The World Series Report – Day one of SolidWorks World 2011

Article by Alin Vargatu, CSWE updated January 25, 2011

Information overload after the first day of SolidWorks World 2011. A few facts that stood out:

  • Attendees: more than 5000– a few hundred more than last year. Everybody is in high spirits.

  • At 7:30am a crowd at least 1000 strong was waiting in front of the auditorium doors where the General Session would take place. At 8:30 am when the doors opened more than 5000 users filled the huge room.

  • A triumph of engineering: Jeff Ray started the General session showcasing companies involved in saving the Chilean miners that used SolidWorks products for solving engineering problems on the spot in those hectic days. Re-designing and manufacturing a highly complex drill bit that would usually take 4 weeks, was done in 3 days using SolidWorks and this might have been the difference between life and death for 35 people. Oakley, equipped the miners with sunglasses to avoid eye damage when getting back on surface.

  • The NeoNurture – The car parts incubator: life saver for newborns in remote areas. The incubator was designed with SolidWorks and includes only car parts, so any mechanic can service it. How cool is that?

  • 100 New CSWPs:yesterday, SolidWorks offered free CSWP (Certified SolidWorks Professional) exams to all the attendees. I was amazed to find out that 100 of them passed the exam. That means, 100 more wonder-users demonstrated that they are proficient in SolidWorks and, as a bonus, got the tickets for the very exclusive CSWP/CSWE party tonight.

  • Bertrand Sicot:did you know that the new CEO of SolidWorks, Bertrand Sicot was the second SolidWorks employee ever hired in Europe? Talking about experience!!!
    • Impressive numbers: 2010 was the best year on record for SolidWorks. This is amazing, considering the economic crisis.
    • There was no SolidWorks value added reseller going out of business.
  • Commitments:Bertrand Sicot made very strong commitments to his customers
    • SolidWorks will continue to invest in R&D and Support
    • SolidWorks will provide solutions for all platforms: desktop, online and mobile
    • In the foreseable future, SolidWorks will always offer a local desktop solution for SolidWorks, Simulation and PDM. This was repeated 3 times and was very clear.
    • SolidWorks will continue to listen to the users about how they want to use the software.
    • Other numbers: DraftSight, the free 2D solution, was downloaded more than 300000 times in only 6 months with almost zero marketing. 66000 seats have been activated. Aaron Kelly, General Manager, DraftSight was kind enough o sit down with me for a more in-depth interview on topics concerning Draft Sight. Once I transcribe it, I will post it.

  • Jeremy Luchini and Bernard Charlès demonstrated an amazing new application introduced in the Dassault Enovia family of products – the “CAD Share.
    • Nice tag line: Post 3D. Next stop, REALITY!!!

    • You no longer need to be an engineer to use the results of SolidWorks. As a sale person, for example, you can show your remote customer in realtime your product or application. You can invite him or her in a virtual universe where the product can be inspected, tested and used!!!

    • We had the most amazing experience when Astronaut Jim Lovell and Mission Control Director Gene Kranz re-lived in front of us the Apollo 13 mission. I almost saw the frozen gas trailing after the spacecraft and here Jim saying “Houston, we have a problem!”.

      • Saving Apollo 13 was a team work. But just imagine a team where everybody knew exactly what anybody else would say or do. A team where you would trust your colleague with your life 100%. Gene said that in a team, you have to have chemistry between its members, because chemistry is a force amplifier! In that mission, Jim learnt that in life you always have to expect the unexpected! This is so true for any design. The design intent can change from one day to the other. If you built you model taking using best practices, you would have a better chance to adapt it to that change easier and faster.

      • In the press conference that followed, Gene said something very interested. Going to the moon was a political decision, not a scientific based one. Initially there was no interest in studying the moon but just to get there first. It was just a challenge. Once the challenge was fulfilled the mission ended. Would we ever go back?
    • In the afternoon I had the pleasure of spending a few minutes chatting with Matt West, Social Media Manager, DS SolidWorks. The whole interview would be posted soon, but I can tell you right now that from what I heard, the future looks great for the users of SolidWorks.

    Looking forward to seeing new exciting things tomorrow. Good Night! Actually, it is already tomorrow…

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    Alin Vargatu, CSWE

    Alin is a SOLIDWORKS Elite Applications Engineer and an avid contributor to the SOLIDWORKS Community. Alin has presented multiple times at SOLIDWORKS World, Technical Summits, and User Group Meetings, while being very active on the SOLIDWORKS Forum.