The Wednesday general session is always the most exciting one of all three. New functionality added and future enhancements are announced during this session; sometimes, new products are announced, as well.
To continue with the tradition, I’m also sharing with you a series of pictures that I took during the session. It was really lots of fun, because, as you may already imagine, SolidWorks folks like to deliver their message with lots of humour.
So, the Top Ten Enhancement list for this year was as follows:
#10 Simplify Video Card Requirements
#9 Exploded views for weldments
#8 Option to dangle children instead of deleting them (this one created a lot of laughter among members of the press for some reason that I still don’t understand)
#7 Graphical Map of References
#6 Allow more types of assembly features
#5 Better utilize all processor cores
#4 On the fly equations in dialog boxes
#3 File compatibility between versions
#2 Increase stability ( I have a Déjà vu feeling with this one)
#1 SolidWorks should cleanly uninstall itself
Mark Shreider talked to us about Model Mania, the modeling contest hosted at SolidWorks World every year. In this contest, users (also resellers compete) are given a part to model, modify and/or run a simulation study on, and must achieve a satisfactory result in the shortest amount of time possible. The faster the better. He actually showed us a couple of the challenges presented to those that took the test and guided us through the solution. Really neat! Check out the pictures that I’m including, where you can also see for yourself who won first, second and third price in the competition.
Richard Doyle showed up dancing to the rhythm of Britney Spears to present the members of the SWUGN Committee for 2010/2011 and announce the winners of the SWUGN awards. Check out the pictures. Oh, how I wished I had my video camera with me right at that instant! Richard really had rhythm.
The new functionality for SolidWorks 2011 was introduced through a bit of comedy, as usual. This time there weren’t sumo wrestlers or pink scooters, but Jeremy Regnerus and Ian Hogg were contestants in a Super CAD Smack down. Each of them took turns demonstrating the new functionality available for 2011. And each time they were successful at it, it was almost as if they were delivering a punch to their adversary. Really funny! I tried to take as many pictures as possible to illustrate this new functionality, but not all my pictures turned out great, so, in short, some of the new functionality in SW 2011 will include:
- Revolve up to surface
- A Defeature feature that will allow you to choose what features to keep and which ones to remove when sharing a document. The idea is to help you protect confidential information about your model and still be able to share it. Check the pictures for this one.
- Fully customizable Real View
- Full integration of Photo View 360 into SolidWorks
- Improvements to performance and memory usage
- Planar simulation, that allows the user to run a simulation study on a slice of the model and then translate the results to the solid model.
- Feature lock, will allow the user to keep part of the feature tree from rebuilding when it’s not really necessary.
- Dimensions can be evenly spaced in new views or even in pre-existing views, as a way to repair them.
- Dual Dimensions Hole tables
- Weld tables available in drawings
- Chamfers used in assemblies to prepare for weldments
- Enhancements to the piping portion of the software
- Lightweight weldments
- Walk through. This is like a virtual tour of your model. Really neat.
At the end of the session, a new product was announced that will be available pretty soon: Product Data Sharing. In a nutshell, it’s like PLM, only it promises to be simpler and better, since all the data will be located on the cloud, taking advantage of Enovia technology. With Product Data Sharing, SolidWorks users would be able to collaborate with each other and work together in real time, regardless of where in the world they are, what hardware they own or what platform they are working on. It offers a secure workspace, automatic revision numbering, the ability to add comments and interact with each other, and it would be available through SolidWorks or a web client.
Truth is many companies have already migrated to the cloud and it seems like the logical way to go, but Dassault Systems will still give the customers the last word and ample time to decide what they want to do. This is a process and, although this product will become available soon and the goal is to offer more and more services in the cloud in the not so distant future, it doesn’t mean that users will be forced to change or else.
Hope you enjoy the pictures. I have tons more to say, so make sure to come back.