Austin trip to meet customers

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
Central Texas SOLIDWORKS User Group meeting in Austin
Full house at the CTSWUG on April 17, 2019.

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.

Great Trip!

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!

My unorganized #SOLIDWORKS User Group tour – #swugn

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.

Tulsa SOLIDWORKS User Group

Tusla, OK


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Northern Denver, CO


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Southern Denver, CO


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Seattle, WA

Shanghai, China SOLIDWORKS Beta rollout event

SOLIDWORKS 2016 Beta rollout Shanghai, ChinaI 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.


SOLIDWORKS Beta rollout event in Shanghai, China
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.

SOLIDWORKS Beta event winners

Each day of the event, SOLIDWORKS China recognized the most prolific bug finders of the day.

Shanghai iconic skyline

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!

Osaka, Japan SOLIDWORKS 2016 Beta Rollout event

SOLIDWORKS 2016 BetaThere are many SOLIDWORKS Beta rollout events throughout the world each year.   Beta rollout events gives local companies and particular users an opportunity to preview SOLIDWORKS functionality for the upcoming release.  They are able to test drive the new SOLIDWORKS release with their own SOLIDWORKS files from their projects.  The rollout events allow them to help us find bugs and to preview functionality so they can get a heads up on what to expect in the next release.  Rob Jost Presents SW2016 betaThese also give customers a chance to directly interact with SOLIDWORKS team members from Development, Product Definition and User Experience.  Japan, China, Germany, Brazil, US, Mexico, etc all host events during the summer leading up to the official product release in September.  This year, I attended the Beta rollout event in Osaka, Japan and Shanghai, China.

The SOLIDWORKS 2016 Beta rollout in Osaka was a great two day event.  We met with several large customers and user influencers.  Rob Jost of the Product Definition team did most of the presentation, going into detail about what’s new in SOLIDWORKS 2016.  I presented on the topics drawings, MBD, eDrawings and a couple of other areas.

After the What’s New presentation, the SOLIDWORKS Japan team conducted a technical session to talk about the functionality.  Our customers had a lot of good comments about what they had seen so far.


SW2016 Beta rolloout technical session

I love rice and many Japanese dishes.  Each day, lunch was a treat!

Box lunch in Osaka, Japan

On day one, the SOLIDWORKS team had a great opportunity to talk with our customers all day, and answer their questions, not just about new functionality, but also about existing tools too.

On the second day of the SOLIDWORKS Beta rollout, our customers were able to try the new functionality on their own in our lab.  There were a lot of great discussions.  Rob and I gave impromptu presentations about What’s New again for customers who were not able to attend day one of the event.

Impromptu What's New presentations

Testing SOLIDWORKS 2016 beta

At the end of the second day, we wrapped up by gathering everyone for a final discussion.  Customers talked about what they liked about SOLIDWORKS 2016, and in some cases, what they felt needed further improvement.


SOLIDWORKS 2016 beta rollout roundtable

For me, and I hope everyone else, this was a great event!  Many thanks to our SOLIDWORKS Japan team for hosting this event and making it a success!

If you are interested, this event was covered real-time on Instagram.  Check out current SOLIDWORKS related postings by following the official Instagram account.  You’ll see more of my photos from this event, plus many more by the new Community Manager, Rachel York.