SWW2011 – 73 Reasons to Go

Posted on November 24th, 2010. Posted In Software Review

360 Enterprise Software (Mecanica Solutions)
3D QuickTools Ltd.
Altium Inc.
AMC Bridge LLC
AMD Inc.
AMV s.r.l.
Barry-Wehmiller International Resources
CAD Partner GmbH
Camtek GmbH
Cideon America, Inc.
Custom Tools
Dassault Systèmes
Delcam plc
Dell Inc.
DriveWorks Ltd.
DS SolidWorks Corp.
Edgecam – a Planit Co.
ESPRIT/DP Technology
Extensible CAD Technologies
Geometric Technologies, (a Division of Geometric Americas, Inc.)
Gibbs and Associates
Imagecom, Inc.
keytech GmbH
Luxology LLC
Mastercam/CNC Software
Metamation, Inc.
Moldex3D (CoreTech System Co.)
National Instruments
NEI Software
Next Limit Technologies
Objet Geometries Inc.
OPEN MIND Technologies AG
Proto Labs
Prototype Solutions Group
Rapid Sheet Metal, Inc.
Rapidform, Inc.
Rockwell Automation
Roland DGA Corp.
SigmaTEK Systems LLC
Sigmetrix, LLC
SofTech, Inc.
Software Cradle Co., Ltd.
SolidCAM Ltd.
SolidPartners, Inc.
Stratasys 3D Printers and Product Systems
Synergis Software
Tacton Systems AB
Tata Technologies / i GET IT
Trace Software
Z Corporation

Picture it, Design it, Sell it

Posted on November 22nd, 2010. Posted In SolidWorks Community

Have you ever been lying in bed and have a vision of the ultimate widget float through your mind? Next thing you know you’re up sketching out a rough design, refining it, smiling at the simplicity of something so ingenious. Then it hits you, you don’t have the means to get it to market. Well, now there’s Ponoko. By utilizing their ‘Personal Factory 4’, you can bring your idea from a thought bubble to a marketable item.

With Personal Factory 4, Ponoko has added 3D printing capabilities via the CloudFab network of printers (check out Mr. Ming’s post about CloudFab). By doing so, you, the designer, can now produce that ultimate widget using 2D and 3D materials. Check out this lamp:

By using Pokono’s network, you too can produce cool products like this. With Personal Factory 4 it’s even easier to buy, sell or make good online whether you have design skills or not. That’s right, even if you’re without design skills, you can still take your million dollar idea to market. What are you waiting for?

SolidWorks World 2011

Posted on November 21st, 2010. Posted In SolidWorks Community

SolidWorks World 2011 is just over two months away and I’m getting really excited for it. It’ll be the 7th time I’ve had the opportunity to go, and I know I’ll be just as blown away as I have been the 6 previous times. There’s something awe-inspiring when you see 5000+ SolidWorks geeks coming together for three days of learning and networking.

This time around we’re going to be in(vading) San Antonio, Texas from January 23rd to the 26th. I expect that I’ll come away as overloaded with information as I have in years past. I’m looking forward to hitting a couple of Simulation sessions, checking out the partner pavilion and seeing old friends. I’ve also requested interviews with a few SolidWorks employees; Matthew West, Rick Chin and Asheen Phansey. Matt is SolidWorks’ Social Media Manager. I’m quite sure this means he does more than post on Twitter, so I’m going to find out. Rick is the director of Product Innovation. I plan on using whatever means of torture necessary to find out what he and his team have up their sleeves. Asheen is the Product Manager for Sustainability. Asheen and I have sparred a bit in the past, so I’m really looking forward to sitting down with him, assuming my interview request is accepted. I’ll be working up questions to ask all three, so let me know if there’s something you’d like answered.

One of my other great pleasures is walking around the Partner Pavilion and checking out all the great products that work with SolidWorks. I’ve gotten off track when it comes to doing product reviews, but I’m hoping to rectify that situation at World this year.

Are you going? What are you looking forward to seeing/doing?

Review – Template Wizard

Posted on November 14th, 2010. Posted In Software Review,SolidWorks Community

Let’s get this legalese out of the way first: I was provided with a copy of Template Wizard to review. At no point in time was it implied that acceptance of said software would result in a favorable review. Let’s be real here, anyone who knows me knows that I’m not a sell out. I like it or I don’t, and have no problems stating my opinion.

Kevin Van Liere is the creator of the Template Wizard found at SolidWorks Templates.com. It was through his consulting business, 3Dawn Consulting, that he found that many people had difficulties creating effective templates. It was out of this realization that the Template Wizard was born.

I’m going to admit here that I was a bit skeptical about it when Kevin presented me with the opportunity to try it out. I mean, c’mon, templates aren’t that hard to create, they’re just time consuming. Sure, if you don’t plan things out correctly you end up redoing a template a couple of times to get is just right. Not a big deal, right?

Template Wizard takes away all the guess work. By simply answering some questions, and filling in some blanks, you’ll end up with the template you want in just a short amount of time. It’s recommended that you create your drawing template first. By doing so, the template wizard can easily create the needed part and assembly templates, complete with their needed custom properties.

The steps you follow are easy and pretty self-explanatory. I was a bit confused by the preset template names, but the help section cleared it up quickly. Kevin has, obviously, spent quite a bit of time thinking things through on these templates. I’m glad he did, because it certainly made things a lot easier for the new templates I set up. Font sizes, title block, borders, links, everything set up and ready to go. I think what I appreciate the most is the fact that I didn’t have to remember anything. I can’t tell you how many templates I’ve created in the past, only to have to go back and insert something I forgot. The Template Wizard takes your hand and gets you through the process quickly and painlessly. I’m no longer skeptical.

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