A Sneak Peek at SOLIDWORKS 2023
We just got our first glimpse of the latest features coming to SOLIDWORKS 2023 from the team at SOLIDWORKS Live. Thursday morning, a livestream event by the DS SOLIDWORKS product introduction team revealed great new features. Here are ten things that stood out.
1. Was it a SOLIDWORKS or 3DEXPERIENCE Event?
The livestream event was titled “What’s New in SOLIDWORKS 2023” and hosted by the SOLIDWORKS Live team, but if you were expecting exclusively SOLDWORKS content, you haven’t been paying attention. With more and more technology becoming available on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform—and the name change of our big user conference from SOLIDWORKS World to 3DEXPEIRENCE World—it would seem like the names “SOLIDWORKS Live” and “What’s New in SOLIDWORKS” are the last holdouts of a bygone era centered around SOLIDWORKS. I can’t tell you exactly when this transition started but I can tell you it has happened.
Let us enter the era of 3DEXPERIENCE.
It would make sense that the September 29, 2022 livestream event would open with Executive Vice President of 3DEXPERIENCE Works at Dassault Systèmes, Gian Paolo Bassi, aka GP. You will remember GP as the CEO of SOLIDWORKS.
GP begins with reshaping our perspective about product development. He challenges us to shift our perspective from beyond CAD data to all the product development information around us. Although this is a sales pitch for the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, it does capture the way we work in 2022 and will work in the future.
2. The Proposed Agenda Masked the Real Agenda
The agenda for the event proposed ten topics and at first looked like seven of the ten would focus on traditional SOLIDWORKS content, not 3DEXPERIENCE.
But a 70/30 split in favor of SOLIDWORKS it was not. There was definitely more than 30 percent of the time discussing 3DEXPERIENCE topics. Some things that initially identified as SOLIDWORKS desktop tools had hints of 3DEXPERIENCE—not that there is anything wrong with that. Item #10 will explain why this is actually a great thing.
3. SOLIDWORKS 2023, Now With Free Performance Included With Every License*
One of best moments from the livestream came when user-favorite Mark Peterson was discussing the performance gains in SOLIDWORKS 2023. He joked that all the future users of SOLIDWORKS 2023 will “enjoy the free performance.” But this is no joke.
By upgrading to the latest version of SOLIDWORKS, you’ll have noticeable performance gains. You hear this claim every year, and it’s true. Just be sure to turn on the system option for “enhanced graphics performance” to enable the new render pipeline which powers the performance gains. You can see it in action below—and I can’t wait to use SOLIDWORKS 2023 and find out for myself.
4. Reliability: What’s Important to Design Professionals
Performance is great, but without reliability it’s not worth much to professionals. SOLIDWORKS R&D had the spotlight for the first segment of the livestream, and they shared their commitment to quality. And they brought the receipts.
This chart shows the number of software bugs in the backlog over time. In 2021, the team has been able to reduce the backlog by 90 percent. They shared the goal of achieving zero crash bugs (the worst bugs) in the backlog. This is a big win for stability.
5. Term Licensing: Great News for Freelancers, Entrepreneurs, Startups and Company Projects
Some big news for licensing was announced on the livestream: that term licensing has been extended to all the SOLIDWORKS products. For those one-off projects or short-term jobs, you can rent whatever SOLIDWROKS product you need for as few as 90 days.
6. Comments: The Can’t-Miss Feature of 2023
One draw-dropping moment came when we saw the additions to comments. Comments have been around for longer than I can remember. Now in version 2023 of SOLIDWORKS, they’ve gone from a feature I can’t remember to one I can’t live without. Comments in 2023 are great thanks to the addition of five new functionalities:
- You have control over the text formatting.
- You can add external images to the comment.
- You can instantly save a screenshot of your design to the comment.
- You can add background colors and custom labels to comments.
- There’s a check box to show the comments in the view all comments dialog box when you reopen the file.
7. Auto Repair Mates: The Magic Button to Save Time
The second jaw-dropping moment for me came when the team introduced this magic button for mates. When it comes to assemblies, there is widespread consensus that repairing countless mate references is the worst, most tedious process. Thankfully, in SOLIDWORKS 2023 this is automatically taken care of using the Auto Repair function for mates. What can we say here, except that this is a magic button?
8. Pattern Connections: Structure Systems are Now Even Better
Structure systems have been around for a few years, and it’s been a game-changer since day one for creating weldment structures, especially larger more complicated structures. With SOLIDWORKS 2023, there’s a new option to instantly add components to similar corners automatically using the new Pattern Connection Element function. It works by automatically identifying similar corners in your model—just visually inspect the instances and pick the correct places to add the elements. It’s a really streamlined way to add components like gussets to corners of large weldment systems in SOLIDWORKS 2023.
9. Filter BOM Tables: Familiar Functionality Finally Comes to BOM Tables
BOM tables got some familiar functionality with the addition of filters. You can now add filters to your bills of materials so you can focus on what you need to see. The functionality you are used to in Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets is now in your BOM. Just click in the top of a column and use the filter capability to get clarity in your BOMs.
10. The 3DEXPERIENCE Platform:
What’s New in 2023? What’s Amazing in 2023!
The guiding principles of SOLIDWORKS in 2023 are: Working smarter, faster and together. It’s clear the CAD tool is fundamentally the same but the 3DEXPERIENCE platform extends the capabilities with so many new features that you truly can work smarter, faster and together. This is important because a lot has changed over the years we have seen SOLIDWORKS What’s New events.
It’s not just the What’s New content, but also what’s new in the way we work. In 2012, “working smarter, faster and together” meant something different than it does now, ten years later.
The 3DEXPERIENCE platform clicked for me today as I listened to Gian Paolo speak at the livestream event.
“Think back to 2012. So much has changed over the last ten years, hasn’t it? Over the last ten years what changes have you experienced? I bet the ways that you connect to your job and accomplish your work are most certainly different. Progress must be part of your purpose. To make great designs successful, you must also master the business of product innovation,” he said.
“Where we used to think of CAD data as the main source of truth, actually product development information is all around us in every conversation, idea and interaction. As smoothly as your design team works together, what about your extended value map? For 2023 the SOLIDWORKS R&D team, as usual, has delivered an amazing lineup of enhancements to help you work smarter, faster and together. Not just together as a team but also connected to your data and your tools. But to truly accelerate your innovation you need to make all product information available for your entire enterprise to access and act on in real time throughout the day wherever they are.”
“As you look to 2023, how will you continue to improve your productivity and expand creativity? How will you inspire those around you? In 2023, look to improve your productivity and optimize your CAD. Let’s make 2023 the most innovative and successful year yet.”
Thanks, GP. I could not say it any better myself.