Nothing stays the same but change…

What defines a smart company?  Knowing when to adapt and change with the needs of the customers they serve.  You all may have heard of the new 2D Product DraftSight, which came out recently.  There is quite a buzz about the product.  But you may ask yourself, why have they come out with DraftSight?  The SolidWorks 2D Editor still exists and and just underwent a name change.  But as you may know SolidWorks has never been shy about changing to the best technology available.  In fact this has happened many times over the years at SolidWorks and Dassault Systemes.  I would like to cite several of these examples for you.

  • The rendering tool in SolidWorks, PhotoWorks, has had two different rendering engines over the years, one from Lightworks Design LTD, and one currently being employed Mental Ray from a company called Mental Images.  Even more recently, SolidWorks has announced that PhotoWorks has been retired and PhotoView 360 is the new rendering platform of choice.   PhotoView 360 is a CPU based rendering tool,  meaning it uses the CPU cores on your main processor to conduct the rendering.  In fact, there is lot’s of great info and downloadable materials for PhotoView 360 at the website of the company that developed the PhotoView 360 technology, Luxology, which you can check out here.
  • In the simulation realm, COSMOSFlow was replaced by NIKA’s FloWorks product, alter renamed to what is currently in use, SolidWorks Flow Simulation.  With this technology, you can simulate liquid and gas flow in real world conditions, run “what if” scenarios, and quickly analyze the effects of fluid flow, heat transfer, and related forces on immersed or surrounding components.  This was a big deal, as the old COSMOSFlow was developed by Blue Ridge Numerics and being distributed by SRAC (Structural Research and Analysis Corporation) and Nika was a competitive tool.   But SolidWorks and Dassault Systemes found that by swapping these solvers the user had a better experience and the technology was better for the application.  COSMOSFlow was based on the Finite Element technique and FloWorks was and still is based on the Finite Volume method.  To learn more about SolidWorks Flow Simulation, take a look at this video.
  • An now DraftSight, which is a new 2D drafting tool for modifying and creating new 2D documentation.  This is superior to the SolidWorks 2D Editor, formerly DWGEditor.  First thing I noticed is that it was only a 41 mb download!  That is smaller than most viewers nowadays.  Then I noticed the interface, which is modern and even makes use of mouse gestures like they introduced in SolidWorks 2010. After ogling the cool interface, I opened several drawings from my customers that usually opened slowly in SolidWorks 2D Editor and noticed they opened almost instantaneously.  The product is free as well!  For a tech support plan, API or LISP  programming and personal tech support services, there will be a fee, but the fee is much less than upgrading AutoCAD for every release they come out with.   Please go ahead and download the product and join the SWYM community here.  On the SWYM community page there are tons of instructional videos and helpful tips.  SWYM actually stands for “See what you mean”.  Now don’t think that there are scores of engineers at Dassault Systemes or SolidWorks writing a new 2D drafting package.  They partnered with Graebert GmbH and have based the product on ARES, which is working alternate solutions for the 2D CAD users community.  I have been evaluating their tools recently and have started using the Linux distribution of ARES, which is nearly equivalent interface-wise to the Free DraftSight product for Windows.  Check out the video below…

What does this all mean? SolidWorks and Dassault Systemes have great scouting. Like a baseball team who sends out scouts to watch the other games happening around the league, trying to find the next big thing or looking to see what our competitors are doing well, SolidWorks and Dassault want to be champions. There is a lot of meaning to the name of the company Dassault Systemes. DASSAULT actually means “For Assault” or “For Attack” in French.  Dassault Systemes was a spin off of Dassault Aviation which was originally founded by Marcel Bloch, an aviation pioneer.  Bloch later changed his name to Dassault, an alias his brother had used in the French Resistance.  Thanks for bearing with me on this stroll down memory lane…

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