Four days have come and gone so quickly. From guest speakers, roller coasters, new technology, inspiring stories, and an artificial flying bird, SolidWorks World 2013 delivered. For me, this was the first time I have attended SolidWorks World, and I was blown away. Being immersed in this large community of 4700 other designers, engineers, manufacturers, and innovators from all over the world was truly an experience.
One thing that has me excited is seeing how SolidWorks is always evolving and trying to improve upon an already impressive platform. Nowadays, a lot of companies in the industry are really trying to push becoming more lean and efficient with their time and resources. The introduction of Mechanical Conceptual was received very well by the audience. SolidWorks recognizes a lot of time can be saved during prototyping stages of design, allowing you to mimic the natural tendency of 'napkin drawings' for basic design parameters before bringing it into the SolidWorks native program for details and further analysis.
SolidWorks also introduced My.SolidWorks, allowing users to leverage the benefits of such an existing large community. Designers will now have access to the collective knowledge, tools, and content all in one place. My.SolidWorks is currently in the beta stage and being offered for free for users to try out.
SolidWorks introduced us to Art Thompson and Jon Wells of Team Red Bull Stratos, who last year broke news all over the world with the famous jump from space. Other guest speakers in attendance were Tom Atchinson of Mavericks Civilian Space Foundation who provided us with an inspiring story of a talented group of young students that constructed, launched, and retrieved an actual rocket that reached the edge of space with speeds nearing mach 3! Those in attendance also were bearing witness to the sight of an artificial bird designed by Festo that brought the near 5000 people in attendance to their feet with cellphones and cameras out.
Here's a sight that any SolidWorks user would be familiar with, even if the only task they ever performed was opening up the software! The partner pavilion was the site to over 100 partners with booths and amazing products. Z Space was definitely the one spoken about the most, and for good reason. At their station I was able to play with a 3D version of the famous spreader, not only could I rotate and move the object, I could insert an inspection camera, interact with the assembly by adding or removing physics/gravity, or removing components to the assembly. I couldn't put the pen down, in fact I had to go back several times through the event to experience it.
This year's special event was hosted at the famous Universal's Islands of Adventure. As if the surprise of actually fitting 4700 people unto busses wasn't enough, the amusement park was closed for three hours for us to enjoy. Carnival games, drinks, food, and arcades were all free to our use, but the best part? Definitely will have to say that short, if not, non-existent lines were a big plus.
SolidWorks World 2013 was an impressive event that went by all too quick. While most people travel to Orlando, FL for Disney World and other amusement park with their families, I found myself spending four days with thousands of others who traveled from all over the world, whom instead attended SolidWorks World. The one thing I learned is that SolidWorks World is way more than just about the product, but it's about the people and the community that are driven by this passion of creating new innovative products.. and designing without limits.
Chris Scott was the winner of the SolidWorks World 2013 Internet Correspondent contest. You can see his winning entry here.