DraftSight Community-Based Support

By Matthias
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draftsight cocreation crowdsourcing support help team soliworks 3DS dassault systèmes systemes systems catia enovia simulia 3Dvia delmia 3D modeling PLM 2.0 CAD simulation digital manufacturing design engineering regulations collaboration co-create product creation innovation

DraftSight!  Ever since June 2010 when it was first launched, there’s been a lot of buzz about this new 2D CAD for reading, writing and sharing DWG files. I’m not going to tell you more about the product. I’m here to talk about Support.

So, what’s different about DraftSight? Well the major difference is that support is available through an online community!

DraftSight Community on SwYm

To get support on DraftSight, you need to register on 3DSwYm (See what You mean), Dassault Systèmes’ online collaborative platform. Then, you’ll get access to the DraftSight community.

Let me guide you a little, in case you’re not familiar with 3DSwYm.  Each SwYm community offers features like blogs, surveys, media and iQuestions (a question-and-answer functionality similar to Yahoo! Answers).

If you need support, all you have to do is ask a question and it will be answered by the community. The best answers will be promoted and validated by the other members.

Of course, among the community members, there are some official people from DraftSight support, like Annika Nauheimer. It shouldn’t be too difficult for you to find her, as well as the rest of her team.

“We all started using the same alias ‘DraftSight Technical Support’ and quickly recognized that this is not really going to work for the community. So we decided to create a new profile for everyone consisting of a surname and a short description, which is working out much better, makes support more ‘human’.”

draftsight cocreation crowdsourcing support help team soliworks 3DS dassault systèmes systemes systems catia enovia simulia 3Dvia delmia 3D modeling PLM 2.0 CAD simulation digital manufacturing design engineering regulations collaboration co-create product creation innovation

There are currently 1,119 iQuestions and 81 blog posts with a total of 414 comments. The posts getting most of the attention are those related to the learning resources and guide.

Community-Based Support

Annika supports DraftSight users every day on SwYm so I was curious to know what changes it made in her working life.

“At the beginning it was a bit strange to know that everything we are going to answer goes out to a live community instantly, so it took a bit longer to answer iQuestions or post something to the blog as everything got double checked 10 times to make sure there were no spelling mistakes etc. But I am literally just talking about the first few days, this disappeared quite soon after we started working in the community.”

draftsight cocreation crowdsourcing support help team soliworks 3DS dassault systèmes systemes systems catia enovia simulia 3Dvia delmia 3D modeling PLM 2.0 CAD simulation digital manufacturing design engineering regulations collaboration co-create product creation innovation

“A great thing to see is how the community starts to get its ‘own life’ where users from all over the world help each other. We have a great number of Linux users who surprise us every day with their inspiration. Our mission in the community is to supplement the knowledge being shared, not to drive it. And it seems that we are on a good way!”

I totally share Annika’s enthusiasm and think that community-based support makes a big difference.  Direct and instant communication with users, this is clearly the future of support.

What do you think?

Best,

Matthias

Let’s Go Design Project #2

By Matthew
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Check Out the Multi-Sport Practice Cage!

After months of research and design, Jeremy Luchini and the Let’s Go Design team are ready to unveil the final design and prototype of the multi-sport practice cage. Rather than building a full-size prototype, the team decided to use the 3D printers in the SolidWorks audience to build a 1/12 scale model.

You may also want to visit the Post3D website to take a virtual tour of the cage.

So, what do you think?

Best,

Matt

A Crowdsourcing Community for Inventors AND Influencers!

By Yaser
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You walk into your bathroom early morning; half awake and BOOM…your foot hits the bathroom scale! Your toe is red and you think angrily, I wish there was a way to fold away this stupid scale! You then go on with your business, and off to the rest of your day, forgetting about this idea that might have been your missed million dollar opportunity.

How many times have we had those very brief and passing thoughts that usually start with “I wish that item ABC could do XYZ…life would be much easier”? But we never give too much thought to them because most of us think that our ideas have no market value. This is exactly what the social media site quirky.com is all about.

I stumbled upon this amazing website when someone on my Twitter account was advertising for his “invention” through quirky.com. So I curiously right-clicked, opened a new tab, and started reading what Quirky is all about. To my amazement, I found an incredible community!

Quirky is a group of “Inventors” that have such “I wish…” thoughts for little gadgets.  They suggest their ideas to a mass audience called “Influencers” whom, with the help of the site’s administrators, guide the invention process and refine it through different stages until it is ready to be produced and sold.

At this final stage, a minimum number of products have to be pre-ordered to justify the mass production, after which the “Inventor” gets about 30 percent of the sales, quirky.com takes another 30 percent for their investment in design time (quite significant, about $100,000 for some products), and the rest is divided amongst all the “Influencers” that helped make it happen.

So, I quickly registered using Facebook (how convenient!) and started influencing product ideas  that I thought would be useful. To be frank with you, after helping with a few products, I found that the monetary gain is not that attractive.  It’s the thought and feeling of having successfully influenced a product until production that seem the most gratifying. And therein lies the power of this digital community!

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What I really love about this company is its openness. The owner and his team are in direct relation with their members and are honest and straight forward with everyone. Everyone has tons of fun suggesting and influencing products, and comments are accepted as constructive criticism that allow for great products to emerge.

Now, how is intellectual property managed? I won’t go in details but the site is also very clear about that as well, and stipulates that the entire idea becomes Quirky’s property (unless there are patents of course).  Quirky is free to leverage the idea as it wills, always rewarding the inventor and influencers of course. This is the perfect example of an efficient crowdsourcing process.

This seems to work for smaller gadgets now, but could this basic and instinctive process be the next PLM standardized evolution?

Next time you start a thought with “I wish…” try to take note of it, you never know, it might be the next big thing!

Regards,

Yaser



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