SolidWorks World 2010 (Day 2) – General Session

There was a lot of stuff spoken about and shown in the first General Session of SolidWorks World 2010. SolidWorks CEO Jeff Ray came on stage and reported that this years attendance was larger than last years – more than 5000 registrations. This year the big news is that SolidWorks is getting more and more integrated into the Dasault Systemes family and Jeff explained how that process has begun and where it is headed.

Dassault Systemes CEO Bernard Charles came on stage next and spent quite some time explaining to the audience how his company views SolidWorks. He said, “We are a long term investor of SolidWorks and are expanding its role in the Dassault Systemes family“.

Jeff Ray was quite pleased to report that in 2009 there were zero layoffs at SolidWorks. In fact, the company invested more into R&D. 2009 was the year when SolidWorks sold the millionth license.

I found the Jeff’s comments on the Engineering Stimulus Package particularly interesting and heartening. Jeff reported that a total of 60,000 people downloaded software offered under the package. Out of these 22,000 went all the all and got trained at SolidWorks resellers. 2,200 of these reported back to SolidWorks that they got jobs due to the skills that they had learned and 400 received CSWA certification.

Jeff announced that SolidWorks has been working on some secret technologies for the past three years and now it was time to show some of the stuff. Cloud computing had a say is just about all the new technologies that we were shown. We were shown a sneak peak of Direct Modeling features to be added into a future version of SolidWorks, without being given  any specific details. But after hearing that that SolidWorks worked very closely with Dassault Systems on that front, and seeing video of how direct modeling happens in this new thing, it appears to me that Dassault’s V6 technology is finding its way into SolidWorks. Don’t know for sure though.

They took a dig at Autodesk’s Inventor Fusion by saying that users will not have to jump through hoops to keep their history and design intent intact. Everything will be in a single application and completely integrated with other parts of the software. Jeff said, “I want to say this. I would not show you this unless I knew that this worked. However, I cannot give you timeframe by which this stuff will find its way into an end user product.

In the next posts I will explain a couple of these new technologies.