The End of SOLIDWORKS World — and a New Beginning15 Feb, 2020 By: Cadalyst Staff
Dassault Systèmes struck a new note in Nashville, debuting the 3DEXPERIENCE World user conference in place of the venerable SOLIDWORKS World.
An event that kicked off this week in Nashville, Tennessee, was simultaneously new and familiar to many attendees. After more than two decades, the annual user conference formerly known as SOLIDWORKS World has been revised, restructured, and reborn as 3DEXPERIENCE World. Although the name change might raise suspicions to the contrary, the event is “a new, and expanded, and truly authentic SOLIDWORKS experience,” SOLIDWORKS CEO Gian Paolo Bassi assured the assembled attendees.
Bernard Charlès, CEO of Dassault Systèmes, commented on the change during the opening session: “We have put a lot of thought observing this vibrant community … thinking about, What can we do with you next? How can we prepare your future so you will be empowered to realize bigger dreams? This is about the future, and this is about SOLIDWORKS World becoming 3DEXPERIENCE World. In one way, you have moved from flat drawings to 3D; we want to give you the possibilities to move from 3D to live experiences, to virtual twin experiences, to really transform the way you do your business,” he said.
From SOLIDWORKS to WORKS: Addressing a Broader Community
The new event addresses more than SOLIDWORKS: In addition to “all our SOLIDWORKS community,” Bassi extended a welcome to users of Dassault Systèmes’ ENOVIA, SIMULIA, and DELMIAWORKS — the latter “for the first time part of our event,” he noted. (Dassault Systèmes acquired the IQMS software company in 2019, and rebranded the IQMS manufacturing enterprise resource planning [ERP] portfolio as DELMIAWORKS.) “We are all part of the ‘WORKS’ community, because we are adding the superpowers of the Dassault Systèmes brand to the SOLIDWORKS DNA,” Bassi continued.
Those sentiments may have been intended to reassure SOLIDWORKS users that they still have an important place at the table, but they also indicate that SOLIDWORKS is being brought further into alignment with other Dassault Systèmes solutions — and that means closer ties to the cloud-based 3DEXPERIENCE platform (although Dassault is still offering the standalone SOLIDWORKS desktop version as well).
‘What Is the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform?’
Charlès praised the platform during his address, saying, “The 3DEXPERIENCE platform is about … the power of communities coming together, revealing imagination, and translating imagination to reality.” For those who needed a more concrete description, the opening session also included a comedic, commercial-style video that provided just that: “What is the 3DEXPERIENCE platform? Explanation: It’s a platform that gives you access to a catalog of applications — or ‘apps,’ like the kids say these days. These apps allow you to design, simulate, inform, and collaborate on a project. … With the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, everything is stored on the cloud … which means that you can never lose anything, and anyone can access the latest version of a project, at any time, in total security.”
As Bassi said in a SOLIDWORKS Blog post a year ago, “Of course, World will include SOLIDWORKS, but we also want to integrate SOLIDWORKS in the greater selection of solutions available on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. We believe that incorporating new technologies on a desktop architecture is not scalable, hence the need to instead connect to a platform architecture that is designed for scalability and capacity. As you’ve witnessed over the past two decades, we’ve continued to drive SOLIDWORKS applications forward in terms of usability, quality, and productivity, to deliver a complete design ecosystem. Now, our focus includes cloud and platform enablement, and delivering extended functionality with 3DEXPERIENCE.Works.”
Introduced in 2019 as 3DEXPERIENCE.WORKS, the now period-free 3DEXPERIENCE WORKS is a portfolio of solutions on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform that complement SOLIDWORKS with data and lifecycle management, simulation, and manufacturing ERP capabilities. “3DEXPERIENCE.Works expands the ease of use and simplicity that have been hallmarks of SOLIDWORKS applications to a new category of business solutions on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform,” Bassi continued in his blog post. “3DEXPERIENCE.Works is an example of how SOLIDWORKS users will benefit from Dassault Systèmes’ large R&D investment. Basically, SOLIDWORKS went shopping at Dassault Systèmes’ HQ in France and picked technologies to incorporate into its solutions. You have been asking for simulation and other technologies to meet the needs of today’s business environment. We are uniquely able to leverage most of those needs through our own products, all with the unique SOLIDWORKS DNA that makes you efficient and productive. You have SOLIDWORKS, and now you can add new capabilities, like advanced simulation and sub-D modeling, to your design toolbox.”
New SOLIDWORKS Packages on the Platform
During the conference, Dassault Systèmes announced new 3DEXPERIENCE WORKS commercial offers that are intended to “provide SOLIDWORKS users with a connected, integrated, and automated way to streamline their creative process, and save time and money,” according to the company. These offers feature SOLIDWORKS standard, professional, and premium applications that are installed from, licensed from, and updated in the 3DEXPERIENCE platform (data is also stored in the platform). The scalable packages include 3D Creator and 3D Sculptor, and users can select from dozens of other 3DEXPERIENCE WORKS applications as needed for their tasks.
Dassault’s pitch is that this provides the best of both worlds for SOLIDWORKS customers: Familiar desktop applications, plus platform benefits including improved collaboration, embedded data management, automatic software updates, and up-to-date, easily accessible project data maintained in one place, providing the highly desirable “single source of truth.”
“Customers want to do more than just design. They want to have a life-like experience of the products they make. This requires better design, simulation, governance, management and manufacturing and, most importantly, collaboration with the entire value chain,” said Bassi in a company release. “On the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, everything and everyone involved in the concept, design, simulate, manufacture, sell, and service processes are connected and integrated in one continuous loop. Of course, our SOLIDWORKS customers can continue to buy the standalone SOLIDWORKS desktop version if they prefer, but our new customer-centric option will free up time to think, create, and get things done. We are also planning similar offers for education and startups, to bring value to them too.”