Digital transformation of the past decade introduced us to a new concept – online communities. The idea of having community of engineers isn’t new and we’ve seen several attempts to create one done by CAD vendors and independent vendors. One of the most successful one was a story of GrabCAD – online community of engineers sharing 3D CAD files and projects. Check some of my earlier blogs about it here and here.
Yesterday at SOLIDWORKS World, Suchit Jain, VP of strategy and community at Dassault Systemes Solidworks provided some a preview of Solidworks is going to do with MySolidworks and 3DDrive.
First of all, interesting data point. MySolidworks online community is 1M users. To compare GrabCAD online community is 4.4M users (I took this number from GrabCAD website today).
Below few screenshots I took from SWW18 presentation. The pictures can speak by themselves. You can see a way to present 3D file libraries with tiled preview, Profile page and viewer.
In addition to that, Solidworks presented so called 3DDrive. It was presented as a “Google Drive” for 3D data. The paradigm is well know. It reminded me some earlier presentation of Solidworks xDrive few years ago. It looks like this project is finally making its way to production.
What is my conclusion? To build a community is a tricky job. It is a combination of technology, tools, social skills and little bit luck. Solidworks community of engineers is the best known community belonging to a single product – Solidworks. Solidworks online community tools and 3DDrive are seems to be on the improvement track. I look forward tools to become available to public testing to try it by myself. Meantime, only picture based impression and these are 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.