If you woke up this morning wondering what the new decade is going to offer you after your merry stroll into work, SolidWorks has some ideas that include having hands, a very large interface, and a couple friend that are as giddy about new tech as you are.

Put your future hats on and… just forget the future hats. They look silly. Instead, strip down that chair massager you got for Christmas to the bare wires, plug that sucker in and have a seat as you watch the first video SolidWorks has release in their new ‘Let’s Go Design’ campaign.

Pretty cool huh. It’s like you and your ethnically diverse friends are at one with each other and the model. breath in. breath out. rotate. pan left. sway with my touch. brilliant.

What they didn’t Show?

What they didn’t show is how everyone’s legs below the knees are severed and plugged into a vat of electric goo with a complex carbon fiber structure (designed in SolidWorks) running up your backside to support your touch-sensitive frame. Don’t worry, it’s painless for the first five days while your body recovers from the shock… That doesn’t quite make for a convincing ad campaign though.

I want to use something like this bad, very bad. I also want to see how it affects the sale of orthopedic inserts. Actually, I’m not gonna go that direction. If the 90 yr. old person at the cash register can stand there and swipe 50 lb bags of dog food all day, I can toss a model around on a screen, no problem. What will be even more interesting, is to find out if something like this actually improves my posture. I’m very concerned that we look like shruken torsos sitting in $1200 office chairs which we’re convinced will keep us from developing blood clots in our toes.

I Will Multi-Touch You…

with interesting shots… The video does a great job of showing how we may very well be selecting and moving solids around. That’s fancy looking for video footage. It doesn’t get into creating 3D geometry though. So what. I’m not gonna over analyze it because I’ll bore myself, but I will show you some colorful screen grabs that I thought were the most interesting (Click to Enlarge.)

You’ll noticed I flipped the last two screenshots so you can see the UI and read the commands. You may have wondered if there’s anything going on with the command UI. I was hoping to see a little glimpse of some ideas they had for that too. There’s really on one I noticed during the video. The zombie bouncer lookin’ guy hits a horizontal scroll menu up top to get to a selection filter. I’m hoping either budget ran out for the UI part in the video or SolidWorks is purposefully misleading us to totally blow users away when they reveal new UI controls.

Is Multi-touch for 3D available now?

SolidWorks 2010 comes with a smattering of multi-touch capability. Actually, just about everything you can do here, minus physically panning a model into the face of your co-worker. Of course, what SolidWorks is really working on, is very likely along these lines, but completely different from what we’re thinking. There’s more tech than touch-screens that’s influencing what 3D product development is becoming. If you look at a few cad-related technologies over the last decade you can see a few other things developers are aware of.

SpaceClaim is the first to show 3D geometry creation and the first to go live with it, though I doubt hardly anyone has the hardware to be able to do it yet. Still, it’s possible, it’s cool and it’s going to be more than just your hands doing all the work.

REAL Good Move for SolidWorks

SolidWorks has recently been served twice by Autodesk about the rights to an orange square and the word ‘Real’ which recently was found to be a lame lawsuit.


It’s 2010 and time for a new look and a new campaign anyway. If I’m gonna be fed CAD propaganda, I prefer the ones trying to convince me of future technologies, instead of some of some trying to convince me that passions and solutions are real. Opinion served. Good move SolidWorks. Let’s see some more.


Dassault on the Future of Design

Down in the comments, Oleg was kind enough to point out that Dassault Systemes (SolidWorks parent company) also has their take on the future of design…


Josh is founder and editor at SolidSmack.com, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.