The General Session for Wednesday was as entertaining as ever. Most the details from Wednesday General Session have already been well covered by other blogs and online outlets. I’m going to focus on Bruce Holway’s presentation instead. It is important to me because he’s describing the his group (Product Definition of which I am apart) and past years SolidWorks World Top Ten enhancements list. He states that the vast majority of past year’s Top Ten have been implemented. He covers many of recent examples.
- Default to Concentric Mate when two selected faces are cylindrical
- Default to Parallel Mate when two selected faces have other geometry that prevent coincident mating
- Lock Option for Concentric Mates so that additional mates are not required to stop rotation of a cylindrical part
- Slot Mate
- Center of Mass reference geometry
- Fix Edge Bleed Thru display, where thin walled features sometimes displayed fragments of obscured features
- Don’t Delete Child Features, Dangle them Instead when deleting a parent feature
- eDrawings for Android
Also mentioned is the fact that we visit hundreds of customers each year at their sites to understand how they are using SolidWorks. This is extremely valuable in determining how we plan to improve our product offerings by giving us first hand experiences from our customers.
This year’s SolidWorks World Top Ten list:
- Auto-hide components
- Draw a line segment starting from the mid-point
- Equal spacing option for linear patterns
- Ability to rename a part or sub-assembly in the feature tree
- Unlimited undo/redo
- Pressing the ESC key should immediately stop the current calculation and return control to the user
- Fillets and chamfers should be managed by the same feature
- Ability to flip angle dimensions after they have been placed
- Hole callout should include all instances on the same face
- New Purge command
SolidWorks has a team dedicated to finding out how SolidWorks products can be improved and expanded to suit the needs of existing and potential customers. This team is Product Definition. This is what I do at SolidWorks. We work hard to communicate with our customers via various means. We are the team that answers your Enhancement Requests submitted through your SolidWorks Customer Portal. We don’t take a break during SolidWorks World. In fact, this is one of our busiest times.
If you are attending SolidWorks World 2013, be sure to stop by our booth to talk to us about how we can improve SolidWorks products for you. If you want to talk about large assemblies, the new electrical product, costing, drawings, parts, features, missing functionality, etc, feel free to tell us. We utilize customer feedback to help decide how best to improve and expand SolidWorks products. Our booth will be in the Northern Foyer for the Hemispheres Ballroom at the Dolphin Hotel.
SolidWorks Corps claims to have “over one thousand touch points for feedback” that allow them to find areas that need improvement with their applications. Without getting into detail about the effectiveness of their use of these touch points, I’m simply pointing out where they do look. First, note that the Product Definition Group oversees much of this activity and is staffed worldwide.
- They conduct direct customer visits. My company was lined up for such a visit a couple years ago, but due to scheduling, I had to cancel on the SolidWorks representative at the last-minute.
- They are conducting an increasing number of user surveys (check the SolidWorks Forum and sometimes your email too).
- There are field people who work through the VARs.
- Technical support provides invaluable information.
- They gain information from meeting with User Groups.
- SolidWorks World provides significant information, such as the top 10 enhancement requests list, voted upon by attendees.
- They also peruse the SolidWorks and CAD forums. It’s my understanding that they also hang out at other popular independent CAD forums.
Where is the most effective place to request a change or notify SolidWorks Corp about issues with their software? Well, I think that depends. Submitting ERs might be the most effective method, actually.
Thoroughly discussing problems and difficulties in the SolidWorks Forum may also afford more attention. Bugging VARs about software bugs is fairly effective in my experience (some have had opposite experiences). Of all the bugs I’ve reported via my VAR, none remain.
Another way to give feedback is to comment on the various SolidWorks related blogs. Get your favorate blogger to talk about the issue indepth. Depending on the topic, bloggers do seem to have a little more pull than the average bear. Unfortunately, I know only one bear that uses SolidWorks (and when her system crashes, it is usually a result of her bashing it about about cabin).