Feeling Better after SWW 2008

*Previously written but accidentally left pending*

My head is clearing.  Thursday after the SWW2008 close I came down with something awful.  I found myself huddled in the fetal position all day and night.  Some of you may have seen me in that same position Saturday in the airport terminal.  Bless my wife for getting delta airlines to provide a coule of blankets while we waited for our 2 hour delayed flight.  Note to self – When running a 103 degree temp DO NOT GET ON A PLANE.  It took 3 days for my head to decompress.

Enough of the self pity let’s talk about the conference-

The week flew by much faster than I would like it to.  My time started Saturday moring with alpha testing.  Because of the NDA that uses my wife as collateral I can not comment too much about it but I do like the ideas that we worked on- Keep it up COSMOS group.

Sunday was filled with Round Table discussions.  I usually enjoy these because i get a glimpse into the minds of other users and how they are using the software.  honestly after these session I have enough content for a 3 hour stand up routine as well as 2 months worth of ideas I want to try to implement in my companies.   This year was a little different as I had much more to offer than most.  One of my concerns with the release of 2008 was the DimXpert.  Some of you may have already seen some of my concerns about this really cool functionality.  The SolidWorks Guy (forgive the mispelling) Avelon, was very attentive to my concerns and had some really good ideas for the continuation of this tool.  Here is a list of what I find problems with – 1. Many people have no idea what GD&T is and now they can make even more expensive and impossible parts with an easy button that is not really that easy.  2. Users have no idea what ANSI/ASME 14 standard this tool is pulling from. 3. With the epidemic of poor modeling to get the job done, this enables even more of that by allowing users to apply appropriate dimensioning &  tolerancing after the model is complete without any regard to how these parts will react when edited later..  Later on in the week Avelon did a great demonstration of DimXpert which really calmed me down.  There is a method to using this tool and it is now my job to learn that method and apply it to the teaches here at NTI.

Another topic I commented on is about Top Down Assembly.  Far too often I have found rascally users finding a part that was deisgned Top Down and Say “this part will work great for my new assembly” modify the part and completely hose up a released products documentation.  I asked for a Release To Production button that would take Top Down Assembly design and “completely” break references to the assembly changing up to surface to Blind and the current dimension so on and so forth.  I saw some SW employee eye brows raise to this idea.  Especially when another attendee discussed how his company remodeled every thing designed top down prior to product release. Productivity lost i say.

Anyhow overall Sunday was very successful for me.  I was able to vent and be heard in the same breath.  I was able to compliment and be heard when appropriate and I met several new people who share some of my concerns.

My next blog will discuss the actual conference proceedings.

Until then – Work Hard, Play Harder

Chris MacCormack

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.

2 thoughts on “Feeling Better after SWW 2008”

  1. Chris,

    Was great seeing you again this year! Too bad you got sick that must have sucked.

    Anyhow I am really curious on what comes of this Method you talk of ‘Later on in the week Avelon did a great demonstration of DimXpert which really calmed me down. There is a method to using this tool and it is now my job to learn that method and apply it to the teaches here at NTI.’

    Can you keep us up to date on this one as it could help a lot of us out, especially those that missed Avelon’s session…


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