If you’ve been wondering what’s going on with SolidWorks, this is your day. Deelip Menezes was fortunate to have the ear of Jeff Ray, CEO of SolidWorks, for a good amount of time and got his thoughts on a wide array of topics, from cloud computing to the future of SolidWorks.

Deelip’s interview with Jeff Ray is quite long. Head over and read it for full context and a good bit of background on Mr. Ray. For those with limited time here are the highlights:

“when we launched our project for the future… What we said was “Let’s kill SolidWorks the way SolidWorks has killed some other companies.“ Now SolidWorks didn’t go into business to kill companies. They went into business to serve user needs. And it just so happened that some companies couldn’t compete or took a different direction.”

“…we pulled a small team of R&D people together and told them “We were basically going to spin you out. You are a startup and your job is to kill SolidWorks. Go start a business that uses the technologies available today that solves the customer’s problems.”

“No. SolidWorks will not be a lite version of CATIA. The market is not looking for a lite version of CATIA.”

“[SolidWorks] V6 is not a product. It’s a platform and we have fully embraced the V6 platform. That’s why I stood on stage and said that we are going to use the ENOVIA PLM because that to me is the right online platform.”

“Yes, the [new SolidWorks] online platform will be based on the ENOVIA V6 technology.”

“[SolidWorks] will have direct modeling. But it will not be it the way people are doing it today because we are not constrained with Windows… You will see us continue to enhance Instant3D. There a lot of things that we can do there and we will continue to do that. The way Direct Modeling is done now is all sexy and nice to demo. But it is a hammer in search of a nail. “

“…we had a big debate in the company to decide whether we should show what we did at SolidWorks World 2010. There were two camps. One was of the opinion that we should not show technology that we were not going to ship in the upcoming release. They said, “Why do you want to stir the pot and confuse people?“. The other camp thought that now was the time to do it. They said, “Lets step out of the bridge and set fire to it“. No turning back.”

“[At SolidWorks World 2011] we’ll show Connect which is a personal data sharing web based V6 technology. This is the first step of online and its serves a market right now that isn’t being served…And obviously we’ll be showing SolidWorks 2012 as well.”

Great to get some insight on what Solidworks is up to, admitting some mistakes and seeing how they’re chasing after the future. Bringing it into the Enovia fold may seem a bit odd, but honestly, I’m ready to see some more options from SolidWorks. If that’s part of it making it a better, more reliable product for design, I’m all for it.


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.