Need 3D part models? SolidWorks improves search, navigation, communication

Before 3D ContentCentral 2009, users and suppliers who communicated through online catalogs were restricted to exchanging CAD data, says DS SolidWorks. With social networking features, they can converse, compare knowledge and experience, and help each other make better buying decisions.


Dassault Systemes SolidWorks Corp. offers free 3D models

Dassault Systemes SolidWorks Corp. offers free 3D models at .

Before 3D ContentCentral 2009, users and suppliers who communicated through online catalogs were restricted to exchanging CAD data, says Fielder Hiss, director of product management at DS SolidWorks. “Now, with the social networking features we’ve added to 3D ContentCentral, they can have real conversations, compare their knowledge and experience, and help each other make better buying decisions. At the same time, the self-publishing options will attract more suppliers, which give users a wider range of parts to choose from. We’ve already had 100 suppliers register to use the self-publishing options.”
3D ContentCentral 2009, the newest version of the online service, includes an array of self-publishing tools that enable suppliers to build vast catalogs of 3D models by clicking a mouse. New social networking tools let 3D ContentCentral users build Facebook-like communities of members for sharing knowledge on components and suppliers.

More than 450,000 registered users use 3D ContentCentral to find configurable models of engineering components from hundreds of suppliers. With this upgrade, DS SolidWorks is transforming 3D ContentCentral from an online catalog to an interactive online community where product designers and suppliers can exchange information on an infinite range of design issues.
The self-publishing section eliminates the cost and technical barriers to creating online catalogs of engineering parts models, the company says. It enables suppliers to create their product catalogs without relying on a third-party service provider.
Among key features of Supplier Services are:

  • Embedded content management tools: a file upload program, content manager, supplier dashboard, and model preview and edit pages. They enable suppliers to build, update, and maintain catalogs;

  • Streamlined supplier catalog templates and

  • A check-box option for “featureless” downloads of supplier models that protect intellectual property by hiding it from users.

Another page enables users to build communities for trading knowledge and experience, keeping users updated on new 3D model uploads and comments. Favorites, ratings, comment, requests, maps, and advanced search features also have been added.
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Dassault Systemes SolidWorks Corp., a Dassault Systemes S.A. subsidiary
- Edited by Renee Robbins and Mark T. Hoske
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