Just like day one, there was no lack of energy in the second day of the much anticipated SolidWorks World 2017 3D design and rapid prototyping conference. The high voltage General Session maintained the fast paceof excitement and innovation for the rest of the day. On the morning of the second day, a team from Dassault Systemes put forward various aspects of their team and the customers, giving attendees an insight into the thriving community that has formed around SolidWorks. Users all over the world of every skill level are making use of it and are being benefitted. SolidWorks’ Vice President, Strategy and Community Suchit Jain presented certain key demographics of that community which included students of beginner level, certified users of the software, up and coming entrepreneurs, makers and not the very least- their esteemed partners.
The Strength of Community: SolidWorks
The SolidWorks community encompasses people from all walks of life, creating a truly global network of users. From young students who are just starting out with CAD, CSWE experts, entrepreneurs and makers such as Jonathan Tippet- who makes racing mech for desert terrain and all the partners displaying their exhibits in the conference- everyone is included in the community. Some amazing people present were Senior Manager Graphics Siddarth Palaniappan of R&D Deployment who is working to combine VR and AR into SolidWorks. The presenters invited the users to take a look at this innovation at the partner pavilion where they could view and interact with their own designs in virtual reality. To showcase young talent, Director of Education and Early Engagement Marie Planchard brought two students Lyle and Amir of Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy to show the attendees their exceptional skills in high school engineering. Senior User Experience Design Engineer Chinloo Lama stressed the necessity of accessible education and spoke of their partnership with Sindoh through which rapid prototyping could be brought to the cloud for printing on the go and easy sharing of digital designs. SolidWorks User Group Network Awards were handed out shortly after, which honored leaders of the global community and user groups.
Some other great speeches were delivered by the Jet Propulsion Lab of NASA and Motiv Space Systems on the potential of 3D design and rapid prototyping in space sciences. After that came the much awaited Robo Rumble. Battle ready robots were designed using SolidWorks which competed against each other for the first prize. The winner of Robo Rumble was from Team Fast Electric Robots after three rounds of intense robot battling.
A great attraction of this year’s SWW17 was the presence of a team from Ultimaker- a rapid prototyping and 3D printing device that has created a stir worldwide. North American President of the company John Kawola was optimistic about the growth of this Dutch company in the American market. The Ultimaker 3 released in October last year was put up on display. According to Kawola, consistency and reliability are two of their company’s strengths that they can display at a platform like SWW17. With their newest release of Ultimaker 3, they plan to penetrate into the professional market. Features such as automatic bed leveling, dual extrusion and WiFi; the product was very well received by customers. It is always a professional advantage when parts can be picked up off a bed with just a push of the button- it saves both money and time. This year, says Kawola, the company has another year behind in their belts in the rapid prototyping market.
Showing off their newest Mcor ARKe 3D printer was the Mcor booth. The Sales Manager Americas of Mcor Tom Poudrier believes that nobody has a printer that is capable of doing everything. The Mcor ARKe is not an all-in-one solution either. However, it really is a very efficient machine with features such as investment casting, rapid prototyping and full color. As a bonus, all these features come at a price point and speed that makes it a handy device for rapid prototyping purposes. The ARKe was displayed at the TCT Show last September. It is available for shipping in European countries and some units have been made for Chinese customers as well. In the US, the UL testing is still going on and the printer will be available for that market too. This versatile rapid prototyping device is big on functionality and performance.
For 2017, the company has a few goals to accomplish which include making their full color design better in SolidWorks platform and developing their very own design repository for parts in color. According to the team, they already have many designs that are ready to go. The target group for these is educators keen on using 3D printed models in classrooms, but lack the funding required.
HP’s press conference took place early in the afternoon where Manager of their Worldwide Product Development Segment, Sean Young, introduced the HP Z Workstation. He also discussed some of the recent advancements of HP that were targeted towards the 3D design community. Their Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing system was touched upon as well, which was a part of the company’s blended reality experience. A primary area of research of the company is control over design, voxel by voxel. Hence, they are working with their 3D printing technologies, workstations and rapid prototyping devices focusing on the design. They are also keen on using the DAVID Laserscanner that would enhance their quality of 3D scanning.
CEO Greg Mark was present at the Markforged booth, which also had his Metal X printer on display. According to Mark, the company has been working hard on the machine with laser focus. Since their launch at CES, Mark remarked that they had sold quite a few units of Metal X. Under the one million dollar price, this kind of desktop rapid prototyping and 3D printing devices are affordable as well as effective for small scale machine shops that are making use of metal additive manufacturing and rapid prototyping. This is perhaps the first time that metal additive manufacturing has been available for cheaper than CNC milling.
All these amazing experiences marked the end of the SWW17 amidst festivity, enthusiasm and excitement.
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