The 3DEXPERIENCE Platform: The Compass Explained

The Dassault Systèmes 3DEXPERIENCE platform is a “business experience platform” that provides tools for everyone within your organization.

The gateway to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform is the Compass. The Compass groups apps into Social & Collaborative (North), Information Intelligence (East), Simulation (South), and 3D Modeling (West).

Description: What is the 3DEXPERIENCE platform? | Driving Digital ...

The apps that are available to each user will depend on their Role(s), as well as any additional apps that were purchased. For companies that use SOLIDWORKS, Dassault Systèmes offers 3DEXPERIENCE WORKS, which bundles 3D design tools into Standard, Professional and Premium levels.

Social and Collaborative

The Social and Collaborative apps available through the north point of the compass include 3DSwymm, 3DDrive and User Groups, among others.


3Dswymm is the collaborative engine of the 3D Experience platform, and allows you to share knowledge, experience and expertise within communities on the 3DSwymm platform. You can:

  • Create and join communities.
  • Participate and share with other Community members. This allows individuals to gain expertise and to collaboratively drive innovation.
  • Use 3DMessaging to communicate concepts and challenges.
  • Create Audio and video calls with members of your community.


3DDrive is a storage app that resides on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. You can upload files to 3DDrive and decide whether to share these files with colleagues. 3DDrive functionality is similar to other cloud storage such as Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive, and these applications can be added to your 3DExperience platform.

User Groups

User Groups lets you manage a centralized list of Groups. The created Group list can be used by compatible apps that make use of lists.

3D Modeling

3D Modeling Apps incorporate a variety of design and engineering apps, accessed through the west point of the compass. These can be standalone apps or bundled apps such as 3D modeling core or 3DEXPERIENCE WORKS. Roles will often include a bundle of related apps.


One 3D Modelling app that is available to all users in the 3DEXPERIENCE platform is 3DPlay. 3DPlay allows anyone with access rights to view 3D models, including non-CAD users. Beyond just being able to view the models, you can:

  • Manipulate a design.
  • Section through a design.
  • Measure between items in a design.
  • Annotate items.
  • Share content.

If the 3D content contains simulation data, there is the added functionality in 3DPlay for:

  • Accessing simulation content, without requiring the native simulation app.
  • Easily and quickly communicating simulation results.


Simulation on the south point of the compass is home to the apps used for virtual prototyping and process simulation. The simulation apps belong to the DELMIA or SIMULIA family of apps. DELMIA offers a full spectrum of solutions, that enable you to simulate your manufacturing processes.

This includes plant layout, robotics and machining activities. DELMIA is also capable of planning processes and resources, manufacturing operations management, lean manufacturing and supply chain optimization. DELMIA enables you to simulate the behavior of your designs, through the use of scalable finite element analysis solutions.

Information Intelligence

The Information Intelligence apps are found in the east point of the compass, and enable users to holistically immerse themselves in information from the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, as well as from any enterprise system or the web. This includes connecting, discovering, collecting, consolidating and understanding information found in any of these platforms. In the Information Intelligence platform, you can:

  • Access your 3D Dashboards.
  • Collect and find structured and unstructured data, using 3DSearch.
  • With Netvibes, access RSS fees with the Feed Reader.

The Information Intelligence platform also includes B.I. Essentials.

According to Dassault Systèmes User Assistance, “B.I. Essentials is an Information Intelligence app that provides visual dashboarding of critical information by applying color shadings and labels to the content in your session. By revealing key information, it enables you to make decisions based upon multi-criteria data analysis on a scale ranging from global to precise.” Color and shadings are applied to the content, and there is a legend that explains the meaning of the colors.

Overview of the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform

Dashboards and Widgets

The 3DEXPERIENCE platform gives users access to a diverse selection of web pages and apps, which can be easily accessed from a dashboard. These web pages and apps are inserted into Dashboard as Widgets. To assist in creating Dashboards, you can choose from a predefined list.

Whether using a predefined Dashboard or creating one from scratch, Widgets can be added to a Dashboard by dragging them from the available apps, or from any of the four Compass platforms.

Widgets can be positioned by dragging and dropping where you want them. Clicking on the pull-down at the top-right corner of a widget, allows that widget to be shared with other users, duplicated or deleted. A variety of preferences can be set for each widget, and which preferences are available can vary with the type of widget.

To make it easier to view the contents of a widget, it can be displayed Full Screen. Finally, clicking on Help will display help specific to that widget.

Tabs can be added to Dashboards to help organize the various widgets.

You can have access to multiple Dashboards that are based on Roles, that are user-defined or that are shared by other users.

User Tools

A variety of user tools can be accessed at the far top-right of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.

The first tool is found under the circle containing your initials. This is where your Roles are displayed and where Roles can be activated and deactivated. Your online status can set to show as being offline, away, busy or online. You can also access, view and set your profile information, such as email address, phone number, Network members and account information.

Any notification that you receive can be viewed, by clicking on the bell icon.

Tabs can be added to existing Dashboards and new Dashboards can be created by clicking on the plus sign icon. A story provides a quick overview of a Dashboard’s contents.

Both existing tabs and dashboards can be shared with other users, by clicking on the arrow icon.

The Content tool provides access to your 3DDrive, as well as any other storage apps that have been added to your 3DEXPERIENCE platform, such as Dropbox, Google Drive or OneDrive.

The second from last tool provides access to your 3DSwymm Communities.

Lastly, the 3DExperience Platform Help is available through the question mark icon, and can be used to help navigate the platform.

My Profile Tool

The My Profile tool is a widget integral to a Dashboard, where you can manage your profile settings and activities. Under the related tab in your profile, you can update your information:

  • Overview, which includes summary information such as personal projects or hobbies, contact information including email and phone number, website address, and your location, which can contain company, address, city and country details.
  • About, where you can list your skills, spoken languages, interests, education and experience.
  • Network, where you can add members to your network.
  • Account, where you can manage your account information. This includes the visibility of information such a job title, company and address, which can be set to visible for nobody, company, network, and everybody. You can also view how your information will be shared on the platform, including login, photo and address. The information can be shared with only you, your company or everybody. Lastly, you can manage your security settings by updating your password, setting 2-factor authentication or sending a validation email.


Understanding the function of Roles in the 3DEXPERIENCE platform is important. A Role is a set of apps and options, which you can access in various areas of the platform. The Roles you are assigned determine the apps that you have access to, and as mentioned earlier, Roles can be based on the app bundles that were purchased, or by creating a Custom Role.

Selecting a Role will display the apps that are associated with the that Role.


Apps run on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, and require that a Connector be installed on your computer in order to access them. When executing the app for the first time, you will be asked to install the Connector. Once the first Connector has been installed, your 3DEXPERIENCE platform can be accessed from the Windows System Tray.

This article was a brief overview of the Dassault Systèmes 3DEXPERIENCE platform, which offers a collection of cloud-based applications with a well-integrated collaborative environment. Cloud-based, interactive computing is emerging as a dominant technology and the Dassault Systèmes 3DEXPERIENCE platform places Dassault at the leading edge of this rapidly expanding frontier.

Learn more about SOLIDWORKS and 3DEXPERIENCE in the whitepaper Developing Better Products in the Cloud.

Joe Medeiros is a Senior Applications Engineer at Javelin Technologies, a premier SOLIDWORKS reseller, servicing customers throughout Canada, offers SOLIDWORKS customers expertise in implementing and using SOLIDWORKS solutions.

Joe has been involved in many aspects of the SOLIDWORKS product family since 1996, and as an award-winning blogger, he regularly writes about SOLIDWORKS solutions.

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