SOLIDWORKS WORLD 2018 had many surprises in store, but visitors knew that new solutions would work just as well.
by Jayashree Kini Mendes
The annual SOLIDWORKS World 2018 (SWW2018) event showcased the latest technology poised to bring your design game to the next level. Held at the Los Angeles Convention Centre at California from February 4-7, the four-day event had a series of product updates and a call for an industrial renaissance.
This year there was a live webcast of all the action, streamed right from the LA Convention Centre floor. Those not present at the venue could catch each general session, get an inside perspective from attendees, and sit in on select training sessions throughout the day.
Companies that tied up as sponsors included Dell, HP and Lenovo as platinum partners; Microsoft Surface, nVidia, Proto Labs, Sindoh and Stratasys were gold partners; and a number of other companies as silver partners.
Some of the attractions in terms of speakers were: Neri Oxman, MIT Professor at the Crossroads of Art, Science & Technology; Brent Bushnell, CEO of Two Bit Circus; Kyoungchul Kong, CEO, SG Robotics & Professor at Sogang University; Joe Hiura & Robert Andrew Johnson, Art Director and Set Designer; Michael Jagemann, Head of XB-1 Production, Boom Supersonic; Bernard Charlès, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, Chief Executive Officer, Dassault Systèmes; and Gian Paolo Bassi, CEO, SOLIDWORKS, Dassault Systèmes.
Speaking at the general session, Bassi said that it is not uncommon for people to have aspiring dreams such as improving the global health care system, increasing the own athletic performance or even travelling with the speed of sound. The goals don’t come easy. One needs more than just a Fourth Industrial Revolution or a comprehensive digitisation of industry sectors to make this happen. Instead, what one needs is a new Industrial Renaissance, which ensures that humankind will be at the centre of technological progress.
The insight, that embedding the power of simulations helps making better decisions, and introspecting processes through artificial intelligence (AI) might increase a company’s capacity, has become commonplace among decision-makers in the industry by now. But Bassi added that the future technological progress will be about “makers and innovations”.
What lies in store
SOLIDWORKS 2018 comes with at least five new or completely revised features which make the Industrial Renaissance real, announced Bernard Charles, Dassault Systèmes’ vice chairman and CEO.
• The ‘Social Collaboration Services’ which for the first time will enable the system administrator in a company to fully trace which data are and were moved in the system.
• Secondly, the new SOLIDWORKS 3DExperience ‘PLM Services’, improves the systematic approach to managing the sequence of changes a product undergoes.
• Thirdly, the ‘Product Designer gives the engineer more flexibility and more varieties to design a product without carrying loads of data on a bulky computer.
• The fourth experience is ‘X Design’, where the machine starts to think. The software suggests certain improvements regarding the design and the construction of an object, based on data and previous experiences.
• And the fifth experience is the feature ‘Marketplace Make’, a tool which revolutionises the way manufacturers work together.
Speaking to Manufacturing Today, Bassi said, “While we will be announcing the 2019 version, it’s difficult to talk concisely about that, because we release about 500 products. For the first time, we have released a manufacturing software called SOLIDWORKS CAM. And why did we do so? There are so many manufacturers of CAM software. Many of them are our partners. But the fundamental reason why we did that is because SOLIDWORKS CAM is an intelligent manufacturing system. It does not require, for the most part, human intervention to go from design to cutting cycle. It doesn’t require C-code manipulation. It understands the features and can read the tolerances, the surface finish and do it automatically. The digital reinvention, digitalisation is all about integration.”
The company also announced SOLIDWORKS Manage, which is an expansion of SOLIDWORKS PDM. “This is in addition to our product for data management. It is called PDM – Product Data Management. So PDM is specialised for the engineering department making it very easy to collaborate, he added.
In early February, Dassault Systèmes launched the 3DEXPERIENCE marketplace, its online ecosystem where today’s business innovators will be able to collaborate and transact with other industrials and service providers. The cloud-based marketplace is a new trading platform for digital design, engineering and manufacturing transactions, with ambition to transform the industrial world in the same way that the world’s largest online consumer marketplace has transformed legacy retail, and mobility providers have transformed the transportation sector. Businesses seeking to identify new manufacturing service providers – including 3D printing – insert specific components within their design environment, or manage their ecosystem of selected service providers and in-house resources, now have access to on-demand manufacturing and intelligent part sourcing services. These will streamline collaborations and overall innovation processes.
Suchit Jain, VP, strategy and community, SOLIDWORKS, says, “3D Experience Marketplace is where we want to connect engineers and designers to all the service providers. What we announced yesterday and today were two services. One was Marketplace Make and the other one is Marketplace Part Supply. In future we will add more services because we want to be like an Amazon.”
Ask the team about India plans, and PM Ravikumar, sales director, SOLIDWORKS, says, “India is going to play an important role for us. The government is talking about smart cities. These plans need design. And who better than us to offer such solutions to the Indian government?”
One of the big news at SWW2018 was 3D printing with the likes of Stratasys, 3D Systems and Desktop Metal, each bringing something new to the table. In a roundtable discussion on IoT, Kishore Boyalakuntla, VP, product portfolio management explained why product design is seeing a golden age and the barrier between idea and end customer is getting smaller. “Over the last few years, there has been increased communication between designer and user and the ability to quickly materialise ideas or prototypes. The 3DEXPERIENCE marketplace is an online resource for parts with bold ambitions to become “the Amazon for engineers”. The marketplace will serve two primary functions; ‘part supply’ and ‘make’, which will enable users to go “from dream to doorstep” with 50 digital manufacturers offering more than 500 machines, and 30 million components from 600 suppliers already signed up to deliver archived or custom components through additive manufacturing, CNC machining, injection moulding and beyond.
Speaking at the day two morning session, Neri Oxman, MIT Professor, said, “We are moving from the age of the machine to the age of the organism. Design is being influenced by nature to change the way we build our world, from glass 3D printers to “fibre-bots” used to create organic structures.”
The shape of things to come
AMD showcased updates to products that were only shown as technology previews in the past, as well as some groundbreaking new solutions that increase flexibility and enhance productivity for SOLIDWORKS CAD users. Now with the complete Radeon Pro WX workstation family line-up from Radeon Pro WX 2100 card to the latest Radeon Pro WX 9100 card, visitors saw professional graphics cards from entry level to professional product design, including the ability to visualise CAD designs in real time game engines with virtual reality using high end workstations from DELL and BOXX.
HP unveiled its new compact Jet Fusion 300 / 500 series for low cost, full colour 3D printing. Depending on configuration and colour preference, the new machines are priced upwards of $50,000 in a bid to bring HP’s Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) technology to small and medium-sized businesses, design teams and the education market. “HP is committed to democratising 3D design and manufacturing, unleashing new possibilities for millions of innovators around the world,” said Stephen Nigro, president of 3D Printing, HP. “No matter your industry, no matter your design complexity, no matter what colours fit your business needs – black, white, or the full colour spectrum – the new HP Jet Fusion 300 / 500 series gives you the freedom to create brilliant new parts liberated from the constraints of traditional production methods.”
In announcing a strategic partnership with Dassault Systèmes, metal 3D printing company Desktop Metal is also taking a leaf out of nature’s book with its latest offering to the market, a generative design tool called Live Parts. Available exclusively to SOLIDWORKS users, Live Parts is an experimental technology aimed at simplifying generative design for 3D printing. Ric Fulop, CEO and co-founder, Desktop Metal, said: “In addition to hardware, we believe design for additive manufacturing software tools and techniques are critical to the successful fabrication of strong, lightweight parts that perform. We are excited to partner with Dassault Systèmes on the preview of our latest innovation, Live Parts, and to offer our software tool as a means for educational exploration to the largest community of engineers leading advancements in additive manufacturing.”
Stratasys, a global leader in applied additive technology solutions, announced the company is teaming with Dassault Systèmes and industry innovator Easton LaChappelle to power a transformational new initiative – Unlimited Tomorrow. Stratasys will become the exclusive provider of 3D printing technology for the initiative and organisation — ushering in a new age of custom-designed, low-cost, highly functional arms for those who need them most. Unlimited Tomorrow will fully collaborate with Stratasys on research, development and production of these prosthetics – reinforcing the company’s current and evolving investments in corporate social responsibility.
In order that customers use the software to the fullest extent, SOLIDWORKS has believed in training customers and includes a certification programme in every subscription. This is their way of ensuring that customers use the software to the fullest extent.