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Solidworks World 2018

The Amazon Marketplace for Engineers presented at the Solidworks World 2018

| Author / Editor: Ute Drescher / Janina Seit

The highlights of the 20th Solidworks World in Los Angeles were - Marketplace - a new platform for engineers that enables Solidworks users to connect directly with suppliers and manufacturers. HP presented a new 3D printer and many companies announced the launch of various new products.

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The 20th Solidworks World took place from 5th to 7th February 2018 in Los Angeles.
( Source: U. Drescher/konstruktionspraxis )

In early February, Dassault Système invited engineers and designers to the 20th Solidworks World in Los Angeles to share the latest advances in their CAD software Solidworks. Approximately 5,000 participants came to the LA Convention Center, including many partners who presented their products in the adjacent exhibition hall.

Gian Paolo Bassi, CEO of Solidworks Dassault Systèmes, opened the 20th Solidworks World at the LA Convention Center.
Gian Paolo Bassi, CEO of Solidworks Dassault Systèmes, opened the 20th Solidworks World at the LA Convention Center.
( Source: U. Drescher/konstruktionspraxis )

Gian Paolo Bassi, CEO of Solidworks, opened the two-and-a-half-day conference by making five announcements:

  • Dassault Solidworks will now provide social collaboration services for users to enable creative collaboration in product development in a social media-like environment.
  • PLM services will also be integrated into all Solidworks products based on the 3D-Experience platform and are designed to facilitate project and database management.
  • For desktop applications, Solidworks Product Designer will be introduced, while browser-based X-Design makes CAD possible anytime, anywhere.
  • In future, users should be able to navigate to manufacturing functions with just a few clicks
  • With ‘marketplace make’, Dassault creates an exchange platform for developers, sales partners, users and buyers. All of them will be able to communicate with each other, announced development manager Florence Hu-Aubigny euphorically.

All of this will be possible by using just one language, i.e. 3D CAD.


Managing Projects and Data: PLM Services

Created to demystify PLM, PLM Services is designed to support project and database management in the cloud and facilitate connectivity with manufacturing processes. “The scalability of the software offers particular advantages," explained Kishore Boyalakuntla, Product Portfolio Manager at Solidworks. For instance, it is possible to start small without the need for great efforts and to adapt the PLM capabilities to growing needs later on.

X-Design: CAD Any Time, Anywhere

The browser-based solution X-Design will noticeably change the product development process in the future, predicts Uwe Burk, Country Manager Central Europe at Dassault. Access and application of the program are simple, individual projects can be edited anywhere, because the data is saved in the cloud — even in edit mode. Dassault will initially make X-Design available to a selected group of about 200 customers in the next two months, but by the end of the year it is expected to have 7,000 users.

Product Designer - Unrestricted Design Possibilities

The new Product Designer, on the other hand, uses the resources of the computer and offers complete design capabilities including components, assembly, sheet metal, motion simulation and drawings.

Marketplace - Amazon for Engineers

With Marketplace, Dassault creates an exchange platform for developers, sales partners, users and buyers. “All of them are now able to communicate with each other, using the same language: 3D CAD," announced development manager Florence Hu-Aubigny euphorically.
With Marketplace, Dassault creates an exchange platform for developers, sales partners, users and buyers. “All of them are now able to communicate with each other, using the same language: 3D CAD," announced development manager Florence Hu-Aubigny euphorically.
( Source: U. Drescher/konstruktionspraxis )

Dassault Marketplace has already been launched on January 20. The platform — Dassault calls it an online ecosystem for industrial service and content providers — connects designers and engineers with suppliers and manufacturers, making it much easier to search for components, among other things. In addition, the production of the designed products will only take a few clicks. Fifty digital manufacturers with more than 500 machines and 600 suppliers with more than 30 million components are already available. Dassault has a clear idea of where Marketplace is heading: "We want to become the Amazon for developers," predicts CEO Gian Paolo Bassi.

New HP 3D Printer Prints in Color

Stephen Nigro, President of HP's 3D Printing Division, unveiled HP's first 3D color printer, the HP Jet Fusion 300/500, which can print both prototypes and functional parts in both black and white and in color.
Stephen Nigro, President of HP's 3D Printing Division, unveiled HP's first 3D color printer, the HP Jet Fusion 300/500, which can print both prototypes and functional parts in both black and white and in color.
( Source: U. Drescher/konstruktionspraxis )

Several other companies also used the conference to announce a strategic collaboration with Dassault or to introduce new products resulting from a collaboration. HP's Stephen Nigro, president of the 3D Printing Division, revealed HP's first color 3D printer, the HP Jet Fusion 300/500, which can print both prototypes and functional parts in both black and white and in color. Initially, four models are available, two for black-and-white printing and two for color printing. The cooperation with Solidworks includes the control of Voxel, i. e. 3D pixels, which can be used to control the properties of the printed component.

While it is currently only possible to determine the surface properties of a component, in future it will be important to use the Voxel to influence the interior of the component, a task that is anything but trivial. “However, it will take years to come," Bassi curbs expectations. Other major challenges in 3D printing include the ongoing development of suitable materials and the integration/embedding of electronics. To this day, electronic circuits are anything but ideally placed within many products. Putting them directly in the right place by using 3D printing technology has enormous potential, but it is still far from being implemented.

Individualized Arm Prostheses Manufactured by a 3D Printer

Stratasys, together with Dassault and founder Easton LaChappelle, announced the collaboration with Unlimited Tomorrow, a start-up company that manufactures individual arm prostheses at a much lower cost. Stratasys becomes the exclusive provider of the initiative’s 3D printing technology. Conventional prosthesis models are often heavy, cumbersome and expensive. This applies all the more to children's prostheses, especially since children quickly outgrow many models. Unlimited Tomorrow develops personalized, scalable models. Stratasys and Dassault Systèmes are the exclusive suppliers of 3D printing and CAD/CAE in this initiative.

New Strategic Partners of Solidworks: 3D-Systems, Desktop Metal and Seebo

With 3D-Expert, 3D-Systems has developed a software that is now available to all Solidworks subscription users. It makes Solidworks ready for the design of additively manufactured plastic components. For the development of 3D printed metal components and products, however, Desktop Metals’ Voxel-based design tool Live Parts is suitable.

The strategic cooperation with Seebo will pave the way for the simple design of IoT products. As products and machines will communicate with each other in the future, their design will become significantly more complex. With the software developed by the Israeli supplier Seebo, which is integrated into 3D-Experience, electronic components such as sensors can be dragged and dropped into the 3D models in future. Switching between electronic design and Solidworks PCB is possible at any time. This allows for the implementation of mechatronic solutions.


The next Solidworks World will take place from February 10 to 13, 2019 in Dallas.

This article was first published by konstruktionspraxis.

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