We had the opportunity to speak with Ed Gebo after this year’s SOLIDWORKS World to discuss his role in the development of SOLIDWORKS xDesign.
One Door Closes, Another Opens
There is much to be said for the phrase “One door closes and another opens.” In December of 2017, I was hired as a consultant by SOLIDWORKS to help with its new product called SOLIDWORKS xDesign. When I received that initial email a few months prior, the kid who graduated many years ago from Worcester Vocational Technical High School was a bit surprised at the request but extremely flattered. SOLIDWORKS xDesign is the SOLIDWORKS answer to 3D CAD in the cloud. It has most of the tools you would expect in a CAD product, such as extrude, revolve, loft, sketch tools, as well as a new tool called “Design Guidance” with much more on the way.
I was brought into the fray, based on my SOLIDWORKS Power User status, to push the limits of SOLIDWORKS xDesign and to see where it breaks. Every week I meet with SOLIDWORKS Product Developers and the User Experience Team to share input on the workflow and recite the notes I have taken during the week. When I first started in December 2017, those notes were many; now, in the last week of April 2018, they have been limited. The product is truly starting to mature!
In mid-June, a large number of enhancements will be rolled into SOLIDWORKS xDesign, which I am eagerly awaiting. Needless to say, I will be very busy that week.
At SOLIDWORKS World 2018, I expressed on the main stage on Day 1 that SOLIDWORKS xDesign has an easy learning curve especially if you know CAD. That remains true to this day; it really is an easy tool to be productive with right out of the gate. Speaking of being productive, some of the content I have created has been a Roller Conveyer Assembly, Peristaltic Pump, Rubik’s Cube, and a Deadbolt Assembly to name just a few things.
My role at SOLIDWORKS involves working closely with the Product Managers and Product Developers and weaves in and out with other employees who are involved with SOLIDWORKS xDesign and the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform. I have to admit I have a newfound respect for how a software company operates; lots of moving parts that have to be thought through and targeted to a specific audience. It is not just about writing some code, trying it then pushing it out the door.
My next endeavor while under the hood in the Waltham, MA office of SOLIDWORKS is to create a small SOLIDWORKS xDesign A-team, to push the boundaries of the software as well as collaboration. The latter is probably more important than SOLIDWORKS xDesign by itself. Look for more blog posts about SOLIDWORKS xDesign and tweets from @edsonius as the project progresses.