MCAD Tech News (#337)

29 Jan, 2013 By: Cadalyst Staff

At SolidWorks World 2013, Users Get a Peek at What's Coming in Version 2014

Company reveals long list of new features, discusses the move to the cloud, and announces web portal and new Mechanical Conceptual tool.

By Cyrena Respini-Irwin

The fifteenth annual SolidWorks World conference was held this week at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando, Florida. According to Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks CEO Bertrand Sicot, SolidWorks World has expanded to 4,500 attendees and more than 280 technical sessions — a far cry from the first event, which featured just 800 participants and 80 technical sessions. Sicot also announced another kind of growth: The company has surpassed 2 million licenses of the 3D design software.

For many, the high point of the event is the third day, when SolidWorks traditionally offers users a glimpse into what's ahead for their CAD software of choice. This year was no different, and the presentation included a look at users' most-requested updates.

"We inundate ourselves with feedback from you," said Bruce Holway, director of product definition, explaining that SolidWorks personnel follow forum posts, perform alpha and usability testing, visit customers, attend user group meetings, and conduct surveys. This year, the ten most popular usability requests, as selected by users via online voting, are as follows:

  • Create auxiliary line for dimensioning angles
  • Draw line segment starting from the midpoint
  • External thread wizard for all thread types
  • Default the concentric mate for axis to cylindrical surface
  • Option for equal spacing on linear patterns
  • Provide a version of the eDrawings mobile app for Android devices
  • Cylindrical mates need an option to lock rotation
  • Slot mate
  • The ability to save SolidWorks files in previous versions (true backward compatibility)
  • Make rebuild time faster.

"Over the years," Holway reported, "we've implemented the vast majority of all items on all Top Ten lists." Indeed, attendees saw proof that some of these requests, at least, are on their way to fulfillment: they were treated to the first public viewing of eDrawings on an Android Nexus tablet. "We are working on [the app], and it's coming very, very soon," said Sicot. Read more »

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Cyrena Respini-Irwin is Cadalyst's senior editor.

SolidWorks World 2013, Part 2: A Sampling of Product Debuts

More than 100 solution partners took part in the event, filling the Partner Pavilion with hardware and software offerings for all types of mechanical CAD users — including these new releases.

By Cyrena Respini-Irwin

Many companies chose the SolidWorks World 2013 Partner Pavilion to unveil their latest offerings, including the following:

CNC Software unveiled Mastercam X7 for SolidWorks, the forthcoming version of its machining software, which features lathe support. Previously, the software only offered milling, explained Keith Butzgy, corporate sales representative; the new version introduces many of Mastercam Lathe's toolpaths. Other changes include a new Code Expert interface that enables users to edit their code, and a new Tool Manager that organizes mill tools.

A heads-up display compiles Mastercam feeds from forums, Facebook, YouTube, Google+, and Twitter, as well as tips, which are updated throughout the day. "Social media is not going away," Butzgy commented. Mastercam X7 for SolidWorks will be available in late spring.

Glen Smith, CEO and cofounder of DriveWorks, showcased his company's eponymous design automation solution for customizing 3D models for "products that are the same but different each time" — such as a window, elevator, or truck trailer whose dimensions must be adapted to different uses. "[With these products,] there's a lot of design effort required for every one you sell ... in some cases, that design effort can double the cost of the product." Read more »

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Cyrena Respini-Irwin is Cadalyst's senior editor.


Mark Your Calendar: MCAD Events


Going from PDF to CAD
January 31, 2013
3 p.m. ET
Back To CAD Technologies will present this first in a series of free instructional webinars about converting PDF designs and drawings into DWG and DXF files. Read more »

Product Innovation 2013
February 19–20, 2013
Berlin, Germany
Product Innovation (PI) 2013 is an event at the nexus of R&D, engineering, and IT that provides insight into product information creation, development, and management. Read more »

May 14–16, 2013
West Springfield, Massachusetts
New features at this year's manufacturing exposition and conference will include a panel discussion about workforce development, a competitive manufacturing event for regional high school students, and area plant tours. Read more »

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on Are you hosting an event that you would like to include in our calendar? Submit details at least two weeks in advance to


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