Flashback 15 years ago, I didn’t even have my license yet and SOLIDWORKS was a newly budding CAD System that was shaking up the industry with it’s refreshing approach to Mechanical Design. It had been around for 7-8 years now and was gaining notoriety fast for its simple to use interface, paired with its powerful design capabilities. It was still the new kid on the block, going toe-to-toe with the industry mainstays such as Unigraphics, PTC, SolidEdge and Autodesk.
Fast forward to today, while the interface would still be familiar, SOLIDWORKS as a solution has changed drastically, from the addition of many products to help make engineers even more efficient, to the community that supports it.
Whatever your viewpoint, the fact is that SOLIDWORKS has evolved from a plucky CAD system into the Industry Standard. It’s hard to find someone in the Mechanical Engineering community who hasn’t heard of SOLIDWORKS. How have they done this? Through their community outreach and their customer-based product delivery. You may not know this, but 90% of all software updates on an annual basis come from customer requests. The user community is alive, vibrant, and not to mention, very active. If you had ever attended a SOLIDWORKS World, you would see just how enthusiastic the user community is. A mish mash of customer users, resellers, advocates, partners, and SOLIDWORKS employees all walking the same halls together celebrating this beloved CAD System, 7,000 + people strong, on a yearly basis.
I, myself, have most of my life thanks to SOLIDWORKS. My Father opened Unitec, Inc. back in the late 1980’s where he originally sold CADKey and in 1996, made the switch and decided to start selling, supporting and training on SOLIDWORKS. A decision I am thankful for to this day. Little did I know way back in the early years of our company, while learning how to walk, that one day I would become an integral part of Unitec’s go-to-market strategy. SOLIDWORKS has put me through college, and SOLIDWORKS continues to support my family. You could say I’m pretty invested in this solution.
Every day SOLIDWORKS puts me into different companies that manufacture various solutions that make humanity run. It makes me appreciate the things I consume daily from a fundamental perspective. The example I like to use is a toothbrush. Everyone owns one (hopefully), but has anyone ever thought to themselves, “what went into this toothbrush?”, about the jobs that were created in its design, manufacture and production processes? My role as a SOLIDWORKS Business Development Manager puts me in touch with these people, the people that make the things that allow all of us to live our lives. Whether it’s an aerospace company that manufactures parts for the planes we fly on, radiation detection device companies that help make sure that food can safely be consumed after a nuclear event, medical device companies that manufacture products that help us live longer, packaging companies that help to deliver the products we consume on a daily basis, consulting companies that help to bring ideas to life, or emergency lighting companies that help make emergency vehicles safer and more visible so that first-responders can get to where they need to as fast and as safely as possible. I am thankful for being able to experience all of this every single day.
So what does SOLIDWORKS mean to me? It means hope. The customers I interact with show me time and time again, that no matter what the obstacle, almost any situation can be engineered with the right amounts of determination, innovation, hard work…And maybe, just maybe, the right engineering tools to help bring excellent, life-altering ideas to reality.