SWMC: A Message from the Coal Face on Social Collaboration

Last week’s blog discussed how the SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual Lighthouse customers were designing and innovating faster than ever before using SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual. Today we will hear how Social Collaboration is transforming the way they design their products.


Romain Gaillet, Kremler Rexon

Before when you wanted to design something such as a mechanical system often you needed a pen and a paper. For me, SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual is like an interactive pen and paper. You can draw your idea very quickly, and use SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual to create lots of concrete data about your design kinematics, and after you have completed concept can share your model with your colleagues. In fact, you can easily share your design with your team from within SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual, even if they are far away from you it is like you were around the table.

Nowadays, one thing which is very important is open innovation. With the social communities, you can collaborate with lots of engineers with different skills, from your company or not, so you can share your ideas asking some stuff about mechanical design; anyone within the communities. In our world, if you want to survive, you can’t think always at the same time, always with the same persons, with the same way of working. You have to open to the world and I see that SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual is a good tool to do that.

William MacLeod, Kennedy Hygiene Limited

Working with SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual was really different to the way that I worked before; the whole cloud system, the whole social side of it. I was skeptical before but now I am getting used to the social side of things. Now I am doing things that are more open for other people to see. It kind of draws you into a different way of working. Using the cloud especially. which is a benefit.

After getting used to the fundamentals of the systems, you start applying SWMC to other areas that you really didn’t think of before. For instance, an idea is a concept and the feasibility can be patented, so using the system with a patent lawyer is something really interesting that I haven’t thought of before. Now with the communities side of things I am getting the Patent lawyer we use and giving him access to our 3D space and he can see it moving and everything is there.

Mike Buchli, Karl Schmidt and Associates

At first with the collaboration, we really didn’t know how we were going to use it because it was so new and so different from out traditional method. But then as we go out and do a lot of onsite visits we work with a lot of customers. We will even go out and look at equipment we have installed and they want to add three or four other things; that is when it started clicking for us to use the collaboration to do that. You take your cell phone out, you snap a picture, you are sitting at the airport and you type it in to the community and in real time that information gets sent back to our engineers. So being able to do that versus I go take a bunch of pictures, I put them on my lap top, and I either sit in a hotel room or I wait to get WiFi, and put them all in DropBox or some other tool and then we transfer them over. We now have a one stop shop to go to so even though we didn’t anticipate using it that way. It became very transparent very quickly and it makes it very easy now; you just go there and do your thing and all the right information is there to all the right people at all the right time.

Click here to learn more about how social tools can help you capture the intelligence of your entire design community or read part three in this series to learn how companies are using SWMC to design in the cloud. click the below image to read a white paper connecting conceptual design to reap the benefits of social innovation in product development.


Stephen Endersby

Stephen Endersby

Product Manager at SolidWorks
Stephen Endersby

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