Who decides What’s New in SOLIDWORKS? Product Definition team members are a major component in determining and defining enhancements and new functionality included within the SOLIDWORKS products each year. They meet face-to-face with SOLIDWORKS customers to discuss what’s working, what isn’t, and what they would like to see in the future. These customer visits are fantastic opportunities for you to connect with SOLIDWORKS directly, and let us know what we can do to help make your jobs easier. Over the next few weeks, we’re going to be talking with members of the Product Definition team for an inside look at their favorite 2016 features.
Matthew is a Certified SOLIDWORKS Expert (CSWE) with 20 years experience in the mechanical engineering field, including electro-mechanical drafting, mechanical design, engineering, change control and engineering document control.
What is your favorite 2016 feature?
Despite the fact that I work very hard on drawings functionality, my favorite new feature of SOLIDWORKS isn’t always one of my own (in Drawings). In SOLIDWORKS 2013, my favorite feature was the Intersect tool. But, this year, my favorite new feature is one of my own, Flag Notes.
Why Flag Notes?
Coming from a background of Engineering Services, anything that allows Drafters and Designers to create and maintain drawings more efficiently is welcome by me. Flag Notes speed up the process by creating linked flags between a drawing’s general notes and flag notes that appear throughout the drawing.
How do Flag Notes enhance/improve the user experience?
Flag notes maintain their link, so if there is a change to the paragraph number of the original note, all flag notes throughout the drawing automatically update. You no longer have to hunt thru your drawing to find all instances in order to individually update each one.
What was the hardest part of bringing these notes to life in 2016?
Difficulty is relative. Finding the right solution for a somewhat complex problem is a challenge for most new features. Solutions are often a team effort.
What was the most enjoyable part of developing the new Flag Notes?
Seeing customers use our new feature in the real world (long after development is complete). In Product Definition, we take our job personally. We feel pride and joy for our successes, and we feel disappointment when we believe we failed to address our customer’s needs. Fortunately, there is a lot for which we feel proud and happy.
How did Flag Notes hit your radar? Were they initiated by a customer visit? An Enhancement Request? How did it start?
Almost all ideas for new features come from our customers in the form of Enhancement Requests, feedback during customer visits, comments in the forums, etc. However, many of us in Product Definition were hired directly from industry. This experience gives us a head start on where to look when determining which new features to pursue each year. Our experience also provides advantage by giving us a unique perspective on being able to address core customer needs beyond some immediate but incomplete solution. By addressing the underlying user needs, we are better able to provide more robust solutions for our customers.
And finally, cats or dogs?
If you’re interested in setting up a Customer Visit with a member of the SOLIDWORKS Product Definition Team, send an email to SOLIDWORKS.NAM.RD-Info.com. Please include: your name, company, contact number, and a brief summary of what areas you’d like to discuss (Assemblies, Weldments, Sheet Metal, Drawings, Simulation, eDrawings, SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard/Professional, etc.) to get started. You can also find the team at your local user group meetings, and at SOLIDWORKS World 2016 in Dallas, Texas.
Every year SOLIDWORKS releases a new version of its flagship product, and last year, a new tradition was born here on the Blogs. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be taking a Sneak Peek at 15 new features here on the SOLIDWORKS Blog, and then we’ll be following them up with short, detailed videos on the functionality over on the SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog beginning September 23rd. Until then, you can learn more about SOLIDWORKS 2016 by clicking the banner above and checking out the Launch Site.