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SolidWorks World 2011 – Wednesday General Session

31 January 2011 4 Comments

Wednesday is the last day of SolidWorks World, and they do save the best for last…Wednesday is the day they preview the next version of SolidWorks!

Fielder Hiss, Vice President of Product Management at DS SolidWorks Corp, took the stage once again.  He mentioned that Center Rock, Inc. (CRI) was mentioned Tuesday night in President Obama’s State of the Union address, in talking of people coming together to aid in the Chilean miner rescue.

Fielder then recognized Dell for their platinum sponsorship.  Patrick Hannan, Senior Manager of Strategic Market Development at Dell, accepted the honor and said a few words.


Next up was Mike Puckett, Certification Specialist, and Avelino Rochino, Certification Program Specialist, to talk about the SolidWorks Certification program.  They showed a video focusing on several different Certified SolidWorks Professionals and the products they have designed.  There were also quotes from the CSWP’s about what certification means to them and how it has helped their business.

They brought up a CSWP, Matt Perez, Mechanical Operations Technician at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.  Matt has created a site, SolidWorks Lessons, to help others increase their knowledge of the software.

Jeremy Luchini, host of Let’s Go Design and head of Certification, joined Mike and Avelino onstage, and presented Matt with a paintball gun and one of the SC-10 radio-controlled trucks from last year’s CSWP event.


The Bacon Brothers band performing at SolidWorks World 2011Then Jeremy said that corporate wanted him to inject a little game into the session, so he started out trying to play Six Degrees to tie everything together.  He got a few words out when someone says, “Wait, Jeremy! That’s not how you play it!”

The crowd started cheering as Kevin Bacon joined Jeremy on stage and talked some about what it was like preparing for his role in Apollo 13.  He also mentioned his charitable organization, SixDegrees.org.  It turns out Bacon’s band, The Bacon Brothers, were scheduled to play at the VAR event Wednesday night.

I was hoping that I would get a chance to meet him at the press conference, but he did not attend.  There went my chance at being able to say that I’m only one degree from Kevin Bacon; I guess I will just have to settle for two degrees of separation…

This isn’t the first time that they’ve had a special guest on Wednesday, and it’s always a nice, unexpected surprise.


Mark Schneider, Field Marketing Manager for DS SolidWorks Corp, took the stage the show everyone how to build the this year’s Model Mania model and to announce the winners.

SolidWorks World 2011 Model Mania

In the Customer Division, the results were:

  1. Bengt Dahlborg, Edaco AB, Sweden (11:21)
  2. Satakal Khalsa, TriAxial Design and Analysis
  3. Brian Lindahl, CAD_Speed-Up

In the Reseller Division, the results were:

  1. Josh Altergott, Computer Aided Technology (10:52)
  2. Uwe Thieme, daveg gmbh
  3. Michael Burks, MLC CAD Systems

Prizes for this year’s Model Mania Challenge were NVIDIA Quadro 6000, 5000, and 4000 graphics boards, respectively.


Fielder Hiss once again took the stage and started talking about how some SolidWorks customers are using the software to design buildings.  I personally have used it myself to do some building layouts a few times, and I know of others who have also.  SolidWorks Live BuildingsThere has been some talk in the last couple of years about SolidWorks getting into the AEC industry, and Fielder took this time to announce a new offering geared towards builders and planners in the construction industry: SolidWorks Live Buildings.

SolidWorks Live Buildings is a new app built for online.  It allows overlay of 2D data into the 3D model (they had a 2D layout from DraftSight inserted) and features smart components (such as doors, windows, and stairways) that can be placed with simple drag and drop.  There is also a tool, Solar Study, that will allow designers to simulate and test environmental studies.  Global positioning and time of year can be accounted for.


They then showed n!Fuze, the new product data sharing (PDS) tool that Jeff Ray mentioned at last year’s SolidWorks World.  n!Fuze is a CAD-aware online collaboration tool that allows designers to share their designs with other designers, reviewers, vendors, etc.  Users have full control over what others have access to.

It was announced that there will be an iPad app available, and there will be a Beta program for n!Fuze later this quarter.

It was also announced that DraftSight mobile will be available later this year.


CAD COPS Logo Next up was what we were waiting for, a sneak peek at the next release, SolidWorks 2010!  The skit this year was a parody of the show, COPS, called CAD COPS.

I have already mentioned most of the announcements in my earlier post, and Ricky Jordan also had coverage, so I won’t belabor the subject here.

Jeff Ray, Chief CAD COP


Bruce Holway, Director of Product Definition, took the stage to talk about some of the new enhancements in SolidWorks 2012.  First up was “Feature Freeze”, one of the most-cheered features that they showed at last year’s SolidWorks World 2010.  Unfortunately, the feature didn’t make the cut into the released version of SolidWorks 2011.  I heard that there were some issues with the way it worked, so they held it back.

Next mentioned was “Complete Uninstall”, the ability to perform a total, or “clean”, uninstall of the SolidWorks software, including the registry settings.  I for one welcome this, as I always perform a manual “clean” uninstall prior to moving to a new version.

“Clear Memory When a File Is Closed” was next.  The way it should be, no memory leaks!

And lastly was “Dual Monitor Support (Span Two Displays).  It looked to stretch the main SolidWorks window across two displays, but can display individual document windows maximized to one display.  The images here will make more sense (click to embiggen):

SolidWorks 2012 Dual Monitor Support 01 SolidWorks 2012 Dual Monitor Support 02


Next, Bruce announced the top ten wish list, as voted on by conference attendees:

  1. Pressing Escape key should immediately return control of the interface
  2. File compatibility between versions
  3. Make the “Ideas” section (in the forum) available all the time, not just for SWW
  4. Convert a Solid body into a Surface body without having to delete, offset, or knit faces
  5. Enhanced Equations Input and Editing and Linking
  6. Freeze Features
  7. SolidWorks should cleanly uninstall itself
  8. Option to dangle children instead of deleting
  9. Better utilize processor cores
  10. Angle mates that don’t flip at random


Bertrand Sicot, CEO of DS SolidWorks Corp, took the stage to talk about SolidWorks’ education initiatives.  He said that the 1 Millionth EDU license was shipped on Thanksgiving of last year.

Riley Lewis Riley's Unpickable LockBertrand then brought Jeff Ray, Executive Vice President, Geographic Operations, Dassault Systèmes, out to talk about an AMAZING 13-year-old student, Riley Lewis.  Among other things, he is an expert lock-picker, and he has already used SolidWorks to design a new “unpickable” lock.  You can read more about this child prodigy in Deelip Menezes’ interview.

Bertrand talked about a student-designed plane from Brazil that has broken several records.  Bertrand then tried the DTV Shredder from BPG Werks.  The DTV stands for “dual tracked vehicle” – the Shredder is basically a skateboard on tracks.

BPG Werks' DTV Shredder


For SolidWorks World 2012, they will be returning to the San Diego Convention Center on February 12-15, 2012.

SolidWorks World 2012 - February 12-15, 2010 in San Diego, CA


This was a great conference and it was an awesome venue.  I’m excited about some of the features that they showed for SolidWorks 2012.  And it will be interesting to see what happens with their foray into the BIM market.

And, I made the highlight reel!

Highlight Reel

The Bacon Brothers band image courtesy of ModernTech Mechanical.
The DTV Shredder image courtesy of BPG Werks.
DISCLOSURE: DS SolidWorks Corp paid for my conference fee, lodging, and some meals.

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  • i’d like to become solidworks certified.


  • Great event, and wish I can be there also. Any news for the 2012 event?

  • They issued the call for papers for presenting at SWW2012 last week.

  • They issued the call for papers for presenting at SWW2012 last week.