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It is estimated that by 2020, between 50 and 100 billion devices will be connected to the Internet of Things (IoT), the phrase used to describe all of the computer devices actively connected to the Internet and one another.

Current IoT technology is already transforming how we live, work and play. From NEST thermostats that monitor and schedule how you heat your home to Smart Belly Trash Cans which can alert refuse collectors in real time when bins need to be emptied. Everything and anything can benefit from connectivity, with the worldwide IoT market expect to grow into a $4trillion marketplace by 2020.

“If you are going to become a leader in your market, then you will connect your devices to the cloud,” says Kishore Boyalakuntla, senior director of Product Portfolio Management at 3D global software company Dassault Systemes, the company behind SOLIDWORKS.

But creating a product and making it a connected device isn’t as easy as it sounds. Development requires a new set of skills and tools to guide the engineer through the mechanical, electrical, software and systems-level design challenges they will face.

Successful design

For successful design, the mechanical and electrical have to go hand-in-hand so that all the electrical characteristics such as circuit design, signal processing and sensors etc. can be integrated into the design from the start.

Signal and power integrity will also become part of the design challenge. Most IoT products are powered by a battery and being able to replace or recharge that battery is key to a product’s success, as well as ensuring that it can deliver sufficient power to all components efficiently.

For decades, electrical engineers have used 2D schematic and layout tools to create printed circuit boards for electronic design. But what if you could couple your electrical schematics with 3D mechanical CAD into one design and verify your power delivery before manufacture?

In 2012, SOLIDWORKS introduced SOLIDWORKS Electrical, the first 3D electro-mechanical solution based on true real-time collaboration.SOLIDWORKS Electrical enables electrical and mechanical design teams to work simultaneously using highly automated schematic tools alongside mechanical 3D CAD.

By facilitating collaborative design through shared data, improved communication and automation – electrical engineers are now able to design faster with higher quality and at a lower cost to meet those aggressive IoT deadlines.

Connecting to the Internet

The next step of an IoT design is to ensure that it will connect to the web. Xively is an IoT platform that provides management and application modules to create high-speed machine-to-machine communication.

Using SOLIDWORKS with Xively means you can take the guesswork and complexity out of developing products specifically for the IoT.

Collecting and Controlling the data

The true power of IoT comes not from simply connecting products but instead from leveraging the data these connected ‘things’ create. Retrieving this data with analytic dashboard programmes such as Netvibes, can let you communicate with your customers, understand everyday use and service issues or find flaws in your designs that you never thought of before.

Being able to incorporate IoT design into your products will change the relationship you have with your customers for the better. SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD and SOLIDWORKS Electrical is the first prong on the ladder and its subsequent partnerships with Xively and Netvibes will make your journey into the world of IoT a much smoother and connected ride.

Interested in finding out more give us a call or register to come along to our Hardware Pioneers Workshop on the 6th December 2017.

Find out more by contacting SOLIDWORKS reseller NT CADCAM on 0808 250 6377 or visit


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