19 Replies Latest reply on Jan 7, 2014 4:43 PM by Richard Wagenaar

    Solidworks plans for the future

    Richard Wagenaar

      It appears that Fusion did almost exactly what Solidworks promised here.




      They now support Mac, direct modeling and the cloud and their

      fusion userinterface is well designed.

      You could say that Autodesk has stolen the good Solidworks ideas.


      I wish Solidworks could have done more, this is really not the

      way it should have been.

        • Re: Solidworks plans for the future
          Neil Larsen

          Well I think the real issue is the inordinate time it has taken DS to deliver something.  I cant even remember how many years they have been working and reworking this plan now assuming they actually had a plan... Autodesk obviously are a bit more focused/organised even though they probably started or committed late.

          Last I  heard SW hope to get part 1 out next Jan/Feb but I am not sure if what they have still matches the intent first laid out. One thing is for sure SW development is suffering for the delays or allocated resources. It seems like quite a numer of valuable SW people have walked along the way for one reason or another. The olde community charm has almost faded away under DS misdirection too.

          I am really disappointed with how things have progressed (or not progressed depending on ones viewpoint) and that users remain in the dark about whats actually happening even now. I think DS has cost SW a lot of good will.

            • Re: Solidworks plans for the future
              Jeff Holliday

              Things can always be hoped to get better, move faster, etc.


              "Users remain in the dark" could be a bit misleading. We have been told repeatedly by SW officials that for the foreseeable future there will be no mandated changes but that there will be some other options. This was reinforced by a high-level SW manager at a SW2014 Launch event I attended yesterday. He stated that we will be able to continue using the present constantly-improving Software as long as he is alive and he has no plans to change that condition. There is never a "sure-thing" when looking to the future and predictions can likely be proven wrong - including predictions of gloom and doom regarding SW.


              At every Tech Summit, Launch event or other gathering of SW users I have attended, we still have more "olde community charm" than I hear about at other events.

                • Re: Solidworks plans for the future
                  Richard Wagenaar

                  My impression is that new developments and fixing bugs takes much longer than before.


                  Bugs from 2012 are planned to be fixed in 2015,  never heard of that before in any other Cad system.




                  Powered by Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE Platform, SOLIDWORKS design software is as simple as it is powerful – enabling any company to bring its vision to life and capture global markets. SOLIDWORKS delivers an intuitive experience in product design, simulation, publishing, data management and environmental impact assessment – helping millions of engineers to design without limits.


                  I think they are focused on 3DExperience instead of CAD productivity.

                  • Re: Solidworks plans for the future
                    Neil Larsen

                    I dont seem to be swimming in your stream of info/experience. Are you a SMC beta tester? I havent heard anything for quite some time about the cloud based initiative that was so boldly announced some years ago only noticing the rather weak SW releases of late and an absence of community vitality compared to how it has been over the years but then when I started comp.cad.solidworks was the place to be..

                    Its a bit hard to reconcile the rather oblique official rhetoric with what is actually going on or perhaps not now going on. In fact I am not really sure what the overall direction or make up is these days. It seems to have morphed and subdued somewhat along the way. Is the 3d experience still the major marketing angle? Perhaps important people prefer to bypass the forums and blogs to avoid exposure to contoversy these days and give out the details to small groups as your unnamed senior manager.

                    It has been an awful long time to be working on something and not producing anything for sale though. The pre launch global marketing campaign they kicked off with the vision of pyramid adventures etc kind of stalled out too. As Richard points out Autodesk have their solution incorporating all the elements DS were aspiring to bring to the market  up and running. I am afraid I dont share your relative enthusiasm and confidence but hey we are all of a different disposition.

                      • Re: Solidworks plans for the future
                        Jeff Holliday

                        There's no doubt that we all have a right to our own impressions.


                        I was in the room at the SWW conference when Jeff Ray announced the upcoming ability to work from the cloud. I felt uncomfortable for him as a small, polite amount of applause broke out instead of a resoundingly positive reaction. I think it shocked SW & Dassault. Was that and the mostly negative reaction to the acceptance of a cloud-based approach responsible for what appears to have been a delay? I don't know, but if it was we may have ourselves (me included) to blame for the other software making faster advances in it.


                        Likewise, there's always a tightrope walked with each release. When a major change is made, some complain they would rather have problems addressed instead. When the release concentrates on reliability we complain about the lack of innovation.


                        Sometimes forward movement is limited because of lack of changes made to the modeling kernel upon which SW is based. Then there is discomfort expressed if we are told that there may be a change to a more powerful kernel.


                        I'm very happy to be an end-user instead of the decision maker! We all need to continue to be vocal while still realizing the only real power we have is to use or switch. I am quite content in the benefits I receive from using SW. In the future - who knows?

                          • Re: Solidworks plans for the future
                            Ian Worrall

                            Jeff - Perhaps the others were of similar mind to me. I don't think the global accessibilty of "The Cloud" is really compatible with proprietary data.

                              • Re: Solidworks plans for the future
                                Jeff Holliday

                                I agree with you. I suspect there are ways to enhance the security but I don't think they're in place yet. Do the large companies that use Catia have private clouds? If not, are they as worried as we are? If they do use a private cloud, how does it work?

                                  • Re: Solidworks plans for the future
                                    Joe Kuzich

                                    So how would that work?


                                    If my company was on the cloud would we have to keep all our data on the cloud or just the software? 


                                    Would it be like Adobe where you have to rent the software monthly?


                                    Any way I imagine it sounds like a bad idea to me.  Sure it could be very convenient but also puts you at the mercy of those controlling the cloud.  Don't want to update to the latest buggy release? Too bad!?  Want to switch software's because SW went in direction that is not good for your business?  Fine, but if you want to access your old stuff you have to stay keep renting.  Oops we're sorry we had a technical difficulty or natural disaster hundreds of miles from you but you can't work till we can, sorry though.  However I think about it, it just seams scary; just to risky or even bigbrother-ish.  I don't like the idea of giving others more control over me.


                                    I would imagine at first everything would great and the affordability would be about the same.  Then costs would increase since there would be more security work and management and equipment.


                                    Sure, I might be paranoid but they seam like reasonable concerns.  Well at least to me, but then again I might be paranoid. 

                                      • Re: Solidworks plans for the future
                                        Ian Worrall

                                        Also, what if Anonymous / NSA / etc take exception to whichever cloud service is hosting your data?

                                        Being paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you!

                                        • Re: Solidworks plans for the future
                                          Glenn Schroeder

                                          As I've said on other discussions, a large part of what we do here is either proprietary or has other security issues, and I would be laughed out of the room if I even suggested putting our files out on the cloud.  On the other hand, I have seen information from numerous SW people in numerous places assuring that there are no plans to discontinue SW as it currently exists, and that we will never be forced to the cloud.  Until I get strong evidence to the contrary I'm not going to worry about it.

                                          • Re: Solidworks plans for the future
                                            Richard Wagenaar

                                            If you can't use an old version of the software without the

                                            new bugs then that would be a disaster.


                                            I understand Fusion 360 is working on a non cloud version.

                                            Maybe they just make a cloud version for marketing technical

                                            reason. They have a 25$ a month lease and 3 months for free

                                            at this time.  I don't like the cloud at all for security reasons

                              • Re: Solidworks plans for the future
                                Douglas French

                                I must agree.  SW modeling/geometry creation hit the wall a long time ago.  I use fusion 360 and it's pretty killer. I love T-splines!  I would love to have subD modeling in SW.  I also think that SolidEdge sychronous tech appears to be much more forward thinking than anything SW seems to be working on.  Mechanical Conceptual looks about as cutting edge as a brand new pair of Dockers. 

                                  • Re: Solidworks plans for the future
                                    Richard Wagenaar

                                    Fusion is very good and their interface is great, it feels like

                                    the Solidworks of 95.

                                    But Solid Edge is better for machine design at this moment.

                                    Direct modelling has more options in SE and it allows you to add dimensions

                                    on dead geometry which is very powerfull. The 3D stretching is also very powerfull.

                                    It also has good intelligence when editing patterns or symmetrical features of

                                    imported geometry which makes the feature based approach of less value.

                                    The stretching and push pulls take the relations into account.


                                    I did like Solidworks a long time but I find a lot of very basic

                                    functionality in SW that worked better/faster in the past and

                                    the alternatives are getting much better lately.

                                    I mean in SW2005 we had dynamic highlighting in large

                                    assembly mode and selecting and editing parts in large assemblies

                                    was much faster than nowadays on the same hardware.  There are

                                    more things like these killing productivity.

                                    The number of open SPR's grows and a growing number of them

                                    take years to fix. I had hoped that SW is in a service mode fixing the

                                    problems which is more important for us than new functionality. We wait

                                    what V6 brings and decide what to do with SW.

                                      • Re: Solidworks plans for the future
                                        Richard Wagenaar

                                        It seems like the direction is set. I just hope the open SPR's

                                        get fixed fast as I find both SW2013 and 2014 quite useless because of that.

                                        I am very sceptic about this 3Dexperience, I rather would like to see

                                        the problems with font sizes and Windows scaling fixed and all other

                                        low level annoyances.


                                        What about 3D experience if you even can't increase the tex size

                                        while editing a dimension?  I mean,  I can choose an old 1920x1080 monitor

                                        to have no problems but I want a modern high resolution monitor that needs

                                        the text size to be increased.

                                        With older versions of Solidworks this wasn't a problem as I could use

                                        Windows scaling but this is not supported anymore in SW2014 because of

                                        all the bugs with these very basic things. Solidworks should get the basics right

                                        before adding big things that few of us would need.





                                        Bernard Charles -  Chief Executive Officer, President, Director, Member of Scientific Committee, Chairman of Dassault Systemes SolidWorks Corp, Chairman of Dassault Systemes Simulia Corp, Chairman of Dassault Systemes Delmia Corp, Chairman of Dassault Systemes Corp and President of Dassault Systemes Holding Canada Inc

                                        And along those lines -- and that's a very important point that Thibault mentioned, we have plastic, electrical on these kind of application solutions. It's not really industry solutions, it's application solutions. And on top of that, as you know, we provided indication to the market early this year, that new products of the SOLIDWORKS family will take advantage of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform online. And as a matter fact, since we introduced the customer test on -- with 3DEXPERIENCE last July, we also did introduce this collaborative platform online, I mean cloud, for a certain number of SOLIDWORKS customers. We have a new product called Mechanical Conceptual, which is an add-on to SOLIDWORKS, but should not be perceived as an add-on, it's much more than that. Because it's a way for a SOLIDWORKS customer to use the cloud solution for collaboration, and connect with its own supply chain. So this is also an interesting evolution of how PC-based apps are becoming 3DEXPERIENCE-powered on the cloud for an expanded scope of usage. Michael?


                                        Unknown Analyst

                                        Actually that's been an answer to my question. With -- for SOLIDWORKS, I mean, if you're seeing subscription demand from the Value channel for core PLM, your competitors are launching cloud-based solutions at the low end of the market. It strikes me as though it will be a natural product to either offer on subscription or cloud-based, and you mentioned Mechanical Conceptual. So what are the plans for launching cloud for SOLIDWORKS? And then, Thibault, just a couple of quick ones for you. Just V6, the percentages of licenses -- to go to Adam's question? And then in terms of deferred, it was up 5%, as you said, constant currency. I guess, the Apriso acquisition added a little bit? And Gemcom, without the deferred income write-down from last year, would've anniversary-ed at a higher level. Could you sort of give us an organic number for deferred growth?

                                        Bernard Charles -  Chief Executive Officer, President, Director, Member of Scientific Committee, Chairman of Dassault Systemes SolidWorks Corp, Chairman of Dassault Systemes Simulia Corp, Chairman of Dassault Systemes Delmia Corp, Chairman of Dassault Systemes Corp and President of Dassault Systemes Holding Canada Inc

                                        So on the first part of your question, Michael, you understood it well, we are expanding the SOLIDWORKS. What we call a user-centric, PC-based, workstation activity, so they can use this 3DEXPERIENCE platform. And the plan is to have everything simultaneous. In fact, the customer test going on now are going on for all application brands, for SOLIDWORKS, DELMIA, because they are all based on 3DEXPERIENCE platform. And we are doing this customer fast-track we've used with them. So in January, when we made it available for the PLM world or the 3DEXPERIENCE world, it's going to be also available for SOLIDWORKS. As a matter of fact, SOLIDWORKS as well -- these are in the end of January, and we will be revealing -- and we already -- announced that this is what is going to happen.

                                    • Re: Solidworks plans for the future
                                      Scott Baugh

                                      I was told directly by Richard Doyle and Graham Rae, that SW is not going to go away or become the Catia V6 version.


                                      However there will be trials SW is going to have to contend with and overcome. (anything below was not mentioned by Richard or Graham, its from my own research and conversations with other users). As SW continues to grow it will start to have some limitations as SW is built today. It may never have Multi-thread capability like some add-ins do nor have direct modeling like your insisting. IMO I don't want direct modeling capabilities, the ones that are in SW now I don't use and to me that would be a waste of resources. I know you disagree with that, but that is what SW has to contend with... Do they make direct modeling techniques like Creo or do they focus on other areas? Varying on how many people agree with you will force the issue with SW and if there are not a lot of people following you on this you might be waiting longer.


                                      One of your comments above is about SPR's taking 3 years to be fixed... that falls in the same category as I just mentioned, how many people are experiencing it. With SPR's it also varies on whether if you have a workaround or not. I know it sucks because 3 years is a long time to wait, but we are still waiting on SW to make linear dimensions to be Foreshortened (we have a valid need for this, some people scratch their head when I say that)and Broken out views don't need to be placed in a Parent view, then a Detail view added, to just see a broke out section, it should reside in either the parent or a detail, not a linear process. Its complete ignorant to have to do it like that, but we have been doing it like this since 1995 and its 2014... 19 years later and we are still waiting... why... because there is not a lot of users doing what we do or how we do it.


                                      Finally - from my experience a lot that was mentioned in SW World 2011 has since changed and they are taking a new direction. That to me has been noticeable even before, but after Richard and Graham attend our Local User Group (March 2013) and during our conversation earlier that day I was made aware of this. Also during our conversation Richard and Graham told me a completely different story than what Jeff Ray told in 2010 at the CSWP even on the Midway. All this started from the Forum posts I started about this time last year. Your free to check them out they were posted on this Forum. Since then I have not asked this question, nor do I feel like I need to.


                                      I am just sitting back and watching what unfolds and trying to resolve our issues as they come. But if direct modeling is what you are after (per your eng-tips.com post), then maybe its time for you and your company to go down a new road and check out Creo. I have test drove it a few times. I see some potential, but IMO Solidworks still dominates Creo, but it might be exactly what you need.


                                      Kind Regards,


                                      Message was edited by: Scott Baugh

                                        • Re: Solidworks plans for the future
                                          Neil Larsen

                                          I'm not too sure why you chose to bump this thread.

                                          DS havent been able to explain to their customer base what they are doing for about 3 years now.

                                          It isnt even possible to discern whether their mission has morphed into something else because of customer reaction or technical difficulty or a combination, or if they are simply sensitive and withholding/obfiscating information and representing the truth as something completely harmless.  Any of the statements DS have made have since the initial revelation have only perpetuated the confusion. People do not relate to the 3d experience and yet this message continues.

                                          It is very hard to see why you would spend so much effort producing something that is intended to be complimentary or ancillary.

                                          When you are being told SW is not going away or that it is not turning into Catia I think that is misleading of your attention. We have heard these semantics before. Oh but it is not what you think but what it is we cant tell you. It is so advanced even our competitors dont know what it is.

                                          Call me jaded if you like but I think this is a rather poor coverup. Even a child can think of better stories as to why they havent done their homework. The cat ate it. It fell in the toilet. SW may not be going away immediately as in cancelled outright but its surely going to be phased out, put in a corner until it is a forgotten relic. There are obvious signs that SW is not getting the attention it has in the past. Staff are leaving...you know the provided clues dont talley with the evidence.

                                          Soon apparently however we will find out at SWW some details of SMC. Do I expect it to be a dazzling success? No.  Like many people I have been exploring alternatives to SW and whatever else DS may have to offer going forward. Given the situation DS have created for themselves and their customers this is not surprising.

                                          • Re: Solidworks plans for the future
                                            Richard Wagenaar

                                            Hi Scott,


                                            "But if direct modeling is what you are after (per your eng-tips.com post), then maybe its time for you and your company to go down a new road and check out Creo. I have test drove it a few times. I see some potential, but IMO Solidworks still dominates Creo, but it might be exactly what you need."


                                            Did you understand that I was hoping for a good direct modeler in

                                            Solidworks like promised in 2010?

                                            I like companies that do what they are saying and promising,

                                            that's what we also do.


                                            Like I explained there at eng-tips I see we have these one time designs

                                            that are more fitted for a direct modeler but we still must have feature

                                            based history for machines that repeat in different sizes.

                                            We can't choose PTC Creo as an alternative for all our work as it has

                                            no history, parts in parts, product states etc. I mentioned Creo because

                                            we did some testprojects with it and we could test it for free and it actually

                                            works and it is a full grown system. 


                                            Back in 1995 when I bought Solidworks I tested

                                            Soliddesiger (=now creo) but at that time they did

                                            not have driving dimensions and parameters so that's why we choose SW.

                                            Solid Edge and Autodesk inventor with fusion is the only option if we

                                            want to have both direct and featurebased but I understand PTC is

                                            integrating direct in their feature based.


                                            I don't have problems with Windows scaling bugs and Solidworks

                                            with old hardware, it is only with high resolution monitors and

                                            after SW2012. Within a few years many other users will have the

                                            same problem as resolution will increase. When you buy your new

                                            high resolution monitor or notepad  I think you will remember this

                                            issue if it is still not fixed by then.


                                            I also understand your frustration about small things that take long

                                            or are never implemented. I see some good Solidworks actions lately, 

                                            a Solidworks employee is asking many things about drawing.

                                            We just have to wait and see how good they implement direct modeling.

                                            It is not a hype, it just works and it has disadvantages over feature based

                                            but also advantages which depend on the type of work.