Solidworks 2017: An expanding platform for innovation

In September 2016 Mecad Systems gathered together over 425 clients and users in Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg for the launch of Solidworks 2017. The event highlighted the continued evolution of the Solidworks portfolio to support developing smart, connected products. This release expands support for multi-CAD and synchronous collaboration, essential capabilities for customers to optimise participation in their value chains. Companies of all sizes need full lifecycle support from their solution providers, and Solidworks is focused on delivering right sized, right packaged offerings to their customers.

Today, Solidworks offers a wide range of solutions. These offerings are a mix of Solidworks’ native solutions, those that leverage the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform that is the basis for Dassault Systèmes’ broader PLM vision, other Dassault Systèmes offerings (e.g., 3DVIA Composer), and key partner offerings.

Solidworks 2017 was described as a bundle of desktop functionality and online services available to subscribers (i.e., paying maintenance). There are too many Solidworks 2017 features to cover in a short commentary [1], but the launch announcement [2], launch site [3] and Solidworks blog [4] provide more details

The new release incudes 520 enhancements, many requested by Solidworks customers, including 250 in mechanical CAD and 105 in their electrical offerings. With this move to smart, connected products for manufacturers of all sizes electrical and electronics support is crucial. While it was not a focus of the event, their partnership with Altium offers their customers access to a leading electronic design automation (EDA) tool integrated with Solidworks [5]. Supplementing the desktop applications is a set of Solidworks 2017 subscription services that will be updated and enhanced during 2017, some online and some on-premise.

Some of the major enhancements for Solidworks 2017 include:

• Visualise Standard
• 3DPartSupply
• 3DDrive
• MySolidworks
• Streaming

Another important capability is support for other MCAD file formats. According to Solidworks, about 60% of their customers get MCAD data in formats other than Solidworks.






Some of the clients that attended are seen below.

For further details contact Mecad Systems on TEL: 086 111 2236 or visit


Freek van den Berg of Mecad, Michael Blackman and Ricky Dos Santos, both of Centurion Systems and Marius Esterhuyze of Dassault Systemes


Robert Pereira of Mecad, Roche Du Toit of Osborn who is also the Leader of the Solidworks User Group, Gauteng, Rico van Niekerk of Osborn and Riaan Ludik of RLD Design


Graeme Littlefield of Product Genesis, Wayde van Heerden and Ricardo Loureiro, both of Regent Lighting Solutions


Jonathan Leichner and Kevin Steyn, both of Prochem Pump Manufacturing


Miriska Harris, Johan Buitendag and Nelius van As, all from Bumbo


Deon Janse Van Rensburg of Klydon and Manie Erwee of VR Laser Services