Who is the SWW ’09 Guest Speaker?

Posted on October 30th, 2008. Posted In SolidWorks Community

Hell, I wish I knew but I don’t. However, Matt West does but he’s not coughing up the info…yet. He is running a little contest, though. Jump on over to his blog and guess who the speaker is. If you’re right, Matt will send you a really, really expensive prize. One that you’d have to claim on your taxes. Ok, that’s a lie. He’ll probably send you a SolidWorks hat, or whatever else he can steal from the marketing closet. Nonetheless, free swag is always nice.

As Promised: SolidProfessor Pricing

Posted on October 29th, 2008. Posted In SolidWorks Community

As promised, here is the pricing structure for SolidProfessor’s various offerings:
SolidProfessor Bundled Course: $299.99
In this course you will learn skills essential to creating SolidWorks Parts, Assemblies and Drawings. The goal of this series is to make you productive with SolidWorks quickly, whether you are a new user or wish to refresh your skills. This course is designed to help you build a solid conceptual foundation in the fundamentals of SolidWorks. Concepts are presented in easy to understand language and reinforced through step by step visual examples and comprehensive review tests.
This bundle includes these courses: Core Concepts
Advanced Concepts Bundle: $399.99
Advanced Concepts was designed to build on the Core Concepts foundation. In this course you will learn topics such as complex geometry creation, surfacing, sheet metal design and more. Advanced Concepts is really 3 courses rolled into one comprising Advanced Parts, Advanced Assembly and Sheet Metal Design. This course is ideal for experienced users as well as new users having completed Core Concepts. It also serves as an excellent reference tool for users of all skill levels
This bundle includes these courses: Advanced Assemblies
Professional Bundle: $599.99
The Professional Bundle provides a complete library of the very best in SolidWorks self-paced instruction and is the most popular package. The suite includes Core Concepts, Drawings, 3D Skills, Advanced Parts, Advanced Assemblies, Sheet Metal Design and Update Training. Purchase the bundle and have all the tools you need to get the most out of your SolidWorks investment!
SolidProfessorís most popular package providing instruction on all core SolidWorks functionality. This bundle includes these courses: 3D Skills, Core Concepts, Drawings, Advanced Parts, Advanced Assemblies, Sheet Metal Update Training
SolidWorks Certification Prep Bundle: $849.99
The SolidWorks Certification Prep Bundle includes the Professional Bundle (Core Concepts, Drawings, 3D Skills, Advanced Parts, Advanced Assemblies, Sheet Metal Design, and Update Training) as well as SolidWorks Certification (CSWA/CSWP) Prep. The Professional Bundle provides a complete library of the very best in SolidWorks self-paced instruction and is our most popular package. The SolidWorks Certification Study Course is a comprehensive review of topics covered in the version of the Certified SolidWorks Associate and Certified SolidWorks Professional exams. The course begins by introducing you to the certification exam itself, and continues with detailed sample problems in all major areas of the exam, including basic and advanced part and assembly design, with special attention on the topic of in-context design. Also covered is COSMOSXpress stress simulation, as well as an overview of Drawing Views. Purchase the bundle and have all the tools you need to get the most out of your SolidWorks investment!
Provides instruction on all SolidWorks core functionality and specific preparation to successfully complete the CSWP/CSWA exams. It includes all of the courses listed in the SolidWorks Professional Bundle, as well as the SolidWorks Certification Prep course
Individual SolidProfessor courses:
AutoCAD to SolidWorks: $69.99
This course was designed and written by certified SolidWorks Instructors to make the transition for AutoCAD users to get up to speed using SolidWorks quickly and easily. The course shows users how to bring their existing 2D, DXF and DWG files into SolidWorks 3D Parts and 2D Drawings. The course also shows new users how to create brand new Parts, Assemblies, and Drawings from scratch in SolidWorks.
Learn how to import 2D, DXF and DWG files and modify them using SolidWorks. AutoCAD to SolidWorks includes the topics from 3D Skills.
3D Skills: $39.99
3D Skills introduces the basic concepts for modeling Parts, building Assemblies, and creating Drawings. This course is ideal for users looking for a basic introduction to the features available in SolidWorks. It is ideal for brand new SolidWorks users, or those considering purchasing SolidWorks, along with live Hands on Test drives for prospective users. The Core Concepts Bundle is recommended for anyone serious about learning SolidWorks. 3D Skills is included in the Core Concepts Bundle.
Update Training (available for 2005 to 2009): $99.99
Update Training addresses the user-driven enhancements available in SolidWorks most recent release. First, new functionality is explored in detail and then presented in an easy to understand language with clear visual examples to enhance the learning experience. In addition, the convenience of having full control over the pace of the course allows users the ability to review lessons on demand without the need for a high speed internet connection.
Sheet Metal: $149.99
Included with the Advanced Concepts Bundle, this course shows users all of the tools necessary for bending and deforming flat sheets of metal in complex sheet metal parts in SolidWorks. The course will guide you through the process of creating sheet metal parts from scratch using all of the Sheet Metal features in SolidWorks, as well as how to convert regular solid parts into sheet metal.
Advanced Surfacing: $399.99
Written by Matt Lombard, author of the SolidWorks Bible, Advanced Surfacing teaches users how to apply surfacing tools as well as solid modeling and sketching techniques to achieve complex, free-form shapes. The course steps the user through the creation of four distinct complex models in great detail. Each exercise introduces the user to different techniques aimed at producing complex faces, smooth blends, and aesthetically pleasing geometry. Features covered include Splines, Boundary Surfaces, Ruled Surfaces, Fill Surfaces, Intersection Curves, Sweeps and Lofts, and The Freeform Feature. This course will equip the user with the SolidWorks skills necessary to create the visually appealing, ergonomic products in demand today.
SolidWorks Advanced Surfacing focuses on teaching modeling techniques that include the use of a variety of SolidWorks features. Knowledge of the sketcher environment as well as the basic features including Extrude, Revolve, Sweep and Loft are assumed. For more on these topics, the following SolidProfessor courses are recommended: SolidWorks Core Concepts, SolidWorks Advanced Concepts.
SolidWorks Simulation (previously COSMOSWorks Designer): $499.99
This course has been designed to teach you the fundamental skills necessary for performing structural analysis on SolidWorks Parts and Assemblies using design validation software. This course will allow you to test your SolidWorks models and predict how they will behave in real life situations. Armed with this information you will be able to design better parts and ultimately better products.
SolidWorks Routing: $299.99
This course teaches users how to easily create routed systems in SolidWorks, such as electrical, cable, conduit, tube, and pipe routes. The course walks users through all of the functions and options for each type of route, as well as how to create 2D drawings for manufacturing with all of the information necessary to accurately document their routes such as Bills of Materials, Wiring Summaries, and Harness reports. This course also shows users how to create their own routing components to be used in any of their routes in the future. SolidWorks routing makes what used to be a painstaking part of a design very quick and easy.
SolidWorks Routing requires a solid understanding of some advanced SolidWorks functionality such as Top Down Assembly Design, 3D Sketching, Configurations and the Design Library. If you are new to SolidWorks or if any of those topics are unfamiliar to you, it is recommended to review SolidProfessor Core Concepts and Advanced Concepts prior to this course.
SolidWorks Certification Prep (CSWP-CSWA): $499.99
The SolidWorks Certification Prep course was designed to help users prepare and successfully pass the CSWP/CSWA exams. The course introduces users to the exam itself, and continues with detailed sample problems in all major areas of the exam, including basic and advanced part and assembly design, with special attention paid to the topic of in-context design. The course includes lessons covering SimulationXpress stress simulation, sample test examples, and a practice test.
PhotoWorks Essentials: $149.99
This course teaches the essential skills necessary for creating photorealistic renderings in PhotoWorks. The course will guide you through the process of applying textures and materials to your models, as well as manipulating lighting, decals, scenes, studios, backgrounds and much more. You will learn how to make your SolidWorks designs look like finished products in no time! Many PhotoWorks users benefit from the ability to use realistic renderings for presentations, focus groups, and marketing before they even begin production! Get started using it today!
SolidWorks WorkgroupPDM (previously PDMWorks): $149.99
This course will help managers ensure their team maintains an accurate and consistent level of knowledge and competency using all of the Client functions in Workgroup PDM. After viewing the course, users will know how to manage SolidWorks Parts, Assemblies, and Drawings as well as any non-SolidWorks documents. Included are tips on dealing with many common scenarios a client user may encounter as well as tips on how to leverage PDM most effectively in a collaborative environment.
Ask SolidProfessor Archive: $24.99
The Ask SolidProfessor Archive is a compilation of answers to user-submitted SolidWorks How-to questions. Content in the archive is constantly being added. This subscription will grant you access to the archive for the period of one year.
SolidCAM $199.99
This course will walk you through the first 4 part examples in the SolidCAM Getting Started manual. Each exercise will familiarize you with how to perform milling operations, and teach you concepts used throughout the SolidCAM application. The course begins by familiarizing you with the SolidCAM user interface and then demonstrates the most commonly used strategies of SolidCAM machining. The following 4 exercises are demonstrated to be milled in SolidCAM:
Mold Insert
Forming Mold
Contour Plate
Prismatic Part
CAMWorks Mill Fundamentals 2006: $199.99
Mill Fundamentals is designed to get you up to speed in CAMWorks so that you can begin creating G-Code quickly. This course will teach you how to Define Stock, Define 2.5 Axis Features, Create Toolpaths, Adjust roughing and finishing operations, Run Simulations, and Output your G-Code. You will also learn how to customize the Technology Database for your particular environment so that you can automate many of your machining tasks.
CAMWorks Wire EDM 2007: $199.99
The CAMWorks Wire EDM course is designed to get you up to speed in CAMWorks so that you can begin creating G-Code quickly. This course will teach you how to Define Stock, Define EDM Features, Create Toolpaths, Adjust roughing and finishing operations, Run Simulations, and output your G-Code.
CAMWorks Turning: $199.99
The CAMWorks Turning course is designed to get you up to speed in CAMWorks so that you can begin creating G-Code quickly. This course will teach you how to Define Stock, Define Turn Features, Create Toolpaths, Adjust roughing and finishing operations, Run Simulations, and output your G-Code.

SolidProfessor – CSWP/CSWA Certification Lesson

Posted on October 27th, 2008. Posted In Software Review

What a great lesson this one is. SolidProfessor not only goes over the "how", but the "why". The lesson begins by listing reasons to get certified, whether as a CSWA or CSWP. It then goes on to outline the difference between the two certifications. After talking about the differences there are sections on other certifications offered, the various SolidWorks versions, test locations and costs as well as info on retaking the exam. For those of you wondering, the exams are only $99.00 which is a hell of a lot less than when I originally took it (I wonder if I can get a refund?).

SolidProfessor then goes into showing you an example part like you’d see on the CSWA and goes through a method of creating it. It talks about the reasoning that goes into the creation of the part (where to start, etc). Pay attention to the "Where To Start" sub-lessons in each lesson as the information there will prove invaluable when you take one of the exams.

The CSWA Basic Part Sample is followed by the CSWA/CSWP Advanced Part lesson, Assembly Models for both exams, Drawing Prep and COSMOSXpress Preparations. All the lessons are well thought out and broken down in easy to digest chunks.

I’m going to get pricing info for this lesson, as well as all of SolidProfessor’s other offerings, and will let you know what they are in my next post.

SimulationXpress Demo – For free!

Posted on October 20th, 2008. Posted In SolidWorks Community

SimulationXpress, the new name for COSMOSXpress, comes in every seat of SolidWorks. As many of you know, I did a presentation on COSMOSXpress last month at NESWUC. Well, SolidWorks has posted a video tutorial that far surpasses my meager attempt. No registration required, just go to http://www.solidworksmedia.com/SimulationXpress/index.html and watch the tutorial.

SolidProfessor – Part 1

Posted on October 17th, 2008. Posted In Software Review

As usual, I’m a bit late with this first part of my SolidProfessor review. For all of you who have been chomping at the bit, I apologize. I do have a great excuse, though. Can you say Red Sox? Ok, moving on…

SolidProfessor is a SolidWorks Certified Solution Partner providing training in:

They also release 2009 update training last month.

First things first, I like how you can download all the lessons you’ve chosen. No waiting while the video is buffering, just load and watch. Another nice thing is that as each lesson is loaded, you can immediately watch it while the next lesson is loading.
The SolidProfessor screen is easy to navigate, with all of your lessons located right there on the left side.



Clicking on one of the chapters immediately begins the training video. Again, no lag. The video runs on an embedded Windows Media Player, so the controls should be familiar to most.


Because everything is downloaded, you can easily fast forward through lessons or slide back if you missed a step. The narrator does a good job as well. Not Mr. Monotone and speaks and a very easy pace.

So ends part I. In part II, I’ll get into more of what’s covered and how well I think it’s covered.   

NESWUC – The video

Posted on October 17th, 2008. Posted In SolidWorks Community

While Ed Gebo is no Scorcese, he did take the time to create a video of last month’s North East SolidWorks User Conference. If you’re interested, you can view it here. For those of you in New England who missed the conference, you really need to make a point of going next year. Ed, and the rest of the team, did a great job. Hell, they had the great idea of having me do a presentation! Ok, so maybe it wasn’t the best presentation, but it did give me an excuse to go home for a week. I promise that if they have me back next year, I’ll do a much better job.


Matt West, and the SolidWorks events team, is looking for your input on who you’d like to see at World this year. From Leonard Nimoy to Orange County Choppers, SolidWorks has had some great guest speakers over the years. Who would you like to see? Go to Matt’s Blog and let him know!

Coming Soon: SolidProfessor Review

Posted on October 14th, 2008. Posted In Software Review


A few weeks ago I was approached by SolidProfessor. They’re looking at getting more involved in the SolidWorks community and wanted  to get some feedback from users. When I brought up the fact that I’d never used SolidProfessor, they graciously offered me the opportunity to take it for a test drive. Last night I downloaded the lessons (including what’s new for ’09) and I’m going to start going through them tonight. There’s a ton of lessons in there, so I’ll be doing a multi-part review of SolidProfessor.

In the mean time, for those of you who have used SolidProfessor, let me know your thoughts on it. Specifically, what do you think it’s missing?

Dynamic Mirror

Posted on October 13th, 2008. Posted In SolidWorks Community

I’ve been struggling lately trying to come up with some juicy tidbit to write about. Then I had an epiphany of sorts: "There are plenty of new SolidWorks users out there who may read my blog, why not write something for them?" Without further ado, I present "Dynamic Mirror".

We all know about mirroring sketchs, right? Create one half, select the mirror icon and something to mirror about (usually a construction line) and you have your whole sketch. Dynamic mirror is the same, but the mirroring happens real time. For whatever reason, though, the icon doesn’t show up in your default sketch choices. You’ll need to go to ‘customize->commands->sketch’ and grab the mirror icon with the lightning bolt through it. I like to put it in my shortcut toolbar.


Once you’ve done that, simply start a sketch. Create a construction line to mirror about then select the Dynamic Mirror icon. You’ll notice a couple of what appear to be equal signs at either end of the construction line. You’re ready to begin sketching. Deselecting the Dynamic Mirror icon will turn off the feature, but the sketch will retain it’s mirror capabilities (i.e. move one line, the mirrored line will follow).

That’s today’s quick lesson. As always, feel free to email me your comments or questions. 

SolidWorks 2009 – My Take

Posted on October 4th, 2008. Posted In SolidWorks Community

I went to a 2009 rollout last Thursday and saw all that I’d heard about, excluding PhotoView 360.
I do like everything I saw, but it’ll mean so much more when I actually get to use it. SpeedPack looks like a great time saver, but time will tell. Then I wonder what happens to it if you do a “replace components” on it or on the component(s) you’ve chosen for it.
The drawing improvements, speed-wise, look good. While I’m realizing it a bit late, it would be nice to see more flexibility in section callouts. Actually, more flexibility in annotations period. Being able to customize the look of section callouts would certainly be a nice thing. Granted, not many people are utilizing SolidWorks for architecture, but there have to be others out there who would like to see more functionality out of annotations.
All in all, the improvements look good, but the proof will be in the pudding. It’s nice to see that SolidWorks corp focused on some things other than bells and whistles, but I want to see how ’09 performs in real life and not through canned demos.
From what I’ve seen, I’ll give it a B for now. Once I get my hands on it, I reserve the right to change my mind.
By the way, I’m writing this, and posting it, from my iPhone. What a cool phone it is!

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