SolidWorks World 2008 Day 3 (Jan 23) Breakout sessions

My first breakout session of the day was SolidWorks Sheet metal: Why do I do it like this or that?.  This session went into a lot of detail about sheet metal functions in SolidWorks.  There was discussion covering tears, closed corners, dimensioning preferences, K-factors, when to use normal cut, and the fact that all thicknesses on a sheet metal part need to be identical.  One good point was that closed corners work only when the flanges have the same parent feature.  Like all good sheet metal presentations, miter flanges where also discussed.  One problem I had with the presentation is that way too much time was spent on discussing creation of flat patterns.  When several attendees confronted the presenter with the fact that flat patterns are not often necessary for a designer to create, he argued the point without really understanding why the attendees contested it.  According to ASME Y14.5M-1994, the drawing represents the final product.  Adding intermediate steps (such as flat patterns) are unnecessary since the vendor is responsible for the final product represented on the drawing.  Besides that, most sheet metal shops are much better at determining K-factors and knowing their shop’s limitations than most designers.  I think more information could be packed into the presentation if less time is spent on flat patterning.

After lunch, I attended Leveraging the Design Tables and Configurations….  Many points where covered.  Here’s a few.  It is important to establish a good naming convention for configurations.  Effort must be taken to determine how the model will be represented (drawing, BOM, literature, etc).  Utilize folders in the Model Assembly.  Utilize formulae in the Design Table instead of equations area.  One good point was the suggestion to save backup copies of design tables outside of SolidWorks in Excel itself.

My final Breakout session of SolidWorks World 2008 was Demystifying PDMWorks Workgroup Triggers.  Although I’m not familiar with PDMWorks API, I did learn something about what is possible in PDMWorks.  Also, I learned about the setup required to utilize the triggers. 

I didn’t take many basic how-to Breakout sessions this year.  My main focus was on developing my skills in configuration, customization, more detailed how-to’s, and set up.  I made sure I attended several API related sessions.  Overall, I feel the experience was something that I would not want to miss.  I’m glad I had the opportunity be involved in this experience. 

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.

One thought on “SolidWorks World 2008 Day 3 (Jan 23) Breakout sessions”

  1. Hi Matt-

    I agree with you; I never show the Flat Pattern on a Released Production Drawing, I just care about the finished Bent Product.

    However, I did run into a situation like this with one of my Clients;

    The EMI Shield was bent ‘in-house’ just prior to being soldered to the PCB. So in that case, the Flat Pattern was Inspected in R & I, then Inspected again after being Bent. Crazy, huh? The Client wouldn’t budge on this.


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