SWUGN reaches 200

Old SWUGN headerRichard Doyle announced today that the number of SolidWorks User Groups  in the SolidWorks User Group Network (SWUGN) has reached 200 worldwide.  His announcement may be found on the SolidWorks Community Blog in the SolidWorks Forums.  In a forward looking statement, Doyle predicts, “There are at least 2 more groups coming on line in the next few days.”

Tutorial: Tag your features

tagsclipartIn this article, I’m covering a topic of tags, which I briefly addressed in my recent breakout session at the SWUGN Summit – San Jose.  What are tags?  This website has tags that are assigned to most of its articles.  Not just blogs, but many types of documents have tags which are used to increase searchability and enhance content filtering.  SolidWorks added tags functionality in SolidWorks 2008.  In SolidWorks, tags can be assigned to documents and features.

Instructions to assign tags to features:

  1. In the view pane or FeatureManager design tree, select any feature.
  2. In the status bar, at the lower right of the SolidWorks window, click the Tags icon.  tagsmall
  3. Tags box will pop up near the icon and will include any tags already in use for that feature.
  4. Type new tags into that field, separating each with a semi-colon.  (Once a tag is typed, it is applied.  There’s no “OK” button to accept.)
  5. (Click on the Tags icon again to close the Tags box.)

Tag Location

Then, to use the tags:

  1. In the filter field (at the top of the FeatureManager design tree), type-in the desired tag.
  2. This will automatically filter out all features which do not contain that tag nor match that text in their description.
  3. To redisplay all features, click cancel x in the filter field.

filterlocation

SWUGN Summit – San Jose in success

SWUGN Summit San Jose came to a close with many satisfied attendees.  In the past, San Jose area attendance to SWUGN Summits has been a bit up and down.  For whatever reason, attendance picked back up this year.  I haven’t checked to see the actual numbers yet, but I believe it is one of the best so far for this area.  Another bonus, I’m happy to report that both major VARs from this area contributed by giving some of the presentations!

Our star presenter was Gabi Jack.  Over the past week, she was stating much consternation over twitter about her impending presentation.  It turns out, she did a great job with her Surfacing presentation.  It was not obvious that this was her first live and public presentation ever since finishing college.  She’s a natural pro!

Another seasoned pro is Phil Sluder.  His SolidWorks tips and tricks session is always a crowd pleaser.  In fact, the session description simply said, “Phil’s tips and tricks…enough said.”  His presentation is good for all comers, from beginners and experienced users alike.

Elisa Moss had a heavily attended session that covered how to use derived configurations and display states for drawings.  She was also a very supportive attendee during other sessions.

Another star presenter was Alex R. Ruiz, who just recently released his new book, SolidWorks 2010: No Experience Required.  His session was partially based on the new book, which earned some well deserved attention.  I’ll be reviewing the book on SolidWorks Legion soon.

My own presentation was about advanced SolidWorks customization techniques.  Although labelled “advanced”, I did cover some easy topics as well to give something for all levels of experience.  My presentation went pretty well, except for a couple of times where SolidWorks did not momentarily cooperate.  Part of the challenge of presenting is working through the surprizes when they come up.  I was glad that the audience participated frequently and showed a lot of interest in the topics that were covered.

As usual, I’m going to have to thank Richard Doyle for putting on yet another great summit!

In other related news, Arthur Kwun of KLA Tencor earned his free CSWP test by uttering the words “SolidWorks Legion is awesome, dude!”  He did this during the lunch hour, so I wasn’t quite expecting it.  It took me a minute to realize he said the winning phrase.  Anyway, congrats!!

SWUGN Summit San Jose coming up quick!

If you are in the Northern California area, you’ve may have already seen an email from one of the SolidWorks User Groups about the upcoming SWUGN Technical Summit at the Embassy Suites in Milpitas.  SWUGN Technical Summits are day-long SolidWorks based conferences scheduled about once a month at different locations throughout North America.  Each summit generally offers the choice of 10 sessions within 5 time slots.  Each session offers a detailed look at particular SolidWorks related topics which are geared towards all levels of experience.  The San Jose summit is on March 23, 2010 and will feature presentations by SolidWorks Product Managers, local independent SolidWorks and VAR experts.  Among the presenters are a couple of first-timers, Gabi Jack (Bay Area) and Alex Ruiz (driving up from SoCal).  I’ll be presenting a session on advanced customization techniques.  If you’d like to see a particular customization topic covered in my session, leave a comment here.  Right now, I plan to talk about customization of hole callouts, Hole Wizard holes, Shortcut Tool, Mouse Gestures, and Sheet Metal Gage Tables.  (I’m also thinking about the Custom Properties Tab Builder, but that is a topic all to its own, so I may save that for another time.)

The cost to attend the SWUGN Technical Summit is only $40.  This is a bargain by almost any measure.  Similar types of conferences can cost $800 or more.  Check out the SWUGN Technical Summit website for session details and registration.

OK, and now for some fun.  At the San Jose summit on March 23, 2010, the first person to come up to me and says “SolidWorks Legion is awesome, dude” will earn a free CSWP test of their choice (does not include the new CSWE test).  The second person who says that line to me will earn a free SolidWorks hot-cold insulated mug.  Don’t try to be the first person and repeating the line twice. 🙂  Also, SolidWorks employees, VAR employees and other presenters are not eligable to earn these items.

SolidWorks World 2010: other (non-cloud) annoucements

General Session audience
General Session audience

With all the news and promotion of SolidWorks, Enovia and cloud computing, some other announcements might’ve gotten lost in the background.

Attendance

SolidWorks World 2010 had a higher than expected attendance of over 5000 people.  This despite a cut of the number of SolidWorks employees who attended.

Certified users

There are now over 25,000 certified SolidWorks users.  This includes both Certified SolidWorks Associates (CSWA) and Certified SolidWorks Professionals (CSWP).

The new weldment exam was promoted.  Additionally, a new level of achievement was announced, called Certified SolidWorks Expert (CSWE).  This new certification level will require several other advanced certifications before being eligible to earn this recognition. More information about this exam may be found at its new webpage.SWR415_th_bottle

Shop online

Another interesting announcement was that of a new online SolidWorks store.  There’s not a whole lot of stuff there right now.  It’s still worth at least a look.

Quotation

A comment about SolidWorks 2010 made by some guy named Matt Lorono was quoted by Jeff Ray during the General Session on Monday.

There’s something different about SolidWorks 2010.  It’s hard to put my finger on it.  It just seems to be a little …oh I don’t know… snappier or peppier.

Profiled companies

Because so much time was spent talking about cloud computing, there was less focus on customer success stories this year.  Skyventure, Cummfy Banana, Infinite Z, and Canon Mixed Reality where all profiled.  All of them are very interesting, if not outright entertaining.

SWUGN Awards

  • User Group of the Year – New Hampshire SolidWorks User Group, award accepted by their leader, Cindy Berend
  • User Group Leader of the Year – Anne Yust, leader of Twin Cities Simulation User Group
  • SWUGN Lifetime Achievement Award – Rodney Hall, of Catawba Valley SolidWorks User Group