Today at Solidworks World the company announced a new feature called Mechanical Conceptual.  When it’s released in May, it will help designers sketch and share early design concepts in a private cloud.  This is the first announcement from Solidworks that clearly shows how they plan to leverage their parent company’s “3D Experience” technology platform.
Dassault Systèmes’ CEO Bernard Charles described 3D Experience as a platform that will enable the entire product process, from concept to design, from simulation to manufacturing, and from launch through sales.  

It’s a grand vision, and frankly a bit difficult to explain.    

The 3D Experience platform includes an app toolkit that will be shared across all the Dassault Systèmes applications, including CATIA, SIMULIA, DELMIA, ENOVIAand Solidworks.  The app toolkit includes freeform sketching, social sharing for design iterations and discovery for discovery.  It also includes cloud hosting in the Dassault private cloud and mobile apps.  

 The Dassault application developers like Solidworkds can enhance their solutions by using relevant pieces of the 3D Experience platform.  That way all the solutions offered by Dassault brands will have robust components rather than a series of one-off features.

 So what will Mechanical Conceptual do?  It’s intended to support multiple iterations of concept design with freeform sketching, social interactions, cloud connectivity and mobile presentation.  

 This sounds like a useful addition to the Solidworks product line.  The design engineers in the crowd sounded interested.  However, with cloud connectivity will come a new subscription-based pricing model.   That might not be so popular.

 

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