3DEXPERIENCE World 2024 Recap

This year’s 3DEXPERIENCE World is over, and once again it has been an awesome experience, with loads of new ideas, sessions and impressions.

I cannot help but feel a little melancholy when I realize that I will not be meeting all the wonderful users of SOLIDWORKS again until next year. This year was the first year that 3DEXPERIENCE World returned to the “original” form with everything in person, and no virtual sessions. Except for a few sessions, like the keynotes (see them here), everything was in person.

In other words, you had to be there.

I was worried that this might make for a smaller event, but it still attracted more than 4,000 people. Hopefully, this number will increase in time. While the virtual version of the event has been great, and the hybrid version worked to ease back into the “new normal,” it is now a good time to return to past glory.

 (Photo: Lennart Tinndahl.)

Getting there

Before I go into my impression of the event, I want to say a few words on how I got there.

With CO2 emissions coming under scrutiny, I tried a new approach this year: First I took a plane to Boston, and from there I took a train to Chicago and on to Dallas. This 44-hour train ride saved one ton of CO2, the amount of CO2 used to produce electricity for two standard houses for a year.

It also gave me a chance to write my “Tips from the Train.” During the ride I created ten “Tinndahl’s Transatlantic Tips” and video journals on the way.

While it was fun to do, this was significantly more expensive than a plane ride. But if you like adventure, I highly recommend it.

The general sessions

Once again, the charming Manish Kumar, Gian Paolo Bassi, Bernard Charlès and Suchit Jain guided us through the general sessions.

When Bassi enters the stage in an electric sports car, the crowd goes wild. You cannot help getting caught up in the moment. What an entrance!

(Image: screenshot from SOLIDWORKS Live.)

SOLIDWORKS CEO Manish Kumar said in the first general session, “In my simplistic view, SOLIDWORKS only has two flavors of today: we come with the platform or we come on the platform.”

(Image: screenshot from SOLIDWORKS Live.)

This means that you can use your SOLIDWORKS with the 3DEXPERIENCE platform no matter what version you have, standard or connected, and take advantage of the many possibilities. On the platform are the cloud-based possibilities that you have: xShape, xDesign etc., where you can use SOLIDWORKS in your browser.

You may fear that the “with the platform” is temporary but Kumar assured us that “both these flavors are here to stay,” and ended with “we are moving forward with SOLIDWORKS,” which, of course, earned him great applause as this has been a great concern for many users.

For me, one of the most interesting aspects of the first general session was a sneak peek at the work with AI. We already have AI in SOLIDWORKS to some extent; for instance, with the Selection helper. But more is on the way: Image to sketch, command prediction and automatic drawing creation.

(Image: screenshot from SOLIDWORKS Live.)

As far as I could tell, these AI initiatives are meant for the products on the platform, as this was what they showed pictures from, but we will see.

My personal favorite of the general sessions is the skits that show what is new in the upcoming version of SOLIDWORKS and 3DEXPERIENCE.

The tradition of introducing upcoming features goes back to 2005. It is much more fun than just listing the new features.

As always, it is clear that a lot has gone into the skit. This year’s skit was called “Splines Out,” a fun spoof of the movie “Knives Out,” featuring a mystery woven into the use of SOLIDWORKS and 3DEXPERIENCE, complete with a detective with a southern accent.

(Image: screenshot from SOLIDWORKS Live.)

All the actors—and actors they were, not SOLIDWORKS users or Dassault Systèmes employees—on stage were wonderful. They ensured that you as a user would be looking forward to the next release.
I will not dive into the different upcoming news, as I have not tested the new features yet, but I am most excited about these:

  • Option to use the round tool on multiple bodies in the same command.
  • Using rollup in assembly visualization to isolate components.
  • Copy cutlist properties to all configurations.
  • Reload drawings (something that has been only for parts and assemblies so far).
  • The ability to assign colors in an assembly visualization.

These features are, of course, not final and can be removed at any point in the development process.

Previously when releasing a new version of SOLIDWORKS, all the features were added, and service packs were issued to fix errors not caught by the development team. But ever since SOLIDWORKS 2024, new enhancements will be added to the different service packs. For instance, in 2024 SP1 a new import filter was added that allowed you to select which part of the files you want imported.

Of course, during the last session, we were all excited to find out where next year’s event will be held. And here it is:

Next year’s 3DEXPERIENCE World will be in Houston, Texas, from February 24 to 26, 2025.

The breakout sessions

After the general sessions came a myriad of breakout sessions to select from. Over 300 sessions took place over three days. Each of them with some unique input on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, SOLIDWORKS, PDM, Simulation, MBD etc.

Many of the presenters were well-known faces in regard to 3DEXPERIENCE World, and once again they did not disappoint, delivering top-notch information presented with their own special twist.

You could be sure to find a session of interest. If you want some great tips and tricks, there was “Jazzy Tips and Tricks” with Betty Baker, John Matrishon and Joe Lance, or “Tank’s Top Tips and Tricks” with Brad ‘Tank’ Meador. If you wanted to know something about importing geometry, Danute Nikolova-Petrova finished off nicely with her “SOLIDWORKS Mastery: Importing and Proficiently Working with STL files,” a great tutorial on how to work with imported files.

For a complete overview of my preferred sessions, see this article. All sessions will be made available on the platform on March 4th.

The Playground

The Playground, AKA the exhibit floor, is the best places to spend your time between sessions. Start with Model Mania and check out the latest trends in hardware and software. You will not be disappointed. Everywhere you go, there is something to do or see. You will have to go back to be sure that you didn’t miss anything.

The Playground seemed a bit smaller this year, no doubt a result of people still getting back to the “in-person” participation. I hope to see a lot more people there next year.

Final impressions

This 25th anniversary was, to me, a great success and I have high hopes for the next 25 years.

For me, the mission is to meet with old friends and maybe even make a few new ones. Again, the event fulfilled my mission.

But of course, the work-related part of the event is also important. I gained a lot of new knowledge as well as connected with people who can help me in the future. All there is left to say is: Houston? Not a problem.

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