Seattle Area User Group Meeting

Posted on January 31st, 2007. Posted In SolidWorks Community

Just a friendly reminder that SASPUG will be meeting tomorrow night. Radpid Product Development Group, Inc. will be presenting followed by our local SolidWorks guru, Adam Smith, who will show us some tips and tricks with SW Animator. Click here for more information and to register. As always, free pizza!

SolidWorks Help Files & Tutorials

Posted on January 23rd, 2007. Posted In SolidWorks Community

I often see questions on the SolidWorks Forums or Eng-Tips forums that can be more quickly answered if the poster took a minute to search the help files in SolidWorks (Help/SolidWorks Help Topics), rather than waiting for someone to respond to his or her post. For new users, taking the time to go through the SolidWorks tutorial (Help/Solidworks Tutorials) would go a long way to helping them find their way around as well. This isn’t to say that new users shouldn’t post basic questions. I believe that the sharing of information is one of the most powerful tools we, as users, have. I’m merely suggesting that the answers to many "beginner" questions new users have can be quickly and easily found on their computers. In my opinion, SolidWorks has spent a lot of time creating a great tool with the help files, but it is all too often overlooked.

For those of you going to SolidWorks World in New Orleans, I’m giving away two 3Dconnexion controllers. Simply take a cheesy, five question survey and print out the coupon when done. You can find said survey here. I have one SpaceNavigator and one SpaceExplorer to give away to the first two people to present me with their coupon. Only 11 more days!

Anyone who has been involved in the SolidWorks community for any amount of time has at least heard of Richard Doyle. Now everyone can see and hear him! As many of you know, SolidWorks has been doing this whole podcast series about SolidWorks World 2007 and it’s now Richard’s turn in the spotlight. Click here to listen to Richard talk about his beginnings through this year’s SWW. This is a man passionate about what he does.

Ricky Jordan also speaks highly of Richard on his blog, as does Rob Rodriguez. As a matter of fact, both Ricky and Rob know Richard better than I do…you should just read their blogs and skip mine.

SolidWorks Success Stories

Posted on January 19th, 2007. Posted In SolidWorks Community

Have you been to the Customer Success pages? Every once in a while I go to see if something new has been posted. I’ve gotta tell ya, there are some amazing things being done with SolidWorks. At least I think they’re amazing. Check out the Bucyrus video. They build those HUGE excavators that you see in strip mines. The level of detail in their assembly (I’m pretty sure you see a microwave oven in the cab) is incredible. Did you know that the robotic arms on the Mars rovers were designed in SolidWorks? Check out the Alliance Spacesystems video.

There’s hundreds of success stories, a lot of them with videos. You really should check it out to see what other people are doing with SolidWorks. Just go to the Customer Success Stories on the SolidWorks website.

Only two more weeks until SolidWorks World!!

Nope, this isn’t spam or some kind of phishing experiment. Simply fill out a 5 questions survey (CLICK HERE!!), print the coupon and then find me at SolidWorks World. It’s all anonymous. No email addresses, phone numbers or anything required. I have a SpaceExplorer and a SpaceNavigator to give away to the first two people to find me. No purchase necessary, yada, yada, yada…just click here. Please…I need to clear off my desk.

Ok, I know you’ve all been anxiously waiting for this.

I really like the SpaceExplorer, 3dConnexion’s mid-range offering. While not as feature laden as the SpacePilot, this unit still provides increased productivity. It has a nice ergonomic shape, feels good in your hand and performs excellently. It has the typical programmable buttons and easy-to-use controller cap. There really isn’t anything negative to say about it. I actually like the shape of it more than that of my SpacePilot. If it had a couple of more buttons…

As you can see, this review is short and sweet. If you want the technical specs on the SpaceExplorer, or anything else 3dConnexion has to offer, you can get them at 3dConnexions’s website.

Now, for those of you who have read to the this point, here’s your opportunity to win a SpaceExplorer or a SpaceNavigator. Take this simple, 5 question survey and then print out the coupon and bring it with you to SolidWorks World. If you’re not going to SWW, I’d still love to get your opinion on this blog. It’s completely anonymous, so don’t be afraid to be honest.

Oh, and for my fellow New Englanders…GO PATS!!

SolidWorks World 2007 – I’m Excited

Posted on January 9th, 2007. Posted In SolidWorks Community

So SolidWorks World 2007 is quickly approaching and I, like so many others, am excited. I was invited to participate in Alpha testing of 2008 which, for me, is a big deal. Bear in mind, I am, for the most part, self-taught in SolidWorks. I’ve said many times that it’s because of SolidWorks that I have my present job, as well consulting opportunities and this blog. Granted, I worked hard to gain what I have, but if it weren’t for SolidWorks’ user friendliness, I’d probably still be doing something that I didn’t really care for but that paid the bills.

I’ve packed my schedule for SWW 2007. Four sessions Monday and Tuesday and one more on Wednesday before I hop on a plane back to Seattle. I was luck to be able to get in on my fair share of ‘hands-on’ sessions as well. Last year I was aced out because I registered too late.

Presently, I’m most excited to see Adam Smith’s 90 Tips and Tricks in 90 Minutes. I’ve known Adam for years (he used to work for my VAR) and I’ve seen many of his presentations. He, in my opinion, is a SolidWorks guru. I can only hope that someday I know half of what he knows. You can view his podcast here.

Another session that I’m looking forward to is Animation as a Technical Presentation and Learning Tool. Twice a year we offer training classes here at HySecurity and we’ve started to use SW animations to assist in this. While I’ve received many compliments on the animations I’ve created, I know that they can be better. I’m hoping that this session will provide me with more tools and insight.

I realize that not everyone can afford the price of admission and I’m thankful that my boss sees the benefits of SWW and pays for the trip. If you’re near New Orleans, or can get there, you can get a free Exhibit Hall pass by going here and registering for SWW. Use code SWEX07103. With the pass you’ll be able to get into the exhibit hall, including the Sunday and Monday evening receptions, and the morning General Sessions (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday).

For those of you going, if you see me around come up and say hi. Also, don’t forget that when I post my review of the SpaceExplorer you’ll have an opportunity to win it or a SpaceNavigator.

See you in New Orleans!

Want a FREE pass to SolidWorks World?

Posted on January 5th, 2007. Posted In SolidWorks Community

Ok, so it’s an exhibition hall pass (retail value $199), but you get some other stuff with it, too! Hey, I had to get you to read this somehow, right?

If you go to and enter this code: SWEX07103, you can get a free Exhibit Hall Only pass. This pass will get you into the Exhibit Hall including the Sunday and Monday evening receptions (food and drinks included) as well as the morning General Sessions. The networking opportunities, as well as all the info you can glean from the general sessions, make this well worth it! Then there’s always the chance to meet me in person! Talk about a bonus!

Remember to enter code: SWEX07103.

Correction – My bad

Posted on January 4th, 2007. Posted In Hardware Review

To my loyal readers:

I made a mistake. I know, I know, I had trouble believing it myself but it’s true. I erroneously referred to the SpaceNavigator as a SpaceExplorer in my review of said SpaceNavigator. Please forgive my oversight. I got confused. The SpaceNavigator is what I was reviewing, the SpaceExplorer review is a couple of weeks away.

I hope everyone is having a great New Year.

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