SolidWorks World 2012 just a month away

Breakout Sessions

SolidWorks World 2012 is only a month away!  It’s already shaping up to be a great convention!  The breakout sessions schedule is filled with great topics.  These are a small sample of what is on the schedule as of January 1, 2012 (schedule is subject to change):

  • IAW ASME Y14.5 – Use It Only if You Know It by Rustin Webster, to provide “fundamental rules for creating drawings with IAW ASME 14.5M standards.”
  • Advanced Sheet Metal Techniques by Jeff Parker, to teach “advanced techniques to create complicated, functional sheetmetal parts and, explore what types of parts can be flattened.”
  • EPDM – Enabling Data Exchange Between SolidWorks and SAP/ERP by Kyle Kraudy, to demonstrate a solution for “data exchange between SolidWorks Enterprise PDM and SAP.”
  • Advanced Weldment Techniques – In Large Scale Live Theater by Ange Horst, to “discover how a live theater production takes shape through SolidWorks.”
  • Utilizing Mold Tools and Other Techniques for Better Mold Design by Andy Hall, to “learn how to use the automated mold tools for your molded parts”
  • Better, Faster Sketching by Tyler Beck, to “learn a common sense approach to proper sketching and troubleshooting.”

Session catagories

The general topics covered by Breakout and Hands-on sessions include a wide variety of areas.

New inspection symbols added to SolidWorks 2012 symbol library

An unofficial standard has crept into the Drafting field for mechanical drawings.  In an effort to leverage drawings for functions other than defining the specifications for product, many companies are placing Quality Inspection (also known by other names such as Incoming Inspection) instructions on their drawings.  One common method to identify inspection dimensions is to place a “race track” symbol around them.  This is essentially a border with rounded ends.

When I last checked, neither ASME or ISO standards currently support the race track inspection symbol.  This means use of the symbol technically has no meaning unless the drawing has the definition somehow included within it.  This can either be in the form of a reference to a company’s drafting standard or a note within each drawing’s general notes.

If a company chooses to define the symbol in the general notes, they are left with an interesting problem.  How do they describe the symbol so that they can define it.  Although the race track may be easily placed on a dimension in most CAD applications, it is not so easily placed in annotation notes.  They could use a verbose method.

The problem with this?  It doesn’t necessarily get the message across.  What’s a race track border?  Maybe they could say “…DENOTED BY ROUNDED OUTLINE” or “…DENOTED BY OVAL.”  The general problem is the same with any of these options.  The description doesn’t fully communicate what is being defined.

SolidWorks does have a few methods to include a faked symbol in general notes (such as a border around empty spaces, or a sketch block placed under the note).  Now, here’s something you won’t see in the SolidWorks 2012 What’s New document.  With SolidWorks 2012, there is a new heading in Symbol Library called Inspection Symbols.  Depending on company preferences, there are two new symbols that may be included with an annotation note.

Also included in the Inspection Symbol library is a new symbol that may be used for non-dimensional inspection points.

SolidWorks World 2012 – submit Abstract for your presentation idea

If you feel that you have a good information to share about a particular SolidWorks related topic, then perhaps it is time to consider giving a presentation at SolidWorks World 2012.  The perk for presenters is that you get a free Full Conference Pass (saves you just under a $1000 or so).   Your presentation idea doesn’t have to be a topic that is specifically about SolidWorks products.  It may be that you can talk about something that can help SolidWorks users in a particular area of their role within their company.  For example, I gave a well received presentation at SolidWorks World 2011 on Establishing CAD standards within a SolidWorks environment (also, see the article My road to becoming a presenter at SolidWorks World).  I’m certainly not the most polished speaker in the world, country, state, county, town or even on my block.  You don’t have to be great at public speaking (though it may help).  As long as you know your material, attendees will appreciate learning from your time and effort.

Although all topics will be equally considered, there is a special interest in Drawing presentations this year.  If you have good information to share about general tips and tricks, templates/sheet formats, using drawings in PDM, drawings basics, leveraging model data, ISO and ASME standards, etc, the SolidWorks team would love to see your submission for a presentation!  For example, at SolidWorks World 2011, there was an excellent presentation on the ASME Y14.5 drafting standard.

Of course, there are many other topics to cover! 

  • CAD Administration
  • Data Management
  • Design Automation
  • Design Communication
  • Design Validation
  • Education
  • Modeling Essentials
  • Productivity Tools
  • Customer Success

    In fact, customer success presentations are great because they usually provide real world examples of how SolidWorks functionality was leveraged to speed up their design process.  These can be useful to other users and companies, often in other industries!

    If you are not interested in being a presenter, the excellent variety of presentations at SolidWorks World is a great way to expand your knowledge and connect with others in industry.


    ATEC11: GD&T presentations

    ATEC11 offered explorations into GD&T in the form of two separate 2-day courses prepared by the ADDA, GD&T Fundamental Training and GD&T Application Training.

    GD&T Fundamental Training

    This course, presented by Dennis Schwartz, trained attendees with great coverage of GD&T fundamentals.  It walked them through an educational approach to learning the ASME GD&T standard, as applied to engineering drawings.  I spoke with one of the attendees, Kahlil Owens.  Owens is a drafter for a local company in the Kansas City area.  He is also attending ITT Technical Institute for formal education in the Drafting profession.  Even though he had a lot of praise for ITT Technical Institute’s program, he said that GD&T isn’t covered very well within school.  He found ADDA’s course at this conference to be intensive and important to the development of his career.

    I attended the portion of this course that covered positional tolerancing.  I found the presentation of the material to be well-paced.  It was repetitive where necessary to help attendees fully understand and appreciate the use of GD&T.

    GD&T Application Training

    This course, presented by Luis Aguirre, was designed for individuals that already have an understanding of GD&T fundamentals.  It engaged attendees to offer solutions to their own real world problems.  Focus was on sharpening GD&T skills, making GD&T more useful, reducing costs, improved datum selection, etc.  There was also discussion on the advanced use of positional and profile tolerances.

    Twitter chatter on Monday’s article about using ASME

    The article from last Monday entitled To what extent should a company comply with ASME standards on their drawings? generated a fair amount of Twitter chatter.  Here’s my rather vane attempt to organize these interesting discussions to share.

    @fcsuper: To what extent should a company comply with ASME standards on their drawings? #solidworks

    @SeanDotson: @fcsuper Well said. We “tweak” it to fit our needs as well. [link]

    @DevonSowell:  @fcsuper comply with ASME? 100% but none do, 13 yrs 44 clients, haven’t see any comply or come close, Mil contractors the closest [link]

    @DevonSowell: @fcsuper same client ” I want the minimum amount of Engineering to make and ship our products” [link]

    @Edsonius: @DevonSowell @fcsuper some clients don’t want change so compliance from what they’re used to doing means spending $ to be current=#ignorance [link]

    @fcsuper: @SeanDotson I cover that tweaking briefly in my #sww11 presentation too. Opened some eyes, I think. [link]

    @fcsuper: @DevonSowell those clients may or may not pay more in the long run. It really is about finding min necessary for some companies. [link]

    @solidmuse: @DevonSowell @fcsuper If we had to comply with ASME 100% we would be out of business. It is that simple for many companies. [link]

    @fcsuper: @Edsonius @DevonSowell i am seeing a move towards compliance, but many smaller companies (who mite benefit most) don’t understand value [link]

    @JeffSweeney: @fcsuper It is harder for them to get and see the ROI [link]

    @fcsuper: @solidmuse @DevonSowell what areas of #amse do u find burdensome. [link]

    @fcsuper: @JeffSweeney yup…I know that from experience. [link]

    @Edsonius: @fcsuper @DevonSowell value comes with the cost of being bit on the buttocks (for u @SteveOstrovsky)  ‘cuz of non-compliance – #changeishard [link]

    @DevonSowell: @solidmuse @fcsuper If we had to comply with ASME 100%… I agree Anna, so do my customers [link]

    @DevonSowell: @fcsuper @solidmuse what areas of #amse do u find burdensome, me none. My clients don’t see the value of compliance, and I see their point [link]

    @SteveOstrovsky: @Edsonius @fcsuper @DevonSowell Here here. We don’t need any non-compliant buttocks walking around. [link]

    @fcsuper: @DevonSowell @solidmuse I am curious what u thought cuz I know #solidworks is not 100% compliant w/ #ASME [link]

    @DevonSowell: @fcsuper @solidmuse #solidworks is not 100% compliant w/ #ASME it should offer that, don’t you think? [link]

    @fcsuper: @DevonSowell u’d think that should be something they’d want. [link]

    ADDA’s Annual Technical & Educational Conference

    The American Design Drafting Association (ADDA) is hosting its 52nd Annual Technical & Educational Conference in Kansas City, MO on April 12-15, 2011.  ADDA is heavily focused on the professions of drafting, design, and graphics.  ADDA has a certification program for drafters (mechanical and architectural), civil design drafters, design technicians, and digital designers (which include imaging and editing).  Not everyone has heard of ADDA, and that may be intentional.  Olen Parker, Executive Director, states,

    It [ADDA] is small, yet sets the stage for many changes within the profession.  We don’t make noise, we don’t promote ourselves, we are the best kept secret in the profession.  ADDA is very involved in the standards and regulations related to our industry.

    Best kept secret?  Well, maybe not anymore. 🙂  Parker also mentioned that ADDA made final reviews to ASME Y14.5-2009, and has members that are involved in a number of national committees and organizations.

    The conference

    This year’s Annual Technical & Educational Conference will have sessions that cover ASME and GD&T fundamentals, CAD and drawing standards, building codes, graphics, etc.  In particular, they will have sessions for CAD and graphic art applications such as PhotoShop, SolidWorks, Pro/E, AutoCAD, Revit, Sketch-Up, Illustrator, and several others.  Other sessions of note will discuss sustainability, BIM, and even workplace ethics. 

    I’m also presenting a talk on establishing company CAD procedures at this year’s conference.  Though this presentation will be similar to my breakout session at SolidWorks World 2011, it will be more applicable to the broader audience at the Annual Technical & Educational Conference.

    I will write about many aspects of this conference on SolidWorks Legion, including special attention to the quality and depth of several presentations.  I also hope to have a least a couple of interviews.  I also plan to post tweets on hashtag #atec11 during the event.

    This will be my first year attending ADDA’s Annual Technical & Educational Conference, though I’ve been looking for an opportunity for several years.  Please note that ADDA is non-profit.  Although ADDA is giving me full conference access (including some meals) at no cost, I am sorta earning my keep by being one of the presenters.  I am personally paying for all other costs associated with my attendance, including airfare and hotel.

    If you are interested in the ADDA, their certification process, or the Annual Technical & Educational Conference, please visit their website for further details.