SOLIDWORKS World 2019 Live from Dallas: Day One

By on February 11th, 2019 in Event

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 Sarah, Kerry, and #SWW19 [Image: Fabbaloo]
Sarah, Kerry, and #SWW19 [Image: Fabbaloo]

Team Fabbaloo is in Texas this week for SOLIDWORKS World.

This popular event draws thousands of SOLIDWORKS users and community members each year, and 2019 is no different. Enthusiastic crowds have converged this year in Dallas, and Kerry and I are among them. We’re talking to dozens of exhibitors and contacts in these next few days, and will have interviews and impressions aplenty to come once we’ve had a chance to sift through notes.

Announcements this week are coming from host and SOLIDWORKS parent Dassault Systèmes as well as partners exhibiting here.

Dassault Systèmes kicked off announcements at Monday morning’s general session with the introduction of its 3DEXPERIENCE.WORKS, which is designed to further platform thinking. It ties together planning (ENOVIA), design (SOLIDWORKS), simulation (SIMULIA), and manufacture (DELMIA) through the Dassault Systèmes software portfolio.

According to SOLIDWORKS CEO Gian Paolo Bassi:

“We want to make an impact on people, on businesses, on communities. We want to create a sustainable future for us and for everyone who comes after us. Powerful tools are not enough. We need the knowledge to go from possibility to form. We need the know-how to create sustainable businesses that create meaningful products. We need collaboration, we need the marketplace.”

SOLIDWORKS CEO Gian Paolo Bassi (left) and Dassault Systèmes President and CEO Bernard Charlès introduce 3DEXPERIENCE.WORKS in general session presentations [Images: Fabbaloo]

Dassault also introduced xShape, for designing organic shapes, which will be available in the summer:

With messaging during the general session focused more on the broad 3DEXPERIENCE and integrated platform thinking and less on SOLIDWORKS itself, most of the SOLIDWORKS-specific discussion is so far coming from those using and partnering with this software. (This platform focus also makes sense as later in the general session Bassi introduced next year’s event: to be held in Nashville in February 2020, this event will reemerge as not SOLIDWORKS World but 3DEXPERIENCE World.)

Some of this week’s 3D printing announcements at SWW include:

  • Stratasys with its Advanced FDM feature for GrabCAD Print

  • Rize with a strategic partnership with Dassault Systèmes

  • 3D Systems with new software releases to streamline workflow: Geomagic for SOLIDWORKS 2019 and 3DXpert for SOLIDWORKS 14

We’re speaking this week with execs and engineers from many of these companies and will have much more to come on these announcements.

3D printing companies have a decent presence in the Partner Pavilion. From 3D printer manufacturers (3D Systems, BigRep, Desktop Metal, Formlabs, MakerBot, Markforged, Rize, Sindoh, Stratasys, Ultimaker) to services (Forecast 3D, Protolabs), there’s a good amount to see in additive manufacturing.

The Partner Pavilion also includes a gaming lounge, fablab setup, shop floor, design booths for challenges, and plenty of hands-on tech.

 SWW: An event where users and providers cross paths [Image: Fabbaloo]
SWW: An event where users and providers cross paths [Image: Fabbaloo]

Already conversations have included focus on both new announcements and general thoughts on the industry. One of the more refreshing aspects of SWW is the ease with with attendees get along. It seems natural to exchange ideas with familiar faces from the industry then turn around and eat lunch with strangers who are using SOLIDWORKS for very different projects. One of my tablemates at lunch today, for example, is using 3D printing alongside other technologies to create prototype robots (designed in SOLIDWORKS) to help garden. Hearing his take shortly after speaking with a mechanical engineer 3D printing scale models of roller coasters and then catching up with Stratasys on their latest industry-focused news provides a good cross-section of the real-life user base of advanced design and manufacturing technologies — and is a huge part of the charm of SWW.

There’s more news to come out as well, as more introductions are slated for the next two days. We’ll also hopefully be hearing from a broader variety of main stage speakers; the general session Monday had a grand total of two women on the stage, and one was the host.


By Sarah Goehrke

Sarah Goehrke is a Special Correspondent for Fabbaloo, via a partnership with Additive Integrity LLC. Focused on the 3D printing industry since 2014, she strives to bring grounded and on-the-ground insights to the 3D printing industry. Sarah served as Fabbaloo's Managing Editor from 2018-2021 and remains active in the industry through Women in 3D Printing and other work.