SolidWorks World 2016 – Day Three

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It’s the final day of a packed schedule here at SolidWorks World 2016 – where we’ll be bringing you all the action from the main stages and behind closed doors press sessions.

Today’s big keynote talk comes from ‘dynamic innovator’ Peter Diamandis, the founder and CEO of the X Prize Foundation, who has successfully pushed the technological boundaries around spaceflight and other human endeavors.

Follow todays proceedings live as they happen below the line – and catch up with Day One and Day Two via the links.

Today’s Keynote Speaker

In case you’ve been living under a rock, the X Prize Foundation has taken an old “prize” model to drive innovation and reinvigorated it for the 21st century, which now leads the world in designing and launching large incentive prizes to drive radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity.

Best known for the $10 million Ansari X Prize for private spaceflight and the $10 million Progressive Automotive X Prize for 100 mile-per-gallon equivalent cars, the foundation is now launching prizes in exploration, life sciences, energy, and education.


In 2014, Diamandis was named one of “The World’s 50 Greatest Leaders” by Fortune magazine, and his previous talks have been pretty amazing.

In the field of commercial space, Diamandis is the co-founder and co-chairman of Planetary Resources, a company designing spacecraft to enable the detection and prospecting of asteroids for precious materials.

8.30 – Today starts with Kishore Boyakuntla, senior director, product portfolio management, reminiscing about last night’s big attendee party.

8.33 – With 111 ‘partners’ I expect they’ll be cramming in a lot of sponsors messages – we go straight into a pitch from Lenovo.

8.35 – Now we’re looking at the progress of some advances in integrated products, starting with SolidWorks MBD – helping to achieve drawing-less manufacturing – CAMWorks and CMM, as well as SolidWorks Costing for BOM.

8.44 – We’re being introduced to SolidWorks customer Dot Decimal , which creates radiation therapy devices for use in Proton, Electron, and Photon IMRT cancer treatments. They use a MRI scanner to capture data, and 24 hours later a custom shield for use int he process is designed, machined and shipped back to the doctor to begin treatment with.

A personalised Dot Decimal photon-compensator

8.48 – Now we’re on to connected products – in this case its a cat flap, Sureflap:

8.52 – SolidWorks PCB, powered by Altium, is new and is looking to add in more control for designers wanting to add more electronics design into their workflow, with standard SolidWorks models.

“It’s going to cost $1 per part to make a part ready for IoT” – Kishore Boyakuntla announces as he returns to the stage. SolidWorks are really pushing their electrical and connected products tools this year.

9.00 – A word from sponsors Microsoft…

9.03 – It’s time for the Model Mania competition, where attendees rush to model a part… It’s nothing like Wrestle Mania… coincidentally, also being held in Dallas…

9.11 – It’s time for the annual Top Ten Enhancements list – requested by users that have gone into the latest edition. I’ll be trying my best to keep up with this… All ten from last year have been delivered in the 2016 release of SolidWorks.

A fast list – but the number one request is the option to revert back to the colours of the old User Interface. Everyone here is very happy…

9.20 – SolidWorks 2017 is being announced… with a Star Wars-esque video intro… Have I mentioned that I don’t like Star Wars?… There are now people dressed as characters… Fair play, it’s not a bad effort. I suggest it’s because of the fine British acting…

In 2017 there is:

– Adding pattern geometry is faster
– Multiple chamfers can be added
– Complex chamfers can now be made in a single step
– Combined chamfer/fillet feature
– Section geometry can made transparent
– Threading looks like its a lot easier to do
– In Treehouse all part images are imported – good for design reviews
– Shaded sketch contours
– Advanced hole wizard
– Smarter mate placement
– Sub-assembly saved as a part
– SolidWorks PDM has an overwrite
– One button to hide all item types
– Onset curve on surface
– Wrap sketches on to any surface or multiple surfaces
– Magnetic mates for parts like conveyor belts

There’s a lot more, the full list would be too long to print here…

9.50 – Time for the keynote from Peter Diamandis. Bill Clinton once asked him why he was so positive about the future? He sees the world as better than the news media.

Life is so much better than it used to be. “My friends in the Valley are more worried by underpopulation than over population… We’re going to double the human lifespan once again” – these are some bold predictions…

Why now? It’s because of the technologies that we’re creating – some of those people in this room. Computational power is the big driver – integrated circuits.

“Faster, cheaper, computing power is the ground material on which all this is exploding… we’re heading towards a trillion-sensor world.”

The internet will connect 8 billion minds, with access to the world’s information and cloud computation – a massive increase in innovation.

“We’re living in a time where nobody’s dreams are impossible!”

10.13 – With that Diamandis scurries off stage so we can pester him in the press only session soon. GPB is back on stage after a night on the Rum. DEVELOP3D LIVE should be interesting this year when we get him with Al… He’s wrapping up the event, and announces that next year’s SolidWorks World event will take place in Los Angeles.

We’re back with Diamandis for some press questions – deep space spacecraft, largely 3D printed, looking to go to astroids and mine them as early as 2017.

High resolution bio tech, Human Longevity Inc., that can predict what’s going to happen to your health. I think a blindman could’ve predicted my current ailment of a rum-based hangover…

How does he manage to cram in so much stuff? He’s a founder that helps raise the capital and set up a really good CEO, his focus is taking on large-scale problems – “moonshot thinking” as he puts it.

He’s not a big fan of the space elevator idea… the problem with rockets is that the ricing is misinterpreted – the fuel we all think is 99% of the cost, but it’s only half a percentage. It’s the labour that is the cost, that’s why we’re chasing reusable rockets.

He has an event for coaching around 250 big name CEOs… from this he sees a massive curve coming for solar energy storage. ‘They could give away oil for free, but it just won’t matter… we’re going to turn everything around us into energy collectors.’

What’s the big problem? People trying to regulate technology – mainly governments. If it’s regulated, then it doesn’t go away, it just moves somewhere else.

AI? He’s sick of the Terminator dystopian future argument, and believes it’s going to be the big change to the world. There’s going to be a new Human/AI interactivity X Prize soon.

‘It’s not just technology advancing, it’s humans evolving along with it.’

There’s going to be more and more prize incentives appearing – in fact you can now set up your own prize fund via HeroX.

Last press conference with all of the product managers and GPB added in for good measure. It’s been a long three days… Most of the foreign press have left so this could be shaky.

Some key points:

– There’s been 1,500 Downloads of SolidWorks Visualization since it launched yesterday
– Dassault has data centres all across the world for its new platform
– Within DS, our efforts and investment on all the SolidWorks products is equal – there’s no decision to shift focus all onto the new platform products
– The Kernel Question rears its head, as is now par for the course at this event – ‘it’s only one element… we’re dealing with migration from lots of other softwares too’ says GPB.
– Are SolidWorks users running Enovia for PDM? It’s a question everyone wants to know (ok, one person in the room). There’s three PDM options available for SW. From what I can tell, some people are. As I said, it’s been a long day…
– Licenses – there’s the usual three different ones lined up for 2017. Standard, Pro and Premium. Term licenses will become available in the 2017 version. Want to throw up a simulation license for three months, then be able to keep and use the data once you no longer need the license? That should become possible in the near future.
– GPB adds that they’re trying to make the licensing as flexible as possible to assist the trend for ‘everything as you go’ business models of customers.
– CAE and Simulation tools – Cosmos still rolls on within SolidWorks, but all the big investments and innovations are with DS Simulia family.

And with that, we’re done!

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