So much news and so little time!

As the world of product design and engineering continues to shift shape thanks to recent developments in digital fabrication, cheaper and more powerful CAD platforms, an ever-increasing interest from a younger generation, and all-around interest in the field, SolidSmack exists to help drive the future of product design and engineering forward by bringing you the news.

Over the last year in CAD-related news, we saw more software move into the Cloud, prices drop and subscription models erected, industry-changing acquisitions, and new perspectives on what it means to use CAD as a designer in 2014.

Here, we’ve rounded up ten of of our most-read stories over the past 12 months that helped lead us into another great year of pushing the boundaries for what’s to come next in 2015.

What We Found Out About SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual (and the Future of SolidWorks)


“On the first day of SolidWorks World, you can always expect a big announcement. The big one this year is the announcement of SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual (SWMC). Last year they announced it as well, but this time it comes with a release date and pricing. $249/user/mth, available April 2nd. The price is already being discussed and debated online, but after a few discussions and even more questions we were able to determine and verify the overarching direction behind this new product and others to come….”

Gravity 3D Sketching: New Sketchpad Brings 3D to 2D Using Augmented Reality


“Between the new Mod Notebooks that include return postage for digitizing your analog sketches as well as other sketch tools such as the new(ish) Wacom Cintiq Companion, designers and engineers looking to get their ideas on ‘paper’ have never had as many options for getting their ideas out there as they do today. Perhaps one of the bigger jumps out of the traditional analog sketchbook however is the new Gravity 3D Sketching pad that uses augmented reality to bring your ‘napkin sketches’ to life…”

Bernard Charlès on ‘The Future of Designing in SolidWorks’


“Having been President and CEO of Dassault Systèmes (parent company of SolidWorks) since September of 1995, Bernard Charlès has seen better than most how much the 3D software—and software in general—landscape has changed in the last twenty years…”

Stratasys Acquires GrabCAD to Further Accelerate Collaboration and Adoption of 3D Printing


“We’ve been known to like GrabCAD a whole lot here on SolidSmack. While the list of reasons ‘why’ is quite long, we can sum it up by saying that similar to our friend Al Dean over at Develop3D, we have been believers in the company from day one and have enjoyed watching it grow up to be a ‘big kid‘ in a landscape dotted with Fortune 500 companies and millions of users in an ever-expanding (and unpredictable) community…”

Dassault Dishes the Goods on SolidWorks 2015 (and the Future of SolidWorks)


“Today, SolidWorks 2015 peels itself from the cocoon of the Dassault dev chamber and releases itself into the loving arms of users around the world. (Fly free, fresh software, fly free.) Adam, Simon and I were flown to Boston last week to snuggle up around a conference table at the SolidWorks Corp HQ in Waltham, Mass to hear about development plans, new software products and get a look at what’s hot in the new version of SolidWorks…”

Luxion Piles On the Awesome, Partners Up with 3D Systems


“It’s no secret that Luxion has been teaming up with everybody from software companies to material manufacturers left and right these days. Regardless of what program you use, chances are there’s some sort of a KeyShot plug-in, LiveLink, or Direct Import option for that. Now you can add one more to the pile…”

We Have a Piper Down. Autodesk 123D Web Apps Play Last Note.


“Aaaaaand, just like that. Autodesk 123D Web Apps are dead…”

Sharing is Caring: How Real CAD Users Share Data


“Last week on cadjunkie we took a survey about data portability. You see, last month we asked the same crowd about The Most Annoying Things in CAD, and much to our surprise, it turned out that data portability was arguably the most infuriatingly pull-out-your-hair-by-the-handful stab-yourself-and-your-cubical-mate-in-the-eye frustrating. Really?…”

From iPhone to SolidWorks – New Cadjunkie Series Launching Tomorrow


“Whether you use a free 3D scanning app on your mobile device (such as Autodesk’s 123D Catch) or a stationary 3D scanner commonly seen in prototyping shops, this series touches all of the steps required to work with both input methods and create the same desired final outcome: a cleaned up and workable model for taking your designs further…”

How Power Surfacing for SolidWorks Supercharged the Way I Model


“Do you know why its called “Complex Surfacing”? Because its complicated! I have spent several years specifically working with complex surfacing inside Solidworks…”