Closed for Business

Posted on January 9th, 2017. Posted In Personal,SolidWorks Community



I guess I’m just stating the obvious here, but Jeff’s Tool Shed is closed for business.

It’s been a great 10-year run, but I just don’t have the time to properly do you, my reader, justice with my (lack of) writing. Somehow, I don’t think sporadic two-paragraph posts about nothing are the way to go. 2017 isn’t just the end of Jeff’s Tool Shed, though. It will also be when I stop using SolidWorks on an almost daily basis, step down as leader of the Seattle Area SolidWorks Power User Group (we were first, Phil!) and it will be my final SolidWorks World.

Some months ago, I became manager of Technical Services for the company I work for. In a nutshell, I handle all post-sales customer services. These new duties include quite a bit of travel and no design. While I still have some design duties right now, they will be moved to others here in the coming months. This wasn’t a decision that I rushed into, but it is one that I am at peace with. After almost 20 years of using SolidWorks, it will be strange to not be. However, I love my new role here and truly enjoy being able to travel the world and see places I never imagined I would.

SolidWorks World will be rather bittersweet, but I am happy that I’ll be able to hang out with my fellow geeks one last time. I’ve had some incredible times at the 9 I’ve had the pleasure of attending and am looking forward to this last one. I’ve made some good friends because of SolidWorks and I’ll always be thankful for each of you. I would expect a ‘heads up’ if you’re up in Seattle so that we can break bread together and enjoy a drink or two.

Go Pats!!


Jeff – out.

So You Wanna Get Certified

Posted on August 9th, 2016. Posted In SolidWorks Community

One of the more frequent questions I see on the SolidWorks Forums is regarding how to study to become certified, be it CSWA, CSWP or CSWE. People want to know how to study for them, what they need to be able to do, etc to pass. Here’s the thing: there’s no magic formula. It’ll come down to whether you know what you’re doing or not. Granted, that was a “Captain Obvious” statement, but it’s the truth. You can possess all the confidence in the world with regards to your skills, but whether you pass or not will be telling. […Read More…]

Actually, it’s only been three months since my last post, but that is too long. I’m sure that you’ve been missing my words of wisdom. In my defense, I have been traveling quite a bit this year. By that, I mean a lot. If my guesstimate is correct, I’ve flown almost 80,000 miles. Sadly, all of it, save for SolidWorks World, has been for work. I’ve lucked out and been able to do some sightseeing on many of my trips, so that’s been cool. […Read More…]

SASPUG turns 20!

Posted on March 16th, 2016. Posted In SolidWorks Community

Last night we celebrated the Seattle Area SolidWorks Power User Group’s (SASPUG) 20th anniversary and, from what I’ve heard, a good time was had by all. […Read More…]

SolidWorks World 2016 – Recap

Posted on February 8th, 2016. Posted In SolidWorks Community

I honestly wanted to post daily recaps of this year’s SolidWorks World, but, obviously, I failed miserably. So, here’s my recap for the whole, mostly excellent, SolidWorks World 2016. […Read More…]

SOLIDWORKS World 2016 – Sunday

Posted on January 31st, 2016. Posted In SolidWorks Community

Man, do I love this time of year! I really do look forward to attending SolidWorks World each year for a host of reasons, but the biggest one is the recharge it gives me after hanging with fellow SolidWorks geeks for 4 days. It’s always so cool to be with people who are as passionate about it as I am.

I write the same things every year when SolidWorks World rolls around: how I love the energy, the new tech, meeting new people, seeing old friends. I hate sounding like a broken record, but it’s all true, every year.

This year, SolidWorks’ new “face”, Rachel York, is working her butt off to get more people networking together. One of her ways is the “I Nerd Out For ____” button. Attendees just fill in the blank and pin it to their lanyard. Obviously, the hope here is that the filled in subject gets people talking together. We’ll have to see how well it works, but I’ve definitely seen a ton of people wearing the buttons.


Get your button, people!

Don’t forget, too, that a tweeted pic of you eating bacon, along with the hashtag #baconbrotherhood, gains you entry into the Bacon Brotherhood. Just remember to tag Ed Gebo or John Matrishon to get your badge.

More coming later, as soon as the cloud fully lifts from my mind. It was a late night (early morning?) last night.

Right, talk about dragging my heels on this one… […Read More…]


I suppose you could call me a power user, anyway. I’ve been using SolidWorks for 18 years, I’m a CSWE and I use it day in and day out. I run the Seattle Area SolidWorks Power User Group, I’ve presented at user groups, SolidWorks World and at a SWUGN Summit. I’ve been writing this blog since 2006 and I’ve even written a few articles for industry magazines. I guess you could say I’ve gotten around a bit. […Read More…]

SOLIDWORKS 2016 – It’s almost here

Posted on October 5th, 2015. Posted In SolidWorks Community

The official release of SOLIDWORKS 2016 is just around the corner and I, for one, am excited for it. While I was a bit taken aback by the UI change, I didn’t have the negative reaction to it that some have had. Much of the uproar reminds me of the last UI change back in 2008, but I’m sure the detractors will come around just as they did then.

While I plan on posting about some of my favorite changes over the next couple of weeks, this post is strictly for two bits of information for you, my loyal reader. One, if you haven’t seen SOLIDWORKS 2016 yet, where have you been? You need to get your butt to a reseller event to see all the “what’s new” demos. There are a few things in there that should put a really big smile on your face. You can go here to find a list of events in your area. Two, I’m sure you’ve heard about SOLIDWORKS World before. How about getting your conference pass paid for? SOLIDWORKS is giving away three passes to the three top vote getters in their T-Shirt Contest. You can get all the details here.

SOLIDWORKS 2016 Rollout

Posted on September 30th, 2015. Posted In Software Review,SolidWorks Community

On September 22nd, I had the opportunity to be at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate in Boston to get a first-hand look at some of the new stuff coming out in SOLIDWORKS 2016. (A quick aside here–if you get the chance to be in Boston, check out the institute, it’s pretty cool.) This rollout was different than ones I’d been to in the past at SOLIDWORKS HQ. […Read More…]

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