What’s New 2020: Connected Ecosystem in the Cloud

We have reviewed the performance enhancements and streamlined workflows delivered by SOLIDWORKS® 2020. Today, we’ll review how SOLIDWORKS helps you extend your concept-to-manufacturing ecosystem to the cloud by connecting to the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform.

As companies grow, they increasingly struggle to enable geographically dispersed teams to collaborate efficiently on product development projects. Rolling out standalone solutions does not support cross-functional collaboration and the sharing of data and knowledge across departments. Leveraging on-premises technologies requires deploying and managing an internal computing infrastructure, which can be expensive and time-consuming.

That’s where the 3DEXPERIENCE platform comes in. It’s a cloud-based platform for planning, designing, and delivering products. Like apps for smartphones, there is a growing set of cloud-based solutions that run on 3DEXPERIENCE—a fully scalable concept-to-manufacturing platform where you can add more tools and functionality as your business grows.

Beyond engineering and design tools

The 3DEXPERIENCE platform enables you to manage product designs and documents in a collaborative environment connected with SOLIDWORKS. You can easily make engineering change orders and requests, understand how a product is assembled and manufactured at a part level, manage projects, and more.

The platform goes beyond what you might typically expect of design and engineering tools. With all the data in the same place, everyone is up to date with access to a single source of truth. This helps teams avoid the risk of being out of sync on model revisions or assembly configurations. Because all project data is in one place and in a secure cloud environment, the only people who should have access get access, which eliminates sending email copies of project files or using other less secure forms of communication. All team members regardless of geographic location have access to project files, which facilitates collaboration.

With 3DEXPERIENCE, software upgrades occur automatically, and new products can be purchased and instantly used with a click of a button. Imagine eliminating the hassle of buying, managing, and maintaining expensive hardware and software. The cloud-based 3DEXPERIENCE platform provides access to a growing portfolio of solutions that work together seamlessly. It serves as a hub where complementary product development applications are available. Here are a couple of key solutions on the platform.


3D Sculptor

3D Sculptor is a new offering for subdivision (Sub-D) modeling. It runs in a browser and is seamlessly integrated with SOLIDWORKS desktop applications. Complex shapes, such as electronic devices, office equipment, and automotive products, typically have highly stylized surfaces or are comprised of organic shapes. When parametrically modeling such items, you need to create the underlying structure for the model before creating the surface. This is quite a bit of work.

3D Sculptor is different. It’s like pushing and pulling on a clay model to get the shape you want. With 3D Sculptor, you can create your model faster the first time and quickly change it. And, when you arrive at a final design for a model, you can easily bring it into SOLIDWORKS.

Business Innovation

Business Innovation is a collection of collaboration tools, such as dashboards, communities, and file sharing, that enable you to quickly and securely share essential data. You can easily tailor your dashboard to display the information most relevant to your teams in one convenient online location. You can also keep your project team informed by sharing any type of media, including images, videos, and CAD files.

Instead of sending email, you can invite team members to your own “community,” post 3D data and images there and facilitate online discussions. Everybody in that community gets notified and can post comments, so you get instantaneous feedback on your design ideas and models. You can even hold a vote for the best design idea.


By connecting your concept-to-manufacturing ecosystem to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, your teammates can jump on any device and immediately work from anywhere. The platform provides seamless interaction among a growing set of connected solutions, both on the desktop and in the cloud.

Have you tried any of these solutions? Let us know what you think!


Mark Rushton

Mark Rushton is a Product Portfolio Manager for SOLIDWORKS and has been involved with 3D CAD and 3D Printing for over 15 years in several capacities from research to consulting for the likes of Rolls Royce, GE, JCB and Dyson. When not playing with 3D printers or other tech, he is most likely out snowboarding, wake boarding or mountain biking.