Breakout Sessions at SolidWorks World 2011

Because of my concerted effort to keep my schedule under control, my experience at SolidWorks World 2011 was a little more sane.  I was able to make more time for breakout sessions. 

I enjoyed the informal format of Devon Sowell’s presentation, Demonstrating Workgroup PDM to Enterprise PDM Migration.  In his session, he involved the audience in the discussion.  Questions from the audience where frequently fielded, along with suggestions and ideas.  The presentation talked about utilities that simplify the migration process, including one that is only available from a VAR.

Other sessions I attended include information on VB.NET programming, ASME Y14.5-2009, and other PDM topics.

I also encountered a couple of breakout sessions by individuals that did not seem as prepared as they should’ve been.  There seems to always be some sessions like this each year at SolidWorks World, unfortunately.  Of course, it’s not completely unavoidable.  Sometimes things just don’t seem to work during the presentation, even if they did work flawlessly during practices.

Overall, I had a fruitful experience at this year’s SolidWorks World.  I’ll talk a bit about my own presentation in a later article.

Methodology in making solid models (a discussion)

According to some of my sources (who shall remain nameless), there was a time when SolidWorks Corp thought about making a something like a best modelling practices guide for SolidWorks users.  The idea of best practices is something of which I’ve been critical.  The main reason is that every situation, environment, company and industry is different, with different needs.  Even the same tools in SolidWorks are be used in completely different ways to achieve desired results.

An example of this can be sheet metal functionality.  Sheet metal models may be created in one way for a company that makes cabinet chassis and be used completely differently at a company that makes furniture.  Heck, even within just one industry, different methods may be employed for different scenarios.

Each company should develop their own standard or set of standards.  Depending on the environment and type of modelling, these may be rigid, they may be very general, or somewhere in-between.  Set rules can apply to the models and assemblies.  Rules may even vary from project to project, depending on business needs.  Even non-design considerations come in to play when setting up standards.  Network setup, computing power, PDM/PLM/ERP programs, etc can impact methodology.

All of these variables make it impossible to establish best practices for all of SolidWorks users.  This is likely why SolidWorks Corp has seemingly dropped the idea of providing set best practices advice.