The Results Are In: Top Eleven SOLIDWORKS Ideas Voted at 3DEXPERIENCE World 2022

The last day of the 3DEXPERIENCE World 2022 finished with fireworks. For hardcore SOLIDWORKS users, the most anticipated event of the whole conference was the unveiling of The TOP TEN List, the enhancements SOLIDWORKS users wanted the most—and which SOLIDWORKS plans to implement.

You can read more about the voting process in last month’s article, Here’s What to Vote for in the Next SOLIDWORKS.

The Presenters

The session lived up to its hype, starting with the list of presenters which included:

  • Gian Paolo Bassi, 3DEXPERIENCE Works Senior Vice President
  • Manish Kumar, CEO of SOLIDWORKS
  • John Sweeney, Senior Director, SOLIDWORKS Product Development
  • Bruce Holway, Director, SOLIDWORKS Product Definition

Figure 1. The session was presented by the Who’s-Who of SOLIDWORKS.

SOLIDWORKS is Listening to Its Users

Bruce Holway started the show by listing all the ways that SOLIDWORKS listens to its users:

  • Alpha testing (Product Definition team)
  • Usability testing (User Experience team)
  • Enhancement requests (thousands every year)
  • Reading and participating in Forum discussions (over 100,000 threads)
  • Customer visits (tens every year)
  • User group meetings (SWUGN)
  • Meetings and conversations with VAR AEs
  • Technical support cases
  • The Top Ten List

A Comprehensive History of The Top Ten List

Since the topic of the session was the Top Ten List, Bruce also presented a list of all the ideas voted in the Top Ten List from 2001 to 2021.

It was interesting to see how many of these ideas have been implemented in SOLIDWORKS. A few interesting stats:

  • Every year, 20 to 40 percent of the previous year’s ideas were implemented. An example from 2017:

Figure 2. A throwback to SOLIDWORKS World 2017, when the CEO lost his head for a second.

  • By 2021, 65 percent from all ideas voted in the Top Ten List between 2001 and 2021 have been already implemented.

Figure 3. 65 percent implementation rate for all concrete ideas.

  • In 2022, 16 enhancements that made it in the Top Ten list in the past became standard SOLIDWORKS functionality.

Figure 4. The Top Ten List continues to be a source of inspiration for the SOLIDWORKS Product Definition Team.

The Top Eleven List – 3DEXPERIENCE WORLD 2022

Due to the fact that three ideas received a similar number of votes, Bruce’s team decided to add an eleventh idea to the winning list. This is the 3DEXPERIENCE WORLD 2022 Top Eleven Ideas List:

Tied for 9th Place: PDM – Correct the Problems with Different Screen Resolutions (4K-Monitors)

Submitted by: Lard Uhlenhaut

Votes: 48

Figure 5. In the 9th to 11th place…

As Bruce said, this is one area where SOLIDWORKS will focus next. Afterall, most professional monitors nowadays are 4K.

Tied for 9th Place: Breakout Counterbores to Avoid Zero Thickness Condition

Submitted by: Dave Laban

Votes: 48

Figure 6. In the 9th to 11th place…

How many times have you tried to place a counterbore hole and received an error due to the tangency between the cylindrical face of the whole and the edge of another face? The workaround was to create a breakout counterbore manually, using the Extrude-Cut feature. Hopefully, in the near future, this operation will be automated as part of the Hole Wizard feature.

Tied for 9th Place: Allow More Options for Attaching Entities to Other Entities in Drawings

Submitted by: Alin Vargatu on behalf of his client Hugo Breton

Votes: 48

Note: This idea was promoted in last month’s article. Many thanks to those of you who voted for it.

Figure 7. In the 9th to 11th place…

As we wrote in the previous article, this idea will make detailing and revising drawings faster and easier.

8th Place: Bidirectional Linear Patterns

Submitted by: Deepak Gupta

Votes: 49

Figure 8. In the 8th place.

Deepak is always focusing on speed and consistency between similar SOLIDWORKS features. This idea will certainly improve both consistency and operational speed.

7th Place: Linear Patterns Allow Staggers

Submitted by: Alin Vargatu on behalf of his client Stephan D’Aoust

Votes: 50

Note: This idea was promoted in last month’s article. Many thanks to those of you who voted for it.

Figure 9. In the 7th place.

As many users commented, this functionality is a must in many industries, including aerospace and construction.

6th Place: Linear Patterns Allow Staggers

Submitted by: Glen Schroeder

Votes: 52

Figure 10. In the 6th place.

Another time saver from Schroeder. For SOLIDWORKS users, every click counts. This idea will enable them to focus on design intent, not on clicks. It will also eliminate a common source of frustration.

5th Place: User Interface: Show/ Hide All Selected Entities/ Features In Same Step

Submitted by: Deepak Gupta

Votes: 53

Figure 11. In the 5th place.

There is little more frustrating than selecting multiple entities in bulk in the Feature Manager (e.g. sketches, planes, axes…), pressing the Hide/Show button and having only one group of entities appearing or disappearing. This functionality should have been implemented in the previous millennium.

4th Place: Provide A Better Way of Re-Attaching Dangling Dimensions

Submitted by: John Lhuillier

Votes: 58

Note: This idea was promoted by us in last month’s article. Many thanks to those of you who voted for it.

Figure 12. In the 4th place.

SOLIDWORKS has decent tools for re-attaching dimensions, but they are not intelligent. For example, a linear dimension can be defined by selecting:

  • One line
  • Two parallel lines
  • A line and a point
  • Two points
  • Two parallel faces or planes
  • A line and a plane or planar face
  • A point and a plane or planar face

… and the list goes on and on.

When such a dimension goes dangling, the success of re-attaching it depends on how quickly the user can guess the dimensioning scheme. Lhuillier’s idea suggests simplifying the re-attaching process, making it independent of the original mating scheme.

3rd Place: Assembly Cut-Extrude to Have the Same End-Conditions As A Cut-Extrude in Parts

Submitted by: Alin Vargatu on behalf of his client Hugo Breton

Votes: 74

Figure 13. Bronze medal.

Note: This functionality has already been implemented in the Alpha version of SOLIDWORKS 2023, as presented in the General Session – Day 3:

Figure 14. Watch the video.

2nd Place: More Functionality for Breadcrumbs

Submitted by: Alin Vargatu on behalf of his client Hugo Breton

Votes: 78

Note: This idea was promoted in last month’s article. Many thanks to those of you who voted for it.

Figure 15. Silver medal.

The breadcrumbs are already formidable tools in the hands of power-users. Adding this functionality will add the missing 5 percent of its ideal functionality.

1st Place: When Parent Features Are Suppressed, Children Should Have the Option to Remain Unsuppressed and Dangling or Having the External Relations Frozen

Submitted by: Alin Vargatu on behalf of his client Hugo Breton

Votes: 79

Note: This idea was promoted in last month’s article. Many thanks to those of you who voted for it.

Figure 16. Gold medal.

Again, this idea is about the consistency of the software. When the tool behaves so elegantly when deleting entities and so clunky when suppressing them, the users get frustrated. Let’s eliminate the source of frustration.

SOLIDWORKS Quality and Performance Focus

Like almost every year, there were ideas recommending improvements in software performance and quality. This year, these ideas were submitted by Dave Laban, and both got a significant number of votes.

John Sweeney shared information about SOLIDWORKS’ efforts in addressing them. It was interesting to see how many resources his team is dedicating to quality and performance in the last two releases. Killing bugs and improving performance scored 64 percent in SW 2022.

Figure 17. The Performance and Quality of the software increases every year.

With a goal of reducing the backlog of reported bugs by 90 percent, Sweeney’s team focused on the ones with the biggest severity and the largest number of users affected.

SOLIDWORKS Quality Initiative

Figure 18. Let’s kill the biggest, baddest bugs first.

Comparing the 2021 release to the 2018 one, the goal of reducing the backlog by 90 percent has been achieved.

Figure 19. 10 percent remaining…

Even more interesting, the new bugs (introduced by the new releases of SOLIDWORKS) were also reduced in numbers. From 2015 to 2021, this number was reduced by 23 percent.

Figure 20. A 23 percent reduction in new bugs.

SOLIDWORKS Performance Initiative

Along with reducing bugs, the SOLIDWORKS R&D Team started an ambitious program of re-writing big chunks of the old code of the software that was not optimized for maximum performance. John highlighted just a few of the areas which saw the biggest improvements in performance.

Figure 21. Speed, speed and more speed is what users want.

Based on our experience using all versions of SOLIDWORKS from 2018 to 2022 to produce and edit large assemblies and drawings, we can confirm that the improvements in speed are real and quite impressive. Benchmarking these improvements is a lot of work, but also a lot of fun. Past articles on these improvements:

We will be starting a benchmarking exercise focused on real-life use cases for large assemblies and drawings. The results will be revealed in a future article.

The SOLIDWORKS Commitment for Developing SOLIDWORKS Indefinitely

The second half of the presentation reinforced SOLIDWORKS’ commitment to further developing SOLIDWORKS.

Gian Paolo Bassi stated, “I hope you understood our focus on developing SOLIDWORKS and the message we bring you is very clear, that we are doubling our commitment to you as users, to the future of SOLIDWORKS, and at the same time, the expansion of SOLIDWORKS into new domains that we are sure all of you will enjoy and which will make you more productive and more successful in your professional lives.”

Manish Kumar, the new SOLIDWORKS CEO added, “A prize should be awarded to John and his team, because what they accomplished is amazing. At this point every developer has a short list of bugs that he is responsible for solving, so planning is straightforward. This was not possible before John started this quality initiative. The number of escalations are also down this year to the minimum ever recorded.”

A “Real Prize” for the Users Who Submitted Top Ten Ideas

Gian Paolo Bassi revealed that he will award prizes (to be announced soon) to all users who submitted ideas that were voted in the Top Ten List this year. At this time, we do not know what these prizes will look like, but we were told they are in the works.

Call for Action: Join the SOLIDWORKS 2023 Beta Program.

For those of you who cannot wait to try the latest enhancements in the software, we recommend joining the Beta program that starts in early June. You will be able to download and install an early version of SOLIDWORKS 2023 and test it with your own files, replicating your own methods and processes.

This is the best way to catch the bugs that affect you and your team early, in a stage where Sweeney’s team can be the most effective in addressing any problem.

Learn more about the new enhancements in SOLIDWORKS 2022 with the ebook SOLIDWORKS 2022 Enhancements to Streamline and Accelerate Your Entire Product Development Process.

About the Author

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is alin_v-150x150.jpg

As an Elite AE and Senior Training and Process Consultant, working for TriMech Solutions, Alin Vargatu is a Problem Hunter and Solver.

He has presented 33 times at 3DEXPERIENCE World and SOLIDWORKS World, twice at SLUGME and tens of times at SWUG meetings in Canada and the United States. His blog and YouTube channel are well known in the SOLIDWORKS Community.

In recognition for active engagement in the SOLIDWORKS Community, at 3DEXPERIENCE World 2021, the SWUGN (SOLIDWORKS User Group Network) awarded the SOLIDWORKS AE of the Year title to Alin Vargatu.

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