I enjoy opportunities to visit SOLIDWORKS users. My previous trip found me in St. Louis. Recently, I visited the Houston. While in Houston, I was able to present at the Houston SOLIDWORKS User Group at their meeting on June 13, 2023. Joe Lance is the leader of the user group. He was instrumental in setting up and running the meeting. Also, he also gave me sound advice for my travel arrangements in Houston. Additionally, I was also able to connect with several customers and resellers during my trip.
I actually gave two separate presentations at the user group meeting!
My first presentation covered the topic of xDrawing and the associated Manufacturing Definition Creator Role on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. The benefits of xDrawing are numerous, not least of which is the flexibility to create drawings and MBD product definition from the same data set, so work is not duplicated when creating either, and so that data always matches between these different methods.
My second presentation followed a break and interlude where Joe Lance gave out swag to attendees. Joe gave away lot of great SOLIDWORKS themed items! The topic for my second presentation was about the Product Definition team and how we work to make sure we keep our customers at the forefront of the decision-making process for SOLIDWORKS products. This presentation was impromptu, without slides nor firm outline.
Exploring the Town
Overall, this trip was a little shorter with a more tightly packed schedule. As such, I didn’t get much time to explore Houston. There are some sites/sights I was able to squeeze in, such as a visit to the Space Center Houston and an evening at Saint Arnold Brewing Company.
I did discover a good breakfast crepe at Melange Crêperie. Are there more hidden gems in Houston? Another trip back may be in order at some point.
April 2020. That’s 28 months ago. April 2020 was the time when I was scheduled to present at the St. Louis SOLIDWORKS User Group meeting. Hindsight would now tell most what’s wrong with that date. When Charles Culp and I planned the meeting, there was no COVID-19 in the public mind. The devastating fires of Australia were still yet to happen. Charles and I were just planning a routine user group meeting.
Needless to say, that meeting was cancelled, along with a great many other things. 28 months later, we were finally able to have that long awaited user group meeting. It appears to have been worth the wait.
For this trip to St. Louis, I was joined by Sara Berndt (UX Design Manager) and Chris Pagliarini (Product Manager).
My presentation covered the topic of xDrawing and the associated Manufacturing Definition Creator Role on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. The benefits of xDrawing are numerous, not least of which is the flexibility to create drawings and MBD product definition from the same data set, so work is not duplicated when creating either, and so that data always matches between these different methods.
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
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.
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!
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.
Hari gave a very detailed presentation on SolidWorks Animation. He demonstrated functionality on solid models of real-life toys that he had also brought in. He also did a great job of explaining the differences between the three modes within Animation, called Animation (simple point to point movement), Basic Motion (game engine physics) and Motion Analysis (complex physics model).
My own presentation covered DimXpert and TolAnalyst. DimXpert is one of those capabilities that seems to be under utilized because people are simply unfamiliar with it. It is a powerful and fairly easy to use tool. It’s not a whole lot different than dimensioning a drawing, except that DimXpert dimensions and tolerances actually have a fundamental understanding of what they are controlling.
Technically, CMNC-SWUG is my hometown user group, so I’ll be looking forward to their further events.
Some would say that travelling to Ontario in December is foolish. It is wet, snowy and very cold. Well, call me a fool. I visited Toronto to present at the December meeting of the Ontario SolidWorks User Group. It was cold, but not much different from Massachusetts. It was a little rainy, again no difference from where I live. No snow! This time of year should’ve been nothing but snow everywhere. Then again, Massachusetts also had not snow at that time. Maybe I’m not so foolish afterall.
I presented on Advanced SolidWorks Customization Techniques. This is a preview version of what I will be presenting at SolidWorks World 2012. This is a presentation similar to one given a few years before at a SWUGN Technical Summit, now updated for SolidWorks 2012.
Several discoveries were learned on this trip. I discovered the locals believe that Toronto has the “worst traffic in North America”. That’s an arguable yet still valid assessment. Rain, no matter how slight, makes the traffic unbearable. And, even with reduced crowds due to rain, a SolidWorks Employee can draw people from miles (er, kilometers) around to a SolidWorks User Group meeting. Oh, and one more thing.
This is Canadian Slice Pizza: bacon, pepporini, mushroom, and of course, cheeze. It’s apparently normal to serve it on a corrugated paperboard as a stand-in for a plate.
Yes, it’s called “Canadian” in Canada. Quite tasty, and it is a combination of toppings that I’m not quite so unfamilar with. Thank you to Chris White for organizing this event and to everyone who attended!