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SolidWorks Labs More Than Doubles Its Emerging Technology Offerings Print E-mail
Written by Chandra   
Thursday, 10 January 2008
SolidWorks Labs, the technology sandbox for curious SolidWorks(R) 3D CAD software users, has more than doubled the number of free experimental software offerings since its February 2007 launch.

SolidWorks Labs ( has welcomed nearly 100,000 visitors coming to experience, assess, and critique the emerging technologies offered by SolidWorks Corporation's research and development division. SolidWorks Labs initially went online with four mini-applications. In the ensuing year, it has more than doubled the offerings.

"The more applications, services, and widgets Labs introduces, the more time I wish I could spend there experimenting," said Senior Mechanical Design Engineer Ricky Jordan of Dynetics Inc., Huntsville, Ala. "It's intriguing to see where 3D CAD software - or 3D in general - might possibly go. CB Model Pro, for example, has great potential for conceptual design, and ZoomIn can literally immerse your audience in your 3D model."

New offerings include:

A SolidWorks Labs Gallery ( to showcase the finest creations generated by SolidWorks Labs visitors using the modeling and rendering tools on the site.

iPhone support for Drawings Now, the online sharing service for engineering drawings. Users can use their Apple mobile devices to locate, zoom, and pan engineering drawings with their fingertips.

CB Model Pro, a 3D modeling program that lets anyone, CAD user or not, develop 3D graphical models by simply virtually squeezing, pulling, flattening organic shapes. It acts like digital clay.

A Showcase Widget that lets users create slideshows of their SolidWorks designs simply by pointing to a folder of designs.

A WatchIt Widget that lets users keep track of which files are changing on a system, drive, or folder. Call it mini-PDM for everyone.

SolidWorks Island in Second Life, the 3D virtual world, offering opportunities for learning, entertainment, networking, collaboration, virtual surfing, virtual Formula 1 racing, and events like simulcast real-world robotics competitions.

3D ContentCentral Search tools, which embed a part search into users' Web browsers.

An Improved ZoomIn interface, layout, and materials selection, enabling users to immerse themselves and their audience in even more dynamic presentations of SolidWorks models. For example, users can now set designs on virtual plant floors or in virtual kitchens.

"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," said Brian Harrison, director of SolidWorks Labs. "We've had a lot of action on the site and a lot of feedback, but there are still a lot of designers and engineers that are just now discovering SolidWorks Labs."

SolidWorks Labs was launched in February 2007 as an online destination that lets product designers and engineers behind the curtain of SolidWorks R&D. They can tinker with emerging technologies, test-drive new SolidWorks functionality through their Web browser, and weigh in on the company's product direction. All services and software are free. The site invites comments through a feedback link. Comments go directly to SolidWorks R&D.

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