The SOLIDWORKS Ecosystem: Designing Connected Products

The highlight of the Consumer Electronic Show this year was a seemingly endless number of innovative connected products on display. While exploring the halls, I was able to try everything from appliances and wearables to drones of all shapes and sizes. It appears that Gartner Research’s prediction that 4.9 billion connected devices in use by 2015 has become a reality. More impressive is that the number is poised to grow exponentially to 25 billion by 2020 and contribute an estimated $4 trillion to the economy.

Connected products are a new economy of goods and services based around Web, Analytics and Apps working in a virtual cycle. This combination is creating unprecedented growth and leadership opportunities for companies across the globe. Now is the time to create products to take advantage of this trend. We all understand that a car is an automobile, but in this new economy, a car is a connected device with apps that happens to have four wheels.

The result is opening very different paradigms in design and with an unquestionable shift in our engineering competence as well. With this new methodology, the car will solve new customer use cases that are very different from a conventional automobile. To be successful, engineers will need to adapt to changing consumer needs. SOLIDWORKS core DNA is product design, with a goal to support the connected economy with innovative best-in-class design tools.


Engineering a connected device requires expertise that spans across Mechanical, Electrical, Software and System expertise. This is a fundamental transformation for most traditional engineering teams, and SOLIDWORKS will help your team make this transition stress-free with our innovative products. With SOLIDWORKS 2016 we offer unsurpassed integration between SOLIDWORKS Mechanical and Electrical products.

We are very excited to introduce a new innovative product to further support embedded electronic design: SOLIDWORKS PCB powered by Altium. At the core of SOLIWORKS PCB is 25+ years of Altium PCB design technology integrated with SOLIDWORKS. This connection creates an innovative Electrical 3D design experience that is directly integrated with SOLIDWORKS Mechanical, Electrical, Simulation and Data Management products. SOLIDWORKS 2016 is the only end-to-end product design and innovative platform developed to help you make the transition to the connected world a seamless one.

Magic happens in the SOLIDWORKS ecosystem when partner products, resellers and customers collaborate to solve customer needs. Xively is a partner offering that transforms SOLIDWORKS designs into connected devices.



As shown in the customer story SureFlap, this real-world solution solves a common pet issue with a unique connected solution. Eliminating issues with traditional pet doors such as unwanted animals gaining access to your house, this innovative SOLIDWORKS-designed and xively-connected product utilizes RF ID technology to safeguard your home, while proving structured access for your pet but preventing other animals’ access. Your pet is linked to the SureFlap door via an embeded or worn RF ID Tag, so only the right animal can gain access into or out of the house.

This technology has been expanded to a connected food bowl that limits when and which pet can eat the food. Through xlively these devices were connected to the cloud and via a connected smart phone app, the owners can see their pet’s activities and remotely change their pet’s access. In addition SureFlap has been able provide a unique customer experience, better serve their customer and expand their product offerings based connected device data.


SureFlap is just one example. I am confident that in the not so distant future, all companies will make the journey to smart and connected products, and SOLIDWORKS will be able to support this voyage with the only design and innovative platform fashioned for the transformation to the connected world.

To learn more about this exciting new integration between SOLIDWORKS Electrical and Mechanical design, watch this recorded webinar, “Design, Build, Connect.