As 2014 moves out of its first quarter, the SolidWorks product line is going to have some new products available for purchase. Both SolidWorks Inspection and SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual will begin their rollouts into the market in April, further expanding their product portfolio.
On the technology front, many of the big players are gearing up for their developer’s conferences which usually comes with some interesting insights to what is in store for us consumers in the coming months. Here are a few highlights:
- SolidWorks 2014 SP3 (Early Visibility) is available for download
- SolidWorks World 2014 Proceedings site launches for video and presentation downloads!
TeamPlatform Drops Free Version: TeamPlatform, a cloud based 3D CAD project management service, was acquired by 3D Systems last summer and is now discontinuing their free offering in mid-April. The product has shifted to a pay-only service and offers excellent tools to manage projects that require 3D markup and collaboration all through a web browser.
Sunglass.io Disbands: Sunglass.io, a company formed out of MIT, had launched a web/mobile platform to help address challenges with distributed teams and their 3D Data. The service offered 3D WebGL viewer, co-browsing, chat and even VOIP to connect teams around their 3D Data. After 2 years of attempting to commercialize the product, they have recently shut down the service despite innovating in this collaborative space.
GrabCAD WorkBench Adds-into to SolidWorks: The 3D CAD Community, GrabCAD, has evolved from a sharing and engineering talent source to a full collaboration service with GrabCAD Workbench. Workbench is integrating with many other cloud services but is also offering add-ins into other CAD platforms like SolidWorks. This provides data sync with remote teams and performs collaboration and version control from within SolidWorks and and anyone through the browser. Read more…
Automatic: Bringing Internet of Things to Your Car: The Internet of Things (IOT) is constantly inching closer to so many of the products we use everyday, including our cars. Automatic has a dongle ($99) that plugs into your car’s data port (on most cars back to 1996) and talks to your smartphone via their free apps on iOS and Android. I recently added one to my car and if you like getting data, this is the gadget for you.
Office for the iPad Finally Ships: This past week Microsoft’s new CEO, Satya Nadella, announced Microsoft Office for the iPad. Although this was available before with an Office365 subscription (~$70/year), it is now free to download for use. Sporting a newly optimized interface for the iPad, viewing Office documents is free. However, editing or creating documents via the new app will still require the Office365 subscription. Features include Word (w/ full formatting), Excel (w/ specialized numeric keypad) and PowerPoint (w/ virtual Laser pointer),
Lagoa Web-based Rendering: Lagoa, which is Portuguese for pond, is a cloud-based rendering startup that showed off their stuff at SolidWorks World 2014. Lagoa, brings high end rendering to almost any 3D File all in the browser. They specialize in complex materials like hair, physical lighting and a full scene design. Co-editing, quick embedding and an open api to deliver interactive pages, makes this browser-based startup one to keep your eye on.
Windows 8.1 Update 1 Hits RTM: Finally the next patch to hit Windows 8.1 has been released to manufacturing (RTM). The final bits should show up in the Windows Store as an update around April 8th. The update improves dual screen support and other non-touch (desktop) focused interfaces. This will be the first major patch with Windows 8.1 since it shipped back in October 2013.
As many traditional desktop software markets start to push portions of their tools to the cloud, companies like Microsoft, Apple and even Dassault Systems are evaluating which problems are better solved by software as a service (SaaS). Connectivity has become a non-issue, in most cases, and connection speeds are increasing by the year. Spending less time on keeping your software up-to-date means more time getting work done.