SolidWorks Labs lets users try, evaluate new software on line

By Control Engineering Staff March 21, 2007

One of the more interesting things companies do is to establish on-line labs where users can try out proposed new features and products not yet officially released. They’re put up with the understanding that they’re works in progress, says Austin O’Malley, CTO of SolidWorks Corp . Users can try them out and send comments directly to the developers. One of the newest is SolidWorks Labs . At the moment the site has four products on line, with more in the pipeline. The four are:

Drawings Now—This browser-based tool is for viewing drawing files. Users can upload a DXF, a DWG, or a SolidWorks drawing file, and then view it or share it with a colleague without installing any software.

CosmosXpress Now—This product makes it possible to try out the Cosmos analysis tools without having to install any software. Users can upload a file, run an analysis, and view the results on a browser.

Zoomin—This immersive viewing tool or viewing experience uses a gaming paradigm to allow users to set up a model, “and then they just get into the viewing experience and interact with the model,” says O’Malley.

DWGnavigator—This product provides simple data management for DXF and DWG users. It lets them save files from one version of AutoCAD to any other, but more important, says O’Malley, are “some unique browsing and search capabilities.” He wouldn’t go into detail, insisting that users try it for themselves.

SolidWorks Labs requires registration, but it costs nothing, and gives users a chance to tell the company’s developers what they like, dislike, or would like to see.

—Control Engineering Daily News Desk Peter Cleaveland , Contributing Editor