SolidWorks Technical Summit – Los Angeles review

This review is a little late in coming.  There’s been one thing after another since I got back from this one day event in mid-December.  But now, over Christmas vacation, I have some time to write.

The December Technical Summit had around 85 persons in attendance.  As usual, it started with coffee and pastries for breakfast.  After the opening statements from Richard Doyle, everyone headed off to one of two sessions.

I attended the session by Phil Sluder on Assemblies.  He  broke the topic down into 10 essentials, ranging from basics about file types (.sldprt, sldasm, and slddrw) to how to manipulate components within an assembly.  He then went into “Assembly Survival Tools” where we were shown some newer SolidWorks capabilities and more advanced functions.  Of particular note, he did a great job of explaining Virtual Components and how to use them.  This is something I’ve not dabbled into yet, so I found it very educational.  He also covered multi-mating, mousing controls, warnings and errors, issues with chain mating (mating parts in a chain instead of to base components or geometry), and may other points that are good for newer and intermediate users.  Sessions like this one are good, even for experienced users, as there is usually at least one thing we learn or get reminded about.

Richard Doyle has likely done more SolidWorks related sessions than any other human alive today.  Not only does he host the Technical Summits (with morning and noontime presentations), he usually does at least two technical sessions in each event.  I attended his first session on CAD Management.  This was a very thorough presentation that covered just about anything we need to know for setting up and maintaining SolidWorks on modern computers.  One important point he brought up is that 64-bit computers and OS are not faster than 32-bit.  They are simply able to handle more RAM (16GB vs 4BG).  Other major point was that we (SolidWorks users) need to make sure we have administrative rights to the computers we use.  Needless to say, this was a very informative session that I recommend to all.

It was time for lunch.  The meal of good.  The noontime entertainment included the giving of prizes (which I will cover in a future article), and a review of what’s new in SW 2009 by Richard Doyle.

Some guy named Matt Lorono did some session about drawings after lunch.  🙂  I covered some of the basic information and advice about Sheet Formats and Drawing Templates, and covered some new SW 2009 features, including the new Title Block Editor.  I then covered more advanced topics, like how to create watermarks and how to make Drawing Templates utilize multiple Sheet Formats.

The next heavily attended session I went to was by Mike Puckett on mold design.  Mike is taking a newer approach to his presentation.  Although he still based it around a Power Point presentation, he spent most of his time demonstrating within SolidWorks itself.  He did such a good job with this methodology, I don’t feel he really even needed to use Power Point.  He showed us some of the basic techniques he uses to create models of molds from existing parts.  There was a lot of good information, such as using a preliminary skeleton sketch, how to translate swoopy shapes to a mold, and how to design ejector pins.

Over all, the Technical Summits just keep getting better!  If you cannot make it to SolidWorks World 2009, I recommend at least trying to attend a nearby Technical Summit.

Author: fcsuper

As a drafter, mechanical designer and CAD engineer, I've been in the mechanical design field since 1991. For the first 8 years of my career, I was an AutoCAD professional. I utilized AutoLISP and many other AutoCAD customization features to streamline drafting activities for 6+ drafters and designers. I authored several custom functions, one of which was published in the March 1997 issue of Cadalyst Magazine. Since 1998, I've been used SolidWorks non-stop. I've worked to utilize the SolidWorks' user environment to simplify drafting and design activities for 20+ engineers. I've created this website to provide current information about SolidWorks from a variety of contributors. More recently, I am now employed by Dassault Systemes as SOLIDWORKS Sr. Product Definition Manager to improve drawing, annotation and MBD related areas.

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