posted on June 04, 2014 |
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I happened to attend SolidWorks World 2014 in January when Dassault Systemes announced SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual (SWMC). At the time, rumor and skepticism ruled, but the clearer minds could see a potential use for this software that does not compete with seats of desktop SOLIDWORKS.
When SWMC was released for public consumption in early April, I interpreted about the same amount of fanfare. At $249/user/month (an annual equivalent to a year's maintenance of SOLIDWORKS depending on version), the cost wasn't enticing enough to develop new workflows for a company. Although there were certainly some early adopters.
Then in May, when I was digging around the updated MySolidworks website, I was reminded of SWMC based on training lessons that were available. I found 8 minutes of time and watched the initial introduction video. (By the way, I passed the exit test with a 100%!)
Now that more resources are available for users to understand the power and functionality behind Dassault's 3DExperience within SWMC, I can see the benefit of such a software. The one thing still missing in today's design environment is the pocket notebook.
One never knows when inspiration will strike and during the days of pencil and paper, that inspiration was captured with a pencil and notebook held tightly in your breast pocket. Those tools have been replaced with tablets and smart phones. Who know which you'll be carrying at any given moment. Therefore, the software installed on the device has to contain your thoughts (aka data) wherever you may be. They cannot be left on a desktop or night stand (as was the case with paper notebooks). More importantly, capturing your inspiration in software must be as easy as it is to do on paper. I think SWMC is very close in meeting all of those requirements.
SWMC won't replace your detail design software, such as SOLIDWORKS desktop. It currently is not designed to. But, as the competition has already learned, users don't want a separate direct editing tool and history-based tool. They want one tool that does both. So although there are currently no signs that SWMC will displace SOLIDWORKS desktop, I can only surmise that the very same users who are against SWMC will be the ones requesting SolidWorks merge the two.
If you are still on the fence about SWMC, do what I did and learn more about it through MySolidworks Learning. (At the time of this writing, there are three videos specifically on SWMC.)