Orlando, FL Here's a sentence you don't hear often at software conferences in the age of the rocket fuel-powered NASDAQ: "The Internet's exciting, but it's a complement to our core."
So don't label this CAD company a Net-driven flash-in-the-pan, warned SolidWorks CEO Jon Hirschtick at the annual SolidWorks World conference. "We know SolidWorks can never be fast enough, and we're continually working to increase its performance," he said. "The Internet's exciting, but it's a complement to our core: 3D modeling power, ease-of-use, performance, drafting, and data exchange."
Hirschtick's vision is to reduce "CAD overhead," which he defines as "the tax you pay to do design with CAD." In other words, he says many engineers spend too much time studying software manuals, instead of devoting their attention to actual design. To fix this, SolidWorks 2001 offers intuitive features like using mouse clicks instead of keyboard-hungry dialog boxes for its new "heads-up" user interface, and locating tool bars on the left margin, instead of intruding into the model itself.
Of course, every 21 st Century engineer will use the Internet as a design tool. So he showed three new web-friendly features: eDrawings 2.0, a CAD file sharing technology which is still in pre-beta development code, not due for release until the second quarter; 3DPartStream.net, a Web-based service that allows users of online catalogs to view and rotate 3D parts online; and 3D Instant Website, which lets users publish CAD models online in just 30 seconds.
In closing, Hirschtick made three Webby predictions: that 3D would soon be available across the Internet (as pictures are today); that every site in business and manufacturing would need 3D; and that every engineering project would have its own Web site.
Looks like he's not a Luddite after all.