MySolidWorks: A Expanding Community Service

References Cited

Dassault Systèmes, What is MCAD?

A couple weeks ago, a number of folks in the analyst community were invited up to Waltham MA to get a look at the next version of SolidWorks. Now, of course, there were lots of new capabilities, enhancements and other doodads. However, I was struck by another topic of discussion altogether: My.SolidWorks.com. As you’ll see, its a pretty expansive service with some real value.

In this post, I’ll give you some insight into what it offers and the value it provides. Let’s get going.

Capabilities Delivered

OK. I know. I know. Everyone and their Grandmother has a community today. So why and how exactly is My.SolidWorks.com different? But first, let me give you an idea of what My.SolidWorks.com has already been providing in terms of services.

  • Online Learning and Help Materials
  • Shared 3D and 2D CAD Files
  • Forums, Blogs and Videos on the Use of SolidWorks
  • News and Updates on the Latest SolidWorks capabilities

Got it? Now, let’s move on to what is new.

Lots of folks use different cloud-based storage sharing services today. In many, there are useful viewers for images, videos, documents and more. However, most don’t know what the heck to do with CAD data.

Users of MySolidWorks Drive can connect their account to their cloud storage service. MySolidWorks then lets you visualize the 3D models in those cloud storage services. It’s definitely a value add when working with those outside your company as well as the non-CAD folks in your company.

I found this pretty compelling. Now, of course, there are many manufacturers today that let you upload a CAD files and they’ll generate a quote for you. But I haven’t seen too many matching services, where you can put a part out for bid and you have many different suppliers vying for your work.

This sounds like an intriguing prospect, but of course, it requires participation from both sides. You have to get enough manufacturers to get involved in the process as well as those putting work up for bid. It will be interesting to see how the SolidWorks folks build this part of the community up.

Now, I find this pretty interesting. There are lots of resellers that provide good domain expertise in addition to what SolidWorks provides. This offers a formal and secure mechanism to deliver that now. Resellers don’t have to worry about developing their own communication medium to their customers. Customers gain security and confidence by using the official My.SolidWorks.com site. Looks like a win-win.

I think this is a very valid point. Without a resource like My.SolidWorks.com, you’d have to participate and monitor multiple sites to find the right information. Furthermore, you’d have to validate that the answers you found are, in fact, the right answers. The same holds true of these new services. It looks like a relatively robust and useful set of capabilities but validated so you can trust it.

Commentary and Analysis

Obviously, as you can see from my tweet, I see value here.

I’m a big fan of eliminating non-value add activities from a user’s schedule. Relying on one site for curated and validated information is big. These new capabilities extend that value by connecting to cloud storage services, offering matching services with manufacturing companies and providing a known and reliable communication medium for resellers.

Recap

  • To date, My.SolidWorks.com has provided online learning and help materials, capabilities to share CAD data, access to forums, blogs and videos on the use of SolidWorks as well as news and updates on the product.
  • My.Solidworks.com is adding capabilities in three areas:
    • MySolidWorks Drive connects to your cloud storage services, allowing access and viewing from your account.
    • A new manufacturing matching service is being offered so you can put your production work up for bid.
    • Resellers can deliver materials to their customers, offered through a known and secure medium.

That’s my take folks. The SolidWorks community is a pretty fervent one. I think they’ll enjoy these enhancements. What are your thoughts?

Take care. Talk soon. Thanks for reading.

Chad Jackson is an Industry Analyst at Lifecycle Insights and publisher of the engineering-matters blog. With more than 15 years of industry experience, Chad covers career, managerial and technology topics in engineering. For more details, visit his profile.