In late 2015, we witnessed an inflection point in the way the world works. This happened when mobile web traffic surpassed desktop traffic for the very first time. Since then, this trend has only accelerated as more things are done on a mobile device from web browsing, photography and even engineering. We are seeing more CAD tasks being done on mobile devices.
The Evolution of SOLIDWORKS
The 3D CAD software known as SOLIDWORKS Desktop has come a long way over the past few years, and the technology is only getting more accessible. Not too long ago, I had to lug a desktop computer when going on client visits. Remember those days? Now, we can run SOLIDWORKS on 15” ultra-lightweight laptops that still have more horsepower than those old desktops. But there seems to be a lot of conjecture about the eventual demise of the laptops compared to mobile devices and touch-screens. As people are becoming more enamored with the ease of use and power of tablets and smartphones, it’s easy to see where they could potentially fit into the daily design work of an engineer.
You’ve probably seen that eDrawings is available on mobile devices and that you can interact with design concepts on a touch screen. You may have even seen the awesome augmented reality running on an iPad where you can view the 3D model as if you’re watching it in person. In terms of real applications, these are great ways to get the point across to people in the field, to communicate your designs and provide work instructions to someone without a printout.
SOLIDWORKS on the Web
The biggest move in the direction of using mobile devices happened recently with the addition of SOLIDWORKS Beta and Trials online. Have you had a chance to check that out? It’s full-blown SOLIDWORKS CAD ran on a web browser like Safari or Chrome. To me, that signals that a mobile application is only a few years away. This year I was able to run SOLIDWORKS Beta on the web while I was connected to an airplane's WiFi at 35,000 feet. That was one of the most memorable moments for me. It really hit me that the next generation of engineering is here.
SOLIDWORKS 3DEXPERIENCE and xDesign
In addition to the web-based platforms of SOLIDWORKS CAD, there is a new tool built on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform called xDesign. xDesign is the most anticipated newest addition to the SOLIDWORKS portfolio. You can just feel the hype at events like SOLIDWORKS World and even at the local User Groups.
xDesign has the look and feel of SOLIDWORKS Desktop but in a fresh and redesigned interface offering an amazing user experience right on the web. It works great on a tablet or a large phone like the iPhone XS Max or Galaxy S10+. If used on anything smaller, then it just becomes tedious to draw and model with the touch inputs. The best part about working on xDesign on a mobile device has to be the collaboration aspect of it. The tool was created with collaboration in mind. When you are using xDesign you have a design environment in which collaboration can thrive. You have never been more connected than when you’re modeling in xDesign on your phone or tablet on the road, in an airplane or back in your office on a lighter weight machine.
It seems like we are witnessing the culmination of a transition that has been years in the making. SOLIDWORKS CAD is transitioning to web-based platforms that can be powered by tablets and mobile phones. So, now you can work when you want, where you want and how you want. What is it that you’re most excited about? I know I’m excited to keep working on xDesign on my iPad Pro.
Ready to learn more about 3DEXPERIENCE and xDesign? Click on the button below to view our webinar: Introduction to xDesign and 3DEXPERIENCE.