SolidWorks World 2008: Sunday

Press Day at SolidWorks World has now come and gone.  This morning Jeff Ray kicked off the series of events by welcoming the press.  Marie Planchard was up next to give updates on the SolidWorks Education Effort.  I ended up missing parts of the first sessions as I was attending a Focus Group on Advanced Surfacing in SolidWorks.  You can check out Mike Puckett’s highlights of this session HERE.

Focus groups are a great way to pass along your thoughts on the current status of SolidWorks features directly to SolidWorks employees.  The most interesting thing about these sessions is hearing how other users use the software and what challenges they face on a daily basis.

The afternoon session started out with Jon Hirschtick giving a History of CAD presentation.  The presentation outlined the evolution of CAD in the last 50 years.  One of the most interesting topics discussed was Ivan Sutherland’s 1963 PhD thesis on a product called Sketchpad.  It is considered by many to be the first modern CAD program.

The next session was a panel discussion that featured representatives from SolidWorks management in the area of R&D.  Austin O’Malley, Jim Wilkinson, Scott Harris, Paul Chastell, & Brian Harrison made up the panel with Cholly Nachman moderating the questions.  Improvements in the performance and quality of the software were mentioned as the major goals for the development of SolidWorks 2009.  Focus on the improvement of software documentation was also mentioned during the discussion.  We will find out more details of what is coming in SolidWorks 2009 in Wednesday’s general session.

By late evening the crowd was really beginning to gather as the welcome reception was set to begin.  As the crowd began to funnel into the Partner Pavilion attendees were introduced to a massive combination of product displays and partner product demonstrations.  I’ll report more on some of the products being shown as the conference continues.

Tomorrow morning is the official kick-off of the conference.  Stay tuned for more updates from San Diego!