Dassault Systèmes Launches SOLIDWORKS 2018 for 3D Design and Engineering

The 3D printing industry recently witnessed the launch of SOLIDWORKS 2018.

The new version of the 3D design and engineering software aims to integrate the design into the manufacturing process. With a simplified product development workflow, Dassault Systèmes (Euronext Paris: # 13065, DSY.PA) believes that users will be able to innovate faster with better business results.

For a better overview of the 2018 version of SOLID WORKS we sent a reporter with over 6 years of experience working with previous versions of the software to give their opinion.

Simulation features in SOLIDWORKS 2018. Image via Dassault Systèmes.

An essential CAD program

“SOLIDWORKS is my go-to CAD program. However, in the last six or so years of using SOLIDWORKS, I have never really seen a vital need to update my program, ”says mechanical engineer Evan Johannigman. “As a result of the presentation, it was very clear to me how this year should be the reason for my change of mind. SOLIDWORKS 2018 listened to the thoughts and ideas of its users and implemented solutions to help engineers save hours of work while giving the user full control so that they can continue to have free rein on designing solutions.

Dassault Systèmes Design in the Age of Experience.  Photo by Michael Petch.
Dassault Systèmes the company 3DEXPERIENCE. Photo by Michael Petch.

Edson Gebo, owner of Digital Detail & Design, said: “Many designs involve the welding of sheet and sheet metal parts and most people use ‘tab and slot’ techniques to self-secure the parts to be welded. The new tab and location feature saves a lot of time compared to manually creating these features. This will really help speed up the delivery of designs to the store.

We understand that Dassault Systèmes will gradually roll out new end-to-end process solutions.

Johannigman says the main feature that really impressed him was Topology optimization. “The job of an engineer is not only to provide innovative solutions to problems, but also to ensure that they are profitable. It means choosing the right material, the right amount of material, and the right process to make it. The SOLIDWORKS topology is capable of meeting two of these three requirements in about an hour.

A SOLIDWORKS 2018 Topology Study Smooth Mesh Results.
A SOLIDWORKS 2018 Topology Study Smooth Mesh Results.


In beta since April, and new for SOLIDWORKS 2018, is SOLIDWORKS CAM. This application provides rule-based machining with knowledge capture. It is intended to allow the automation of manufacturing programming. The tool is intended to enable designers and engineers to “better understand how their designs are made, make more informed decisions, and quickly prototype parts and manufacture them in-house to control quality, costs and the delivery “.

SOLIDWORKS CAM enables tolerance-based machining.
SOLIDWORKS CAM enables tolerance-based machining.

SOLIDWORKS CAM can be used by teams to execute new “make-to-order” strategies with custom parts that are automatically designed and scheduled “in seconds rather than hours”.

Gian Paolo Bassi, CEO of SOLIDWORKS, Dassault Systèmes, said, “A successful customer experience must be based on a well-designed product and an efficient way to produce it. SOLIDWORKS 2018 brings more than a smarter approach to manufacturing parts or products, it helps businesses turn imagination into innovation and create ecosystems.

Dassault Systèmes' HoloOak project uses Mircosoft HoloLens.  Photo by Michael Petch.
Dassault Systèmes’ HoloOak project uses Mircosoft HoloLens. Photo by Michael Petch.

What is the 3DEXPERIENCE?

One of these ecosystems is the 3DEXPERIENCE “portfolio” that powers SOLIDWORKS 2018. Defining what 3DEXPERIENCE is is not an easy task, as DS’s marketing messages are apparently lost in translation. Having attended DS events in Milan and London this year, I’m still not quite sure what 3DEXPERIENCE is. It appears to be the software suite offered by DS – but it seems rather reductive compared to the possibilities considered during high production value events.

The Dassault Systèmes 3DEXPERIENCE compass explained.
The Dassault Systèmes 3DEXPERIENCE compass explained.

By giving his point of view on the future of 3D printing Stephen Chadwick, Managing Director of EuroNorth at Dassault Systèmes, explains how, through a unified business platform, companies will benefit from the productivity benefits of an end-to-end solution, including all engineering parameters, to additive manufacturing of parts, including materials science. , functional specification, generative design, 3D printing optimization, multi-robotics production and certification. When run on a seamless unified platform that bridges skills, the advantages and benefits of AM technology are multiplied.

Coming back to our guest engineer and practical use, Evan Johannigman considers the time savings afforded by SOLIDWORKS 2018 as the most compelling reason to upgrade. Especially for “any engineer who deals with material design, kinetic interactions or a combination of the two”.

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