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 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

Breakout Sessions

SolidWorks World 2014 is only weeks away!  As usually, this year’s conference is shaping up with a session schedule that is filled with great topics.  These are a small sample of what is on the schedule as of January 8, 2014 (schedule is subject to change):

  • The Art of the Swoopy Part by Sal Lama. Gain exposure to the critical tools required to confidently model complex shapes. We’ll use numerous techniques, including sketch picture, splines, various surfacing features, and multibody to create consumer product designs.
  • Extra-large Assemblies by Adrian Velazquez. Learn some features, options, tips, and methods to squeeze performance and productivity out of assemblies that are more than large (think 200,000 components).
  • The Big GD&T Theory by Thomas Allsup. A humorous look at the various GD&T concepts used by SolidWorks designers to refine their geometric requirements..
  • Deliver the Right Part Efficiently with SolidWorks Composer by Kevin Mackay.  A guide through the simple process of creating both 2D and 3D online interactive electronic parts catalogs (EPC) directly from the engineering data using SolidWorks Composer.
  • SolidWorks Tips You Need to Know! 3.0 by Ben Eadie. Increase the productivity of your everyday use with tips and tricks. As a 17-year SolidWorks user and the owner/operator of (SolidWorks Tips Daily) for the past 14 years, I know you can never learn all of SolidWorks. Parts, drawings, assemblies, and more will be discussed.
  • All the Uses of DimXpert by Josh Spencer. Learn how DimXpert creates 3D dimensions with tolerances. We will use TolAnalyst for tolerance stackups, view the dimensions in eDrawings, and also create a 2D drawing in a matter of seconds.

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?