SOLIDWORKS Puts the Cloud at Your Service

At 3DEXPERIENCE World 2023 a few months ago, Gian Paolo Bassi announced that a new feature is coming to all new SOLIDWORKS Desktop CAD licenses in the future. This was actually the number one item on the list of the Top 5 Cloud Stories for Engineers in 2023.

The future is now, and the feature is SOLIDWORKS Cloud Services.

What that means is beginning July 2023, all new licenses of SOLIDWORKS come with an upgraded subscription that comes with the stuff to connect it to the Cloud (3DEXPERIENCE). So, what does this mean for you? Keep reading for a complete breakdown of what this means for you and your SOLIDWORKS licenses and what we think about it. Spoiler alert: It’s awesome.

What is SOLIDWORKS Cloud Services?

In a way, it’s enhanced subscription. Cloud Services goes beyond the traditional SOLIDWORKS CAD to boost your productivity. When you think of traditional CAD, you’re thinking of what Dassault Systèmes now calls SOLIDWORKS Desktop. It’s the 15-gigabyte behemoth that gets installed on your Windows PC with a certified graphics card. The productivity boost is additional functionality powered by the 3DEXPERIENCE platform (“the cloud”) which users experience in three different ways:

  1. Share and markup.
  2. Store and revise.
  3. Manage and control. 

What Changed in July 2023?

SOLIDWORKS Cloud Services is free for all new purchases of SOLIDWORKS Desktop licenses. Let’s unpack that. Any new license of SOLIDWORKS purchased now includes Cloud Services. It doesn’t matter if you are a new client purchasing your first license or an existing client since 1995 – every new desktop license you add comes with SOLIDWORKS Cloud Services as part of the subscription. This bonus is included for the following flavors of SOLIDWORKS Desktop CAD licenses:

  • Perpetual*
  • Term
  • Standalone
  • Network

(*A minimum of two years subscription is required for the perpetual licenses.)

Do I Have to Do This?

No. For those wanting to maintain the status quo for whatever reason, there is no obligation to change – from a license and services standpoint, everything can stay the way it was.

Can I Upgrade My Existing Licenses?

So far, we’ve only mentioned Cloud Services for new licenses. But the good news is, there’s an upgrade option/path available if you’ want to upgrade your existing licenses. What’s more is that you can upgrade as many licenses as you’d like. It isn’t an all or nothing situation, meaning you don’t have to upgrade all of your licenses to cloud services, or none of them.

Why Is It Worth It?

Is upgrading to Cloud Services worth it? Yes.

SOLIDWORKS Cloud Services takes the best features of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, the ones that are most useful for SOLIDWORKS CAD users, and packages them up into an easy-to-use tool embedded directly into SOLIDWORKS for these primary reasons:

  1. Collaborate.
  2. Store, manage and control.

Reason 1: Collaborate

You can instantly share and easily collaborate with anyone. There’s a new button added to SOLIDWORKS called “share a file.” You can use this to create a link to share with someone and they can view the design on any device, phone, tablet, or computer. No additional software or plugins required.

It goes beyond just sharing the model. The tools are incredibly powerful and easy to use with viewing, measuring, mark up and comment functionality available. I like to think of it as automating everything you’d normally do in design review meetings—but now it’s being done from a phone while on the go, no meetings slowing you down. Here’s a breakdown of everything you can do with the new share button powered by SOLIDWORKS Cloud Services.

  • Viewing your designs and even change display style in a web browser.

  • Interrogate assemblies and create exploded views in a web browser.

  • Measure geometry in a web browser.

  • Comment and mark up in a web browser.

  • Review and act on comments within SOLIDWORKS. Remember these comments and markups were added using a web browser.

As you can see in the above videos, your web browser with SOLIDWORKS Cloud Services has become a design tool.

Reason 2: Store, Manage & Control

Cloud Services, provides you with online storage that is purpose-built for managing your CAD data. In other words, it’s CAD aware and understands the file relationships and how you (a SOLIDWORKS user) will want to save, share and use your data. This includes everything from basic data storage – storing and revising – to a full suite of data management tools for things like change actions and approvals.

  • With Cloud Services, you can easily save your data to the cloud.

  • 3D Drive is a CAD-aware storage to easily share designs from within SOLIDWORKS. This makes old-school Pack and Go easier than ever before.

  • You can explore relations and references.

  • You can collaborate with other designers and manage who can make changes.

  • You can access your data anywhere…

  • …and easily manage revisions.

There you have it: many uses of the two big reasons why I think this is a great addition for SOLIDWORKS users. SOLIDWORKS Cloud Services can supercharge your productivity and streamline your design process – and it’s all included with your subscription to SOLIDWORKS. 

If you look back, it’s been a long journey, but I think July 2023 will go down as a pivotal moment in the adoption of the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform by SOLIDWORKS users. It all comes down to this packaging of the most powerful yet useful tools for SOLIDWORKS users as part of the new enhanced subscription called SOLIDWORKS Cloud Services. There’s something for everyone, which makes this a welcome addition for people looking to easily make the most of the power of 3DEXPERIENCE. And there are productivity gains for people looking to leverage new tools to work the same way (i.e. sharing Pack and Go’s using 3D Drive).

If you absolutely don’t want to deal with anything new, you can go ahead and ignore Cloud Services—but that would mean ignoring the future. Do that at your own risk.

Everyone else will be enjoying SOLIDWORKS Cloud Services.

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