I was just going to publish a story on the latest news from SOLIDWORKS about the 3DEXPERIENCE products… but then, you know, you start looking deeper. Suddenly, you have 87 browser tabs open.

So, here’s what’s going on…

SolidWorks has announced four new(ish) product options. The four products fall into two categories:

3DEXPERIENCE PLM Collaboration Services:

  • 3D Component Designer
  • Project Planner

3DEXPERIENCE Design Solutions:

  • 3D Creator (formerly xDesign)
  • 3D Sculptor (formerly xShape)

PLM Collaboration Services

The PLM Collaboration Services were previewed on the SolidWorks blog in February 2018 (then called SOLIDWORKS 3DEXPERIENCE PLM Services). They include two connectors that attach SOLIDWORKS desktop to the ENOVIA backbone of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.

If you were/are a user of CATIA V5, 3D Component Designer (or CDR), may sound familiar. CDR is a product (a role) that allows CATIA V5 file-based CAD users to connect to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. Likewise, the 3D Component Designer allows SolidWorks users to connect to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. Now, the 3DEXPERIENCE R2019x update changed CDR to X-CAD Designer (XCD), so, it’s not clear how or if CDR and XCD, are one in the same or separate products, or even strategies.

Now that SOLIDWORKS is connected to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, let’s get you managing projects with ENOVIA Project Planner (XPP). XPP was also a new product (role) introduced with the 3DEXPERIENCE R2019x update.

Design Solutions

Now then, you’re probably more interested in the 3D Creator and 3D Sculptor products. Those are name changes for two of the xApps brought out over the past several years – xDesign is now 3D Creator and xShape is now 3D Sculptor. Easy peasy.

Of course, neither the blog post (nor the product pages) explain the name change. You’re left to finding it on a blog post (from April 12th) of a reseller IN SPAIN.

Actualizaciones de roles

  • 3D Creator es el nuevo nombre del antiguo rol xDesign
  • 3D Sculptor es el nuevo nombre del antiguo rol xShape

That is:

Role updates

  • 3D Creator is the new name of the old xDesign role
  • 3D Sculptor is the new name of the old xShape role

And, sure enough, the announcement from SOLIDWORKS shows an xDesign screenshot under the 3D Creator details and an xShape screenshot under the 3D Sculptor details.

The SolidWorks xDesign product page has also gone missing, some xDesign links lead back to the new 3DEXPERIENCE Design Solutions page but Try xDesign is still active on MySolidWorks. However, the 3D Creator datasheet is named Datasheet-3D-Creator-xDesign-SOLIDWORKS.pdf, so… there’s that.

Where it All Started

If all the above isn’t confusing enough, a search for ‘solidworks mechanical conceptual’ still brings up the page for SOLIDWORKS Conceptual Design and SOLIDWORKS Industrial Design. That’s kinda neat though – brings back memories of 2013 when brand names were still lowercase and this shift to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform just started, amirite?

Why do I bring this ancient history up? Well, if you recall, SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual was their ‘first design solution based on the Dassault Systèmes 3DEXPERIENCE platform’. Then the name was changed to Conceptual Design, and then… well, let’s look at the progression:

3D Creator
SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual (2013)
SOLIDWORKS Conceptual Design (2014)
SOLIDWORKS xDesign (2016)
3D Creator (2019)

3D Sculptor
SOLIDWORKS Industrial Design (2015)
SOLIDWORKS xForm (2018?)
SOLIDWORKS xShape (2019)
3D Sculptor (2019)

What’s Happening to the xApps/xProducts?

No earthly idea. SOLIDWORKS xShape was announced at SOLIDWORKS World 2019 with xDesign updates shared and other xApps mention or shown at the Dassault Systemes booth or in sessions. At Develop3D Live on April 17, 2019, Gian Paolo Bassi, was heralding their future.

What’s Happening to 3DEXPERIENCE.WORKS and the .WORKS products?

No earthly idea. At SOLIDWORKS World 2019, Feb. 10-13, 2019, the .WORKS product family was announced. Interesting tidbits:

  • On Feb. 6, during the 2018 Q4 Earnings call (transcript), Bernard Charles first mentioned 3DEXPERIENCE.WORKS, saying, “I am pleased to announce that we are creating 3DEXPERIENCE.WORKS, a new business applications family on our 3DEXPERIENCE platform to bring the power of the platform and portfolio to the Mainstream market. SOLIDWORKS is now natively on the platform with XDESIGN. Recently acquired, IQMS will be rebranded as DELMIA.WORKS-it will be part of this new business applications family to serve the mainstream manufacturers. We believe this offer, on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, will change the game in the Mainstream market by connecting the dots between business and manufacturing processes. We will have more to say at SOLIDWORKS World in Dallas next week.”
  • The 3dexperience.works domain name was registered by Dassault on Feb. 9th. (Other .works domains–solid.works, delmia.works, enovia.works… were registered on Feb. 11.)
  • You can get a recap of the 3DEXPERIENCE.WORKS strategy press event on Facebook.

Again, at Develop3D Live, April 17, 2019, Gian Paolo Bassi, spoke of the four-fold focus of 3DEXPERIENCE.WORKS.

It all wouldn’t be so frustrating if it wasn’t so confusing. But don’t worry, it’s not you. This post from Michael over at Razorleaf captures the essence of the dynamic, name/role/strategy-shifting machine that is Dassault Systemes.

And if it seems like I’m obsessing over names a little bit, it’s only an attempt to ‘establish where the business is going’ as some on the SolidWorks forum are doing.

Tomorrow, June 20, they have a webinar that will explain more about the new offerings for SolidWorks and hopefully provide the opportunity to ask questions. You can register for that here.


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.