The deafening screams of the demand for live content are alive and well. Even though much of you in the US are still staring at the back of your eyelids, here’s the last minute attempt to fire up the old laptop and give you the play-by-play on what’s going on out here in Barcelona.

What’s this event about? Perhaps some of this will give us all a little better idea. So, here’s the Liveblogging thang. Hopefully it’s cohesive. We’ll see if the wi-fi stays active and how fast I can get updates out. (comments in italics.) Enjoy….

SolidWorks is also making live updates on Twitter.

Some of the SolidWorks bloggers getting ready for the festivities. Jason Raak, Mike Puckett and Brian McElaye. (In the back row, keeping the peace and getting looks from the rest of the press… that are writing on notepads)

Simon Booker Head of Marketing for Europe welcomes Press. Make light of his British accent. Audience member heckles. (likable guy)

Jeff Ray
Henry Ford – “Look, if I had built the first car based on what America wanted, I would have built the fastest horse” (I like horses, a bionic horse would actually be quite an interesting project.)

Jeff Ray watched guy convert 2D drawings into 3D for 8 hrs. (That had to be… boring. but yeah, that’s the reality of a lot of engineering these days.)

Discussed “What makes the best product?”

  • High Quality
  • Lower manf Cost
  • New Fuctionality
  • Better performance
  • Higher Customer Satisfaction

“Why it matters”
Customers use SolidWorks 70% of their time

Customer story video (video not workin’) oops. Jeff makes a recovery. Goes onto “Getting the job done faster and not disrupting design process”

Fender guitar video – case study on Fender guitar design. manual operations switched to CNC

Trying to do the ThermaSpa video again… nogo, Jeff ray… “I didn’t like that video anyway” on to “Improving the quality of Designs”

Video of EFI total gym exercise equipment. Cool insight into their process and how they use SolidWorks to create their design, send offshore.

SolidWorks product portfolio up on the screen.
SolidWorks Simulation
referenced as most tightly integrated product within the portfolio…”Taking analysis mainstream.”

SolidWorks Enterprise PDM
Growing demand and market

Newest product in portfolio – if you can’t communicate design what is it’s purpose?

Jeff Ray talking about Nike and it’s role in disrupting the marketplace and dominating the market. Waffle Iron-> shoes-> running-> world domination. Tiger Woods used as example.

Jeff Ray speaks of Austin O’Mally (Cheif Technology Officer) out with foot surgery. His team. SolidWorks investing in research for development. benchmarks come outside [of CAD industry]? (hmmm. benchmarks of what?)

‘Key theme for the Future’ slide up. Obsess on the user experience. Much of an engineers time is spent searching. We (SolidWorks) needs to do work with minimizing number of keystrokes and expansion into new markets.

Jeff is now talking about the name change to Dassault Systemes SolidWorks. Becoming one company and creating a strong brand and improve the collaboration. Sharing Experience, Ideas, and technology within the company.

Jeff Ray introduces Bernard Charles, President and CEO of Dassault Systemes (DS). crowd applause.

Addresses “How is SolidWorks going to work inside Dassualt Systemes?”
“DS is a family name, a family owned company, quite powerful.” thing are typically not done for the customer interests, DS takes different approach.

Journey with SolidWorks – Long Term Innovation slide showing 4 chapter of Growth starting in 1993 and ending 2015. Discussing doing an IPO with Jon Hirschtick. 1997 DS acquires SolidWorks for $320 million US on compnay that was making 9 million revenue.

the Future of Dassault and CAD in general 0 Mega Trends Slide – 1) Virtualization 2)Communities 3)Global Sourcing 4)IP Trading

“using 3D as a medium to communicate” – design idears creating new platforms for manfacture/design world.

“3D Open the Door to the World We Imagine” up on the screen, small child represented in graphic. Focus on youth?

PLM2.0 – PLM Online For All – chart showing period from 1981 to 2011 – 3D, PLM 1.0, PLM2.0 – “Online environment for virtual experience in 3D from anywhere.”

playing with a product before you actually make it – referencing gaming industry and how people ‘play’ within the environment.

“Online experience should be closer to First Life, not to Second-Life”

Ask to stop being referred to as IBM Dassault Systemes.

PLMOnline for all continued. Has to be:
1) Collaboration about Communication
2) Life-Like
3) Connecting like Social media sites

those platforms will be developed within CAD.

Eco DeSign screen up. Bernard talking about Reuse everywhere, “Eco” Experience, remove wast.

‘DS, One company, 6 lovemarks’ slide up. Lovemarks = Dassault companies – SolidWorks, Catia, Enovia, Simulia, Delmia, and 3DVia (… Lovemarks? uncomfortable, can I give you a back rub feeling.)

Mission of Dassault Systemes – “No matter what the complexity we want to make sure we can make it, design it”

The Dassault Systemes commercial up on the screen.

Jeff Ray and Bernard Charles now taking questions from the press. Would be nice if there were music and they were dancing on stage, but they just sitting on some stools. oh well.

Jeff fields first question on collaboration ‘in the cloud’ and sharing technology with Dassualt. DS is way ahead in this area, but SolidWorks will take best examples out there and provide that for the users.

How are two companies going to address distribution as one company? question – Jeff Addresses fears of worst and channel strucutre. SOlidWorks will continue to deliver with what the customers expect. Single out the SolidWorks VAR community and it’s strength in the CAD marketplace.

Devon Sowell ask about how SolidWorks will continue relationship with users that have been around awhile. Jeff says there’s a mechanical side and a personal side. SolidWorks is dealing with both and aware of it and the users.

Jeff Ray says “Bullshit” – “…you start believing your own marketing bullshit….” end that effort is always made to focus on user.

…More questions about stuff.

Interesting… Bernard Charles was offered to buy SolidEdge. Agreed on amount of 120 million. Had to determine how he was going to ‘sell it’ – on flight home there was no clear answer on how this was going to be possible. Then, a few months later see SolidWorks, 40 people, small company. smaller team, but 320 million purchase with only 9 million revenue. goes to board, two solutions, SolidEdege and SolidWorks. Lesson – Invisible value of the company that has turned to visible value in terms of profit and growth… cool story.

Question over. Props given to the team making all this event possible.

Portuguese SolidWorks user representing Martifer Group now discussing development of large architechtural structures in SolidWorks. Product line includes Construction, Energy systems, electrical generations and agricultural and Biofuel development.

1st license was purchased in 2004 to develop wind tower factory. Now up to 49 premium licenses, 4 professional.

Now showing some REALLY impressive and HUGE models of strutures, building, wind towers and more created in SolidWorks. I’ll crash some stuff together in upcoming post.

He’s now talking about how SolidWorks and PDMWorks has helped the process. I would love to see the modeling methodology they have developed for these huge models.

Coffee Break… good… my butt hurts. more to come maybe.

Bertrand Sicot now going over SolidWorks Financial Data time poeple. get ready for some exciting data.

22% revenue growth rate.
2007 – $250 million US, 2008 $200 million YTD
60% growth outside America

SolidWorks install base June 2008 8400,000 users. 40% commercial, rest is educational. Does this include every user that has ever bought a seat?

Simulation and PDM are 11% of revenue in 2007

Bertrand Going over some companies in the SolidWorks community.


  • UK Secondary Schools

Rich Welch now up talking about ‘Customer Satisfaction’
He’s talking about what gets him outta bed. Father built airplane using sliderule. People with a passion for using the software for building, engineering. Coffee and the need for a shower get me out of bed, how about you?

Understanding what customers (you) want
Customer visits to user-group network, surveys, customer voice. – ‘thousand of customer touch points’ – in 2009, emphasis on gather information from users and providing it to development.

Overall satisfaction – a big 91% on the screen. survey of 10,000 customers in 9 languages, June-July 08. (91% of me is satisfied with the software, the rest of the 9% is too distracted with food and not caring… that’s a hint. the dissatisfied don’t care enough about company success to deal with problems in a beneficial process.)

SolidWorks Tech Support – support is hovering around 8.3 out of 8.8 (excellent)
VAR training/certification – certification required before giving service to customers.

Rich and Bertrand now fielding questions. Lets see if this get’s interesting at all. Will Matt Lombard ask about the Subscription Service thing he brought up?

Simon introducing GTA Concept Car – Domingo speaking about GTA Motor. Concept for GTA concept SuperSportsCar. Sketches created, determined CAD was needed to complete design. (You can see SolidWorks on the screen on their website. I love it when companies show this.)

Images of concept renderings on screen. Talking about team discussion on the details of all aspects of the car. In talking with outside vendors, many were using SolidWorks. Made transition to use SolidWorks for the concept much easier. (This is the most complete view of a car design from interior, frame and body created in SolidWorks that I’ve seen. really cool looking visual on the screen. Car concept model on table up front.

Showing some screens of FEA analysis and using Flow simulation instead of wind tunnel testing. All testing done virtually without having to create and re-create a model. Rendering and cutaways of volumes making it easier to adjust the look, style and how someone fits in the car. (This is one slick looking car. Really makes you want to drive fast while eating a bean buritto)

Questions now being asked…
NICE… question asked if the body was completely designed in SolidWorks with the surfacing and if there were any limitations. answer. Yes, it was all designed in SolidWorks and the surfacing functionality actually made it possible to create a lot of the curves.

Maria Planchard (director of worldwide education markets) now up discussing Educational market, goals and growth. (The audio is very loud suddenly, be glad you are reading this, blood dripping from ear on occasional volume spikes.)

Students saying they want to use SolidWorks because it’s faster and easier. Robots, Cars, Formula SAE, alternative energy.

Burton 3D challenge: European Design contest – SilverWing Concept Car up on Screen. Maria introduces David, winner of Design Contest. (Meet david last night, he’s really nice, knowledgeable chap from Northern Spain.) Car took 800+ hours to complete. David’s presentation of the SilverWing Concept Car (PDF Download)

silverwing car designed in SolidWorks

Maria tries to introduce next speaker in Spanish…. uhhhm (yeah, not so good, but, yeah.)

Ok, some model examples now, but going a little slow. (better presented in a video?) Signing off for lunch. back at 1:30 local (6:30AM CST)


Simon introduces PAL Robotics technologies from the United Arab eminates (UAE) – THE ROBOT IS TALKING TO US… (and it’s freaking me out. any minute it’s gonna dive off the stage and maul a press guy.)
robot design in SolidWorks

Going over the project evolution of the PAL robot. the naysayers, the team creation, design and manufacturing in just 1 year. Software completed nearly one year later.

1.5 meters, 60kg, 1.5 km/h, 120 minute autonomy. voice command recognition, facial recognition, laser-based geography mapping (indoor), dynamic walking, lifts 12 kg.

Robot just said. ALL HUMANS LOOK ALIKE. (The desire to cleanse the world of the human race has begun!)

The PAL robot is now crushing a can and walking around on stage, discussing all the degrees of freedom that are possible. (There’s so many press taking pictures I can’t see the robot moving around. I know he wants to attack… I know.)

I’m drinking some fizzy orange juice

Robot is composed of over ‘1,000 aluminum alloy mechanized parts’ – SolidWorks was used from the very beginning of the project.

question Time: First question – someone just asked if they had seen the show called ‘BattleStar Galatcia’ – THE CYLONS ARE COMING another guy just asked if they could ‘self-assemble’ – he says, probably not. (we’re in deep trouble)

Mike Puckett just sent me a link to this photo. so scary. kittie-head robot

I don’t think the presenter is appreciating all the references to robots taking over the world by becoming ‘self-aware’ – denial. overall ‘cool and thought-provoking’ Simon says.

Break for Coffee.

Simon Booker introduces Fielder Hiss, Director of Product Management, to guide through the SolidWorks 2009 enhancements. For the press that doesn’t want to take notes… there’s the SolidWorks 2009 Feature Preview right here on SolidSmack.


Fielder done talking about that stuff. Mark is now demoing performance increases with a live model. Put up a drawing and added three-views and shaded iso very quickly of a large assembly.

Fielder introduces Speed-Pak and Mark show how Speed-Pak speeds up drawings by eliminating files from loading but still being visible. Zooming in and out of drawing views, Redrawing very quickly, ‘Like GoogleMaps’, Fielder mentions.

Neil showing how a Speed-Pak is created. SOlidWorks looks at model from 64 different angles to determine what to hide when the automated option is used.

Mark now showing how he inserts the sub-assembly SpeedPak that Neil created and how it updates the drawings.

Mark showing some of the other features. Lip and groove, Solid to sheetmetal. Fielder talking again about removing barriers to design.

Fielder going over 3DVia Composer and benifits. Mark showing and example in 3DVia Composer how SolidWorks parts and assemblies are opened up and manipulated.

Fielder is now going over a frame weldment and patronizing the press 🙂 Which weldment is stronger? the one with 30, 45, or 60 degree reinforcements. Everyone is bickering about which is stronger. ahy.

Fielder showing some other example. different materials, different iterations for plastic parts. Point being that Simulation, the new simulation features in SolidWorks 2009 can improve your design. Fielder throws to Neil to show in SolidWorks.

Etc, etc, etc
Well, my battery suddenly went down, the SolidWorks team finished up with a preview of PhotoView360 and some q&a.


Josh is founder and editor at, 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.