SOLIDWORKS World 2018: The Industrial Renaissance

Posted on 6 Feb 2018 by Jonny Williamson

The show in Los Angeles has begun - for three days around 5,000 manufacturers, engineers and partners are exploring key ideas and experiences on Dassault Systèmes' 3D CAD software, SOLIDWORKS.

Nerri Oxamann is one of the keynote speakers at Solidworks World 2018.
Neri Oxman is one of the keynote speakers at SOLIDWORKS World 2018.

Sunset in Los Angeles, CA, and day one of SOLIDWORKS World 2018 comes to an end.

The first day gave the event’s attendees a striking impression of where the ambitious journey of the additive manufacturing software ‘SOLIDWORKS’ will be heading to in 2018.

According to SOLIDWORKS’ CEO Gian Paolo Bassi, almost everybody has aspiring dreams such as improving the global health care system, increasing the own athletic performance or even travelling with the speed of sound.

To achieve these goals, we need more than just a Forth Industrial Revolution or a comprehensive digitisation of industry sectors; we rather need a new Industrial Renaissance, noted Bassi, which ensures that humankind will be the centre of technological progress.

The insight, that embedding the power of simulations helps making better decisions, and introspecting processes through artificial intelligence (AI) might increase a company’s capacity, has become commonplace among decision-makers in the industry by now.

But Bassi states, that in the future technological progress will be about “makers and innovations”.

Dassault’s Industrial Renaissance makes all sort of things possible, such as an improved control for manufacturers in the supply chain, or simply the pure possibility of 3D metal printing in the office.

Dassault’s CEO Gian Paolo Bassi (r) on his way to the stage.
SOLIDWORKS’ CEO Gian Paolo Bassi (r) on his way to the stage.

The five pillars of the Industrial Renaissance

SOLIDWORKS 2018 comes with at least five new or completely revised features which make the Industrial Renaissance real, as Bernard Charles, Dassault Systèmes’ vice chairman and CEO, said.

  • The ‘Social Collaboration Services’ which for the first time enable the system administrator in a company to fully trace which data are and were moved in the system.
  • Secondly, the new SOLIDWORKS 3DExperience ‘PLM Services’, improve the systematic approach to managing the sequence of changes a product undergoes.
  • Thirdly, the ‘Product Designer gives the engineer more flexibility and more varieties to design a product without carrying loads of data on a bulky computer.
  • The fourth experience is ‘X Design’, where the machine starts to think. The software suggests certain improvements regarding the design and the construction of an object, based on data and previous experiences.
  • And the fifth experience is the feature ‘Marketplace Make’, a tool which revolutionises the way manufacturers work together.

The ‘Marketplace Make’ is intended to be a seamless way for engineers to get parts made and to collaborate with leading digital manufacturers worldwide across all manufacturing processes: 3D Printing, CNC Machining, Injection Moulding, Sheet Metal and more.

And Dassault wants SOLIDWORKS, according to Charles, to be the Amazon for engineers, which is an open platform allowing engineers to adopt 100% to the environment.

From the Industrial Renaissance to ‘Naturing’

But even the Industrial Renaissance is apparently only a transition period on the journey towards future additive manufacturing possibilities, according to key note speaker Neri Oxman.

The professor at the MIT Media lab described the future of additive manufacturing from a perspective of her Mediated Matter research group.

Oxman stated, that we are in the middle of the transition from the ‘age of the machines’ to the ‘age of organisms’.

Nerri Oxamann is one of the keynote speakers at Solidworks World 2018.
Neri Oxman is prof at the MIT lab, where she leads the Mediated Matter research group.

In the in the ‘age of the machines’ additive manufacturing processes work with voxels, but we must be prepared that in the ‘age of organisms’, this information won’t be captured in binary systems but in systems based on genetic codes.

This will enable designers and manufacturers in the future to 3D print with organic materials. One of Oxman’s projects includes for example a Silk Pavilion, spun by silkworms released onto a nylon frame.

Furthermore, she developed the G3DP, the first 3D printer for optically transparent glass and a set of glasswork produced by it.

One insight after the first day at SOLIDWORK World 2018 is that additive manufacturing is experiencing a lot of crucial changes at the moment.

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