SolidWorks World – Day 1, Monday Jan 27, 2014
Well there is nothing like getting up in the morning and having breakfast with over 4500 people who have the same interest as you. This year, just like the previous years, the tables for breakfast and lunch each have signs allowing you to pick a topic to talk about it while enjoying a bite to eat. Table names include: Advanced Surfacing, BOM, EnterprisePDM, and Electrical. Okay, it is kind of geeky to some but to me, its Engineer heaven!
After breakfast, which starts at 7AM, we make our way into the main hall for the first General Session of the conference. The CEO of SolidWorks, Bertrand Sicot welcomed us to SolidWorks World. He kicked off the show quickly by introducing us to a young man named Boyan Slat who has a really interesting project called “The Ocean Cleanup.” Boyan’s project was created with the intention to clean up our ocean by extracting 7,250,000,000KG of plastic out of it.
We also learned that in this past year SolidWorks hit the 2.3 million mark of users around the world, not bad considering last year they announced 2 million users!
Next, we were then greeted with some of the different product innovations like the Copenhagen Wheel which was developed by the folks at MIT. The theme here was “Inspired people creating inspired design”.
Following the Copenhagen Wheel, we were once again treated to a talk by the CEO of Dassault Systèmes, Bernard Charlès. He shared lists of companies and products that create products designed using the 3DS product line. The focus of his message was that smaller companies are really creating ‘Inspired Design’. He continued to share three products that really interact well with each other and allow designers to share product data with not only their teams but the consumers. These products are EXALEAD labeled as Information Intelligence that that allows you to find information from tweets to transactions. EXALEAD reveals the hidden information intelligence human beings need to understand, participate, and act.
The next two were interesting because to me they are designed for the consumer but allows us, the designers, to work together. They are Home.By.Me which is a is an online 3D space planning service for your home or office and 3D.By.Me (website to launch soon) which is a tool that can be used in SolidWorks, for example, to create content for the consumer who uses Home.By.Me. It is a new concept to bridge the gap between design and consumer that is being developed by 3DVIA.
If that was not enough, we received an in-depth demonstration of SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual. Now, this is some pretty cool new technology that allows us to conceptualize designs, share those with others and work concurrently with your team or even your end user/customers which will be available in April. They also introduced two other tools for your tool chest, SolidWorks Inspection (for creating inspection sheets directly from your SolidWorks drawings) and SolidWorks Industrial Conceptual, same concept as Mechanical but with organic shapes, the demo they show us was to create a helmet in minutes instead of hours.
Next we were honored to meet a gentleman named Hugh Herr who is the head of the Biomechatronics research group at the MIT Media Lab. The MIT group is creating bionic limbs that emulate the function of natural limbs. His team is creating some really amazing stuff and what was really cool is that during the presentation he showed us his devices in use – on his own body as he lost both legs in an accident.
Now, all of the above was just a small recap of the morning session, after a quick break we headed to the breakout sessions. From 7AM to 6PM you can attend numerous classes, hands-on sessions and for many of us, meetings. But it is not all work and no play as we cannot let our customer’s end the day with their brains full and their stomachs empty so we setup a ‘Customer Appreciation’ event at the Hard Rock Hotel. We had several special guests to include the CEO of SolidWorks Bertrand Sicot, GoEngineer president Ken Coburn and CEO Brad Hansen. We had great food and music. Of course I cannot forget our special VIP guest Joe Engineer who joined us for the evening’s activities. For me it was really fun as I was the one of the Application Engineers in San Diego for many years and I got to see a lot of old friends that I trained, supported and worked with before moving to Utah. All in all it was a great first day and I cannot wait to see what SolidWorks has in store for us tomorrow.
Stay tuned for Day 2 Recap tomorrow – Johnathen