New online resource offers design engineers free access from within SolidWorks to millions of timesaving CAD models from leading suppliers and CAD users worldwide

CONCORD, Mass., Nov. 13, 2002 - SolidWorks Corporation today unveiled 3D ContentCentralSM, a free online directory of downloadable, three-dimensional computer-aided design (3D CAD) parts from leading component manufacturers that will help engineers reduce design time and bring products to market faster. Users can search 3D ContentCentral to quickly find and download solid models of parts into their designs to check compatibility and ensure the accuracy of their designs. 3D ContentCentral helps participating component manufacturers attract new customers and increase revenue by encouraging thousands of design engineers to "design in" (check compatibility and subsequently purchase) their products.

When searching for components to fit in their overall product designs, engineers have traditionally sorted through paper catalogs, interpreted 2D drawings and technical specifications, and created component models from scratch, wasting hours of design time on each component. 3D ContentCentral streamlines this process by allowing design engineers to search through a directory of leading suppliers worldwide and download supplier-certified CAD models into their designs within minutes instead of hours. Some of these suppliers include Boston Gear, BTM, DE-STA-CO Industries, Enerpac, Festo, Jergens Inc., Kaydon, Nook Industries Inc., Robohand, SMC Corporation of America, Warner Electric, and WDS.

In addition to supplier-certified CAD models, 3D ContentCentral includes a model-sharing library and user community for individual design engineers. The model-sharing library is a free resource for design engineers to share CAD models with colleagues, customers, and other community members. Design engineers can simply post a 3D CAD model to this community, providing other 3D ContentCentral users with quick access to the 3D model. Users can download models into their designs regardless of which CAD system they use.

Users can access 3D ContentCentral via the Internet or directly from a menu option within SolidWorks® software to browse supplier catalogs and product categories such as pneumatics, power transmission, or tooling to find the right product. Once they've found the right product family, they can configure, view, and download the exact product they're looking for into their designs.


A win-win solution

 Global biomedical company Beckman Coulter depends on easy access to CAD models to stay competitive. Its engineers quickly find CAD models of the cylinders, actuators (used for moving products during a manufacturing process), and other pneumatics products they need to develop biomedical equipment designs on pneumatics manufacturer SMC's 3D-powered online catalog. "3D ContentCentral offers a convenient, centralized resource for finding the CAD models we need in a matter of minutes," said Sam Rizzotte, a designer at Beckman Coulter. "That's crucial in the biomedical industry where products become outdated shortly after being introduced to market. By downloading SMC components, we can evaluate multiple design configurations while decreasing anticipated time to market by more than seven percent."


3D ContentCentral gives SMC immediate exposure to a global pool of potential clients. "By incorporating our online catalog within 3D ContentCentral, more than 200,000 SolidWorks software users have direct and convenient access to the entire SMC product line," said Steve Hoffer, E-Tech group leader for SMC. "SolidWorks users represent more than 23 percent of the 36,000 registered users for our 3D-powered catalog. These users are essential to our business. More than 30 percent of our sales leads are generated from this resource. 3D ContentCentral offers an easy way to increase the exposure of our products to the SolidWorks community, which will directly impact sales."


Chris Garcia, SolidWorks Corporation's vice president of research and development, said "3D ContentCentral continues our mission of providing the mechanical design community with timesaving innovations that help get products to market faster. 3D ContentCentral provides component manufacturers with a unique opportunity to gain access to the largest and fastest-growing community of mainstream mechanical design engineers in the world."


Pricing and Availability

3D ContentCentral is free and can be accessed by going to - . Suppliers who wish to be included in the 3D ContentCentral directory can obtain pricing and implementation information by contacting SolidWorks at +1-800-693-9000 (outside of North America +1-978-371-5000), or via email at Information about 3D ContentCentral and 3D PartStream.NET® is also available on the SolidWorks Web site at - .


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