SOLIDWORKS World Day 3 General Session Recap

Rockstars by night, engineers by day. After the special event at Gilly’s, I think we’ve confirmed that’s how the SOLIDWORKS community rolls.

Day three focuses on what’s next in SOLIDWORKS, including the always highly anticipated Top 10 and What’s New general session segments. SOLIDWORKS Senior Director of Product Management and Brand UX Leader Kishore Boyalakuntla opened the show with an explanation of the SOLIDWORKS manufacturing and connected device ecosystems.

The SOLIDWORKS Manufacturing Ecosystem

Featuring 60 Gold Partners, the SOLIDWORKS manufacturing ecosystem enables engineering and manufacturing teams to work concurrently. There’s no data importing – you can take your products from art to part inside SOLIDWORKS. Model-Based Definition (MBD) is at the center of the ecosystem. Since introducing MBD last year, the ecosystem has now expanded to include Model -Based Manufacturing, Model-Based CMM, Model-Based Costing and Model-Based Inspection.


Kishore shared the story of .decimal, a custom manufacturer of devices for proton, electron, and photon therapies used in cancer treatment. In a nutshell, .decimal receives patient information from a medical provider and WITHIN 24 HOURS manufactures a custom device. During its existence, .decimal has served more than 51K patients with 200K custom devices. This is an amazing achievement made possible with the SOLIDWORKS manufacturing ecosystem and its partnership with CAMWorks. Click here to read more about the SOLIDWORKS Manufacturing Ecosystem.

The SOLIDWORKS Connected Device Ecosystem

From ovens and watches to pet products, connected devices are everywhere. To demonstrate the breadth of connected technology, Kishore discussed SureFlap and its line of pet doors. When installed, SureFlap uses microchips to give your pet access to your house, while keeping unwanted visitors out.

As we learned yesterday, some of the most innovative ideas come from taking a new approach to an established product. Connected devices are one way engineers are taking designs to the next level. For SureFlap to improve the dog and cat door, it used a combination of SOLIDWORKS, Xively and NETVIBES. This ecosystem included product design via SOLIDWORKS, connecting the device to the cloud with Xively, and finally partnering with NETVIBES to process and analyze the information flowing into the smart device.


Electronics are at the heart of connected devices. Lou Feinstein, Product Manager for Electrical and IoT, explained how SOLIDWORKS PCB with Altium synchronizes electronic and mechanical design without compromising on tech or design work flow. Read this blog post to learn more about the SOLIDWORKS Connected Device Ecosystem, Xively and SOLIDWORKS PCB.

After hearing about new capabilities in the SOLIDWORKS ecosystem, the presentation shifted to a user focus, starting with the announcement of the Beta contest winners. The SOLIDWORKS Beta program is extremely important to the success of the annual SOLIDWORKS release. Dedicated users spend hours testing new features and functionality, all in hopes of helping to provide the community with the best possible product. Thank you to all Beta testers especially this year’s winners:

SOLIDWORKS: Bettina Walker, Trumpf
PDM: Kiyotaka Gomi, Panasonic Factory Solutions
Simulation: Yoshihiro Dobashi, Linuma Gauge

If you’re interested in becoming a Beta tester, stay tuned to our blog as the availability is typically made in the early summer. Click here to learn more about this year’s SOLIDWORKS winner Bettina Walker’s experience with the Beta program.

Next up Senior Manager of Product Introduction Mark Schneider presented the results of Model Mania 2016, brought to you by HP and AMB. Model Mania is a test of modeling skills pitting user against user and reseller against reseller to see who can successfully model a part the fastest. This year’s winners include:

User Winners:
First: Doug Kuhn Kuhn Tool and Die (13:32)
Second: Adam Bridgman ATS Automation
Third: Jeremiah Feist – Omnetics Connector Corp

Reseller Winners:
First: Seth Woolston Mid-West 3D Solutions (12:29)
Second: Stuart Wortley Cadtek Systems
Third: Phillip Olieux Cadmes


Every year hundreds of enhancements are added to SOLIDWORKS. Bruce Holway, Director Product Definition, explained that virtually all of these updates are driven by users. As Bruce mentioned, “We believe that users know best what is needed in SOLIDWORKS.” Bruce and his team are dedicated to listening, understanding and delivering. All year they meet with customers face to face, at SWUGN events and through the enhancement request center. One of the most unique ways SOLIDWORKS handles enhancement requests is through the Top Ten List.

The Top Ten is an online voting forum in which anyone can propose an idea, view other ideas, comment on them and vote for or against the suggestions. The greatest thing about the Top Ten is that SOLIDWORKS delivers on it. Since 2001 75 percent of all items that make the list have been added to a future SOLIDWORKS release. You can view the complete Top Ten list by logging into the SOLIDWORKS forums, but the star of this year’s show is the planned classic icon color option for SOLIDWORKS 2016.


Next, the Product Introduction Team, led by Luke, Princess Layout, and Over Bend, joined forces with Queue Backup and Hans Preview to liberate engineers from the archaic design tools of Dark Screen Saver. Yup, we took the SOLIDWORKS 2017 technology preview to a galaxy far, far away. To get a full recap of the preview, including screenshots, read this blog post. Remember: a Jedi masters sketches are always fully constrained.

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Day three’s keynote speaker tied in perfectly to the future theme. It’s almost like it was planned that way. Peter Diamandis, Chairmain and CEO of XPRIZE, took the main stage and immediately gave the advice, “The best way to predict the future is to create it yourself.” Diamandis was focused on providing a counterpoint to the negative messages thrown in our face each day by news coverage. He joked that we’re evolutionarily inclined to pay more attention to bad news, since knowing about bad news in Africa during the dawn of humanity was the difference between survival and exiting the gene pool. News outlets know this and prey on our deeply rooted fears.

But fear not – the outlook is actually much brighter than any three-letter network would have you believe. Poverty, violence, natural catastrophe deaths, work hours, and transportation accidents are all down, while things like lifespan and democracy are on the rise. The key driver is technology.



Technology is lowering the bar for access to education, services and innovation. Since 2000, the cost to launch a startup has plummeted from $5M to $5,000 – thanks largely in part to faster, cheaper computing power. It’s this push to connect the entire world that will continue to drive positive change in the world. By 2020, everyone will be connected. Diamandis hopes this access to the Internet provides everyone with the same opportunity to learn and create. Now the son of the world’s poorest man will have the same access to information as the son of a billionaire. It seems lofty, but Diamandis believes in moonshots; anyone’s dreams are no longer crazy. You should be thinking of improving 10x instead of 10%. You just need to have the right mindset. Anyone who would like to download a copy of Diamandis’ presentation, send a TEXT with your EMAIL address to +1-310-299-8772. Further, you can log in or register here to see a recording of all three days of General Sessions.

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Finally, SOLIDWORKS CEO Gian Paolo Bassi took the stage to thank the world’s best design and engineering community for another amazing event. It’s been an amazing four days. Thank you coming to Dallas and sharing #SWW16 with us. Don’t be sad that it’s over; #SWW17 will be here before you know it. We’ll see you all in Los Angeles.


Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp. offers complete 3D software tools that let you create, simulate, publish, and manage your data. SolidWorks products are easy to learn and use, and work together to help you design products better, faster, and more cost-effectively. The SolidWorks focus on ease-of-use allows more engineers, designers and other technology professionals than ever before to take advantage of 3D in bringing their designs to life.