Richard Doyle talks about CAD Managers Bootcamp at SolidWorks World 2013

A regular fixture at SolidWorks World each year is the CAD Managers Bootcamp.  This is a great presentation on how to get the most out SolidWorks from the CAD Manager’s perspective.  Richard Doyle gives a brief history of this event on his blog and discusses what to expect when you attend this year.  The bootcamp is held the day before SolidWorks World, so you’ll need to arrive a little early in order to attend.

 CAD Managers Boot Camp at SolidWorks World 2013

SWW09: CAD Management Bootcamp

At four hours, Greg Jonkowski’s CAD Management Bootcamp is a major presentation that is too large (long) to fit into the regular SolidWorks World days.  It is full of information about computers (server and workstation), data security and safety, graphics cards, OS’s, and what some would consider controversial advice. 

Greg discussed the benefits of properly managing the workplace CAD environment.  When it comes to establishing or improving the CAD environment, he suggests it is good to always critical. 

  • There is always room for improvement. 
  • Focus on allowing engineering to actually engineer. 
  • Simplify processes to improve efficiency. 
  • If some “improvement” makes the task harder, the project will fail. 
  • He also suggests that CAD management means that stakeholders are involve in the processes.

At most organizations, there is usually one or two SolidWorks power users.  Greg makes it clear that these individuals should be recognized and utilitized for there skill set.  These individuals can also be leveraged to implement mentoring programs to help others become stronger SolidWorks users. 

Many other points were comprehensivesy covered to provide a good level of detail regarding issues that a CAD Manager may encounter.

“Urban legends” 

He covered many topics.  However, of note is his two more controversial recommendations regarding computers and installation. 

He made it clear that anti-virus software should be used and that it should not be deactivated when installing SolidWorks or its add-ons.  I know many sources contradict this.  However, this appears to be the company-line from SolidWorks Corp now.  It should be noted that he made this statement very clearly and authoritatively, yet caveatted his comments with unelaborated “I don’t knows” and “problem with one anti-virus”.  I found this to be frustrating.

The other comment that might turn some heads is his stern statement to not use the /3GB switch to give applications access to more of the computer’s RAM.  There are risks associated with using the /3GB switch.  As he puts it, using this switch is “robbing Peter to pay Paul”.   Instead of using this switch, Greg recommends simply upgrading to Vista and 64-bit computer systems.  I say “simply” with sarcasm.  In the current economic environment, advice like this is a bit unrealistic for many.  There is a balance that must be reached, where the risks have to be weighted against the advantages. 

Ok, I still haven’t eaten.  I seriously am going to get some lunch now.