The Renaissance marked a fundamental shift in arts and culture. No longer were artists focused solely on gods and icons; they now emphasized humanity. The human element is critical here. For example, during revolutions, we as humans, often create collateral damage. In most cases, this means advancement and wealth for some, while many others are left with stagnation and poverty. Today, we’re at the dawn of the automation age and humanity has a choice. We can choose to focus on technology and let automation replace us or we can embrace humanity and use these new tools to create opportunities – thus creating the next renaissance.
At SOLIDWORKS our focus is on making a more sustainable and widespread creation engine. Instead of furiously applying and adopting automation, running blindly toward a fourth industrial revolution, we’re stopping to think of the consequences. It’s our goal to reframe automation, not as something that will take our jobs or make us obsolete, but as a new power we can use to create like never before, thanks also in part to the emergence of personal digital fabrication.
The merger of digital and physical has shaped a world in which a person can fabricate almost anything. What’s more exciting is that people around the world have increasing access to technology that helps them create. Look no further than Fab Labs and the maker movement to see this in action. Fab Labs are a perfect example of how we should think of this next renaissance.
Now that people have much easier access to production, thanks to the rise in personal fabrication, let’s revisit automation. Think of Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a wealth of knowledge. We know by now that powerful computers are capable of fast calculations beyond human capacity. Luckily for humans, these machines still need us for direction (hopefully we’re smart enough to keep it that way). Our approach to automation at SOLIDWORKS envisions humans as directors. When we design in the future, we will tell advanced systems what we need, and the technology will work to find the optimal design. With SOLIDWORKS 2018, you’ve seen this with Topology Optimization in SOLIDWORKS Simulation and we’ve also been beta testing Design Guidance in labs with SOLIDWORKS xDesign.
How does this contribute to the next renaissance? It puts the power of technology into your hands. You might not be a CFD expert, but you can now automate analyses by creating templates and wizards to determine fluid flows. Automation is coming to eliminate a knowledge gap by making what used to be specialized work available to as many people as possible – all with the goal of creating better products, and ultimately, a better world with more opportunities for all of humanity, not just the few who manage to crack the code to automation first.
By attending SOLIDWORKS World 2018, you are at the forefront of the next renaissance. You are leading the charge by making great products every day. SOLIDWORKS is committed to developing the ecosystem of products that enable you to create like never before. We are here to be your partners in innovation. It’s our goal that you leave SOLIDWORKS World prepared and excited to bring humanity’s next generation of design breakthroughs to life. I look forward to seeing you in Los Angeles!