A few weeks ago, I was privileged enough to have been invited up to SolidWorks Corporate HQ for a preview of SW 2010. As my busy schedule permits, I will be posting a few things about 2010 and the new functionalities. For now I want to share the highlights of the visit and some of the items shared by SolidWorks. A few of the well know bloggers joined me on the trip and a couple of the west coast guys didn’t make it due to illness and prior commitments. The posts from everyone there can be found by following my links in my blogroll.
Day 1 consisted of a review of a product that was released on SolidWorks labs, Sustainability, Jeremy Regenerus showed a presentation put together by Rick Chen. Rick called in and walked us through the full package that will be available with new features and capabilities in SW 2010. Next we had a quick update from Bob Miner and what’s going on in SW Labs. If you haven’t been there, go check out what’s new. One of the questions we were asked to consider is “What are some ideas for mobile platforms?” If you have some ideas, just post them in the comments below with SW Labs in the comment.
We next had a presentation From Marie Planchard with some information on SW education programs. Marie was kind enough to give us an education version to share with someone back home. I gave mine to a recent HS graduate who is currently in Junior College pursuing an associates degree in drafting and design. I’ll be touching on this more in one of my Educators Corner pieces.
Lunch was with Jeff Ray and several interesting topics were discussed. One statement that I asked Jeff to expound upon was in regards to hiring. His statement, and the sentiment of previous CEO’s of SolidWorks, is that hiring is the most important thing to be done in a company. The discussion was that if you hire good people, you end up with good work habits and good products. This was quite interesting and I wish it could be applied in all companies. After lunch we were treated to a few min. with Jon Hirschtick former CEO and one of the founders of SolidWorks. Jon is now the “future technologies” guy at SW and he shared a few things he thinks are going to be key in the future of CAD including the transition back to hardware. Another interesting product is very small projectors that could eventually end up in you phone which would be a boon for collaboration.
The rest of the afternoon was spent with the User Experience Group, formerly the Usability team of Jim “Wilkie” Wilkenson, Tom Spine and Lynn Churney. Tom shared with us the 3 steps that were used to create SW 2010 and will also be used to service future versions. The steps are:
change the design process
creating artifacts of design
usability testing early and often
Since the group is always looking for ideas, if you have any just reply to my comments and put “usability” in the body
We also had a quick visit from John Slocum who discussed 3D Content Central where he told us of some new features including self service supplier catalog publishing with and online subscription model. This allows suppliers to publish their models in a catalog format while being able to control how and when they publish. John also mentioned that the 3DCC Beta sight would be up soon, check it out and participate.
Later that evening, we were treated to a few laps at F1 Boston, a very large indoor cart track. It was a lot of fun but not so comfortable. Some of us looked like stuffed sausage:
After all was said and done, Ricky Jordan of Rickyjordan.com was the overall winner after several qualifying heats. Congrats RJ!
He kinda looks like the “Stig” in this photo huh.
I would like to thank SolidWorks and all those who were responsible for inviting us up and for the great hospitality we were shown. I would like to give special thanks to Nancy Buchino and Matthew West and to all the other bloggers who were there. See you soon guys,