I enjoy opportunities to visit SOLIDWORKS users. My previous trip found me in St. Louis. Recently, I visited the Houston. While in Houston, I was able to present at the Houston SOLIDWORKS User Group at their meeting on June 13, 2023. Joe Lance is the leader of the user group. He was instrumental in setting up and running the meeting. Also, he also gave me sound advice for my travel arrangements in Houston. Additionally, I was also able to connect with several customers and resellers during my trip.
I actually gave two separate presentations at the user group meeting!
My first presentation covered the topic of xDrawing and the associated Manufacturing Definition Creator Role on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. The benefits of xDrawing are numerous, not least of which is the flexibility to create drawings and MBD product definition from the same data set, so work is not duplicated when creating either, and so that data always matches between these different methods.
My second presentation followed a break and interlude where Joe Lance gave out swag to attendees. Joe gave away lot of great SOLIDWORKS themed items! The topic for my second presentation was about the Product Definition team and how we work to make sure we keep our customers at the forefront of the decision-making process for SOLIDWORKS products. This presentation was impromptu, without slides nor firm outline.
Exploring the Town
Overall, this trip was a little shorter with a more tightly packed schedule. As such, I didn’t get much time to explore Houston. There are some sites/sights I was able to squeeze in, such as a visit to the Space Center Houston and an evening at Saint Arnold Brewing Company.
I did discover a good breakfast crepe at Melange Crêperie. Are there more hidden gems in Houston? Another trip back may be in order at some point.
April 2020. That’s 28 months ago. April 2020 was the time when I was scheduled to present at the St. Louis SOLIDWORKS User Group meeting. Hindsight would now tell most what’s wrong with that date. When Charles Culp and I planned the meeting, there was no COVID-19 in the public mind. The devastating fires of Australia were still yet to happen. Charles and I were just planning a routine user group meeting.
Needless to say, that meeting was cancelled, along with a great many other things. 28 months later, we were finally able to have that long awaited user group meeting. It appears to have been worth the wait.
For this trip to St. Louis, I was joined by Sara Berndt (UX Design Manager) and Chris Pagliarini (Product Manager).
My presentation covered the topic of xDrawing and the associated Manufacturing Definition Creator Role on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. The benefits of xDrawing are numerous, not least of which is the flexibility to create drawings and MBD product definition from the same data set, so work is not duplicated when creating either, and so that data always matches between these different methods.
So, technically and actually, everyone that attended 3DEXPERIENCE World 2020 has attended every 3DEXPERIENCE World conference! Isn’t that awesome? A fresh start! Or is it? SOLIDWORKS World‘s new skin, or something more?
What really changed? There is still a very heavy SOLIDWORKS focus, the 21st Model Mania, and the SOLIDWORKS Top Ten. The Partner Pavilion is now a bit different with a new name, 3DEXPERIENCE Playground. The number of breakout sessions continues to expand, including new 30 minute format (in addition to 60 and 90 minutes). General Sessions have returned to the morning to include product announcements, keynote speakers, SWUGN community updates, amazing customer stories, etc. Sunday had its Certification testing, SOLIDWORKS CAD Manager’s Boot Camp, and Reception. Monday saw yet another CSWE Event. Tuesday had the Special Offsite Event on Broadway in Downtown Nashville, complete with several live music acts. Even the unsanctioned CAD Monkey dinner roared to record attendance on Saturday.
As usual, I have two (or more) presentations. My breakout session on Monday called MBD and Me was actually standing-room only attendance. There was a lot of interest in Model Based Definition. My other session was a Hands-on session for new and improved tools for Drawing Views in the past 7 years. As per the usual when I presented similar sessions on the past, attendees would yell out in amazement after being shown one or more new tools or enhancements that have been implemented years ago that they somehow missed. I love those moments, but also slightly sadden that well-established SOLIDWORKS users aren’t catching everything they need from each year’s What’s New documents.
Nashville may have been unusually chilly (even for winter), but that didn’t stop it from being beautiful and interesting.
Austin, TX has long been on my todo list for work travel. There are a lot of great SOLIDWORKS customers in the Austin region. Come last week, my long awaited plans came to fruition. This was a busy trip.
Visited several customers in both San Antonio and Austin.
Conducted a limited Alpha Test and received a lot of great feedback.
Presented at the local SOLIDWORKS User Group: CTSWUG
User Group Meeting and Support
My presentation at the user group meeting covered the topic of Model-based Definition in the context of SOLIDWORKS and SOLIDWORKS MBD. It’s a topic I’ve presented many times. (NASWUG, NSWG and SWW17)
Jeremy Browning also presented a lively demonstration that evening on how to model in a manner that utilizes SOLIDWORKS tools with maximum efficiency and resiliency.
Thank you to Nadia Shea and Jeremy Browning for their efforts of support during my visit. Also, thank you to Steve Calvert for his efforts, including the change of the date for their user group meeting to suit my travel.
Also, While in Town
While in town, I was able to indulge local flavor (literally); perhaps a bit too much.
There was also a chance to take in a few of the regional sights and sounds from time to time, of course.
However, the focus of these trips is to interact with SOLIDWORKS customers. This allows us to learn from our users about how we can improvement our products to better suit their needs in future releases. In this regard, this trip was a great success! Thank you to everyone who meet with me and participated in the local SOLIDWORKS events!
This year, I’ve been on a kind of unorganized SOLIDWORKS User Group tour. I’ve presented at user groups in Tulsa, OK, Denver, CO and Seattle, WA. The diversity of meeting locations never ceases to surprize me: hotel conference rooms, high school machine shops, college meeting rooms, libraries. BTW, I’m not pictured in any of the photos below, as I was the one who took these photos of other speakers at these events.
In Tulsa and Denver, I presented on Drawing Views. As simple as this topic may seem for many, even experienced users have told me they learn something new when I talk about Drawing Views.
In Seattle, I presented on SOLIDWORKS drawing functionality that has been added since SOLIDWORKS 2013. Even though most of the capabilities I discussed were available since SOLIDWORKS 2014 and 2015, even seasoned users of SOLIDWORKS 2016 jumped up with excitement as they found out about “new” functionality.
I travelled to both Osaka, Japan and Shanghai, China last month to attend SOLIDWORKS 2016 Beta rollout events. After the Japan event, was I ready to tackle another week in yet another country? Well, yes. I was already adjusted to the local timezone in Japan, so the one hour difference between Japan and China didn’t phase me.
Since I was in town a day early, I was able to meet up with the SOLIDWORKS China team and visit a customer to talk about how we can improve SOLIDWORKS to better meet their needs. The Product Definition team conducts over a hundred of these vists each year. It was great being able to visit one of our valued Chinese customers.
Each day of the Beta rollout in China was a complete event for its attendees. In the morning, SOLIDWORKS China team presented the What’s New and explained the SOLIDWORKS Beta testing. For the rest of the day, attendees eagerly tried out SOLIDWORKS 2016 on their own models and designs in our lab.
Day one of the event focused on customers interested in SOLIDWORKS core, including assemblies, parts and drawings. Understandably, this was the largest group of the event. The SOLIDWORKS team visiting from Waltham had a great opportunity to connect with our customers in China. We got a lot of great feedback about SOLIDWORKS 2016.
Days two and three of the event focused on customers interested in such topics as SOLIDWORKS Electric and SOLIDWORKS PDM.
Each day of the event, SOLIDWORKS China recognized the most prolific bug finders of the day.
In the evenings, those of us from out of town explored the iconic areas of Shanghai on foot.
The Shanghai SOLIDWORKS 2016 Beta rollout event was great. Interacting with our customers as they are using SOLIDWORKS 2016 for the first time provided a lot of valuable feedback. A big thank you to our SOLIDWORKS China team for hosting this event!