SolidWorks User Group Network Technical Summit in San Jose, CA on Dec 18, 2012

Some people say the world will end 10 days from now.  My bet?  We’ll be just fine on December 22, 2012.  That in mind, if you are in the Northern California area (or within an hour’s flight) and interested to improve your SolidWorks skill, networking with others professionals, and meeting SolidWorks employees, I recommend you look into attending this year’s SolidWorks User Group Network Technical Summit in Silicon Valley on December 18, 2012.

I’ve written about the benefits of the Technical Summits in the past.   SolidWorks employees will be attending this year, along with very helpful presentations.  Registration and details are found on the SWUGN site here.

SolidWorks Technical Summit – L.A., CA (Photos and such)

No matter how many words one uses (perhaps 1000?), there’s just something about photographs that really makes the point.  My previous article covered the SolidWorks Technical Summit – Los Angeles, CA in December 2008.   So, here’s a couple of photos from that event.

Full sessions

Phil Sluder’s session on 10 SolidWorks assembly fundamentals was nearly standing room only.  I’m not going to say there was a fight over one of the front row chairs, but I will say there was one of those “excuse me, I was sitting there” moments.

During our lunch, Richard Doyle presented 5 awesome prizes; the most awesome prize being a free admission to SolidWorks World 2009!  The lucky winner of this prize is the very happy Robert Wittwer of Power Probe, Inc in Brea, CA.

Robert Wittwer wins!

And don’t try to counterfeit the free admission form for yourself!  Richard Doyle handles the submission of these forms personally, and he knows who won throughout the year! 🙂

SolidWorks Technical Summit – Los Angeles review

This review is a little late in coming.  There’s been one thing after another since I got back from this one day event in mid-December.  But now, over Christmas vacation, I have some time to write.

The December Technical Summit had around 85 persons in attendance.  As usual, it started with coffee and pastries for breakfast.  After the opening statements from Richard Doyle, everyone headed off to one of two sessions.

I attended the session by Phil Sluder on Assemblies.  He  broke the topic down into 10 essentials, ranging from basics about file types (.sldprt, sldasm, and slddrw) to how to manipulate components within an assembly.  He then went into “Assembly Survival Tools” where we were shown some newer SolidWorks capabilities and more advanced functions.  Of particular note, he did a great job of explaining Virtual Components and how to use them.  This is something I’ve not dabbled into yet, so I found it very educational.  He also covered multi-mating, mousing controls, warnings and errors, issues with chain mating (mating parts in a chain instead of to base components or geometry), and may other points that are good for newer and intermediate users.  Sessions like this one are good, even for experienced users, as there is usually at least one thing we learn or get reminded about.

Richard Doyle has likely done more SolidWorks related sessions than any other human alive today.  Not only does he host the Technical Summits (with morning and noontime presentations), he usually does at least two technical sessions in each event.  I attended his first session on CAD Management.  This was a very thorough presentation that covered just about anything we need to know for setting up and maintaining SolidWorks on modern computers.  One important point he brought up is that 64-bit computers and OS are not faster than 32-bit.  They are simply able to handle more RAM (16GB vs 4BG).  Other major point was that we (SolidWorks users) need to make sure we have administrative rights to the computers we use.  Needless to say, this was a very informative session that I recommend to all.

It was time for lunch.  The meal of good.  The noontime entertainment included the giving of prizes (which I will cover in a future article), and a review of what’s new in SW 2009 by Richard Doyle.

Some guy named Matt Lorono did some session about drawings after lunch.  🙂  I covered some of the basic information and advice about Sheet Formats and Drawing Templates, and covered some new SW 2009 features, including the new Title Block Editor.  I then covered more advanced topics, like how to create watermarks and how to make Drawing Templates utilize multiple Sheet Formats.

The next heavily attended session I went to was by Mike Puckett on mold design.  Mike is taking a newer approach to his presentation.  Although he still based it around a Power Point presentation, he spent most of his time demonstrating within SolidWorks itself.  He did such a good job with this methodology, I don’t feel he really even needed to use Power Point.  He showed us some of the basic techniques he uses to create models of molds from existing parts.  There was a lot of good information, such as using a preliminary skeleton sketch, how to translate swoopy shapes to a mold, and how to design ejector pins.

Over all, the Technical Summits just keep getting better!  If you cannot make it to SolidWorks World 2009, I recommend at least trying to attend a nearby Technical Summit.

SolidWorks Technical Summit – Los Angeles, CA

The SolidWorks Technical Summit is coming to Los Angeles, CA on December 16, 2008!  A Technical Summit is a day long event that is is kinda like a SolidWorks miniWorld.  Included are sessions covering a wide range of SolidWorks topics to help users expand their knowledge and experience.  Technical Summits are held once a month at various locations throughout the United States and other countries.The line up of presenters for the Los Angeles Technical Summit beings promise of yet another powerful conference!


One inside heavy hitter is Hari Padmanabhan, who is experienced in presentations for CosmoWorks, now called SolidWorks Simulator.

Another insider is Patrick Rainsberry, Territory Technical Manager, SolidWorks.  Mr. Rainsberry has been on the Summit circuit before, so he’s an experienced veteran.  He also can be seen at local SolidWorks User Groups from time to time, with demonstrations about the greatness SolidWorks’ current release.

As icing on the cake, several blog squad members will be presenting sessions about various topics.  These include (in no particular order) Mike Puckett, Devon Sowell, Matt Lorono (oh wait a minute, that’s me!), and Anna Wood.

Then, of course we have the serial presenters Casey Gorman, Phil Sluder, and Richard Doyle, whose tireless contributions make SolidWorks User Groups and Technical Summits even possible.

Return on investment

The great thing about the Technical Summits is that they are official SolidWorks Corp events.  They are only $40 to attend.  Attendees get to pick which sessions they will join.  Breakfast and Lunch are included (worth the price of admission alone).  If you are within the Los Angeles and San Diego areas, I highly recommend attending the LA summit!  If you are even within a 2 hour flight from Los Angeles (such as: San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento, Las Vegas, NV, and Phoenix, AZ), I still recommend attending. If you are a supervisor with staff within these areas, I highly recommend sending the entire staff for the day.  They will easily come back with enough new knowledge to pay for the $40 and for the 1 day gone (and even the flight and one night hotel stay, if applicable), many times over.

I’ve mentioned in the past that similar type summits in other industries can easily cost $800 for the day, and the quality and diversity of those presentations may not even equal what you will find at a SolidWorks Technical Summit.  This is likely the best bargain available in the industry.

Sign up on the SWUGN website.  Click the black Register Now button near the bottom of the screen.  See you there!

Matching game

In the meantime, let’s play a little game.  Match the head shot below with each name here:  Richard Doyle, Mike Puckett, Devon Sowell, Phil Sluder, Anna Wood, and Matt Lorono.

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