Solidworks 2019 launched – Desktop to remain the pillar

The Solidworks XDesign app for design on-the-go is in its final stage, giving browsers a realtime CAD system anytime, anywhere and not dependent on hardware. The cloud-based platform allows users of smartphones, tablets and laptops to express and record your 3D designs, even while you sit on the beach,
as long as you have a connection.

Dassault Systèmes has recently launched Solidworks 2019, announcing improvements to the portfolio of 3D design and engineering applications that, according to the company, decrease design-to-production times and improve design flexibility. Local reseller Mecad Systems held events around the country to give users an insight to what is new in Solidworks 2019.

Solidworks 2019 delivers enhancements and new functionalities that help millions of innovators improve the product development process to get products into production faster, and create new categories of experiences for new types of customers in today’s Industry Renaissance.

Romain Faucher, Technical Sales Director at Dassault Systèmes demonstrates the functionality of the Solidworks XDesign App, which is due to maybe have an official launch at SWW 2019 in Dallas, Texas or maybe sooner – nobody is confirming. At this stage it is only available to Dassault Systèmes and Solidworks employees as well as selected users. In the picture you can see the exact same design running on Romain’s laptop and cellphone, which is only an Apple iPhone 6S

Powered by Dassault Systèmes’ 3DExperience platform, Solidworks 2019 supports the design to manufacturing process with digital capabilities to solve complex design challenges and facilitate detail work in engineering. New features let product development teams better manage large amounts of data and capture a more complete digital representation of a design. Solidworks 2019 also offers new technologies and workflows that improve collaboration and enable immersive, interactive experiences during design and engineering.

Among its new features, Solidworks 2019 provides greater design flexibility to quickly interrogate or rapidly make changes to a model thanks to an enhanced Large Design Review capability. It also dramatically improves high performance view manipulation to scale with higher-end graphics hardware. Another key feature of Solidworks 2019 is Solidworks Extended Reality (XR), a new application for publishing CAD scene data created in Solidworks – including lights, cameras, materials, decals, and motion study animations – and experiencing it in VR, AR and web viewers.

Desktop Solidworks to remain the pillar
During January’s annual Solidworks World 2018 conference Dassault Systèmes made what could be perhaps its most important announcement in a decade: Desktop Solidworks is here to stay. This comes following the French company’s attempts since 2007 to move the software to the Cloud platform.

Pieter Pienaar and Ockert Opperman, both of Hydro Power Equipment with Werner Botha, Charles Theron, Ruan Weyers and Christopher Oberholzer, all of Trinity Draft

Deon Le Grange and Quintin Burger of Mecad with Stephane Bonnamour of Dassault Systèmes

During the annual user conference, Solidworks CEO Gian Bassi showed a slide in which he heralded a two-pillar strategy: One pillar made of desktop Solidworks, the other online.

“You know how to run your business,” Bassi explained to the approximately 5 500 assembled attendees. “We want to give you choice: To grow your business now (with desktop Solidworks) and to help you for the foreseeable future (with online Solidworks).”

The admission that desktop Solidworks is a pillar was great news for the ‘millions of Solidworks users who happily use it throughout the world’ (as Bassi described them), but who had suffered from uncertainty. In 2010, the company shocked its users when it proclaimed: ‘Solidworks has to move to the cloud.’ Following the resulting backlash, DS changed its tune from ‘Maybe on the cloud soon’ to ‘On the desktop for maybe for another 5-10 years.’ This year, finally, it settled on ‘Yup, we consider it a pillar.’

Grant Rens, Dylan Hemer, Bianca Lace, Stuart Kirkman, Michael Blackman, Darren Ternent and Greg Mumford, all from Centurion Systems

Jaco Van Genderen, Ricardo Loureiro, Jose Loureiro, Edmar Maree and Corli Hattingh, all of Regent Lighting

The possible reason for that turn-around is that the second pillar, Online Solidworks, is still relatively weak. It turns out there is no such thing, except the name given to a variety of browser-based programmes running on Dassault’s 3Dexperience platform.

Solidworks XDesign app almost ready for release
However, during an interview at the South African launch of Solidworks 2019 Romain Faucher, Technical Sales Director at Dassault Systèmes enthusiastically demonstrated to me the advancements and functionality of the much talked about XDesign app, a cloud-based app for design on-the-go. Solidworks has been dangling the cloud CAD carrot in front of users for years now. The primary reason for the delay in the release, it seems, is that Solidworks wants to make sure they get this release absolutely right.

“The app is in its final stage before it will be officially launched. XDesign is unique in many ways. It is a cloud-based platform that will allow users of smartphones, tablets and laptops to express and record your 3D designs, even while you sit on the beach, as long as you have a connection and are able to browse the web, whether it is on Safari, Google Chrome or any other platform. This gives you real-time functionality and the biggest advantage is that it is not dependent on hardware.”

“Other features are that it allows you to link your tools, you can co-design and collaborate with colleagues, clients and friends, both internally and externally. In other words you can share your designs and ideas and make changes inside the platform with your fellow users.”

Johan Potgieter, Jaco Nieuwoudt and Malan Zerwick, all from B&E International

Peter Williams and Jared Jansen, both of Cadac with Jaco van der Berg of Mecad

“Once you have done your basic design and recorded it you can then later finish off in Solidworks, as well as validate and optimse it,” explained Faucher.

“This is a real time CAD platform that is fully 3D functional and allows you to capture your ideas, or work, wherever you are in the world, instantly. It is the future and we are confident that when we have finished testing the reliability of the programme within the cloud experience we will have great traction.”

But when will the app be launched? Maybe have an official launch at SWW 2019 in Dallas, Texas or maybe sooner – nobody is confirming. Solidworks has had the bait out for some time now.

For further details contact Mecad Systems on TEL: 012 645 4300 or visit