SolidWorks World 2014: Day 1, Day 2 Monday General Session – Mechanical Conceptual revealed

I'm an employee and also a member of the Bacon BrotherhoodSolidWorks World 2014 is going strong.  Sunday was a great time to catch up with old friends and meet a lot of new people.  Many people are lucky enough to have joined the Bacon Brotherhood, including yours truly.  For more details, see Twitter and search #baconbrotherhood.

This year’s SolidWorks World reached the record of 5600+ attendees on Monday!  That is a new record, which is especially important since Monday (though technically Day 2) is really the first full day of the conference (often the number goes even higher by Tuesday).

The Monday General session was well reviewed by Brian McElyea of CAD Fanatic.  Briefly, the morning was largely dedicated to SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual (SWMC) with a great presentation by Aaron Kelly, VP of User Experience and Product Portfolio Management and Kishore Boyalakuntla, Director of User Experience and Product Portfolio Management.  They demonstrated a case where customers and vendors can work collaboratively to quickly develop new mechanical concepts on a common  CAD model using social interaction and advanced design software.  Brian then notes,

Representatives of four of the lighthouse companies (TriAxial Design and Analysis, Kennedy Hygiene Products Limited, Karl W. Schmidt & Associates, and J.G. WEISSER SÖHNE GmbH & Co. KG) that have been using the product over the last few months were then brought out and gave their thoughts on the software.

“Lighthouse” is a term that refers to real customers who are earlier adopters by invitation. They get a preview of functionality while an application is near completion but before it is made available to everyone. Lighthouse customers use the application in their real world enterprise on actual projects, and provide important feedback for further improvements.

Additional news is SolidWorks Industrial Conceptual was announced with a brief teaser.  This generated a lot of excitement.

For a preview of Tuesday, see Michael Lord’s photoblog.


Drawings and Detailing are getting a lot of attention this year @ SolidWorks World 2014

Drawings and Detailing are getting a lot of attention this year at SolidWorks World 2014 in breakout  and hands-on sessions.  There are enough sessions here to fill the schedule of anyone interested in modern drafting and SolidWorks capabilities.  Check it out!

SolidWorks Templates 101: Parts, Assemblies and Drawings by Eric Bright – Learn to manage metadata in regards to parts, assemblies, and drawings.  Template creation is made simple if you follow several rules and steps along the process. Once created, documentation and file creation is made simple.

Working with Drawing Views in SolidWorks 2014 by Matthew Lorono – This hands-on session will cover each type of drawing view available in SOLIDWORKS, including often overlooked functionality and new capabilities introduced in recent years, such as enhancements to Section View and Auxiliary Views.

Let Customized Templates Work For You! Use Custom Properties! by Crystal Yazvac – Learn to create your own custom templates for parts, assemblies, and drawings. This presentation will teach you how to save out templates and add custom properties that will automatically fill in your Sheet Formats and BOMs for every file you make, including Toolbox parts.

The Big GD&T Theory by Thomas Allsup – A humorous look at various GD&T concepts used by SolidWorks designers to refine their geometric requirements.

Advanced DraftSight Hands-on Lesson by Mark Lyons – This hands-on session will focus on advanced DraftSight functionality. As a participant, you should have some basic knowledge of DraftSight prior to the session. After the session, you will have an in-depth understanding of DraftSight and the benefits it can bring to your organization.

Introduction to Model-based Definition in the Context of SolidWorks by Matthew Lorono – Get introduced to model-based definition methods and types of implementations in the context of SOLIDWORKS functionality, including new 20The United States Government Loves Model-based Definition.

What’s New in SolidWorks Drawings in Recent Years by Nikhil Kulkarni – This presentation focuses on showing recent tools/enhancements added to SolidWorks in the area of drawings and DXF/DWG.

The United States Government Loves Model-based Definition by Rich Eckenrode – This presentation is on the NIST project, PMI conformance testing models. He will describe the use of SOLIDWORKS in this PMI validation project. He will also touch on SolidWorks ability to compete in the space MBD and review some of the interesting facts with regard to using MBD in SolidWorks.

Drawing Templates: How and Why! by Jeremiah Griffith – Learn  how to create functional and automated drawing templates to reduce redundant information entry. Make SOLIDWORKS work for you, and ease your life by using the tools provided!

First Article Reports and Inspection Documentation with SolidWorks by Mathieu Fourcade – Experience how easy it can be to create inspection documentation for first article or quality assurance purposes using SolidWorks. Dramatically reduce the time required to create inspection documentation and eliminate errors inherent to the manual “ballooning” of engineering drawings as well as in the creation of inspection reports.

3D MBD (Model-based Design) and MBE (Model-based Enterprise) State of the Union by Christopher Garcia and Paul Perreault – Learn how Anark has been helping the DoD and several manufacturing companies for over four years to lead the way into a 3D model-based enterprise. The initiative eliminates the need for 2D drawings in favor of 3D PDF and 3D HTML technical data packages. This session will review this progress.

Making Custom Symbols by Nikhil Kulkarni – See  how to make custom symbols in SolidWorks.


SolidWorks World 2014 Floor Plan is up!

In recent years, a floor plan tool for the SolidWorks World has been available online ahead of the conference.  This tool seems to be getting more useful every year.

This year’s floor plan as a full map of each floor of the conference, including conference rooms and the Partner Pavilion.

Partner Pavilion

The Partner Pavilion map layouts exhibitor locations with a flyout that includes a company profile.

SolidWorks World 2014 Floor Plan

Smartphone and laptop strategy for SolidWorks World 2014

Since the release of the Ericsson R380 in 2000, the Smartphone has become ubiquitous.  In 2008, laptops started becoming more common than desktop computers.  Tablets have also become commonplace since the release of the Apple iPad in 2010.  Keeping these power hungry mobile and portable devices feed (charged) presents a unique challenge in the 21st Century.   Keeping connected to the Internet also presents challenges.  There is a lot going on at SolidWorks World.  It is a big event with thousands of tech savvy attendees with tons of devices, competing with resources to keep them feed and connected.  Granted, keeping a smartphone charged is pretty dang cheap.  However, finding an electrical outlet is the issue at hand.


San Diego Convention CenterIf you are using your smartphone to keep your schedule (like I do), you’ll be accessing it more often than you might on a normal day.  In addition, you’ll likely be text messaging and using other social media communication more frequently, too.  Normally, your smartphone’s battery charge may last a day or two without any worries.  No day at SolidWorks World is normal.  Even on the most battery efficient devices, you are likely to need power to recharge at some point during the day.

Have a spare battery or extended-life remote battery on hand, whether you are using a laptop, smartphone, tablet, or any combination thereof.   Wherever you happen to find yourself, be sure to scope out power outlets.  This applies while you are at the conference, and more so also after hours while you are out and about and when your device is most likely to be low on power.

During the day, if you have a smartphone and a laptop, you can charge your phone from the laptop via the normal USB connection.  Finally, the most obvious thing of all, don’t forget any of the charging cables.

If you are plugged into a random outlet or loaning your charger temporarily to another attendee, don’t forget your charging cable by leaving it behind!  You will likely never see it again, for various reasons.  This particularly applies to breakout session speakers who may get distracted at the end of their presentation by people rushing up to the podium to introduce themselves and ask further questions.  Am I speaking from personal experience?  Maybe.

Staying Connected

Staying connected is the whole reason we carry around smartphones and tablets.  That means you always need an awareness of WiFi hotspots.  Those of us with smartphones may not be tethered.  However, don’t rely on cellphone carrier signal for data connections while in a conference room.  Even smartphones on a free data plan may need to switch over to WiFi to access the Internet at some point to Facebook, Foursquare or Flickr.  SolidWorks provides many WiFi hotspots throughout the conference.  One of the main locations will be near the Partner Pavilion.

All this means that you’ll need to scope out the locations of these hotspots a head of time so you aren’t left without data connection at an inconvenient moment.  Hotspots should be shown on the conference map.  Keep in mind that there will be many other people accessing WiFi at the same time, so please avoid downloading big files or streaming videos.  I always recommend hitting the hotspots for specific connectivity needs, then quickly moving on.

Good luck and I hope to see you at SolidWorks World 2014!


The author of this article is an employee of Dassault Systemes.  However, the material of this article is not representative of Dassault Systemes, nor is it reviewed by them.  Please see the FTC notice in the right side bar of this webpage for further details.

SolidWorks World 2014 is right around the corner

Reminder: SolidWorks World 2014 Top Ten is accepting Votes (what ideas do you want others to vote for?)

SolidWorks World 2014 Top Ten voting is open until January 15, 2014.  Get your votes in soon!  Time to promote the ideas you like so that they make it into the top ten list!

SolidWorks World 2014 Top Ten voting

To share which ideas you like the most, please post your personal top ten list in the Forum here: What ideas do you want others to vote for?