20 Replies Latest reply on Feb 4, 2014 9:45 AM by Pete Yodis

    SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual

    Pete Yodis

      What are your thoughts on SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual?



      Here's mine...


      • It seems to be Catia with a new skin, but familiar enough that SolidWorks users could learn it easy.
      • This is or will run on the Enovia backbone if I understand it right.  There will be lots of other solutions/products to sell us on the Enovia system.
      • I've read that models back and forth to SolidWorks will be dumb.
      • The price is at a point that is too high (1 years rental is about 1/2 a seat of SolidWorks)... which makes me think this is Catia light.
      • Dassualt is messing things up and confusing people.
      • Instead of making more functionality in SolidWorks, they are creating more products to sell us... Mechanical Conceptual, Industrial Conceptual, SolidWorks Electrical, SolidWorks Inspection,...
      • SolidWorks the program will stagnate a bit, because it can't threaten Catia or Catia light too much.
      • Users will at some point look at what other CAD solutions there are out there in the price range of SolidWorks, but with more capability (SolidEdge, Creo, SpaceClaim, AutoDesk Fusion 360, or some yet to be determined product).  SolidWorks/Dassualt will make themselves ripe for users leaving here and there.
      • There is room for someone to do a cloud based product for less money ($50-$175 per month depending on features) and upset the apple cart.
      • Having files on the cloud doesn't bother me, and in due time I think will be less of an issue than some folks currently make it out to be.
      • If you are a user of WorkGroup or EPDM, I think the rub with any new system will be how to migrate the information out of those and into something in the cloud or otherwise.
        • Re: SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual
          Pete Yodis

          Another thought... Why is the name SolidWorks in there?  Doesn't that just confuse things, or is it just merely that the name is the attempt to eventually get Solidworks users to move to this, which doesn't bother me if they did it right - but come on $250 per user per month?  That's too steep to call it SolidWorks.

          • Re: SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual
            Neil Larsen

            This will probably be removed but here are some of my thoughts about things.


            Edit: added another..

            • Re: SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual
              Dave Laban

              Looks like an interesting product to me.  Hopefully VARs will allow a reasonable test period to see if it's useful for anyone's particular workflow (or if you can buy a single month up front rather than committing to a year straight off the bat).



              Out of interest Pete, what do you mean by "Dassualt is messing things up and confusing people"?  Can't see anything particularly confusing about SWMC, it's another tool at our disposal (if you can justify the cost of it).  Don't want it?  Don't buy it, surely?

                • Re: SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual
                  Pete Yodis



                       If the handoff from a more pricey SWMC to SolidWorks is dumb solids... that's confusing.  Two products with SolidWorks in the name.  The new one is more expensive per month, and lacks capability of the the older one.  That's confusing.  To get more from just SWMC, you also have to subscribe to SWIC, and/or some other collection of Enovia based products to replace the functionality of just SolidWorks.  I'm starting to think Dassault will be in a bit of a pickle here.  I've been watching this space closely for a while. I could be wrong, but get the feeling in my gut that it will be interesting to watch. 


                  I think Neil may be right about them not trying to kill Catia in the process of trying not to really kill Solidworks, but effectively doing it anyway.  I think they are in a bit of a rock and a hard place.  I'd like to hear others thoughts on the matter.  I am willing to admit that I could be wrong, but don't think so.  I don't get the cozy feeling about SolidWorks that many used to have.  I will start watching other prodocuts much more closely now.  Both my future and my company's depend on it.

                    • Re: SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual
                      Dale Dunn

                      I'm also confused by SWMC. They showed off people with tens of thousands of parts in assemblies in SWMC, all the way down to nuts & bolts, but there was no mention of how to make drawings of all that. Half a new seat of SW every year to import dumb solids into drawings? Rebuild the models in SW? Something is missing. I live in mechanical design, and I can't use that.


                      Not that it doesn't look like impressive technology. I'd love to be able to use it. It's just not complete enough to make any sense, unless they're following the track of SW's own beginning, where drawings weren't possible for a few releases. They'll have to relaunch it in a few years, without the "conceptual". I don't seeing it having twice the annual value of a SW seat for several years, if ever.

                        • Re: SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual
                          Pete Yodis



                               I believe they will add another module as you need....


                               If you need Industrial Conceptual (Surfacing), you'd purchase that

                               If you need drawings, you'd purchase that.

                               If you need FEA, you'd purchase that.


                          This is Catia, reskinned, in the same old modular software sales.  That is why its dumb solids back to SolidWorks.  If this is the play to get SolidWorks users to move on to Catia, then that's where things will get interesting.  I think their prices are too high.  They can't lower them, or they'll hurt Catia.  I think they are in a pickle.

                            • Re: SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual
                              Neil Larsen

                              Yup, cut down reskinned Catia. Catia lite. I cant imagine why it has taken 5 years to deliver a derivative. DS must have spent $100m+ on wages, new building etc. This is subs money that should have been spent on improving and extending SW.

                              Same old glass ceiling problem too but now your CAD is very over priced as well. You will have to pass the cost on to your customers...

                              Wouldnt surprise me if you end up paying 3x pa for the same functionality as you had before with SW.

                              I even wonder if they have deliberately over priced it to kill their own product in the market quickly instead of admitting they made a total mess of this from the beginning and endure the indignity of a spluttering death. All the shades of n!Fuze. Bad name, poorly thought out functionality, no real need for it, and an unattractive deal.

                              Once again too no gritty detail provided, you are expected to be wowed by a stretchy demo and want to lift that 0800 phone immediately. 'What do you think of that?' ...well, I'd say Autodesk do the cloud better for much less and SolidEdge appears to do non history smarter..

                              I would say too in my small business I dont need collaboration tools, dropbox, skype, email do me fine if I have a need. I dont need conceptual tools that mean I need to redo my work. I produce a lot of sketches and notes, and do a lot of planning and evaluation rather than get into CAD immediately. As a conceptual tool it doesnt seem to do anything I want.

                              This is not attractive, and especially not in times where people are endeavouring to save money.

                              I still have major doubts about  latency, data security, all the practical stuff in the fine print they still wont share....

                              No trial, sign up for a year too see what it is...just very off putting, almost like a dodgy car sales.

                              Showing me something that appears to be limited, even isolated from what I have doesnt give me any compelling reason to move on, and since DS keep telling us SW will continue, I think most people will just pass on SWMC and do exactly that.

                              The trouble is you get the feeling the ceiling is slowly lowering on SW. I really dont see a commitment to the core program, havent for about 3-4 years. It gives the impression there is no where to go with DS in the midrange. That is both offerings are in danger of dying. If SW were to come back it would have lost about 7 years development and be well behind. Is it time to abandon DS regardless?

                              The only thing Catia lite does that holds interest for a SW user is non history. If I really want to have that and avoid data problems I'd say SolidEdge is more sensible to migrate to. DS have messed up badly here. Its nothing we are surprised about though because we anticipated this sort of outcome all along and gave our criticism and feedback. If there are problems now there are no excuses for DS.

                              I still expect important people at DS will be removed for this misadventure.

                                • Re: SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual
                                  Pete Yodis



                                       I think I agree on most of your points.  It seems like a train wreck.  Most of the "new" functionality in the past couple of years has come in the form of completely new products at pretty high price points (Composer, SolidWorks Electrical, SolidWorks Inspection, etc...) If the pace of SolidWorks continues to stagnate compared to other mid-range products then...


                                  SolidWorks users not wanting the cloud will look at SolidEdge very closely.

                                  SolidWorks users interested in the cloud will look at something else for a lower price point.

                                    • Re: SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual
                                      Drew Adams

                                      What is preventing anybody from just updaing every seat they have to the latest and greatest, most stable service pack, and killing their maintenance on all but a seat or two of the latest version?   The new features aren't game changing, maintenance is expensive, and as long as you have a seat or two to open future versions, you can export parasolids back to your earlier versions, resulting in the same Dumb Solids you'd get from SWMC or other systems.  The imported geometry tools in 2014 are pretty good if you're an experienced user....  


                                      We are running EPDM and SWX 13 at the moment, but I am considering bumping everyone to 14 and then falling out of maintenance for all but a few seats since it doesn't seem worth the investment for a couple new fillets etc.....


                                      Why aren't more companies doing this?  Is everyone really seeing that much Value from staying on subscription?

                                        • Re: SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual
                                          Pete Yodis



                                               We did exactly as you mentioned in the downturn.  We went off subscription for a couple of releases.  IT got nervous about us lapsing, so when things were better we renewed our subscription.  We didn't miss much when we were off, and I would consider it again.  I imagine if enough users started to lapse on subscription, then Dassualt might change their policy and make it more painfull to renew subscription once you are off.  Of course, this wouldn't help them in the long run, but I wouldn't be suprised to see a change if users started to lapse.


                                             I all fairness SolidWorks is a much more mature product at this point in time than 10 years ago, so our subscription money really felt like it got put to good use as we saw the program maturing nicely.  Couple a mature product with a glass ceiling to keep it from encroaching on Catia territory, an unwilling and bungled attempt to do something fresh, and you have something that feels much more stagnate.  Their answer is to create more products to sell us.  In the end we just keep shelling out the $$$$ and not feeling like we are getting much anymore.

                                            • Re: SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual
                                              Drew Adams

                                              I hear you!  I've been using SolidWorks for about 10 years now and have seen how the evolution has kind of plateaued.  I still think it's great, but it's hard to justify paying the renewal for features that our company won't even really use.  We could still be using 2010 at this point and be A-OK. 

                                              At this point, I'm very seriously considering forgoing our renewal for the next couple releases and instead taking the funds our company has allocated for the maintenance and applying them towards some 3rd party add-ins.... things like the pro DriveWorks and other automation tools, or maybe getting some consulting help writing some custom macros to automate some workflow tasks.   Going off subscription for a couple of releases would free up the funding to do so, and I feel like our organization would see more long term benefit from that than the new "Social" tools previewed in 2015, or from purchasing additional products like Mechanical Conceptual or Industrial conceptual.   Just a thought at this point, though, albeit one I am very seriously considering.

                              • Re: SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual
                                Mike Agan

                                Was this the big "announcement" at SWW? (sorry don't read blogs)

                                • Re: SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual
                                  Richard Wagenaar

                                  That doesn't look good. You can't have history based and non

                                  history based models in the same environment and being able

                                  to edit and make drawings of it like Solid Edge, Ironcad, Kubotek

                                  and Hicad and some more. That will cause a lot of inefficiency.

                                  Designing machines means product states for some parts, like

                                  laser cutted, machined, welded, bored etc etc that need history.

                                  Many parts don't need history but some parts need it.


                                  Does anybody know if SMC also has history based modeling with

                                  configuration or is it only direct? In that case it is not much more

                                  than using PTC Creo elements express to generate the dumb solids.

                                  I guess feature based history will be another Catia module.


                                  This news will probably be used by all the competitors who already

                                  have direct modelling integrated well in their parametric

                                  history based software. I always have had the feeling that something

                                  like this would come out of it after 4 years of waiting.

                                  If it would have been ground breaking technology I would not mind to

                                  pay for it but there is better technology available.

                                    • Re: SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual
                                      Pete Yodis



                                           It looks like SWMC has a history/feature based approach along with direct editing.  In the demos the feature tree hides away, but looks like it can be brought into view again.  Within SWMC you have feature based CAD if you want, but it appears if you want to pass the models onto SolidWorks, then the models come into SolidWorks without features - at least that is what I have heard.

                                    • Re: SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual
                                      Andy Sanders

                                      Based on what I have seen and heard, I have ZERO desire for this product whatsoever.


                                      Show me something seamlessly integrated with existing SW, added to the Premium package (no exta cost) then it might be interesting.


                                      Extra $$$ and I get dumb solids?  Forget it.


                                      There must be more than meets the eye here, or they missed what users would want (at least in these forums) completely.

                                        • Re: SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual
                                          Pete Yodis



                                               Sadly, I don't think there is more than meets the eye.  I think they came out with a product that tries not to offend anyone, and instead have a product that interests very few people.

                                            • Re: SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual
                                              Neil Larsen

                                              I think DS made yet another mistake by calling it 'conceptual' as if this is its rationale. This is a rather open ended label so the product can be slipped sideways into the customers conscious in a non threatening way. It avoids saying 'replacement' or 'cloud' anywhere, which would have a lot of negative baggage. It pretends the product is something else.

                                              As Dale said the conceptual association will be probably be removed at a later date when enough modules are ready and enough customers have committed to it. This rather duplicitous promotion though extends the suspicion users have that they are being lead into a rent seeking deal by guile or stealth.


                                              Although there is a never ending willingness to throw around meaningless slogans like 'the the age of experience' DS still avoid giving any detail to customers to allow them to appraise exactly what DS are offering. No one is going to buy CAD based on marketing BS and especially not something potentially disruptive to their bottom line. I suspect many people simply don't like the 'compass' or the '3d experience' but they keep getting it stuck in their face regardless as if parroting it will magically deliver success. Cad users are practical and technical people, DS needs to talk to them with facts and figures.


                                              A major disincentive to Catia lite's adoption is that your data appears to be on a one way trip. You cant even really use this new product with SW while you wait for more native modules to arrive. While many SW users may have been interested to see the surfacing module it was really held in the background and doesnt appear in the videos. Probably they should have given that a good showing even if it wasn't ready. At the moment it looks like DS is providing something only suited to a narrow range of use and with the rather bland UI it reinforces the view it is something not ready for real world deployment or that even if there was more coming it wouldn't be of much use anyway.


                                              With a limited launch, perhaps demonstrating or giving emphasis to the wrong features or benefits, and the conceptual label it comes across as a play tool that doesn't lead anywhere, or have anything compelling about it, and especially coupled with the price that is more like top end CAD, it has most likely immediately bombed in the audience's mind.

                                              Possibly many users will not even get as far as contemplating what the full price p.a. of an equivalent to their SW seats will be.