Once again I find myself flying to a user conference, but it’s not for SolidWorks as had been the norm for the past 8 years is so. No, this time I’m flying to Cincinnati to attend Solid Edge University.
I have to admit to a bit of apprehension; why would Siemens invite me, a lowly blogger who focuses mainly on SolidWorks, to attend their conference? If I were a conspiracy theorist, I’d guess they were going to woo me to their side with promises of fame and fortune. Matt Lombard would be the middleman, telling me all about the treasure that would be mine. Thankfully, I’m not. I’m quite sure the reasons are much more innocent than that. I suspect it has something to do with the article a wrote for Develop3d Magazine about 3DSync. I am interested to see how SEU compares to SWW. Honestly, I don’t have a clue about SEU. Yes, I realize I could have investigated it, but where’s the fun in that? I’m making this into an adventure, my own personal safari in the wilds of Cincinnati. Though, had I looked into it a bit, I might have noticed the blurb about “business casual” earlier than when I was at the airport. I hope jeans and t-shirts count as business casual.
I’ll be tweeting and writing about SEU over the next few days while watching out for Lombard bearing gifts.

June 24, 2013 · Posted in Personal, Software Review  
    

It’s Been a While

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I’ve been horrible about writing of late. I could give you a bunch of different reasons, but the main one is I’ve just been focusing on life.

I lost my job back in March, and have been searching for work since then. It’s surprising how busy one becomes when unemployed. Every morning I think about what I need to do that day and then, WHAM!, the day is over and I’ve accomplished nothing on my list. Now, too, I have to get past the cabin fever that is setting in. While I could imagine living the life of the idle rich, living the life of the “I-don’t-want-to-be-idle-my-savings-are-dwindling” isn’t any fun.

I did write a review of Siemen’s 3DSync recently, that will be appearing in Develop3D in the not too distant future. Because of the article, or at least that’s my assumption, I’ve been invited to attend SolidEdge University next week. I’m going, but have absolutely no idea what to expect. The one upside is that I already have a title for my post about it. (If anyone from Cincinnati reads this, what is there to do in Cincinnati?)

I’ve also been approached about some other writing gigs as well as possibly doing some training videos. The articles will appear here, after they’ve been printed, so you’ll end up seeing posts that aren’t SolidWorks related. I do hope you find them interesting, though. I guess things are looking up a little.

If you know of anyone looking for help in the Seattle area, send them my way, would ya? I really want to get back to work full-time. You can point them to my LinkedIn Profile, or just have them email me.

June 20, 2013 · Posted in Personal  
    

It’s Sunday at SolidWorks World 2013 and I’m well rested and not hung over. Considering the day I had yesterday, that actually started Friday, I’m doing well. It’s probably a blessing in disguise that a certain CAD journalist from England was unable to make the trip.
Today is an easy day for most people. There are those who have signed up for roundtable discussions, or are Dassault employees that have to work, but most people just need to register and explore. For me, I’ll be spending a couple of hours with my parents; They spend the winter down here and we’re going to lunch.after lunch, some rest and then the Patriots game. It’s now Monday, and I’m in mourning.
I’m really looking forward to tomorrow and the first general meeting. They’re always exciting!

January 21, 2013 · Posted in Personal, SolidWorks Community  
    

I’m sitting at gate C9 at Seattle-Tacoma international airport waiting to board my red-eye flight to Orlando, and the magical time that is SolidWorks WorldThis yearbit more special for two reasons. One, I missed last year due to family reasons. Two, is a personal, but highly important reason. Important enough that I brought a button down shirt. No, it has nothing to do with a job.

Moving on…I only have one employee interview lined up, but I’m meeting with a few vendors with my sights set on a few more. I’ll be attending some breakout sessions this year as well, which is something I haven’t been able to do as often as I’d like. I’mreally looking forward to seeing Richard Doyle’s presentation on surfacing.

I have to admit that I feel a bit out of touch this year. It’s like missing a year through me off somehow. Relationships that I’d developed with DS employees, with the partner channel and with fellow users and bloggers didn’t get recharged last year. There will be excessive amounts of handshakes this year to make up for last year.

I have to say that I thoroughly enjoy people watching at the airport. The cross-section of humanity that you get to see never ceases to amaze me. I’m just hoping the couple with the two young, screaming, children know about benedryl, or I’m going to be a zombie tomorrow when I’m driving to Vero Beach.

If you’re on twitter, be sure to follow me for my incessant tweets from Orlando. You can find me @jeffmirisola. I’ll be blogging as often as possible, too. And, if you’re going to be there, be sure to say hi if you see me!

January 18, 2013 · Posted in Personal, SolidWorks Community  
    

SWW2013

 

That’s right, a month from today and SolidWorks World 2013 will be over. Five-thousand attendees will be heading back from whence they came, probably exhausted and, thankfully, I’ll be one of them.

This year I’m going to try to get to more breakout sessions, so that I can then report about them. It seems like it’s been years since I’ve actually sat in on one. There always seems to be a partner to meet, a press event to attend or some other such thing. While I do have requests in to meet with some SolidWorks employees, and I do plan on pestering partners to be able to review their offerings, I want to get back into the sessions and see if they’ve changed at all. To see if  there’s a different vibe to them. To make sure people are still walking away as enthused as they have in years gone by.

With SWW heading into it’s 15th year, I wonder how it still sustains. What is it that keeps bringing people back? I’m going to have to figure out a way to answer that question. I know why I keep going back, I just wonder if my reasons are the same as other people’s reasons. Having not gone last year, I’m especially excited for this one. I love being able to meet up with people with whom I have an online “relationship”. Friends from other blogs, forums, Twitter, Facebook. It’s always nice to be able to sit down and talk with them, especially with those from outside the US.

This post seems a little disjointed. Probably because I feel like I’m coming down with a cold and I’m having a bit of an issue keeping my thoughts on track. It would probably help, too, if I weren’t trying to pay attention to the abysmal performance of the New England Patriots.

December 23, 2012 · Posted in Personal, SolidWorks Community  
    

SolidWorks World 2013 is just under 2 months away and I’m so happy to be going this year. It was tough not being able to attend last year, but my reasoning was sound.

I’m not sure what I’m excited about most, seeing old friends, reconnecting with the partner channel, seeing what new products are out there…ah, who am I kidding, I’m looking forward to all of it. I’m going to stop by the Dell booth and thank them for the wonderful job they did on the new Precision M4600 I just bought. I’ll be swinging by to see the guys at 3DConnexion to see if they have anything better than the SpacePilotPro. I’ll be keeping my eyes open for new baubles that may help me in my day-to-day job. I have some interviews lined up, and I plan on attending a few breakout sessions and reporting on them as well.

One thing I’m disappointed about is that there is no longer a CSWP event. While I understand SolidWorks’ reasoning for discontinuing it in favor of a CSWE event, I’m still bummed. However, I’m setting a goal of getting my CSWE certification in time for SolidWorks 2014. I also plan on trying to sneak in to this years event with my press credentials. I’ll let you know how that goes.

Have you ever been to SWW? If not, do you want to go?

This year is the 15th year SolidWorks World is being held and will be back in Orlando, Florida January 20-23, 2013.

November 28, 2012 · Posted in Personal, SolidWorks Community  
    

Wow, it’s been too long since I’ve posted anything. Work has been encroaching on my personal life quite a bit lately. 10-, 11-, 12-hour days will do that. We had a big push to get the latest press design done. By ‘we’, I mean me, as in I was being pushed to get the latest design done. I did, and it’s now being built, so I’m hoping I’ll have some breathing room.

Currently, I’ve installed the template wizard from http://solidworkstemplates.com/, and will be giving you guys the lowdown as soon as I’ve played around with it a bit. Also, there’s going to be a SWUGN summit here on November 16 which I’ll be presenting at. I’m looking forward to it. I feel as so I will have come full circle. It was a SWUGN summit in Seattle a few years ago that I first met Richard Doyle who got me started down the blogging trail.

I also owe you all more of my impressions regarding SolidWorks 2011. I’m hoping to be giving you my impressions of ePDM as well. That, however, will take a bit more time.

So please be patient with me, I’ll be getting on top of it here real quick.

October 4, 2010 · Posted in Personal, SolidWorks Community  
    

I know, this subject has probably been discussed adnaseum but I don’t care. This is my blog and I write what I want. Today I want to write about why I hate external references. Specifically, why I hate it when someone creates an entire assembly that is so intertwined with external references that it’s next to impossible to change anything without blowing up everything else. Hold on, I need to take a deep breath here.

I took on a side job where I’m managing an assembly for a small company. 99.99% of the time this wouldn’t be a big deal, right? This particular assembly has a skeleton sketch, though. Again, not normally a big deal as skeleton sketches often only control the assembly and the placement of parts/sub-assemblies. Uh-uh, not this one. This sketch not only controls part placement but part geometry as well. I can’t even begin to describe how frustrating it is to try to fix a sketch only to see that, while it is fully defined, it doesn’t have a single dimension on it *and* it’s miles away from the origin. Perhaps this wouldn’t really matter in the big scheme of things, but every single external reference is broken. All of them. There’s only 54 unique parts in this assembly, but when every sketch entity is defined by at least one external reference…I’ll let you do the math on it, my head is starting to hurt just thinking about it. Again.

Look, I totally understand the need to occasionally create parts in context. I do, I’ve done it. However, I don’t leave those relationships after the part is created. Sure, it’s nice when hole A drives the size of hole B, but just at what point does enough become enough? Seriously, everything is driven by the assembly sketch. Can you imagine the carnage that would ensue should someone accidentally modify that sketch? The collateral damage (keyboards, mice, monitors) alone would be staggering.

The assembly I’m talking about, in the end, has 666 parts (a bad sign to begin with?) with only two sub-assemblies and it takes forever to open. Aside from the fasteners, and their patterns, almost every part has an “in-place” mate. This I find especially annoying as it goes against how I believe an assembly is created, and you all know that I am always correct. I’ll pause here for laughter. I’m sure that the originator of this assembly had only the best intentions when they created the original file; then again, so did Dr. Frankenstein. However, in creating such a monster, the mad scientist neglected to leave any information regarding the proper care and feeding for said monster. This, my friend, just exacerbates the situation. If you’re going to leave such an abomination for future generations, at least have the common decency to provide some notes regarding your thought process so that we, the unfortunate heirs, can have a chance at understanding what’s going on. It makes me thankful that I don’t drink to drown my sorrow, otherwise I’d probably have drunk myself to death.

I think though, the worst part of it all is that the overall assembly is so incestuous, that I can’t move the part sketches to their corresponding origins without wreaking all sorts of other havoc. I’m hopeful that once I’ve gone through everything and removed all the in-context bs that I’ll be able to have more control over the assembly. I’m not overly optimistic, though. It wouldn’t surprise me if the mad scientist has some other diabolically created mates or relations that will continue to aggravate me.

Thank you, dear reader, for allowing me to rant. I’m not 100% sure how much sense this post will make, but I certainly feel better at this very moment.

March 31, 2010 · Posted in Personal, Rant  
    

This goes out to anyone who attended my SolidWorks Crashes & Slowdowns presentation. I’m sorry. I just watched the video of my presentation and I’d have to say it was, without a doubt, one of the worst presentations I’ve ever seen. Even though I was nervous as hell, coupled with the fact that I couldn’t view my notes, you, the attendee, deserved better. So it is to you, the poor attendees who sat through my rambling presentation, that I offer my apologies. I promise that I will do better in the future, should anyone ever allow me to speak again. If anyone reading this apology was at the aforementioned presentation, any constructive criticism would be greatly appreciated.

The one bright spot about this apology is that I think it applies to a lot fewer people than the apology I extended at SWW ’09.

February 13, 2010 · Posted in Personal, SolidWorks Community  
    

Its like its the day after Christmas; all the toys have been played with, food and drink consumed and the relatives have left. Now, I just have this weird empty feeling. Not as bad as losing your best friend, though. Close, but

As Ive come to expect, SolidWorks put on a great show. I really liked the layout of the Anaheim Convention Center. I didnt feel like I had to walk miles to get to wherever my destination was. Which isnt to say I didnt do a lot of walking, cause I did. Im quite confident that I lost a couple of pounds. Well, extremely hopeful anyway. As has become the norm these past few years, I spent more time observing than attending with most of my observing taking place in the Vendor Fair. Its here that I thank those companies that have given me the opportunity to try out their products, while meeting with new companies. The amount of partner products out there is pretty impressive. There are times when I want to say theres an app for that, then look over my shoulder to be sure the Apple police arent coming after me for copyright infringement. This years Vendor Fair was well attended by vendors from all segments of the industry: rapid prototyping, CMM, CAM, PLM, PDM, etc. Need a model of a human body for your Weird Science experiment? Zygote has your back (and frontleft foot). Design automation? DriveWorks or TactonWorks will duke it out for your business. How about a new computer? Boxx, HP and Dell will regale you with stories of why there PC kicks the other guys butt! What about a cool 3D model of your completed Weird Science experiment? Zcorp, Objet or Solido would be more than happy to impart their wondrous knowledge of all that is 3D printing upon you.

One of the greatest things about SolidWorks 2010 was the arena where the general assemblies were held. Rather than a large conference room where the people in back had to stand to see, the Anaheim convention center had an arena with 2nd and 3rd level seating. I think this helped to get everyone close to the stage. It also seemed to lessen the running of people to get to the front of the venue. A lot of people seemed quite happy to sit in one of the upper levels. James Cameron was a great choice as the keynote, too. Much better than Wozniak a few years ago.

Id say my biggest complaint was the Tuesday night event, a complaint that is being voiced by many. It was held in the same huge room that we ate breakfast and lunch in and was really a step down from previous years. An Aerosmith cover band was the entertainment and BBQ was the food. For a 3D software conference event, it was rather one dimensional. Too loud, too dark, too few seats, too few food choices. Im trying to find out why there was such a deviation from years past. If I get anything, Ill let you know.

Would any of the above stop me from going to San Antonio next year? Hell no! I think the plusses way outweigh the negatives and wouldnt miss it for anything. I hope to see you there.

February 8, 2010 · Posted in Personal, SolidWorks Community  
    

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