SOLIDWORKS World 2017, Part 2: What to Expect from SOLIDWORKS 201817 Feb, 2017 By: Cyrena Respini-Irwin
In addition to modeling and user interface enhancements, Dassault Systèmes plans to launch applications for CAM, project and process management, and nonlinear simulation this year.
Editor’s note: Click here to read SOLIDWORKS World 2017, Part 1: New Products and Services for SOLIDWORKS Users.
One of the chief attractions at the annual SOLIDWORKS World conference is the opportunity to preview new features and enhancements that will become available when the new version of the software portfolio is released in the fall. As usual, there are many updates planned for the SOLIDWORKS application itself, but this year some of the biggest announcements were related to the company's promotion of “ecosystems” — comprehensive solution sets focused on particular processes.
According to Kishore Boyalakuntla, senior director of product portfolio management and SOLIDWORKS brand user experience leader, “SOLIDWORKS ecosystems take the complex interactions between several disciplines such as design (MCAD and ECAD), manufacturing, service, quality, supply chain, marketing, inventory, and end customers into account to deliver best-in-class and easy-to-use process solutions impacting business outcomes for our end customers.”
These ecosystems may comprise partner solutions as well as Dassault Systèmes offerings; for example, SOLIDWORKS MCAD, Electrical, and PCB software applications and Xively’s IoT platform come together to complete the IoT ecosystem, enabling design and operation of smart devices.
Smart manufacturing. This concept is not a new one for Dassault Systèmes. The design-to-manufacturing (DTM) ecosystem, Boyalakuntla pointed out, has been under creation for several years, beginning with the launch of SOLIDWORKS MBD, followed by Costing and Inspection, and now, SOLIDWORKS CAM. “With this combination, you can do smart manufacturing inside your company, and everything is managed by PDM Professional — which is exactly the way it should be,” said Boyalakuntla.
Mike Buchli, senior SOLIDWORKS product and portfolio manager, explained the value of the ecosystem this way: “When you look at great, successful manufacturing companies today, there’s one thing that is very apparent between those, and that is the ability to reuse data from start to finish throughout the process.” The 2.5-axis milling and turning CAM solution is powered by CAMWorks. It will allow users to program in part and assembly environments, and it will also be able to work with configurations of components. Knowledge-based machining capabilities will enable standardization of machining strategies across organizations.
“The foundation of SOLIDWORKS CAM is the ability to have rules-based machining,” Buchli explained. “So we can interpret any of the pieces we get from tolerances or MBD, and then know how to apply the correct machining strategies accordingly.” The CAM solution will enter a private beta testing period in April and be released in the 2018 launch later this year.
Data management. The data management ecosystem is founded on PDM Professional or Standard (the latter is included for all customers on subscription with SOLIDWORKS Professional and Premium), plus SOLIDWORKS Electrical and PCB the ENOVIA Connector for those who want PLM. “Every product in the desktop portfolio at SOLIDWORKS will be connected by SOLIDWORKS PDM,” said Boyalakuntla, including all Electrical and PCB customers eventually.
The new addition coming to the ecosystem is SOLIDWORKS Manage, which enables project, process, and item management. Boyalakuntla explained that Manage will help smaller companies that cannot implement PLM systems with their project planning; users can create dashboards and reports to keep tabs on their projects. “PLM is too excessive, it’s not what [many customers] need,” he observed.
Product Manager Kurt Lunstead said, “SOLIDWORKS Manage is a new product for 2018 that will leverage the ease of use and file management capabilities of PDM Professional, but add some advanced features to manage project timelines and resources, more complex business processes, a higher level of item management, and it also has some nice dashboards and reports that give you access to that critical information. … Above all, it’s going to be very easy to use.”
Simulation. The current components of the simulation ecosystem are Structural Simulation, Plastic Simulation, and Fluid Flow Simulation; the new addition will be a structural analysis program called Simulation Engineer. “This is very high end,” Boyalakuntla said. “It comes from [SOLIDWORKS] sister brand SIMULIA, it’s based on Abaqus technologies, but it's made for SOLIDWORKS users.”
Stephen Endersby, director of product portfolio management, commented, “Solidworks simulation has greatly benefited from the advances in mathematical techniques and computing power of the last decades. So things have changed from asking, ‘Will my part fail?’ to, ‘How can I optimize my design?’ We are allowing people to understand the processes and functions of their design, and to understand the performance very early on in the design process.”
Stephen Endersby (left) and Kishore Boyalakuntla of SOLIDWORKS explain the company's new focus on creating "ecosystems" of solutions for processes such as simulation.
Simulation Engineer is being introduced to solve complex structural analysis problems such as large deformations, or materials such as rubber, Endersby continued. “Simulation Engineer answers these questions first and foremost by giving you the power of the Abaqus solver; it has a very comprehensive and sophisticated suite of material models, and it has some wonderful technology in SIMULIA’s general contact techniques, which allows you to quickly set up and solve complex contact problems.”
Users will be able to move data — including models, loads, boundary conditions — between SOLIDWORKS Simulation and Simulation Engineer with the click of a button, according to the company. Simulation Engineer will be made available to a select group of customers in Q1, and will be released in the 2018 launch later this year.
“SIMULIA has some great technology, and over the next few years we will be delivering multiphysics, multiscale simulation tools to all our users, so they can best understand the challenges of their design,” Endersby said.