Immediately following today’s general session – where we learned about the new, long-awaited CAD product known as SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual – Fielder Hiss, Bertrand Sicot, and the rest of the SolidWorks/DASSAULT executives hosted a press conference. During that conference, we got a few more details on the product, and it’s development up to this point. After the conference, however, I got a chance to spend 5 minutes using today’s newly announced product. But here’s the interesting part: the product I used was hosted on an iPad, not a PC, like we saw today at the General Session. I asked how it was possible that a product still in development could already be translated to mobile form. The answer surprised me: It wasn’t. At the core of what Gian Paolo Bassi is calling their 21st-century kernel is universal adaptability. SolidWorks MechCon, and presumably any future V6 app, can be used on any device – PC, Mac, iOS, Android, and web, to name a few – without a lengthy translation process. In the same way that Windows 8 is trying to standardize their user experience across PCs and Tablets, the V6 kernel is attempting to do the same for their conceptual CAD tool.But if the same tools are to be used in the same way across vastly different devices, they have to be simple but powerful. From my brief interaction, that seems to be the case. Simple tools that sketch basic shapes, create solid bodies, and modify existing geometry come together to grow a concept out of nothing. But remember, it’s not SolidWorks. The tools are different and will take some getting used to. They’re geared toward fast, simple modeling, not detailed design. There’s no way to input exact measurements, just whatever looks good. Remember, the tools are as powerful as they can be while still working on mobile devices.
The viewer side of the MechCon app.
Editing a model on an iPad. Not just viewing or animating, but actually editing. And those edits can be picked up on a pc or dropped directly into SolidWorks.
Notice the toolbar at the bottom of the app. Tools include erase, select, sketch entities (line, rectangle, arc, curve, circle), move, push, revolve, offset, smooth, paint and more.