…there was no mass hysteria, freestyle finger punching or the slightest mention of how to blow a wasabi peanut out your nose. Disappointing? No.

Earlier this week, I had the privileged of spending 2 days with 8 other bloggers as guests to the SolidWorks User Experience Group, Labs, and Product Development Team. Yep, they flew in some bloggers, people that write about SolidWorks, sure, but these people are also users, some of which are beta testing and providing direct feedback to development on SolidWorks 2010. That’s why we were there. Here’s the rest.

UpdateWarning: Prepare yourself for pointlessness and namedropping, pointed out by some of the valued commentators below. This pointless post is likely to cause fist to be raised pointlessly because it’s just plain taunts you… in an indirect and pointless manner. Jim Wilkinson, Tom Spine, Nancy Buchino, Jeremy Regnerus, Lynn Cherney, Matthew West, Bob Miner, and Mike Puckett all agree.

Update 2: Looks like some other commentators marked the bad ones as ‘spam’, so they got removed. I’ve put them back up.

The coolest stuff SolidWorks is working on is…

…stuff I can’t talk about. But just think of functionality you’ve really, always wanted in the software or some trends you’ve wondered if SolidWorks is even aware of. Yeah, take that and then throw it in the rubbish heap, cause it’s that and better. Honestly, they have some people there thinking. Thinking and listening – which is way more important. In the discussions we had with SolidWorks Product development, there was plenty of talk about how certain ‘things‘ should be handled. It mattered, they listened.

Lunch with Jeff Ray

Lunch with the guy that runs things? Sure, why not. We talked about everything from his days at IBM to an upcoming improvement in SolidWorks I want to tell you so bad about I’m about to go mad. I think I’ll just keep it to this… I’m looking forward to a certain task being MUCH easier. Is that general enough? Yeah, I think it is. He talked about hiring the right people, blogging, being on twitter, and the general state of the industry. Great discussion, but way too short.

Talking the Future with Jon Hirschtick

If you’ve seen Jon’s presentation of the 5 trends in the future of CAD, you’ll know about technology being watched, talked about and swung hard into the air to see if it will fly. Some, undoubtedly will. Other topics we talked about – Solidstate drives, portable devices, e-paper, and security. One suggestion of his. Read The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, Tufte.

Get ready for SolidWorks 2010

We went deep on some of the 2010 enhancements. There we a lot of suggestions and comments flying around. Remember, these are user, educators and CAD admins. If you want to know what’s going on, best thing to do is get on the Beta team, download 2010 and check out the what’s new.

While we were there we saw the detailed functionality you would expect and responded to people responsible for certain aspects of the software. I’m actually trying hard to think of functionality being copied from other technology or CAD programs. While there’s certainly some inspiration, the consistency you’ll see throughout SolidWorks 2010 is more thought out than anything I’ve recently seen. You’ll be sure to see a review several places in the near future.

Anything Else?

If you’re wondering about anything from the trip, hit the comments. I’ll answers the ones that won’t give away too much, least my head be removed from my shoulders.


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.