Over the years one of the most anticipated segments of SOLIDWORKS World has always been Day 3 of the General Session.  It was always about the SOLIDWORKS Community.  One of it’s highlights was an insight into next years SOLIDWORKS release.   For all my years of attending SOLIDWORKS World it has been presented, in a very humorous parody format by the Dassault Systemes SOLIDWORKS Product Introduction.  Along with cameos from other DS SOLIDWORKS employees, in a combination of recorded video and Live on stage performances

Always entertaining and fast moving!  This style of format allows for a glimpse of the new features without having to go into any details.  A little smoke & mirror magic there on stage in plain sight.

This year Dassault Systemes SOLIDWORKS decided that we were all getting too familiar with the General Session scheduling.

The whole “next years” preview was in for a shake up and they were going to have a little fun along the way, at our expense!

Over the past few years I have gotten to know Messrs Pilkington, Barrow,  Regnerus, Schneider and Anliker especially over the past twelve months with my involvement , with the SOLIDWORKS 2018 release.    So it was interesting to see a tweet (top image) from Ian Pilkington on the Friday before SOLIDWORKS World.  Innocent enough!  “1st leg done. Now 11hours with this fella”  It was just image of Mark Barrow at the airport.  Unless you are observant and noticed his phone and the image displayed!    One of the many reasons the “Preview” is highly anticipated is not only are we curious about the direction the development of the SOLIDWORKS product is taking, but we all want to see who they are going to send up!   Come the Saturday and Jeremy Regnerus then tweets out “Looks like What’s New in SolidWorks is showing every morning at General Session at this year’s #SWW18.” with the attached image showing SOLIDWORKS The Last CAD Warrior .  Which was the same image that was on Mark’s phone.

So it was to be another Star Wars skit.  Topical with the recent movie release and a popular choice with the demographic.   Over all three days of the General Session, that can’t be bad!

Saturday night at the CAD Monkeys Dinner (hosted by Dan Herzberg and the unofficial start to SOLIDWORKS World for many of us) Miss Rachel Diane YorkCommunity and Advocacy Manger – Dassault Systemes SOLIDWORKS  slides up to me and asks “Can you do something for me”  ….. “Sure”  ……. “You do know the SOLIDWORKS 2019 preview is on all three days of the General Session, you have seen the image”   …..  “Of course” …… “Can you help spread the word”  ….. “Sure!  You wouldn’t be reviving a certain role would you” (image to left) ……..  “No, No ….. can’t say ……..  OK a certain General might make an appearance!)

I duly did what I was asked and spread the word with the SOLIDWORKS The Last CAD Warrior image & tweeted #SWW18 is mixing it up this year! It was once the domain of the Wednesday General Session but I hear the #SOLIDWORKS 2019 What’s New has taken over the Galaxy as well as the Mon, Tues & Wed General Session. Not to be missed! 

So by now I should have twigged something was not right!   It was all too easy, the “accidental” image of Mark’s phone,  the The Last CAD Warrior image, by the Sunday now displaying on posters in the registration area.  Rachel Diane York admitting to a role ………!  Way too easy and I walked right into it and got played!  Well done all!    However I have a long memory!  There shall be pay back!

So lets see what happened and take a look at the SOLIDWORKS 2019 Technology Preview.

Monday General Session – Day 1

As we all expected it starts with Jeremy and Ian looking to revive their roles from the SOLIDWORKS 2017 preview before it is shown that Gian Paolo emphatically putting a stop to that idea.

A change in direction and tension as Jeremy Regnerus gets cut from the Production of DEMO-lition

With the preliminary out of the way, Lets see what was shown.

Save Assembly as Multi Body Part Enhancement

A nice addition to the Saving assemblies as a multi-body part.  There looks to a few different options on how you can select what parts.  The ability to use a bounding to include and exclude what parts you want selected.   Toolbox parts excluded with a single selection.   An interesting slider bar to exclude internal components

Multi-Body Part Interference Checking

Looks to work in a similar manner as Interference detection in assemblies.  Will have support to be used with Weldments

External Reference UI Improvements

Looks to add the ability to break or lock references of individual features.  A real plus over the all or nothing approach we currently have.

It also adds the ability to isolate and show components that have an external reference

The real bonus will be the ability to break or lock the references directly from the FeatureManager Tree

DeNoiser in SOLIDWORKS Visualize

Leading into SOLIDWORKS World there was much talk of a game breaker coming to SOLIDWORKS Visualize.  DeNoiser harness the new AI technology from NVIDIA to improve rendering times by up to 10x.

Since this was shown at SOLIDWORKS World it has now been announced that this will be available in SOLIDWORKS 2018 SP3.   There is also a note on the SOLIDWORKS Blog post in regards to the requirements of the graphics card.

“In order to take advantage of this awesome new super-feature, you will need an NVIDIA graphics card that has at minimum 4GB of memory (VRAM). Your graphics card will also have to be the Kepler-series or newer. Click here for a list of supported NVIDIA graphics cards that will work with the new AI Denoiser.  Newer laptops meeting the minimum of 4GB VRAM (ex: M2000M) will also support the new AI Denoiser. Visualize will still run normally on lesser laptops, just without the new AI Denoiser speed boost. If your graphics card is not on this list, then please consider upgrading to take advantage of the 10x faster rendering performance.”

And just like that part one finishes.    Out with the old and in with the new.  The new posters make an appearance inside the Convention Center

Tuesday General Session – Day 2

Megan sends Jeremy on a mission to find Schneider … and a cappuccino Jeremy finds Mark in his trailer.  Looking like a camper trailer from the outside but surprising much larger from the inside

“Alexa champagne & strawberry  please” ….  “Alexa doesn’t work that way ………..”

3D Texturize Body

Adds the ability to create an offset mesh body from an applied appearance to a solid body

Colour (Grayscale) to be used to depict the amount of offset and control the adjustment of the size.  Also the ability in invert the offset   3D Texturize Body (from an applied appearance) got a huge reaction from room. Caused quite a buzz and quite a bit of discussion afterwards in regards to how it was achieved.  Looks to be a real time saver.  Will be interesting to see how it effects performance and file size.

Partial Chamfer / Fillet

Partial Chamfer / fillet was another feature that received a huge reaction from those in attendance.   After the creation of a Chamfer or fillet, is the ability to drag the end points to create a partial chamfer /fillet.  Further refinements show the ability to set by percentage of reference

  A little later in the General Session we find Mark Barrow explaining his need for so many devices

Microsoft Surface Dial

First the Microsoft Surface Dial which works with any Surface device to Zoom, Pan and Rotate the model.   The Dial has been doing the rounds of the Partner Pavilion for the part few years.  The R&D team have been showing it in conjunction with the Microsoft Studio over a few year.   It will be interesting to see if it will be a Add In download or it will simple just work with the dial

Gesture Sketch Splines

SOLIDWORKS 2018 saw the introduction of Sketch with Touch.   It was a fairly safe bet that we would see additional functionality added for SOLIDWORKS 2019.     The Sketch with touch or freehand sketch name looks to have been replaced with the “Gesture sketches”

Added will be Free hand sketches converted to Splines

Gesture Sketch Slots

The ability to recognise and automatically convert Slots entities.

 3D Markups

The ability to hand write notes and have them saved with the model

Virtual Reality (VR) Support

Virtual Reality to be available in eDrawing is an interesting decision.   Is this going to be a part of eDrawing as standard?  Will the rendering be done in eDrawings?  It has a look of  Emulate3D Demo3DVR for SOLIDWORKS about it.

Wednesday General Session – Day 3

Topology Study

Introduced to SOLIDWORKS 2018 as part of SOLIDWORKS Simulation Professional and based on SIMULIA technology should see some enhancements

With the addition of Stress Constraint, Factor of Safety Constraint and Frequency Constraint

Mesh Slicing

Looks to add the ability to create Sketches at the intersection of mesh body and intersection plane.

With the resulting Sketches and Planes being able to be grouped in a single folder in Feature Manager

The credits then started to role and we were left to ponder if that all there is!

Until Jeremy takes to the stage and takes over  with JEREMY-LITION and starts with a summery of what had been shown over the past three days

Group Mates by Status

Jeremy then introduces Group Mates.  The ability to group mates by status which includes the ability to group those mates by error, suppressed, inactive, Solved or over defined

Component Preview

The Component preview was first introduced in SOLIDWORKS 2016 to facilitate the selection of items to mate.  It allows a preview that can be zoomed into, to allow simpler selection

It now looks to add the ability to view Multiple Components and allow the rotation of the views to be synched,  along with the mated component

Lock Rotation for Toolbox Concentric Mates

The simple but nice option to automatically add lock rotation for Toolbox Concentric mates.

Defeature Assemblies

The defeature tool in assemblies looks to get some enhancements.  The option to extremely simplified assemblies, along with the ability to use more precise control over what is to be defeatured.

With that the SOLIDWORKS 2019 Technology Preview comes to a end with Jeremy being dragged off stage!

This year preview, was a little like that of SOLIDWORKS World 2018, which showed a much reduced number of possible enhancements.  Last year the number of enhancement shown was 18, this year it was 15-17 (depending how you group them).   The three previous years (SWW 14, 15, 16) it averaged out to be 28.   In real terms, this year, it is a couple less if you take away DeNoiser,  a development which has come out of NVIDIA and Microsoft Surface Dial which is a very limited product and I would think would just happen. as it is part of the Microsoft software,  In saying that, the technology preview didn’t feel any less than it has in the past.

As we saw with the SOLIDWORKS 2018 release there were still around 200 – 230 listed enhancements/ features across the range of the SOLIDWORKS products.   I don’t see SOLIDWORKS 2019 being any different.

Again as similar to the SOLIDWORKS 2018, as discussed in the Top Ten User Enhancement requests breakout session,  there is to be around 20% of the R&D budget allocated to ensuring the reliability of the SOLIDWORKS 2019 product.

We’re still a few months away from seeing SOLIDWORKS 2019 BETA but as always it will be interesting to see the full list of possible new features and enhancements to be added to the SOLIDWORKS range of products.

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