Solidworks World 2018: Will Solidworks community speak PLM lingo?

Solidworks World 2018: Will Solidworks community speak PLM lingo?

I’m attending SOLIDWORKS Word this week in sunny Los Angeles. It is an annual pilgrimage of Solidworks users from all places in the world to their annual gathering with presentations, debates, parties and just friends gathering. Solidworks World is celebrating 20 years anniversary this year and for many people in this community it represents a huge chunk of their life.

The first day keynote sent clear message to SOLIDWORKS community about cloud (or more correctly say online) version of SOLIDWORKS finally confirming that we are going to live in a dual world of deskstop and online tools for foreseeable future. Both products will coexists and evolve. So, it is end of the debates about Solidworks killing one product and replacing it with another. The replacement might happen, but I can see it more “generation” event and not something that will see one day happening.

SOLIDWORKS CEO, Gian Paolo Bassi open first day keynote with large number of announcements introducing five products (or topics). Well, some of these products were already presented on previous events. Nevertheless, here are all 5 of them.

I will share information and thoughts about all of them in my following blogs. But my special attention was caught by SOLIDWORKS 3DEXPERIENCE PLM Services. According to Gian Paolo, this is a step for engineers into sometimes very magical world of more organized and structured work with bill of materials, project planning, requirements, etc.

Few screenshots were presented during keynote presentation.

The topic isn’t new. You can see some information elements very much known in product development and manufacturing. However, it is interesting to see an evolution of tools and the way they are presented to Solidworks community.

It brings me back to my earlier blog – How to choose between SOLIDWORKS ENOVIA 2017x and SOLIDWORKS Manage. The question of  terminology and “language” is important for engineers. Some of them were taught to call things one way and it will be very hard to them to change their minds and habits. It still leaves the same question – which tools to select – SOLIDWORKS PLM Services or SOLIDWORKS Manage? The answer cloud vs desktop might be easy to jump on and it can help you to select between desktop and browser based CAD tool. But when it comes to data management and collaboration, the answer isn’t simple and easy. I will talk about it in my next blogs.

What is my conclusion? SOLIDWORKS is rolling out an impressive list of news, updates and new products. SOLIDWORKS is gravitating towards usage of 3DEXPERIENCE platform as a foundation for future of SOLIDWORKS. Nothing new. If you are following this community it comes with no surprise. But people are hard. How fast they will be able to get a new habits and come to use new tools that until now were always associated with complexity and very large companies? It is a good question to ask and I’m looking to speak to more engineers and SOLIDWORKS partners about it during the event. For the moment, these are just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

Want to learn more about PLM? Check out my new PLM Book website.

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.




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  • Gil

    I could be wrong, but outside very small products, I just don’t see browser based CAD supplanting desktop CAD, certainly not like Windows CAD did to UNIX based CAD systems in the 90’s. PLM, PDM, and BOMs, yes……that’s all just meta data, but CAD programs are just too heavy for larger product designs.

    Again I could be wrong, but any news of customers with very large products (1000’s of components) successfully utilizing any of the browser based CAD systems?

  • beyondplm

    Gil, there are not many 3D MCAD running in the browser these days. I’d say Onshape is probably the only one notable contender to play a role similar to Solidworks moving from PC to Web. I guess you can try Onshape online and see if 1000s of parts can be managed there. I’m sure Onshape will be happy to help you. At my company ( ) we are partnering with Onsahpe and created integration with all CAD systems including Onshape. Contact me via oleg @ – I will be able to advise about your products and the way it can be integrated with web and desktop CAD systems. Best, Oleg

  • Gil

    I’ve had an Onshape free account for a while now and it I can see it working for smaller companies developing smaller products. I like the idea of it, it just isn’t enough for more complicated, larger assemblies. Our current workstations aren’t even enough to build our complete product in which can be well over 10,000 components. In SolidWorks, you have to resort to simplified Configurations, Speedpak, or Defeatured models. These require a rigid standard and discipline to use properly, and getting engineer’s to follow the rules is like herding cats.

  • beyondplm

    Gil, thanks for sharing your perspective. I guess Onshape isn’t ready for 10,000 components yet.

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