SolidWorks World 2011 (Day 4) – General Session

According to custom the final day of SolidWorks World is the day new features of the next version of SolidWorks are shown to the audience. The fourth and final day started with Mike Puckett of SolidWorks calling Matt Perez of on stage and commending him on his free SolidWorks tutorials web site. The audience was given a nice surprise when Hollywood actor Kevin Bacon walked up on stage and shared stories about the making of the movie “Apollo 13” and his web site

Next SolidWorks Field Marketing Manager Mark Schneider announced the winners of Model Mania 2011, a modeling contest for SolidWorks users and resellers, and gave a brief rundown of the contest. The contestants had to model a part and then make a change to it.

Then Neil Cooke, Product Marketing Manager, gave a demo of Live Buildings, SolidWorks’ first offering for the AEC industry which is due to be made available later this year. I intend to write about Live Buildings in a separate post.

Thereafter some of the new features of SolidWorks 2012 were shown. SolidWorks blogger Brian McElyea has a nice summary on his blog. I couldn’t help but notice that most of the new stuff was in drawings and sheet metal. There will be better support for large assemblies in SolidWorks 2012. But nothing related to part modeling was shown.

Later in the press conference that followed the general session, I brought this up. I asked the panel of SolidWorks executives whether the absence of new part modeling features was due to the impending modeling kernel change. If I remember correctly no new parametric feature was added to SolidWorks 2011 either. I got a reply that there were not many requests for modeling from the users. SolidWorks CAD product manager Shaun Murphy said, “We have other areas and gaps that we needed to fill. Modeling was not a priority“. I followed up by asking if any new parametric feature was added to SolidWorks 2012. Austin O’Malley, Executive Vice President of R&D replied, “Please remember that what we have shown today is what we are ready to show the audience. We still have some development to do and that may include stuff linked to modeling“.