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SolidWorks World 2014 update: Mechanical Conceptual will reduce CAD overhead

The second day of the SolidWorks World 2014 conference has seen the host confirm a release date for its new Mechanical Conceptual product.

The commencement of beta testing for Mechanical Conceptual was announced in January 2013 at SolidWorks World in Orlando. 
“SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual is conceptual – as the name says it – and means you are using the application in the concept phase of the project,” explained CEO Bertrand Sicot at San Diego Exhibition Center on Monday, California time.
“It’s social for collaboration. It’s connecting because the data are in the cloud, and it’s instinctive so that it can support engineering when you design your product in Dassault software.”
According to SolidWorks, the product links stakeholders during the earliest phase of design, with a private community sharing ideas comments and on a simplified design interface. Early motion characteristics can be demonstrated and changed if needed early on, without the need for costly changes later.
Bernard Charles, CEO of parent company Dassault Systemes – whose 3D EXPERIENCE platform is used by Mechanical Conceptual – told the audience that his company had transformed the manufacturing previously through its PLM and digital mock-up software, and Mechanical Conceptual would be similarly ground-breaking.
“We are entering the design world in the age of experience,” he claimed.
SolidWorks’ vice president of user experience and product portfolio management Aaron Kelly explained that the product was based on four pillars – conceptual, instinctive, social and connected – and would cut down on the estimated 30 per cent of design time spent in the conceptual phase.
“What does that mean? Conceptual?” he asked rhetorically. 
“Rapidly evolved ideas. It’s in the name. Instinctive: work the way you think. Reduce CAD overhead. Get your job done.
“Social: use familiar tools that you are aware of today but enable yourselves to harness the collective intelligence to make better designs. And connected: because it’s online with safe, secure, proven technology, it’s going to connect people anywhere at any time.”

The company said little about Mechanical Conceptual since announcing that it was under development. 

CEO Bertrand Sicot explained in an interview with Engineer vs Designer last September that this was because it was in usage but not yet ready, and no public statements would be made until he was sure it was “exactly what the user base is looking for.” 
Today Sicot said that another product, SolidWorks Inspection, would be released along with Mechanical Conceptual in April, aimed at quality and process engineers.
According to a release, Mechanical Conceptual would be generally available for US$249 per month.

[Image courtesy: SolidWorks]

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