SolidWorks World 2016 – Recap

Posted on February 8th, 2016. Posted In SolidWorks Community

I honestly wanted to post daily recaps of this year’s SolidWorks World, but, obviously, I failed miserably. So, here’s my recap for the whole, mostly excellent, SolidWorks World 2016.

The bad: once again, Jessica Alba was not a speaker.

Jessica Alba at SolidWorks World

I was told, however, that they (the events team) did, in fact, look into what it would cost for her to be a speaker. Apparently, Jessica is quite expensive. I’m thinking of setting up a kickstarter campaign for SolidWorks World 2017. Where it’s in LA, there’d be no travel costs, just her speakers fee. Who’s in?

The music. I’m not sure what’s happened the past couple of years, but the entrance music has just been abysmal. In years past, we’d hear the music thumping as we queued up outside the doors of the general assembly hall. The past two years, nada. Couple that with the choice of music–some sort of mashup dance crap–and…blah. I know, I know, I’m old and curmudgeonly and SolidWorks is targeting a younger audience these days. But, from what I saw, there were more of my generation than youngsters. Would playing “You Shook Me All Night Long” or “Welcome to the Jungle” be that difficult?

The not-so-bad: I understand that it’s a necessary evil, but I wish the Monday morning General Session wouldn’t have a Dassault Systèmes segment. It’s SolidWorks World, get us excited about SolidWorks first! Fill us in on the (boring) financials later. Better yet, save the financials for the analysts in attendance and keep the users pumped up about SolidWorks.

The it’s-getting-better: Bernard and Monica.

I get the impression that Bernard is beginning to understand the SolidWorks community better and his speech reflects that. It’s nice to see that he is becoming assimilated.

Unlike last year, where she gave us a 15-minute dissertation on her resume, Monica’s speech was on-topic and concise. I think.

The new-product-announcement: SolidWorks PCB. SolidWorks has teamed up with Altium to provide SolidWorks PCB, simplifying PCB design in SolidWorks.

The skynet-is-imminent: There was a lot of robot talk, including Brewbot–a robot that will help you brew beer. At least we’ll all be drunk when robots become self-aware and enslave us all.

The misplaced-congratulations: Dr. Neil Gershenfeld, Director of Center for Bits & Atoms, MIT and founder of FAB LAB, congratulated Gian Paolo, Monica and Bernard for creating the SolidWorks community. While, now, they may nurture it, I’m pretty sure it was the users, along with some key SolidWorks people (King Richard among them), who created and grew this absolutely awesome community.

The key-note-speakers-noted: The aforementioned Dr. Gershenfeld, Yves Bèhar–Founder and Principal Designer, fuseproject, David Pogue–founder of Yahoo Tech and Peter Diamandis–Chairman & CEO of X PRIZE Foundation.

Dr. Gershenfeld–He is smart. Very smart. Too smart for me. I never quite understood what he was talking about.
Gotta say, though, that the ‘Scream Body’ was…interesting?

Yves Bèhar–visionary, entrepreneur and possessor of awesome hair. His talk about technology and design was interesting.

Peter Diamandis–another visionary, pioneer and space activist. Excellent speech.

David Pogue–Engaging, funny, intelligent with a hint of 15-year old boy humor. First person, I believe, to say ‘boobs’ on stage at SolidWorks World.

The Great–Pretty much everything on Tuesday. Education stuff, Apps for Kids, SWUGN Awards, recognition of SASPUG’s 20th anniversary. David Pogue’s interviews.

The mega-awesome–Wednesday’s Star Wars themed skit telling us what would be coming in SolidWorks 2017. You’ll need to sign up (it’s free) for the on-demand stuff, but here’s the link. Skip to the 49:23 mark.

Every year I talk about the awesomeness that is SolidWorks World because it is just that awesome. You really, really need to do yourself a favor and go just once. You won’t regret it.



  • Nice recap Jeff. I hope to make it to LA next year and see y’all there.

  • diverso

    -I loved the T-Shirt options… finally I get something that I can wear more than once a year.
    -The venue in general was great, probably the least walking from the last 8 events
    -Food was better the last year
    -This year’s GS where better than last year, but as awesome as in years pre-3DX
    -What did you think about the No-Backpack situation?