it, what exactly is involved in use, support and management of these new tools.

Despite April staring off with a bang in the technology space, Heartbleed, an OpenSSL vulnerability, was discovered and effects many of the web servers tethered to this thing called the Internet.  In light of this news, there is a hope many will take the opportunity to first make sure the sites you use have fixed this issue and then change your passwords using a password manager like LastPass.  Changing your passwords before those sites have patched their servers is a waste of time.  The alarming part of this news is around the issue being present for the past 2 years, allowing hackers to "bleed" user data 64K at a time.  I am using this news as an opportunity to comb through my online accounts and verify services that were compromised and take action.  I suggest you do the same. (Call it my Internet PSA).  ~Lou

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SolidWorks:HEARD! - Episode 471 - GrabCAD Workbench for SolidWorks

GrabCAD Workbench for SolidWorks:

This podcast covers the updates and new add-in for SolidWorks for the evolving GrabCAD engineering platform.  Every year when I come back to revisit what GrabCAD is up to I am amazing to their expanding offerings to the engineering community.  Topics covered:

An overview of GrabCAD Workbench

- The GCWB web UI

- Overview of the SolidWorks Add-In

- Use cases and workflow from within SolidWorks

- SolidWorks format support and integration with GrabCAD web service

- Overview of pricing plans and capabilities

- Overall thoughts.

The first time I mentioned GrabCAD on this show it was July 3rd, 2011 when they broke onto the scene with an engineering community and 3D CAD sharing site.  Since then we have kept an eye on their evolution over the years and last year they introduced their Workbench product which was a shift in their previous offerings.

Workbench was focused to tackle sharing and collaborating on private 3D data and provide browser-based viewing (WebGL), markup, measure and comment threads around design teams and their data.  A year ago I covered the newly launched Workbench and at that time it was primarily a web service, requiring upload of data via the web and somewhat disconnecting the CAD authoring tool from the collaboration service.

As Workbench began to get traction, they launched GrabCAD Toolbox which is a listing of partners they work with through add-ins, and other cloud service connections like with Lagoa.  With the launch of their SolidWorks add-in, GrabCAD has narrowed the barrier between desktop and cloud, allowing Workbench to become an in-process tool as well.  Versioning, file locking and auto sync with upload/download support give light PDM to any SolidWorks user.  I'm excited to see what else the folks at GradCAD will do next!  ~Lou

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SolidWorks:HEARD! - Episode 470 - March Tech News

March Tech News:

This podcast covers the SolidWorks and CAD-related tech news that broke since mid-February covering the SolidWorks Blog, various tech alerts and other industry tech news. Topics covered:  

SolidWorks Tech Blog:

- The Future Generation of SolidWorks Engineers
- SolidWorks Composer Data Paths for Multip-User Environment
- ELECTRICAL TECH TIP: Adding Part Numbers to Electrical Components
- CircuitWorks and Flow Simulation Working Together 
- Communicate globally with SolidWorks Composer - Intelligent Views 
- New SolidWorks 2014 Weldment Profiles
- SolidWorks Buried Treasure
- SolidWorks: Replace Components Without Mate Errors
- Working with SolidWorks Files On A Network
- The ABC's of FEA as simple as 1-2-3

Tech Alerts:

Presentations for SolidWorks World 2014 are now available 

Support Monthly News:

- Spotlight on Features - Sheet metal: why are those cutouts stretched in the folded body?
- Spotlight on Features - Save auto-recover info after meshing and after running a simulation study.
- Noteworthy Solutions from the SW KB.

Industry News:

- Microsoft OneDrive launches with Dropbox-like bonus storage and a new Android App.
- Google I/O is back June 25-26 ...but you need to win a lottery to attend
- 5TB hard drives are here - From LaCie
Windows 8.1 Update 1 hits RTM
Dassault Systems invests $14.4M in NuoDB
Google Drops Storage Prices to Amazing Lows 

The tech landscape is alive and kicking and I feel like the tech is maturing at an even rate.  Products are getting updates, patches and improvements but no crazy new technology breaks yet.  As we head into the end of the first quarter of 2014, I am interested to see what the summer product announcements and developer's conferences will bring.

SolidWorks World 2014 proceedings site is up and all the presentations and videos are available for download and viewing.  Whether you attended an just couldn't go to certain sessions or was not even in San Diego that week, you have a resource to go in search of nuggets!

The SolidWorks Blog is covered with many marketing pieces on Mechanical Conceptual but nothing is yet out for the public as far as licenses or access as of yet.  A better part of the VAR channel is just getting a few fingers into it but no mass access yet either.  Hope to have more news as it's availability becomes more accessible. ~Lou

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SolidWorks:HEARD! - Episode 469 - Lagoa


Lagoa: Multi-Optics Cloud Rendering Engine

This podcast covers Lagoa, a cloud- based rendering engine that I first saw at SolidWorks World and was, hands-down, the most innovative, mind-blowing tech I have seen in years. Topics covered:

- Platform overview

- Features and options

- User Interface and Experience

- Collaborative environment

- Overall first impressions

This year at SolidWorks World, I made it a point to spend quality time in the partner pavilion, a place that seems to get the least of my time in previous years.  After 12 years of attending SolidWorks World, there has been a list of 3rd party products and services that have impressed me.  However, in today's engineering culture, the web is creeping into the equation and services tend to be more impressive than 3rd party local software.

Over the past 3-4 years, cloud services have made a move into the space, offering a number of collaborative layers to the traditional desktop environment.  Whether this was through task panes or other menus inside of SolidWorks, the services were still very tied to the desktop installation.

Lagoa is a cloud rendering software as a a service (SaaS) and not only offloads the rendering hardware and horsepower needed for high end processing, it offloads everything needed from your system.  Cameras, complex material and advanced lighting all at your control through a web browser tab!  Roll in some real-time collaboration, sharing and commenting and you have the ultimate rendering experience completely in the cloud.  Cool stuff!  ~Lou 

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SolidWorks:HEARD! - Episode 468 - February Tech News


February Tech News:

This podcast covers the SolidWorks and CAD-related tech news that broke since mid-January covering the SolidWorks Blog, various tech alerts and other industry tech news. Topics covered:  

SolidWorks Tech Blog:

- SW  World Recap posts
- SW Customer Certifications Hit 100K! 
- A Conversation with Hugh Herr 
- SolidWorks Tech Tip: A Change in Perspective 
- Flipping Normal: A Fresh Perspective to SolidWorks Sketches and Mates 
- EPDM - Simplifying Workflows using Workflow Links 
- Lock Rotation Option with Concentric Mate Option

Tech Alerts: 

- SolidWorks 2014 SP2 is available for download
- SolidWorks Enterprise PDM 2014 SP2 is available for download

Support Monthly News: 

- Spotlight on Features - Link to Thickness
- EPDM Contains Tab and Supression
- Service Pack News
- Noteworthy Solutions from the SW KB.

Industry News: 

- Google's Smart Contact Lens Project   
- Cloud CAD & PDM Will Become Easier For Android and GDrive?  
- The Mac turns 30  
- Google Sells off Motorola to Lenovo  
- Windows 8.1 Update 1 now looking like April 1  
- Google launches Chromebox Meetings

Now that SolidWorks World 2014 has come to an end and now a few weeks behind us, much of the dust has settled and we are back to work.  Since beta for SolidWorks 2015 and access to any of the new "Experience" tools are still months away, it is time for us to talk about the last few weeks in tech news.

The tech blog has its regular flow of content and this months support monthly news is chalked full of good stuff to talk about.  With SolidWorks 2014 SP2 now available for download, it is hard to think about the promise of more tools out of DS this coming summer.  I hope that access to many of the new products opens up soon as many of us, even in the VAR channel, still have no access to these new products as of yet.

2014 has been a very busy year for Google after buying Nest and then selling off Motorola after only having the company for a little under 2 years.  What is interesting is all the innovation that is being done on the web by Google with Chrome.  The web is the platform and I am a HUGE fan of that.  ~Lou

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SolidWorks:HEARD! - Episode 467 - SWW14: New Products


SWW14: New Products:

SolidWorks World 2014 came with quite the list of new products that are going to hit the scene soon and some closer to the launch of SolidWorks 2015 in the fall.  Topics covered:

New Product Announcements:

- SolidWorks Plastics Advanced - Design and analyze mold cooling line layouts and part warpage.  Announcement

- SolidWorks Inspection - Creation of Inspection reports, first articles (FAI) and ballooned drawings.  Announcement

- SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual - Next generation concept tool on the 3DExperience Platform. Announcement

- SolidWorks Industrial Conceptual - Next generation industrial design tool on the 3DExperience Platform.

- Collaborative Sharing - Social portal in SolidWorks on the 3DExperience Platform.

- eDrawings Pro for Android - In-app upgrade for eDrawings to have markup, measure and Augmented Reality (AR).

- eDrawings Meetings - Live collaboration in eDrawings

Looking back through the years I cannot remember a year at SolidWorks World that there were more new products announcements  In fact, I think it is safe to say this was the most Dassault-inspired tools that have ever been shown on a SolidWorks World stage.

A few of the products were the evolution of existing products like SolidWorks plastics and eDrawings, however with some of the new products coming on Dassault's 3DExperience Platform, it was a product model that is brad new to the SolidWorks community.  Subscription-based software, hosted model database and connected teams.

Some of these products will make their way into the existing SolidWorks release and others will ship later in the year along with SolidWorks 2015.  It will be interesting to see how SolidWorks users will react to these new solutions and how/if they can implement them into their design workflows. ~Lou

SolidWorks:HEARD! - Episode 466 - SWW14: General Sessions


SWW14: General Sessions:

This podcast covers the general sessions from SolidWorks World Conference 2014 from this past week.  The general sessions tend to be the major outlets for SolidWorks to announce to the world what they have been up to.  Topics covered:

General Session Day 1:
- 5600 Attendees
- 2.3M+ users world wide (largest engineering community ~Bertrand Sicot 2014)
- PRODUCT ANNOUNCEMENT: SolidWorks Inspection 
- PRODUCT ANNOUNCEMENT: SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual (April 2nd, $250/mo)
- 3DVIA - HomeByMe (Free home layout - selling to home improvement centers)
- 3DVIA - 3DByMe (similar concept to HBM)
- PRODUCT ANNOUNCEMENT: SolidWorks Industrial Conceptual
- SPEAKER: Hugh Herr - MIT Lab Biometronics Director (Awesome!)

General Session Day 2:
- EatArt (Maker of the Spider and Alpha Leg)
- SolidWorks 2014 Beta Winners
- User Group Awards (Congrats to the San Diego User Group on their 200th meeting)
- MarkForge3D and Gian Paolo Bassi - VP or DS R&D
- Bertrand and bobsledding in Utah
- SPEAKER: Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project 
- Special Event at the Embarcadero

General Session Day 3:
- Model Mania Winners (15th year... wow!)
- New Certifications (100, 000 user certifications)
- Eduction - Mt. San Antonio Community College use of CSWA and now CSWP
- Top 10 List (Delivered and this year's request list)
- SolidWorks 2015 Revealed (blog post with more details)

SolidWorks World 2014 was another huge event, registering more than 6800 users by the end of the conference.  I guess it is fair to say this is not the same as my first SolidWorks World back in 2002.  This year's speakers were not in the same league as previous years but I have to say, Hugh Herr on day one had many of us in jaw-dropping amazement with his prosthetic legs that he designed.... and used on both of his legs.  Amazing and inspiring.

Day two was full of customer interviews and contest winners from Beta 2014 and another great speaker in Bo-Dyn, the bobsled project behind the US Olympic team who race the Night Train 2.  Bo-Dyn was started by a Nascar racer and 1984 winner of the Daytona 500 Geoff Bodine.  His pit engineer, Bob Cuneo is the brains behind the designs and has produced some of the best sleds the sport has ever seen.

Day three, also known as the "REVEAL" started off with this year's Model Mania winners and certification and then finished off with a Batman parody called  "CADMAN".  This skit allows the Product Marketing team to show off the long list of early reveal features coming in next year's version of SolidWorks 2015. ~Lou

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SolidWorks:HEARD! - Episode 465 - January Tech News


January Tech News:

This podcast covers the SolidWorks and CAD-related tech news that broke since mid-December covering the SolidWorks Blog, various tech alerts and other industry tech news. Topics covered: 

SolidWorks Tech Blog:

- Can a bicycle be ridden at 112mph?

- Can you ride a Motorbike on water?  You can with SolidWorks

- 3 Things SolidWorks Users Need to Consider When Purchasing a New Computer

- New Sketch Tricks in SolidWorks 2014

- How to Change the Orientation of Imported and Existing SolidWorks Parts

- SolidWorks Tech Tip: Image Quality Properties When Saving as JPG/TIFF

- Taskbar Icons That Behave

- Results Comparison with SolidWorks Simulation Configurations

Tech Alerts:

- SolidWorks 2014 SP2.0 Early Visibility is available for download

Support Monthly News:

- Windows 8.1 Support in 2014 SP1

- Spotlight on Features - Sheet Metal (understanding new and old feature tree

- Solver Performance Boosted in SW Sim 2014

- Noteworthy Solutions from the SWKB

Industry News:

- Google Buys Boston Dynamics (5 best robotic companies owned by Google 

- GitHub and 3D files

- Google Buys Nest

- CES Themes and Noteworthy news (laptop roundup)

SolidWorks World Coverage:

- SolidWorks live blogs

- Sign up for breakout coverage (submit your breakouts here!)

For the past 4 or 5 years I have made one of the first shows of the year focused on talking about the technology that was announced at CES, focusing mostly on those things that impact us, the engineering community.  Understanding that CES is a sounding board for the technology manufacturers to drum up their best, innovative ideas, many of these "ground breaking" products never see the light of day in the consumer market.

I actually had written up a CES show but with a busy week of system upgrades at work and a server rebuild, I have been swamped so I apologize for the delay in the first show of the year.  I am planning on doing live coverage and breakout notes at this year's SolidWorks World so it should be pretty busy.

I am not sure if I will be podcasting at this years event due to my time line but I will be blogging and maybe adding an informal, on the go podcast recorded from where ever I am.  Not sure about that yet.  If you do have breakout sessions you would like to get detailed notes on, hit up the submission form in the above link to send in your selections and we will do our best to cover them.

Although CES was not buzzing about the powerhouse PC, compact power continues to ship today in many of the devices we run CAD on.  I am interested to hear what interesting hardware they will run SolidWorks on this year at SolidWorks World but I am done holding my breath.  So much has changed in the software market and connected devices, cloud platforms and mobile devices have changed the playing field.  We will know soon enough. ~Lou

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SolidWorks:HEARD! - Episode 464 - December Tech News


December Tech News:

This podcast covers the SolidWorks and CAD-related tech news that broke since mid-November covering the SolidWorks Blog, various tech alerts and other industry tech news. Topics covered:  

SolidWorks Blogs:
- Need Alpha Channel Images Fast? SolidWorks Composer Can Help.
- Patterning - Tips and Tricks
- SolidWorks Simulation Database files ...
- SolidWorks Tip: Preventing Rotation in Concentric Assembly Mates
- SolidWorks Plastics Professional - Introduction
- HOWZAT - SolidWorks Simulation Bowling us over!

- Thanksgiving and Flow Simulation
- SolidWorks World is coming up fast: Other things to do while in San Diego.
- CSWP-DRWT exam test drawings tools in SolidWorks, not drafting "best practices"
- Is SolidWorks software available for Apple Mac and iOS devices?
- SolidWorks World 2014 Top Ten - Deadline for Idea submissions is coming up quick
- SWW14 Partner Spotlights: TEDCF Publishing and Lenovo
- SolidWorks 3rd Annual Holiday Gift Guide
- I want you to model a box...
- Win a free pass to SolidWorks World 2014 with our Holiday Gift Contest
- SolidWorks World 2014 Top Ten Idea List is now open for voting

Tech Alerts:
- SolidWorks 2014 Service Pack 1 is available for download
- SolidWorks Enterprise PDM 2014 SP1 is available for download  
- New version of EPDM Office Integration is now available

SolidWorks Support Monthly News:
- Spotlight on features
- Service Pack News
- Noteworthy solutions from the SW KB.

Industry News:
- Raspberry PI now includes Mathematica and Wolfram Language for free
- Connect Google Photo Spheres
- Snagit makes it's way to Chrome as an extension
- LifeProof launches first Touch ID-compatible waterproof case
- RealView on a Mac...Secrets Revealed!
- Google Santa Tracker

We are finally here, the last tech news show of 2013 and I feel like SWW13 just ended. With SolidWorks World just around the corner and the 2014 Top 10 Idea List closed, the sights are now set on late January.  This year's SolidWorks World will be held in San Diego, CA on January 26-29 and still no word on this years speakers.

Service pack 1 is out for SolidWorks 2014 and many of you have probably read, watched or attended some events for the What's New feature set.  Support call volume is picking up as many companies are beginning to upgrade now that the first service pack has been pushed.

The tech industry is a bit slower at this time of year since all the holiday season new products have shipped and we are in the buying season.  I don't know about you but his is my favorite time of year to enjoy time with friends and family and reflect on the past year.  2014 will be an exciting year for tech and I hope SolidWorks will surprise us all this year at World! ~Lou

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