By DE Editors
Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
1995 was a big year for design engineers. Desktop Engineering — featuring Tony Lockwood as founding editor — premiered, he says shamelessly currying favor with readers and bosses alike. More than that, however, SolidWorks was first released, and the engineering desktop has never been the same. SolidWorks’ timing was perfect: The desktop workstation’s day had arrived.
Still, the real change wrought was not that SolidWorks made 3D modeling on the desktop accessible. Rather, Jon Hirschtick and his cohorts founded an engineering software company with an ethos completely opposite of that of the day’s wise people. You see, instead of handing down from on high to lesser humans an application that remorselessly dictated how engineers are to work, these guys developed a tool, later a system, that accommodated the innate need of engineers to work with and explore alternative designs their way. More importantly, they created a company that actively incorporated user feedback into product development to ensure that SolidWorks software would evolve in synch with your changing desktop. This is the secret recipe at SolidWorks.
So, now we’re here 16 years later. SolidWorks just came out in its 20th iteration, and what do you know? SolidWorks 2012 offers more than 200 new functions — and something like 90% of them are based on feedback from engineers in the trenches.
The skinny on SolidWorks 2012 is that the new functions, enhancements to existing features, and, I’m sure, the quiet undercover thing that maybe fixes a bug or vastly speeds throughput are ubiquitous throughout the system. Assemblies and drawings, simulation, design costing, sheet metal, animation, and product data management have all seen additions and improvements. The workflow is said to be smoother, collaboration enhanced, and more design functions are automated.
A lot can happen when you listen to and act on what you hear from the people whose livelihoods rely on your product. Making change happen to your specs has been the modus operandi at SolidWorks for as long as it’s been around. You can read more about SolidWorks 2012 from today’s Pick of the Week write-up.
Thanks, pal. — Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering
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