The Votes Are In! The Top Ten Requests from 3DEXPERIENCE World 2023

The 3DEXPERIENCE World Top Ten List competition is one of the most engaging ways that users have for submitting, brainstorming and voting on the best enhancement requests for the software.

In the previous article, we described how the voting process works and shared our favorite top 20 ideas with the EngineersRule readers. Since then, the voting has been completed and the results announced at 3DEXPERIENCE World 2023 in Nashville.

Before sharing the results to a packed room, John Sweeney, Senior Director and Bruce Holway, Director of Product Development reviewed the history of the Top Ten List.

They made it clear that while the list may be just one of the many tools in the product development toolbox for gathering enhancement suggestions from the users, it is the most spectacular one.

Figure 1. Snippet from John Sweeney’s presentation (used with permission).

Top Ten Ideas Throughout the Years

The Top Ten List debuted in 2001 at SOLIDWORKS World in Orlando. Let’s time-travel to 2001 and take a look at the winning ideas in that year:

Figure 2. The Top Ten List for 2001.

Three of these ideas (3, 6 and 8) were implemented the following year, and the rest have since been fully or partially implemented. This high level of visibility for the ideas on the list encouraged users to engage more over the next several years, and so the Top Ten List became a permanent event at the SOLIDWORKS World conferences.

As of 2022, 68 percent of the ideas that made the Top 10 list have been reported by John as implemented (Figure 4).

Figure 3.

Notice that John was very conservative in assessing whether an idea was fully implemented or not. Based on our research, many of the white spaces in Figure 3 have been addressed in part. For example, by comparing figures 3 and 4, you will notice that John did not consider four ideas from TTL 2001 to be implemented, but let’s take a closer look.

#1: More flexible BOMs. The BOM flexibility has been significantly enhanced since 2001. You only need to look at the filtering functionality introduced in SOLIDWORKS 2023 to see how much more flexible BOMs are now.

#7: Better surfacing tools. This has been addressed with Boundary Surface, the queen of surfacing tools, which was implemented in 2008.

#9: Interrupt rebuild. For parts, at least, this has been implemented. Just press Escape to interrupt the rebuilding process.

Figure 4.

#10. Improve assembly performance. Assemblies that took 30 minutes to open in 2001 now take under two minutes. Even the upgrade from 2022 to 2023 offers significant reductions in open time and lag in operation, increased frame per second on dynamic viewport manipulation and more.

So, we must not take John’s chart at face value. It is more likely that 80 to 85 percent of the ideas voted in the Top Ten List have been implemented—at least partially.

Declaring “victory” may be premature, but when the user requests “improved assembly performance,” what exactly defines that?

But even the conservatively stated 68 percent is impressive.

What About the Other Hundreds of Ideas?

The good news is that the ideas that do not make the top 10 are not disappearing in a black hole. The Product Definition Team is evaluating all of them and implements the most relevant to the user community.

Many ideas are critical to certain areas of the software, so they might not get as many votes as a general request to “improve assembly performance.”

John and Bruce provided examples of such ideas implemented in SOLIDWORKS 2023. As you can see in Figures 5 to 10, none of these ideas were voted into the top 10 list, but they were still implemented in the latest version of the software.

Figure 5. PDM Enhancements.

Figure 6.

Figure 7.

Figure 8.

Figure 9.

Figure 10.

Top Ten List 2023

The Top Ten List for 2023 contains 12 ideas, not 10. As you will see, some of them received the same number of votes.

#10 – Make All Features Available in Parts Also Available in Assemblies

Figure 11.

This will be a tall order, considering how many features are relevant only at the part level. We see the benefits of being able to define curves at the assembly level, but are not so sure about other types of features that create geometry (additive). Also, we hope that any implementation of this idea will be done very carefully, to ensure it will not affect assembly performance.

We predict that this idea will be implemented partially. Curves – for sure!

#7 to 9 – Three-Way Tie Between Ideas

Figure 12.

Figure 13.

Figure 14.

Dave’s idea (Figure 12) will enrich the information contained in the FeatureManager Design Tree for Assemblies. We predict a quick implementation.

Ian’s idea (Figure 13) is extremely valuable for PDM users. Marrying the power of the SQL database in PDM with the graphic display of the Treehouse will create one of the most powerful tools available to SOLIDWORKS users for quickly understanding and modifying file structures.

Grant’s idea (Figure 14) is a prod to the MBD developers to finish what they started. MBD as implemented in SOLIDWORKS is a great product, but it requires more work.

#6 Enhance Markups

Figure 15.

Markups have already been significantly enhanced in SOLIDWORKS 2023, as we will demonstrate in an upcoming article. Offering users the ability to anchor them to the relevant entity from the model or drawing will streamline the editing process.

#5 Tell Us Which File Is at Fault

Figure 16.

We already have excellent troubleshooting tools in SOLIDWORKS. John’s idea will take the diagnostic tools to a new level.

#4 Ability to Create MBD Reference Dimensions Between a Cylinder and a Plane

Figure 17.

It is great to see so much interest in improving the MBD functionality this year. Jane’s request is related to a fundamental tool that is missing from the software.

#3 Ability to Reattach Dangling DimXpert Annotations in MBD

Figure 18.

We just need to point out that implementing this idea will serve not only the users who have the MBD add-in, but all of us. DimXpert is included in all seats of SOLIDWORKS and is useful for annotating 3D models, quickly creating drawing views. DimXpert annotations can also make eDrawings deliverables more valuable by allowing users to interact with the model (click on a dimension to highlight the entities that are dimensioned).

#2 Ability to Toggle a Selection Filter for Entities from a Specific Component

Figure 19.

Recep’s idea will allow users to save valuable time when working with complex assemblies. It is all about giving more control to the user.

#1 AutoSolve Dangling Relations and Dimensions in Sketching and Drawings

Figure 20.

This idea is all about improving the UX (user experience) consistency. Troubleshooting and fixing dangling dimensions, especially on drawings, can be a chore. We might need an injection of AI to implement this request.

Permanent Top Ten List?

One thing that users complained about was the brief visible life of the Top Ten List. The submission of ideas starts in December, with voting done by January and results announced in February. After that, the Top Ten List portal would be removed and little would be known about the implementation progress until the following SOLIDWORKS World event.

Starting this year, all the ideas submitted in this program have been collected in the new SOLIDWORKS Enhancement Ideas Community.

Here, users can continue to submit new ideas, vote (by liking existing ideas) and have clear visibility of the Implementation Pipeline.

Figure 21.

Searching for relevant ideas is a breeze using the 6W Tags.

Figure 22.


The Top Ten List is one of the best tools SOLIDWORKS users have for brainstorming with the whole community, including the SOLIDWORKS Product Definition Team. It is also the most effective one for seeing their ideas quickly implemented in the software.

About the Author

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 38 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 his activity 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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