What About The 6%? #sww13

So at the time of this writing SolidWorks WORLD 2013 has officially wrapped up and many of the 4,500 users that descended upon Disney the last 4 days have probably started their trek back home. A lot of them are probably itching to get back to their dark & musty corner of the basement to try out all the cool stuff they just learned.

 

As a pre-requisite, this article is not meant to tear down anyone or anything but is simply some food for thought and a seed for some constructive discussions hopefully.

 

This morning I was able to watch the General Session from Monday in its entirety. One of the things that really stuck out to me from that video was the statement that “94% of the users surveyed approved of the current offering”. This is a great number considering around 250,000 users were surveyed but this also means that about 15,000 users (or 6%) were not satisfied currently. To take it a step further, of the 2,000,000 licenses sold (a milestone reached in December 2012), 120,000 of them are not satisfied if that approval rating continues to hold true. Likewise, is 12.5% of the total user base really a true depiction of the entire SolidWorks community?

 

Anyways, for the sake of this article lets assume that approval rating does hold true. My question is, what is SolidWorks doing about the 6% that don't approve of their current offerings? At my company I can compare it to a goal of being on-time will all of our deliveries 100% of the time. Now if we were on-time 94% of the time I would be pleased BUT what would really bother me is what happened the other 6% of the time. So, is SolidWorks holding their hat on the 94% or are they “upset” that 6% of their users do not approve? Is their answer / solution packaged in a new software like SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual (which needs to be a whole separate post) or is it included in some of the new features announced for SolidWorks 2014 (which again will need to be a entirely separate post)?

 

What are your thoughts on this? Are YOU satisfied with 94%? Should SolidWorks be satisfied?

Back From The Dead!

First and foremost, I need to share with you that I am using a new app on my iPad called Blogsy to write this post so if the formatting, spelling, or grammar turns out to be JUNK, I apologize. Also, I would like to say that if the article itself has a raunchy stench to it, I unfortunately can't blame the app for that and all I can blame is the sub zero temperatures I am being forced to endure right now and my lack of witty writing skills.
 
I need to confess that keeping this blog up to date over the last 18 months has been pretty low on my priority list but after seeing & reading all of the stuff coming out of SUNNY Orlando, FL this week, I have a renewed interest in bringing this blog “back from the dead”. I know this is probably the thirty thousandth time I have wrote this but I haven't felt this reinvigorated in a long time. Also, I am hoping that IF this new app works out, it will allow me to be a little more mobile & flexible with writing my posts.
 
Like I mentioned, there has been some interesting news coming out of the Swan & Dolphin Resort this week at SolidWorks WORLD 2013. Some of the highlights so far haven been…
  1. The Introduction of SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual
  2. User & Seats Statistics
  3. and probably a few more that I am forgetting right now due to the frostbite starting to form on my brain.
I am hoping to spend some more time in the upcoming days / weeks covering some of these topics more in detail especially after I try to round up some more information about them.

 

Ok, that is enough for now. My fingers are starting to freeze to the screen as I am trying to type this so I better shut down and shove my hands down my pants like a baseball player in October (for you Cubs fans, that is what some players & managers do to keep the hands warm during the postseason which I thought I better clarify seeing you probably don't even realize there is baseball played in October any more).

 

Until next time, stay classy SolidWorks Community!

 

SolidWorks 2013–First Thoughts

Splash Screen - SolidWorks 2013

The official release of SolidWorks 2013 SP 0.0 last week also marked the 1st time that I have been able to get my hands on the newest major version of this software.  Most years I am eager to download all of the Beta releases and dig into the new software however this year time just didn’t lend itself to this approach very well.

Anyways, at first glance SolidWorks 2013 is aesthetically very similar to SolidWorks 2012.  One of the 1st things you will notice when you fire up 2013 for the 1st time is the description of what is loading/initializing being scrolled thru on the splash screen.  This gives you a good idea, if you pay attention, to what is exactly going on in the background while the software is launching (which I like).

The 2nd thing that I noticed once SolidWorks was started was the SolidWorks Forum tab on the Task Pane.

SolidWorks Forum - Task Pane

I really like this new option as I have found over the years it is 1) tough to keep up on some of the questions & topics happening in the forums and 2) it gives you quick access to starting a new discussion if you are struggling with a certain area of the software.

If you aren’t really paying attention at first, you might not notice a HUGE difference between 2012 & 2013 however, this release is loaded with new & improved features.  I will touch on some of these more in depth in the coming weeks.

For now, if you haven’t already downloaded SolidWorks 2013, I suggest you go ahead, download it and see what it has to offer your company even if you aren’t planning on rolling it out into production until a later service pack.

eDrawings Pro for iPad–Full Review

cover-photo_thumbA few weeks ago I posted about the release of DS SolidWorks latest mobile platform app eDrawings Pro for iPad.  Now, after some time checking it out and playing with it, I am ready to give me full blown review of it.

At 1st glance, the app looked like a great tool and once I got settled into using it, I was not disappointed.  The folks at DS SolidWorks have done a great job of bringing their popular desktop CAD viewer and most of the tools that it offers to the mobile platform.

About 9-10 months ago I accepted a Sales & New Business Development position (although I am still performing my CAD Admin duties & still use SolidWorks on almost a daily basis) at my company so the need for me to be mobile has become important.  When eDrawings for iPad originally came out back in May 2012 I immediately started using it to show customers their own OR similar parts that they could rotate, zoom in or out, etc.

Now, with the availability of eDrawings Pro for iPad, the things myself and our customer or potential customer will be able to do on my iPad will be great!

First and foremost you will notice some differences with the UI included different slide out tabs on each side and less button on the top of the window (see below).

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One of my favorite new features (from a sales standpoint) is the ability to go full screen (see below).  This will be extremely helpful when multiple people are around a conference room table trying to all look at my iPad.

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Next, DS SolidWorks really started listening to the user feedback from eDrawings for iPad and implemented a lot of the tools that are available on the desktop version of eDrawings such as Measure, Section, Markup, Hide/Show Components, & Enable Transparency.  See all of these features in action in the pictures below.

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When messing around with all of the new features, I did think that the usability could be improved some with  responsiveness of the tools and selections.  However, keep in mind that the model I was playing with contained 113 components included bolts & fasteners and was 132KBS in size.

The one thing I would really like to still see added is the ability to link up file sharing services right inside of the app so that you don’t have to have an additional app on your iPad to access the files.  It would be nice to be able to link your Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, or Skydrive account directly into the app so that you can quickly pull off files from your web storage.

All in all, this is a GREAT APP and I will give it a 8.5 out of 10 and I will get a lot of use out of this app.  If you haven’t gotten it yet, you better do so quickly before the introductory price is $4.99 is changed to $9.99.

We Asked…They Listened! eDrawings Pro for iPad is Here!

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Back in May DS SolidWorks ventured into the mobile app platform by releasing its popular eDrawings for iPad app.

Overall, the app was really good right from the beginning both in functionality and stability however there were enhancements that the community requested that would make the app even better.  I also had a few enhancements that I requested in my original review of the app.

Well now a lot of those enhancements are available in the new eDrawings Pro for iPad app that went live in the Apple iTunes Store this morning.  The app is currently on sale for $4.99 (for 30 days) and after that will be $9.99.  Here is the official description and screenshots from the iTunes app page.

Special Introductory Price for a limited time!

eDrawings® Pro for iPad is the professional 2D and 3D CAD collaboration app for the iPad that can view native SolidWorks® files (part, assembly, drawings), eDrawings files, and DraftSight® (DWG™, DXF™) files. You can easily view models and access configurations, drawing sheets, and exploded views for eDrawings files published from SolidWorks and all other supported CAD software.

Markup! Measure! Section!  eDrawings® Pro for iPad takes you to the next level of 2D and 3D collaboration with more functionality, including dynamic cross section views, measurements, markups and annotations, and the unique ability to share it all by email!

With a brand new intuitive user interface and improved performance, eDrawings® Pro for iPad enables you to dynamically view cross sections of your models in XY, YZ, or ZX directions from both sides and easily drag the cross section plane on screen or with a convenient slider. You can also measure distances in your designs, with easy-to-use selection filters for faces, edges, vertices, and holes.

With eDrawings® Pro for iPad you can create markups on your drawings, including text notes, freehand notations, dimensions, cross-section views, photos, and camera snapshots.

You can share your marked up eDrawings files with others for review and further comments. All markups with history are saved within the eDrawings file.

Features:

* New intuitive and easy-to-use user interface

* Significant performance improvements for opening, viewing, and interacting with all types of models

* Open 3D (EASM, EPRT, SLDASM, SLDPRT), 2D (EDRW, SLDDRW, DWG, DXF), and associated files from any source: email attachments, cloud storage services (Dropbox™, Google Drive™, SkyDrive®, YouSendIt®, and others), email, web and FTP sites, networks, and iTunes® File Sharing

* Zoom, pan, and rotate your 3D and 2D CAD data using multi-touch

* Browse your assembly components tree, model configurations and drawing sheets

* Hide, show, or make components transparent

* Select View mode: standard orthogonal views, shaded with edges, perspective view

* Play animated 3D standard views as well as 2D drawing views

* View your designs in full screen and double tap to fit it on screen

* Double tap zooms to drawing views

* Markup your designs and send to others, and read others’ markups

* Measure your design data

* View cross sections of your 3D designs

* Sample files included

For more information, visit: http://www.edrawingsviewer.com

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I currently use the eDrawings for iPad app quite often and it has brought a whole new aspect to how I can do business with my customers.  Because of this I am EXCITED to see and test out the new Pro version.

As soon as I have had time to mess around and test it, I will post a follow up review here so STAY TUNED!

Hide / Show Components Quickly in SolidWorks 2012

3DVision TechnologiesToday, Josh Spencer from 3DVision Technology posted an awesome reminder/tip of a new feature that is included in SolidWorks 2012 on the 3DVision Technologies Blog.

In SolidWorks 2012, you now have the ability to quickly hide components using the “Tab” key and to quickly show components using “Shift + Tab”.  This is a feature that SolidWorks users fell in love with while using 3DVIA Composer.

In order to give credit where it is due,  please check out Josh’s blog post here on how this new feature really works!

eDrawings for iPad – NOW AVAILABLE!

Cover PhotoAs most of you probably know by now because of all the various media outlets that are at your fingertips, Dassault Systemes SolidWorks launched its 1st mobile platform app (not including the SolidWorks WORLD apps) yesterday morning.

For quite some time now, users have been asking for a CAD viewer that they can carry around with them on their phones & tablet style computers.  With the launch yesterday of eDrawings for iPad, we are starting to see this become a reality.  At this time, it is only available on the iPad but I can only imagine that this is just the gateway to more mobile applications that will come out of SolidWorks.

I have not personally had time to really sit down and go through this app BUT I have downloaded it and fired it up to see what it has to offer.  At 1st glance, it is really nice.

eDrawings for iPad allows you to open native SolidWorks parts, assemblies, & drawings AND also DWG and DXF files via either emails, iTunes File Sharing, or internal networks.  You can get a feel for how these files will look on the iPad app.

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On top of just being able to open, zoom, pan, & rotate your models and drawings,

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eDrawings for iPad also allows you to view the configurations & sheets inside your file,

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explode your assemblies with the click of 1 button,

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and dynamically highlight components on your assembly by selecting them in your Feature Manager.

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The File Management screen is broken into 2 “tabs”, 1 that is preloaded with Sample files (which currently you can’t delete as far as I could find) and the other that is for your User Files.

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All in all, this app is really nice for its 1st release and is well worth the cost of $1.99 USD if you have a need for viewing models on the go.

There are some features that I would like to see incorporated into the next releases such as…

  • Ability to link file sharing services such as Dropbox or Box.net directly into this app so that you can open files without having to go to any other apps.
  • The ability to mark up changes and then resend to other users via email
  • The ability to measure and section your parts & models
  • The ability to hide & show components

Don’t get me wrong with the items listed above, this app is READY to go but the above enhancements would really put it over the top in my eyes.

Big time KUDOS to the SolidWorks Management & Development team for making this new platform a reality!