SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual focuses on intuitive design
For customers wishing to import data into SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual the system offers several options. The simplest is to download 3D models directly from Dassault Systemes' online database 3D ContentCentral. The online storehouse can be accessed from directly within Mechanical Conceptual allowing users to import existing parts with a single mouse click.
A demonstration of SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual in action
Kelley went on to explain that the inspiration for SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual comes from four pillars created by the software's design team including: conceptual, instinctive, social and connected.
The conceptual aspect of the product focuses on the toolset's goal of giving users the ability to create multiple concept designs quickly while also giving stakeholders the ability to comment and respond to those concepts.
The instinctive concept is focused on offering design tools that allow users to make changes and modify geometry using an interface that is largely focused on intuitive mouse gestures rather than engineering and mathematics heavy programming.
The social pillar takes the form of the collection of tools focused on social networking and media technology. It offers customers the ability to create chat rooms, blogs and other collaborative interactive spaces where their design processes can take place.
The final pillar connectivity, refers to the fact that the entire system is used on the Internet all of the time. It is entirely cloud-based and uses Dassault Systemes' 3D Experience platform for its kernel. All of the design work and collaboration takes place over a secure server where the data is also stored.
Looking forward Kelley said that SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual is just the first iteration in a series of tools built around the idea of social collaboration. Its follow-up SolidWorks Industrial Conceptual is expected in the near future. SolidWorks Industrial Conceptual will also use the 3DEXPERIENCE platform as its basis but will target customers working in the industrial design industry and according to Kelley will feature more traditional CAD tools.
SolidWorks Industrial Conceptual is currently in what Dassault Systemes calls the "Lighthouse Phase," meaning that it has finished beta testing and is currently being evaluated by a core group of customers. Once this process is completed Kelley said users can expect to learn more about its release date.
However, SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual is available now for the subscription price of $249 a month. According to Kelley the pricing model is targeted for companies working with mechanical components who wish to take advantage of SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual's ability to incorporate a wide-range of stakeholders into their product development processes.
For more information see the recent press release announcing the general availability here.
John Myers graduated from the University of New Mexico with a B.A. in Communications and Journalism. He began writing about the mechanical computer-aided design (MCAD) and product lifecycle management (PLM) industry in 2006 and over the last seven years has covered topics as diverse as additive manufacturing, finite element analysis (FEA), data translation and migration, computational fluid dynamics (CFD), building information modeling (BIM) and the growing alternative energy industry.