MCAD Tech News (#352)

11 Sep, 2013 By: Cadalyst Staff

After 20 Years, SolidWorks Still Striving for Improvement

Dassault Systèmes looks to the future while updating its product design portfolio for 2014, but steers clear of the controversial cloud.

By Cyrena Respini-Irwin

Earlier this week, Dassault Systèmes released SolidWorks 2014 — the latest version of a 3D software portfolio that comprises not only CAD, but also simulation, product data management, technical communication, and electrical design products. "When we say it's a new release for SolidWorks, it's a new release for the entire portfolio," said Bertrand Sicot, CEO of Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks.

Sicot told the audience at last week's media launch event that SolidWorks, which was founded 20 years ago, now has 2.1 million licensed users (including 1.55 million in education) worldwide. Across the globe, 230 user groups support some 15,000 members. Those numbers will only continue to grow, if Sicot has his way. "The user community who can benefit from design in 3D is three times bigger than the one that is being served," he believes.

Moving forward, Sicot's priorities include identifying new adjacent markets, evolving mobile apps, offering additional value-add subscription services, and "remaining focused on our customers." The company has increased customer satisfaction 5% since 2007, and "it's critical to continue to improve on that front," said Sicot.

My.SolidWorks, a free online user community, is one aspect of that effort. In the six months since it was launched, the portal has given "our user community a single place to go to find anything SolidWorks," said Sicot. "The level of adoption is skyrocketing." In the future, My.SolidWorks will evolve with better user profiles and delivery of more content and services, he noted.

Responsibility to the Users

When it comes to customer satisfaction, however, there is one component that trumps all others: a product that works the way users want it to. "Over 90% of these have come directly from customer requests," said Ian Hogg, SolidWorks product marketing manager, while demonstrating key new features in SolidWorks 2014.

Among the new sheet metal tools in SolidWorks 2014 is the lofted bend option. Further options control the creation method, and each bend region can be controlled individually.
Among the new sheet metal tools in SolidWorks 2014 is the lofted bend option. Further options control the creation method, and each bend region can be controlled individually.

Read more »

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Cyrena Respini-Irwin is Cadalyst's senior editor.

HP Marries Workstation Power with Ultrabook Portability

Company launches three brand-new ZBooks and introduces updated Z workstations and two new IPS displays.

By Robert Green

HP today announced the expansion of its Z portfolio of professional workstation and monitors, including the first-ever workstation Ultrabook, the HP ZBook 14; updates to the company's line of Z desktop workstations, now offering Intel's Thunderbolt technology for high-speed data transfer; and two new HP Z displays.

Last week in New York City, the company hosted a preview event for the media, allowing attendees to get a firsthand look at the new products, pose questions to company officials, and hear from HP customers from a variety of industries.

Setting the Tone

The event keynote was neatly summarized by Jim Zafarana, vice-president and general manager of Commercial Solutions, when he stated, "Professional customers rely on trusted partners to provide technology solutions that are tested and certified for the mission-critical applications they run. The HP Z subbrand has become a hallmark for professional products engineered to the highest standards. The expansion of the Z portfolio demonstrates HP's commitment to the professional market that many other vendors have abandoned." Read more »

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Cadalyst contributing editor Robert Green performs CAD programming and consulting throughout the United States and Canada.


Dell Precision Unveils New Mobile and Desktop Workstations

Latest models are 'most powerful ever,' company reports.

By Cadalyst Staff

Dell this week announced it has expanded its workstation portfolio with the most powerful mobile and tower workstations, the Dell Precision M4800, M6800, T3610, T5610, and T7610, designed to run the leading content creation, engineering, scientific, and other professional software applications. In a press release, the company stated that the new units are outfitted with the latest high-performance, workstation-class processors, graphics, storage, display, and other technologies.

New mobile workstations. Referencing the new Dell Precision M4800 and M6800 mobile workstations, the company reports it is the first to bring a 15.6" Quad HD+ IGZO panel to the workstation market, with higher resolution than the Apple MacBook Pro Retina display, and the only to offer optional 10-finger Wacom multitouch on a 17.3" display for intuitive control and interaction with creative and design applications. Dell is also the first to offer WiGig wireless docking and has improved audio performance with WAVES MaxxAudio Pro integration, it reports. Read more »


Mark Your Calendar: MCAD Events

3D Scanning for CAD
September 26, 2013
11 a.m. PT
This NextEngine webinar will demonstrate how to create usable models for CAD programs such as SolidWorks, Creo, and Inventor by scanning and converting mesh scan data into editable CAD solids using RapidWorks software. This workflow is applicable in reverse engineering and manufacturing applications. Read more »

Design Excellence Forum: SolidWorks 2014
October 2–30, 2013
Various cities
Fisher/Unitech is hosting a series of complimentary events throughout New England and the Midwest that will cover solutions for product development and manufacturing. Read more »

Westec 2013
October 15–17, 2013
Los Angeles, California
Westec, sponsored by The Society of Manufacturing Engineers, will showcase software, cutting tools, and multitasking machines from international equipment manufacturers. 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


What’s New at

Array Objects Along a Path Curve in AutoCAD
If you're still using the Divide or Measure commands to array objects along a path curve, then you're working much too hard! Join Lynn Allen as she shows you how easy it is to use the path array tools inside AutoCAD. Watch the video »

Canon Keeps CAD in Mind with New Wide-Format Color Printers
Paperless documents may be decreasing the demand for printing hardware, but the diversified digital imaging solutions provider is still pursuing the CAD market. Read more »

Lenovo Launches Workstation Tailored for AutoCAD LT
The compact, entry-level ThinkStation E32 is designed for 2D CAD users facing space and budget restrictions. Read more »

VISI Speeds Stamping Tool Production
Kleiner Stanztechnik streamlines its manufacturing process with the adoption of Vero Software's 3D CAD/CAM solution. Read more »

IMAGINiT Tricks Tutorial:
Import Mechanical Desktop Drawings Directly into Inventor 2014

Try this new method to import your Autodesk Mechanical Desktop part files into an Autodesk Inventor assembly model. Read more »

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