Year End Countdown 2010

In last year’s count down, I snuck in a prediction that Google Wave would be big in 2010. Google didn’t take long to prove me wrong. This year, I’m going to do much more looking back than looking forward. (I find I am slightly more accurate that way.)

Here are my top cool CAD related things from the year that was 2010:

1 – SOLIDWORKS on the cloud
When SOLIDWORKS gave their first sneak peak of what SOLIDWORKS might look like on the cloud last year at SOLIDWORKS World, panic flowed out into the streets. “Change is bad! Change is bad!” they shouted. It surprised me how few people caught on to the fact that this technology is years down the road, and even more years from being forced upon us. (If ever!) The really sad part is that I am certain SOLIDWORKS will never give us such a long term preview again.

2 – DraftSight
I’m a big fan of free software, especially when it is so much superior to some of those other .dwg clones that cost crazy money. I am so, so, eager to play with the Linux version when it comes out.

3 – EPDM’s Update references
The SOLIDWORKS Enterprise PDM developers pretty much put all of their eggs in this basket with the new tool; if this one flopped there wasn’t much else new in EPDM 2011 to fall back on. Luckily this one is a home run for many users.

4 – Cincinnati tech summit
People came from as far as Pennsylvania to attend this one. The sessions I attended were certainly SOLIDWORKS World caliper. I hope SOLIDWORKS continues these. “SOLIDWORKS World close to home!” For those of you scoring at home, Richard Doyle did not wear a tie.

5 – SolidWorks:Heard! – Episode 289
Okay, okay this one is certainly a bit of self promotion….but [A.] It was fun to do and [B.] It is my list, I can say what I want.

6 – DriveWorks 7
We waited a loooooong time for this one! A few days ago I was looking at some DriveWorks 6 screen shots – like comparing DOS to Windows. How did we ever get anything done back in the old days of 2009?

7 – More assembly features in SolidWorks
Chamfers, fillets and sweeps! Imagine what life would be like if we could do everything at an assembly level?

8 – Let’s Go Design
I know it is a marketing campaign. Here was my initial concern with it: Some of the most important parts of being an engineer is dealing with cost and time schedules. I had a fear that because Jeremy Luchini doesn’t really have these two elements, it would be like watching a Spielberg creation. (Spielberg is cool, but more fantasy than reality.) Those fears appear to be unfounded and the series has been pretty fun to watch. I was also afraid SOLIDWORKS would kill it too soon like they did with 3 Dudes. Luckily it looks like they are going to let this one run a little longer.

I don’t like that the SOLIDWORKS community seems to call the next generation of SOLIDWORKS V6, but it is just a name I guess. Go to your SOLIDWORKS install directory, look at all the Catia files in there? Not sure when they started appearing, but it appears Catia and SOLIDWORKS are finally working together, the best of both worlds is coming.

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