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3DExperience World 2020 Top Ten List Data


The Top Ten list underwent several more major changes this year, namely the migration from the widely-used SolidWorks forums to the new and unfamiliar 3DExperience Platform. The Platform has not yet been widely adopted, and those who have signed up have described is as hard to navigate. This major and relatively late-breaking change resulted in far lower engagement than in previous years. As a result, the results swung wildly near the end of the voting.

The second major change was the inclusion of an 11th winning idea. This decision was made due to the continued appearance of the “Focus on Fixing Bugs and Increasing Stability” idea, which is of course something that SOLIDWORKS continues to devote resources to year after year. While the appearance of this demand at the top of the list sent a clear message to the SOLIDWORKS Product Definition team, they rightfully decided that it didn’t warrant taking a slot away from the other valid enhancement requests.

Additionally, this year’s list included the first ever appearance of PDM and 3D markup requests. Never before in the history of the Top Ten List have these topics appeared in the final results. Couple that with other requests relating to the disappearance of free Draftsight, printing workflow, and the ubiquitous bug and performance improvement idea, and we’re left with only three ideas relating to the functionality of core SOLIDWORKS (See ideas 10, 7, and 6 below).

There are also, unfortunately, a few things about the Top Ten list that have not changed. As it has been for the last few years, announcement of the Top Ten List results has been relegated to a small breakout session, rather than announced widely on the main stage. While this format allows for a more intimate discussion between the most avid enhancement enthusiasts and the Product Developers who make it happen, it also denies a wider audience the opportunity to see how the software is progressing, and the internal processes used to create these enhancements.

Ironically, the Top Ten List breakout session was live-streamed to those watching from home, requiring several precious seats to be reserved for camera equipment, allowing even fewer SOLIDWORKS users to attend the session in person.

Standing room only for the Top Ten List results session.

All but two of this year’s Top Ten ideas are brand new, with a single repeated idea from 2019, and the near-constant intonation of ONE and TWO (Focus on Fixing Bugs and Increasing Stability) hanging over the development team to remind them of what’s really important. Check out the SOLIDWORKS World Top Ten List Data page for entries and statistics going all the way back to 2001.

Top Ten Eleven Winning Ideas

11. Reset Markup View

With the increasing popularity of 3D markup come a couple of markup-based enhancement requests. This one aims to create a markup reset function to clear all markups as needed.

10. Accurate and correct solid body sweep

A repeat from 2019, this request aims to improve the dismal quality of the Solid Body Sweep function. The requester begs here for better accuracy, the ability to use any shape and type of tool body, and more.

9. Markups: Use Design Library for markup reuse

Similar to a Design Library notes folder for drawings, this request aims to develop a folder for common markup notes, which would “make digital markups faster than paper.”

8. Allow SolidWorks the ability to view, edit and create DXF

This request was born out of Dassault’s decision to discontinue all free versions of Draftsight in 2019. Faced with the reality of migrating all 2D drawing files to AutoCAD viewers, the SOLIDWORKS community understandably took to the Top Ten List to demand an alternative within SolidWorks itself.

Information on the removal of free Draftsight

The original poster even makes a point to note that “The first idea I posted that was about free Draftsight was taken down, and I was asked to reword the idea.”

7. Toolbox: Need warning about function of “Make this folder the default search location for toolbox components

Leaving this option checked during a major release upgrade can cause issues with Toolbox part retrieval, and this request aims to add a safeguard to this process.

6. Rename assy/part with drawing on RMB in Feature Tree

Another utility which is disappearing in SOLIDWORKS 2020 is SOLIDWORKS Explorer. The most useful functionality of Explorer was the ability to rename components while maintaining file references. This function is maintained by the ability to rename directly through the Assembly Feature Tree, but does not include the option to rename drawings as well. This request aims to migrate that SW Explorer functionality into SOLIDWORKS as well.

5. Show PDM workflow stages to users, like Manage

“PDM users… need to see previous and possible next stages to understand flow better.”

4. PDM – Show Cutlist items in Assembly BOM

Currently, SOLIDWORKS PDM BOMs do not have the ability to view detailed cut list weldment BOMS without opening the part/drawing. This request aims to fix that discrepancy.

3. PDM should manage SW Material Database

Similar to the way a Toolbox database or Design Library can be stored and controlled within a PDM vault, this request aims to add the ability to control the SOLIDWORKS Materials database as well.

2. Ability to set up print orientation automatically

In cases when a drawing contains sheets with different sizes or orientations, this requester wishes that SOLIDWORKS would set page orientation and paper source automatically.

1. Focus on Fixing Bugs and Increasing Stability (ONE and TWO)

The ONE and TWO campaign begin with the SolidWorks World 2017 Top Ten List, and has been going strong ever since. The ringleaders are of the opinion that “Making things work as intended and avoiding crashes is going to save us engineers more time than any fancy bell or whistle ever will,” and add “Progress has been made, but there is still some way to go.”

What do you think?

Did this year’s Top Ten List go the way you expected? Do you think the new 3DExperience Platform format will work better by next year, or do changes need to be made before the next list can be voted? Do you think the ONE and TWO campaign is working? Let us know below, and don;t forget to check out the entire SOLIDWORKS Top Ten List Data page!

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3 Replies to “3DExperience World 2020 Top Ten List Data”

  1. Glenn Schroeder says:

    Hello Daniel,

    I liked the article, and I sincerely hope for a better platform for the Top Ten in the future; both the idea submission and voting, and the presentation at World. If the idea and voting layout isn’t so difficult to navigate there will likely be better participation, which would make it more difficult for a single user to rally enough votes to get a single group of ideas into the Top Ten.


  2. Mike DeKoning says:

    Thanks for the article Daniel. I long for the days when this was part of the general session. Seems like us “PDM guys” figured out the platform well enough to actually get some submissions on the list this year.

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