Creating the Innovation Platform for the Future

SOLIDWORKS World 2016 is a great time to reflect on what we’ve done over the past year, but more importantly to look ahead to the future. The world of design and manufacturing has changed significantly and so have your needs. During my first year as CEO, I have met with many great customers from around the world. What I’ve learned from our conversations: providing tools to make you more productive and efficient is not good enough anymore. SOLIDWORKS cannot simply be a faster pencil. No, it needs to transform into a platform that renders many of your less creative tasks obsolete. You shouldn’t need to spend time optimizing geometry. You should be spending time acting on ideas to create new products or improve upon old ones. Finally, you need to have the choice to design on your terms: whether on a desktop, online or connected. To meet your changing needs, we are building an innovation platform that will support the development of the best new products, the way you want to develop them, now and in the future.


During my interactions with users, an increasing number have expressed an interest in accessing SOLIDWORKS everywhere and at any time. However, we’re not interested in only providing CAD in a browser. For you to truly be capable of taking a product from start to production, we’ll need to move beyond taking sketching and extruding tools online.

Today, with SOLIDWORKS Xdesign, we shared a preview of the technology that will provide you with more flexibility. Flexibility, not only in terms of how you access the services of the innovation platform, but also how you find inspiration, resources and, most importantly, share your ideas. One example of how you will benefit from this technology involves its ability to provide knowledge based on existing data. This innovation platform will serve as a point of convergence for data, people, technology, products, and infrastructure. Everything you need to make great designs happen, in one place.

Design guidance is a new revolutionary approach. Imagine how much you could get done if your CAD system worked for you! The technology we’re building will flip the CAD script. Instead of engineers and designers telling their CAD system what to do, the CAD tools will evaluate appropriate options based on information you provided. Predictive computing will ultimately change the way products are designed and free you up to problem-solve, experiment and innovate. It’s time we enable you to focus more on innovation and less on CAD.

SOLIDWORKS has reached an inflection point. We have had great success. This quarter we expect to reach well over 3 million seats sold in 80 countries and at over 210,000 companies. While we are pleased by these statistics, we also know that we must constantly evolve and improve our technology because the complexities of product design are increasing at a very fast pace. The bar has been raised.

Users don’t want to focus on how to optimize geometry. They want the computer and the software to be smarter and be able to optimize based on the information they have provided. They need tools that enable them to focus on creating the next great product. What are the elements that foster innovation in companies? Innovation is an ideative process; you don’t invent something in a vacuum. It requires the generation of hundreds of ideas. You need insight from research, advice from other peers, experimentation, etc. You don’t need a better pencil, or tool. You need a way to connect all these “dots,” and transform all that data into knowledge, because all of these elements are fundamental to innovation. That won’t be done by a CAD tool. It must be a platform, a place that encompasses all of these things– people, technology, products, infrastructure and services.

SOLIDWORKS Everywhere: Providing more flexibility to work when and where you want

The world of design and manufacturing is changing in the way labor is organized and the way people want to work. There’s a groundswell of startups and entrepreneurs – people who want to create companies and products based on an idea. We want to help these people take off and fly. To meet their needs, we want to create a platform that is very flexible. It must provide you with the capabilities you need when you need them. It’s desktop, hybrid, cloud, and streaming. To enable this level of flexibility we will be evolving how we offer our tools, introducing new term licensing and rental options.

At SOLIDWORKS we are moving beyond providing user-friendly productivity tools. We are working to develop a platform that helps our users become leaders in innovation. We are also offering new ways in which users can access SOLIDWORKS so they can work in the way that best suits their individual needs. After all, they know their business better than anyone else.

The world is changing and engineers are no longer smart people sitting at a drafting table. Today, engineers, like you, must create drones, smart objects, conceive and simulate and experiment—all digitally in 3D. We recognize that your roles are evolving and the way you want to work is also changing, so we at SOLIDWORKS will evolve as well so we can work to support you now and in the future – whether that be on a desktop, online or a combination of both. The key to providing you with the tools to make great design happen now and in the future is enabling you to make great designs the way you want.

Gian Paolo Bassi

Gian Paolo Bassi

Gian Paolo Bassi is senior vice president of 3DEXPERIENCE Works.