These days is really hard to read news and not to see a word “cloud” at least few times during the day. My attention was caught by the news about Solidworks 2017 and 3DDrive – new cloud service from Solidworks.
PDM is one of the engineering software domains that actively catching up in everything that related to cloud software technologies. If you missed my earlier, blog post, please check out it here – Cloud PDM competition is heating up.
One of the application I mentioned there was Solidworks Xdesign. I wasn’t able to share much of information – everything I mentioned was based on earlier presentations in SWW2016. My attention was caught by news and reviews of Solidworks 2017. One of the application announced for that release was so called 3DDrive. Solidworks 2017 Launch event recap gives you a glimpse of what 3DDrive
3DDrive enables you to collaborate, connect and share files. Part of the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform, 3DDRive connects disconnected products and enables you to securely manage who, how, when and where your data is being accessed.
GraphicSpeak article – SolidWorks 2017 comes with new tricks and new options provides few more information points.
3DDrive is the engineer’s answer to Dropbox and other de facto file sharing tools that are appearing in companies. 3D drive is a cloud-based repository where models can be shared and maintained. Bassi also mentioned that it is a useful bridge between content from SolidWorks and Catia V6.
It raises an interesting point about how 3DDrive is going to support content sharing and collaboration. I checked MySolidworks Drive beta available online and connect it to one of my Google Drive accounts. It provides very limited functionality in the beta available online. So, I’m looking forward to learn more about it can do.
What is my conclusion? The way engineering and manufacturing companies work together has dramatically changed for the last decade. Teams that worked in the same building now fragmented and distributed globally. The demand of companies to design fast and cloud is a technology that can support it. 3DDrive seems to be an entry level tool that allows engineers to connect mainstream storage such as Dropbox and Google Drive and collaborate. It can be a good step towards bringing Solidworks community online. However, it is not clear what functionality will be available and how. It is also not clear to me if 3DDrive and MySolidworks Drive is actually the same product. It is not clear to me how it will connect and share data between companies storing data in multiple storage systems. Just my thoughts…
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Disclaimer: I’m co-founder and CEO of openBoM developing cloud based bill of materials and inventory management tool for manufacturing companies, hardware startups and supply chain. My opinion can be unintentionally biased.