SolidWorks Labs (www.labs.solidworks.com), the technology sandbox for SolidWorks 3D CAD software users, has more than doubled the number of its free experimental software offerings since its February 2007 launch.
Nearly 100,000 visitors experimented with, assessed and critiqued the emerging technologies offered by SolidWorks Corp.’s research and development division. SolidWorks has set up a photograph exhibit, the SolidWorks Labs Gallery (www.labs.solidworks.com/Gallery/), to showcase the creations generated by SolidWorks Labs visitors who used the modeling and rendering tools on the site.
Some of the technologies now available include:
iPhone support for Drawings Now, the online sharing service for engineering drawings. Users can locate, zoom, and perform other operations on their engineering drawings with their fingertips on their Apple mobile devices.
CB Model Pro, a 3D modeling program, lets anyone, CAD user or not, develop 3D graphical models by squeezing, pulling, flattening organic shapes. It acts like digital clay.
A Showcase Widget lets users create slideshows of their SolidWorks designs by pointing to a folder of designs. A WatchIt Widget lets users keep track of which files are changing on a system, drive, or folder.
SolidWorks Island in Second Life, the 3D virtual world, offers opportunities for learning, entertainment, networking, collaboration, virtual surfing, virtual Formula 1 racing, and events such as simulcast real-world robotics competitions.
3D ContentCentral Search tools embed a part search into users’ Web browsers.
And, improved ZoomIn interface, layout, and materials selections enable users to immerse themselves and their audience in dynamic presentations of SolidWorks models. For example, users can now set designs on virtual plant floors.
“We are continuing to create interesting experiences for SolidWorks users, and we’re deeply interested in hearing about what users liked, didn’t like, and what changes they would suggest,” Brian Harrison, director of SolidWorks Labs, said.
The site invites comments through a feedback link, and comments go directly to SolidWorks R&D.