Austin trip to meet customers

Austin, TX has long been on my todo list for work travel. There are a lot of great SOLIDWORKS customers in the Austin region. Come last week, my long awaited plans came to fruition. This was a busy trip.

  • Visited several customers in both San Antonio and Austin.
  • Conducted a limited Alpha Test and received a lot of great feedback.
  • Presented at the local SOLIDWORKS User Group: CTSWUG
Central Texas SOLIDWORKS User Group meeting in Austin
Full house at the CTSWUG on April 17, 2019.

User Group Meeting and Support

My presentation at the user group meeting covered the topic of Model-based Definition in the context of SOLIDWORKS and SOLIDWORKS MBD. It’s a topic I’ve presented many times. (NASWUG, NSWG and SWW17)

Jeremy Browning also presented a lively demonstration that evening on how to model in a manner that utilizes SOLIDWORKS tools with maximum efficiency and resiliency.

Thank you to Nadia Shea and Jeremy Browning for their efforts of support during my visit. Also, thank you to Steve Calvert for his efforts, including the change of the date for their user group meeting to suit my travel.

Also, While in Town

While in town, I was able to indulge local flavor (literally); perhaps a bit too much.

There was also a chance to take in a few of the regional sights and sounds from time to time, of course.

Great Trip!

However, the focus of these trips is to interact with SOLIDWORKS customers. This allows us to learn from our users about how we can improvement our products to better suit their needs in future releases. In this regard, this trip was a great success! Thank you to everyone who meet with me and participated in the local SOLIDWORKS events!

My unorganized #SOLIDWORKS User Group tour – #swugn

This year, I’ve been on a kind of unorganized SOLIDWORKS User Group tour.  I’ve presented at user groups in Tulsa, OK, Denver, CO and Seattle, WA.  The diversity of meeting locations never ceases to surprize me: hotel conference rooms, high school machine shops, college meeting rooms, libraries.  BTW, I’m not pictured in any of the photos below, as I was the one who took these photos of other speakers at these events.

In Tulsa and Denver, I presented on Drawing Views.  As simple as this topic may seem for many, even experienced users have told me they learn something new when I talk about Drawing Views.

In Seattle, I presented on SOLIDWORKS drawing functionality that has been added since SOLIDWORKS 2013.  Even though most of the capabilities I discussed were available since SOLIDWORKS 2014 and 2015, even seasoned users of SOLIDWORKS 2016 jumped up with excitement as they found out about “new” functionality.

Tulsa SOLIDWORKS User Group

Tusla, OK


Northern Denver, CO


Southern Denver, CO


Seattle, WA

SWW09: Wednesday General Session (Part 2: SWUGN, More Customer stories)

I didn’t realize that I missed writing about this portion of the Wednesday General Session.  Sorry for any confusion about there being a Part 1 and a Part 3 with no Part 2 in the middle.

Here are the SWUGN award winners announced during the General Session

User Group Leader of the Year

Rob Jensen, Southern Minnesota SWUG

User Group of the Year

Central MA/Northern CT SWUG, lead by Tom Cote

Lifetime Achievement Award (2 winners)

 Gerald Davis, Colorado SUG

 Dan Bertscki, Northeast Ohio SWUG

More Customer Stories

Two companies to keep an eye on in the near future are Terrafugia and Magenn Power.  Both are taking to the skies, but for completely different reasons.

Terrafugia used SolidWorks to develop the Transition.  Transition is both a car and an airplane.  It transitions (dare I say “Transforms”) from one to the other quickly.  This allows the driver/pilot to choose their mode of transportation.  If they are on a business trip, and the weather is fine, they can fly via small local airports to and from the destination.   If the weather turns, they can convert their Transition to car mode and simply drive home.   In fact, they can convert it to drive to and from the airport as well.  It is street legal.

Magenn Power is using SolidWorks to develop balloon based wind power turbines, called Mageen Air Rotor System (MARS for short).   The goal is to be able to place these balloons in areas where windmills are not practical.  As stated on their site, “MARS captures the energy available in the 600 to 1000-foot low level and nocturnal jet streams that exist almost everywhere.”

SolidWorks User Group Network Technical Summits

It’s another year, and Richard Doyle is moving a full steam putting the 2008 Technical Summits together.   If you haven’t attended one yet, I invite you to read my review of the San Jose Technical Summit in 2007 to get an idea of what to expect, and the benefits of attending.

Briefly, they include training and discussions on a variety of topics including sheet metal, drawings, weldments, and assemblies.  They also have seminars on newer functions such as RealView Graphics.  COSMOS, PDMWorks and other third party applications are also covered.  For a sample agenda and more information, please visit the SWUGN website.

Here’s the remainder of the schedule this year.  Even if one is not near your home town, I recommend attending the closest one to you.  It will be well worth the trip, especially if you need an alternative because you cannot make it to SolidWorks World.   RSVP soon if you are near Orlando, FL or Nashville, TN! 

Orlando, FL – 3/18

Nashville, TN – 04/09

Oklahoma City, OK – 5/20

Baltimore, MD – 6/17

Vancouver, BC – 7/22

Minneapolis, MN – 8/19

St. Louis, MO – 9/23

Salt Lake City, UT – 10/21

Chennai, India – 11/18