On an almost weekly basis, I see someone asking what the best way to learn SolidWorks is. The thing is, there’s no blanket answer. There are those who swear by VAR training. Others swear at VAR training and opt for online training. Still others go through the tutorials, then learn as they go along. There are also the ones who learn in a formal classroom with an instructor.
What’s best for you depends on you, your needs and your learning style.
Where I’ve experienced all of them as a student and/or instructor, I figured I’d give my esteemed opinion.
With VAR training, you get a lot of info crammed into your brain in a short amount of time. Depending on the AE doing the training, it could be a lot of info crammed into your brain in a monotone voice. The upside is you do get formal training and a book and files you can take with you.
It seems like every time you turn around, there’s another website offering training. The two biggest players, in my opinion are igetit.com and SolidProfessor.com. There are others, but I haven’t played with them enough to speak to them. The nice thing about online training is you can watch the lessons over and over. If you’re in charge of training for your group, some of the sites offer the ability to track each person’s progress. Some even offer DVDs should you want to go that route. The bonus here is it’s all self-paced training.
I’m of the next group; I started with the tutorials, then trial by fire. It took time, but getting formal training wasn’t an option. Long after it was needed, I hd an employer send me for VAR training, which is when I realized I could actually be the trainer instead of the trainee.
Last, but not least, is the formal educational route. I think people who can go this route are the luckiest. The training is usually spread out over 6 or more weeks with plenty of available one-on-one time with your instructor. You’re not under pressure to get work projects done, just classroom projects. You even get a student edition you can load up on your home computer.
What does it all boil down to? That depends on you, and how you learn. For me, I like the learn on my own approach. I learn from my mistakes and also learn multiple ways to do things. That’s me. You? You’ll need to decide on your own, unless your employer decides for you. If I were to make a recommendation, it’d be to go the online route. I think you get more bang for your buck.
When my journey started, I didn’t know it would end up here. Mostly because “Certified SolidWorks Expert” didn’t exist, but also because, at the time, SolidWorks was simply a means to an end. (Cue “back in time” special effects).
I started using SolidWorks around 1998. I was employed at a machine manufacturer and had just been moved into the technical publications department as a parts manual writer. At the time, there was about a 2.5:1 ratio of writers to illustrators. The workflow was such that the illustrators would feed the writers, then the writers would create the parts lists. I was told that I’d have to wait before I could start on the manual as the illustrators were behind. Being the curious lad that I was, I’d spent some time talking to the engineers about their CAD software because I thought it looked cool. No surprise, it was SolidWorks. I knew that the tech pubs illustrators were using AutoCad and I asked why they didn’t just use SolidWorks to generate their illustrations. The response? They claimed you couldn’t get a true Isometric view. Challenge accepted. With a bit of finagling on my part, I was able to get SolidWorks loaded onto my computer and set about learning how to use it. Fast forward 6 months or so, and the first parts wholly derived from SolidWorks was completed. To do this, I’d had my fair share trials and tribulations, but had recreated the whole machine in SolidWorks and then created my own illustrations from the assembly. Over the course of the next few years, I learned more and more while creating other parts manuals. By the time I left the company in 2005, I was one of the most proficient users there. This was validated when I passed the CSWP exam in December of that year.
Life moved on and I grew as a user. I started participating in forums and user groups and started writing this blog. I enjoyed helping other users overcome their issues and being able to help them grow too (still do). For a point in time there, I worked as an AE for a reseller which was a blessing and a curse. However, that’s not a story for today. I railed against the second generation of the CSWP exam, along with others who had taken the old exam. We felt it had been dumbed-down. The certification team then upped the ante with another revamped exam and then they started busting out the advanced exams. Then they rolled out the expert exam and raised things to another level.
I saw all this going on, and kept telling myself that I’d sit for the advanced exams…someday. Fast forward to SolidWorks World 2013. The age of the CSWP special event had come to an end in favor of a CSWE event. Now, where I attend SWW as a member of the press, I figured I’d just sneak in. Mike Puckett wasn’t having any of it, though. He did make a deal with me. I could attend if, by SWW 2014, I promised to be a CSWE. I quickly agreed. (You can read about the party here.)
Fast forward to December 2013. SolidWorks World 2014 is looming around the corner and I haven’t even taken the first of the four advanced exams needed just to qualify to take the CSWE. With almost 2 weeks off around Christmas, I bit the bullet and started taking the exams. I passed the drawing and sheet metal exams, got spanked by the surfacing exam, then passed the mold tools and weldments. While I didn’t ace any of the exams, I passed all but mold tools with a comfortable margin.
Now it was time for the CSWE exam. I planned on taking it on a Saturday morning while my kids were still asleep. The last thing I needed was to be interrupted during a timed exam, one that I wasn’t 100% sure I’d pass. Coffee in hand, I sat down and fired up my laptop. After procrastinating a bit, I got Pandora going, put on my headphones and started up the exam. When I finished, I took a deep breath and ended the exam. I had just become a CSWE.
For me, it’s a personal victory. While I’m sure that there are plenty of users out there who also possess the knowledge to become CSWEs, I think having done it is its own statement. For those of you who plan on going after it, be sure to do any practice exams you can, they’ll help you with how the real exams work. Don’t rush, there is plenty of time for each exam, for the most part. Pay close attention to models you create that will be used to answer multiple questions, one mistake will mess up all the answers.
I am still around, even if I haven’t had anything to write since June. I’d like to say it’s because I’ve been so busy, but that wouldn’t be truthful. I’ve just been at a complete loss as to what to write about. The last thing I wrote was actually for Develop3D magazine, though it hasn’t been published as of yet. Even then, it was about Solid Edge…
What’s got me typing away today? I was thinking about a project we just finished up for the Amazon Paperwhite. By ‘we’, I mean Imagicorps. Anyway, we were tasked with creating an interactive area for consumers. There were various elements that needed to go into it: seating area, individual ‘pods’, a device bar, informational graphics and other bits and bobs. The coolest part, in my opinion, was the pods. They were designed in SolidWorks (duh) and are compound curves. While they didn’t seem like they’d be overly difficult to design, they did present some challenges. One half of one side is a door. Looking down from the top, the left and right sides are concentric, but the seating area inside is rectangular. Then there’s the round acrylic windows that fit in each of the side panels, including the door. Oh, and when the potential customer sat down, the acrylic had to go from clear to opaque.
There were other things, too, that we had to figure out, but my point of it all is this: you can design anything in SolidWorks. In the 15 years or so that I’ve been using it, I’ve designed a multitude of different things. From hydroforming presses to gate operators to sonar cases. Add in some anti-piracy training facilities, my girlfriend’s deck and other miscellaneous things (including a book case for the aforementioned project) and one can see the versatility in just my short resume. Add in all the other examples that are out there and it becomes even more evident.
As soon as I get 2014 up and running again, I’ll share my thoughts on it. Hopefully, it won’t be another 4 month gap.
In a nutshell, it’s like an electronic funnel for just about all things SolidWorks. You can find answers to questions or see latest posts from the SolidWorks forums. It’s all part of the 3D experience that Dassault has been espousing of late. Their plan is to add more services over time, while consolidating web properties, thereby making it easier to find what you’re looking for, be it insight, help or a place to share and discover.
Currently, the sources for my.solidworks.com are the SolidWorks forums, YouTube channel, Twitter feed, SolidWorks Blog and SolidWorks Teacher Blog, with plans to add more sources as time goes on. The Search sources include everything I just mentioned (aside from Twitter), and the online help with the SolidWorks Knowledge Base to be added ASAP. They also plan on adding mobile capabilities and an add-in to SolidWorks itself soon.
You’re able to filter what you want to see, or not see, bookmark articles for later reading or share them on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ or via email. There really is a ton of stuff up there right now to peruse through.
The obvious question is: is it any good? Frankly, I’m on the fence right now. I haven’t played with it too much, but there just seems to be a lot of stuff and it’s not readily apparent where the stuff came from. Not that I’m implying the sources aren’t good. I think, for me anyway, it’d be nice to know where an article came from. Then again, maybe I’m just being overly picky. I just think it’d be nice to have some more headers up there or something…
That all being said, go and check it out for yourself and then let me know what you think.
Over the past few months, I’ve had the opportunity to play with a few different computer systems; Xi, Boxx, HP and Dell. While the first three were desktops, and pretty much equal, the Dell is my M4600 and a bit lesser than the others. Unlike other hardware reviews, I’m not going to list the system specs. Why? Well, the Xi and HP were work computers and, sadly, I’m no longer employed and don’t have access to the specs any longer. Dammit. Also, I’m not a hard core hardware guy like others I know (Charles & Anna). When all is said and done, I want a computer that does what I need it to do without giving me a headache. Three out of the four did/do just that.
Let’s start with my Dell M4600. It’s my everyday workhorse. It’s what I write these incredibly in-depth blog posts on. It’s what I do my surfing on. My software testing. My Facebooking and much of my tweeting. While it’s not as fast as the three desktops, I have had only two issues with all of the Dells that I’ve used over the years. One was a BIOS issue and, just last week, two of my USB ports started screwing up. In both cases, Dell tech support responded quickly and extremely satisfactorily. I know that others have had less than stellar experiences with Dell, but that hasn’t been my experience. Honestly, I just love my Dell just as I loved my past ones. My sons now use my 5-year old Dell, God help it.
Next is the Boxx 4050 Xtreme Series, which I just sent back to them. What an incredible machine! I mean it was absolutely rock solid and fast. I will admit that it’s a bit tough to go back to using SolidWorks on my Dell after experiencing the Boxx. If I remember correctly, it had a Windows Experience rating of 7.1, with graphics and processor both at 7.9. Speaking of graphics, they were incredible thanks to the Quadro2000 graphics card. It was a quiet computer, too. Where it was speeding along, I expected the cooling fans to be louder than the dull hum that I did hear. I think the biggest drawback is the ~$4,000 price tag attached to it. That can be quite a bit to swallow, especially for smaller companies. The upside is you get what you pay for; Boxx loaded this thing. There was something like 12 USB ports on it! Seriously, who needs that many peripherals? I so wish I could have kept it, but it’s way outside my budget.
The HP Z420 was a solid machine. Obviously, it wasn’t as fast as the Boxx, but it was fast enough for what I needed. I believe its Windows Experience rating was about 7.0 with only the processor sitting at 7.9 (SolidState Drive). It, too, was a very quiet machine. I really liked it and, if memory serves me correctly, it was only around $2,000 with the upgrades we put in. Well worth the money and a great value for what you get. I’ve heard, though, that they can be a bit temperamental and can be prone to slowdowns. In the short time I used it, I didn’t experience slowdowns, but did have one graphics glitch which disappeared with a restart.
Last is the Xi. Out of the box this was a demon child. As soon as I started it, one of the cooling fans was making noise. I called tech support and got them to send me another fan. No bueno. Still had the noise upon startup. Thankfully, as the machine warmed up the sound would lessen. After going back and forth with them, and opening up the box a few times, I was able to determine that it was the fan on the cooling tower that was causing the issue. I couldn’t quite figure out why, when it was a mechanical issue, that the sound would lessen after warming up. Nonetheless, that issue was finally fixed. The fan didn’t stop me from using the Xi, and it was fast computer. Its Windows Experience was around 7.0, with the processor and graphics up around 7.7. The graphics were excellent. Then I got a BSOD. I haven’t seen one in 10+ years and never on a brand new computer. What got me though way Xi’s customer service. Their cavalier attitude about it (“these things happen”) really didn’t sit well with me at all. I lost complete confidence in the computer and the company, and returned the computer. I’m still a bit torqued that they were so “meh” about the BSOD. What does that say about their product that something like that would appear to be routine? Needless to say, I won’t be buying from them in the future.
If I were to rate them based on performance, it’d be: Boxx, HP, Dell, Xi.
If I were to rate them based on reliability, it’d be: Dell, Boxx/Hp, Xi
If I were to rate them based on preference, it’d be: Boxx, Dell, Hp, Xi
These are my opinions. Take ‘em or leave ‘em.
This interview has been a long time coming. I first reached out to Mark back in September, but I didn’t mark his response and it got buried. I apologized to Mark for my disorganization. He, graciously, accepted my apology. Without further ado, let’s learn about Mr. Mark Lyons.
Mark grew up in Marlboro, Massachusetts as one of 10 kids in a blended family. Home life, as one might imagine, was a bit chaotic. He loved sports, focusing on baseball, had three paper routes and spent whatever free time he had at the Marlboro Boys & Girls club or fishing. One of his most vivid memories was when he was 15 and playing on a travelling basketball team. They went to play against another team out of Cambridge who had a player that stood 6′ 11″ at 15-years old. This player constantly knocked Mark’s shot attempts, sending them into the stands. Mark’s team lost to the Cambridge team and their star player, Patrick Ewing, that day.
Mark attended Assabet Valley Vocational High School with plans on learning printing. His family had a print shop in town and he planned on joining the family business. Part of the curriculum at Assabet required that students look at other trades and one of those happened to be drafting. Turns out, Mark was pretty good at it and opted for drafting as career.
After graduating from high school, he opted to join the workforce forgoing college. He worked began working at Hypertronics in Hudson, MA. His quick promotion to Drafting Department Supervisor, at the tender age of 18, was proof that he’d made the right decision.
From Hypertronics, he moved on to Digital Equipment and Prime Computer. Both of whom offered education reimbursement, which afforded Mark the opportunity to go to night school for Mechanical Engineering. Quite the go-getter, Mr. Lyons. It was also at these companies that he was got his first taste of CAD. Unigraphics and then Prime Medusa.
Mark’s career took off at this point. He went to work as a Senior Mechanical Designer at Bose. He worked designing speaker housings for automobiles, mainly supporting GM. His designs could be found in Cadillac, Camaro, Olds, Mercedes and Mazda. At the time, circa 1988, Bose hadn’t moved to CAD. Mark helped change that, though it was a bit before they were using a 3D package (Unigraphics). Being able to truly design in 3D Mark was moved around to various teams to design. He created designs for the first generation noise cancelling headphones as well as the Wave Radio.
The next natural step for Mark was to give back. Assabet recruited him to teach drafting. Talk about coming full circle, eh? He started teaching manual drafting, the AutoCAD. He spent 10 years teaching, getting the school involved in the FIRST robotics program while he was at it. During his off time, Mark had started playing golf, becoming quite good at it. He left teaching and went to work in the golf industry, as a player and teacher. After trying it for a time, he returned to teaching at Bay Path Tech in Charlton, MA. Again, teaching drafting in both AutoCAD and SolidWorks. Three years later, a position opened up at SolidWorks and Mark took it. In his words, he is “the 2D guy”. He is the DraftSight Training Specialist. He creates training material for Draftsight and loves it.
In his down time, Mark loves to spend time with his wife and kids. He also enjoys golfing, fishing and watching the New England Patriots. That, alone, makes him a-ok in my book.
Picture stolen from 3ds.com.
You all know we have a SolidWorks user group in Seattle, right? The Seattle Area SolidWorks Power User Group (SASPUG) was founded in February 1996 and, as I’ve been told, is the olded user group in the nation. Today’s version has a website, a Facebook page and a Twitter account.
Our next meeting will be March 6th from 5-7pm at Lake Washing Technical Institute.
Ben Gowers from Delcam will be give us a demo and provide a test drive as well.
Hope Rich from Aerotek will be introducing herself to the group.
Bob Jensen, owner of Burgermaster, will talk about how SolidWorks has saved him tons of money.
If push comes to shove, I’ll talk about SWW and try to rope Ken into it as well.
Please RSVP so we can order enough food!
One of the things I enjoy about SolidWorks World is seeing all the technology out there that one can use with SolidWorks, be it hardware or software. Leading up to the show, I was contacted by Julie Reece, the Director of Marketing for Mcor Technologies. Unlike most marketing people who ask me if I’d be interested in looking at their product, Julie made it quite apparent that I didn’t have a choice in the matter lest I suffer severe bodily harm. (I suppose, too, it might be because I’ve known Julie for a few years now from her days at Z-Corp that I agreed. Plus, I was hoping to score some cool swag.) It was a solid 30 minute interview that I recorded so I would be able to write a comprehensive article. Sadly, my iPhone picked up all the background noise as well, rendering the vast majority of the recording useless. Nonetheless, I’ll shall do my best.
I met with Dr. Conor MacCormack, Co-Founder and CEO of Mcor. Conor and his brother, Fintan, started Mcor in 2005 with the goal of creating an easy-to-use, low cost, full color 3D printer that used stable and readily available materials. They felt, too, that the offerings that were on the market were not environmentally friendly, were expensive and used unstable consumables. They also didn’t want to design such a printer but have it be so expensive that its price point was too high, so they chose a price they wanted to be at and designed to that. From that was born the Matrix and Iris printers.
The media used in these printers is paper. Like the kind you can just go down to Office Depot and get. Regular old letter size paper. The skull you see above? Made from Paper. If that’s not eco-friendly, I don’t know what is. “What about the binding agent?” you ask? Slightly modified white, eco-friendly, glue. Should the need arise you can pour it down the drain, though I don’t know why you’d ever have to. Seriously, why would you need to pour it down the drain? I suppose if you caught your kid dipping fruit in it or…sorry, I digress.
The way that it works is pretty simple. The software cuts your model into paper-thin slices. Each of these slices are then printed on the aforementioned paper. The printer is a standard printer, using Mcor’s proprietary ink. This ink doesn’t just sit on the paper, it permeates it so that your 3D print doesn’t have white lines through it. You then load all the printed sheets into the 3D printer and it takes over from there. Should you drop any of the pages, they’re all numbered so you can realign it all. The printer, too, will recognize if the pages are out of whack and will stop printing. After each page is added, the platen rises up to press it to the existing pages. The blade then cuts the outline of the part and creates cuts outside of the part so you can easily remove the excess material. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. After a few hours, you have your part to play with. Their envelope is 9.4″L x 6.9″W x 5.9″H. You can put multiple prints together to create larger models, using the same glue. With x, y, z resolution of .0004″, .0004″, .004″ and 1,000,000 + colors, those models can be pretty impressive.
Mcor is also in partnership with Staples Office Centre, offering 3D printing to the masses. It would seem to be a strictly European partnership as I couldn’t find anything here on this side of the ocean. Just another case of trying to keep the colonies down, I suppose.
Conor, Fintan, and their team have come up with something pretty cool here. The printers have the ability to produce living hinges, full-color prototypes, and cool models, all in a desktop package. Well, that may be a bit of a stretch. It will fit on a desktop, but you’d want to use the table that comes with the printer. The prints can be sealed and sanded to better improve the resolution and to protect them from water. The examples they had on display were impressive, having been created with paper. The $30,000 price tag on the Iris isn’t too bad, comparatively speaking, but the consumables costs are lower than any others.
Am I sold on Mcor? I certainly like what they can do and I also like that they’re environmentally friendly. Their printing capabilities are on par with other companies out there. Their price point is very good, which should keep ROI on the short side. Taking all that into consideration, yes, I’m sold.
Once again this year, SolidWorks held their Internet Correspondent contest and the winner was Chris Scott from Jacksonville, Florida. That, for this post, is neither here nor there. Chris fulfilled a need I had; to interview someone who had never been to SolidWorks World before. While I remember my first time (who doesn’t?), I wanted a fresh perspective on it, so I asked Chris if he’d be up for it. Thankfully, the fool agreed.
This kid is fresh out of college and was an easy mark. Even if he wanted to back out now, I have his picture and answers, so it’s too late. He’s quite the go-getter, this one. He works as an Aerospace Engineer, but also started his own company, Forza Engineering, where he designs and manufactures carbon fiber parts. I only had a few minutes to talk to Chris, but he seemed to be a pretty decent guy and I didn’t hear any rumors about him getting all crazy (which we’ll have to fix in San Diego), so I’m guessing he’s ok. Without further ramblings by me, here’s my interview with Chris Scott, SolidWorks World (ex-)Virgin.
What prompted you to enter the SolidWorks internet correspondent contest?
It popped up in my Facebook feed (I have SolidWorks ‘liked’) about it. I looked at previous events and researched it a little more to see what the event entails and was really impressed by the mixture of activities going on and it looked like a great time and place to be. I really saw this as an opportunity to meet new people and learn more about SolidWorks.
How’d you feel when you won?
I was stunned, I really didn’t think that I was going to win it. Definitely didn’t feel real, like as if I missed some sort of a ‘catch’ or that it was a mistake.
Now, for the main reason I’m doing this. What were your thoughts as you entered the general assembly Monday morning?
I really didn’t know what to expect. You really have no idea how many people are there until you see several thousand people trying to fit in the hallways. The doors opened and you walk into this massive room with lights, projectors, music, etc and people flooding in like a scene from Braveheart.
As the day stretched on, what were your thoughts?
The first day was extremely overwhelming, but in the best way possible. It was great being a part of the presentation and being able to witness firsthand all the new exciting platforms and features that SolidWorks is adding. I was blown away with the special guests from the Red Bull Team. Afterwards I had the delight to meet and talk with them, I’ve been following that project for several years now and was even familiar with the Joseph even before then, so I was pretty stoked. As the day went on I attended several technical sessions which allowed me to learn new tips and tricks. Lunches and breaks provided an opportunity to meet plenty of new people and run around the Partner Pavilion and check out the cool gadgets.
What stood out in your mind most?
More like what blew my mind the most, z space. That holographic reality display was absolutely brilliant, I couldn’t have enough of it. Also I really enjoyed the ending of Wednesday’s general session and how they closed it out… where can I get my SolidGrill 3000???
What was your favorite part(s)?
The community, definitely. Everyday, every minute it seemed I was meeting new people and making new friends. People from all over the world and all different backgrounds of industry. I checked into the hotel on Sunday knowing nobody there and when it came time to leave on Wednesday, it seemed I was saying goodbye to everyone in the hallways.
How would you sum up your experience?
It was phenomenal. I really had no idea what was in store for me. There was something to do every single minute of the day. Between wide array of guest speakers that have accomplished so much, the endless list of technical sessions to attend, the great new friends I’ve made, and to witness this all first hand was a real treat. I’m still really impressed they managed to fit almost 5000 of us into buses to head for Universal Studios!
You planning on going to San Diego?
My bags are already packed! I would love to see what SolidWorks has in store for next year.
There you have it, folks. A first-hand account from a SolidWorks World newbie.
I’m 35,000 feet above the U.S. in a plane fighting headwinds that are going to cause me to be 35 minutes late, which they didn’t tell us until after we were airborne. On the one hand I want to curse United for not having WiFi on board, but where I somehow ended up in economy plus (awesome amount of legroom and extra tilt when reclining), I’m going to call it a wash. I just hope my ride waits for me.
SolidWorks World 2013 was as I remember SolidWorks World to be; lots of walking, lots of people, lots of cool tech, lots of info and little sleep. All of that adds up to an excellent time. Mostly.
Let’s start with the downside of this year’s event. As many people pointed out live, during the morning general sessions, the partner talks were tedious. We, the captive audience, understand that these large companies fork out huge sums of money in support of SolidWorks World and, because of that, it keeps attendee fees down and allows for the special events, among other things. They should get their time on the big stage to toot their own horns. Aside from nvidia, the other presentations were so absolutely mind-numbing. Nvidia’s wasn’t much better, but enough so to make it stand out in my mind. I don’t remember what the others even talked about, but I do remember that nvidia helps with the graphics in Tesla automobiles. I think it’s important for these partners to remember that they’re going to be talking to a room full of pumped up people. The energy is always so high when everyone is in there. The partners need to feed that energy. Stay away from your boardroom presentations. Pump up the music, get excited yourself and entertain us! Getting up there and talking to us like we actually want to hear what you have to say only causes us to tune you out.
While I’m driving this bus, let’s talk about what I saw as another major faux pas. The SolidWorks community lost one of its greatest champions last year, Wayne Tiffany. Wayne was an incredible individual and was honored on Tuesday, and rightfully so. His sons were there, Richard Doyle was on stage fighting tears, as we’re many of us in the audience. This heartwarming moment was sandwiched in between two sponsor presentations. I took exception to this, as did others. To follow up something so poignant with a sales pitch was wrong. Sorry, SolidWorks, you dropped the ball on that one.
I’ve already bitched about Bernard’s boardroom financials seminar he put on Monday, so let’s move on to all the good that happened.
Monday’s special guests were Sage Cheshire Aerospace, the team that allowed for Felix Baumgarter to break the speed of sound while free falling from the edge of space. What these guys did will help advance future record breaking attempts. The fact that SolidWorks played a played a part in it is icing on the cake.
Tuesday, we were given a sneak preview of Skynet. Dr. Vijay Kumar, Engineering Professor at the University of Pennsylvania showed us how his autonomous quadcopters simply do as they’re told. No specific leader, just a common goal to accomplish. You should really check out this video from day 2. My question is this: how long before they become aware?
Thankfully, that was all tempered by the next customer, Festo. Elias Knubben, Head of Corporate Bionic Projects,talked about Festo’s bionic division and how they work to mimic nature as close as possible. In this video, you’ll see a robotic bird flying. Not with propellers, not with jet engines. With wings that move just like a bird’s. God forbid those birds become autonomous like the quadcopters. It gives me shivers just thinking about it. Someone needs to alert John Connor.
Wednesday was all about kids building rockets. Tom Atchison, of Mavericks Civilian Space Foundation, told us the story of how his foundation is helping kids learn about space by building rockets. Kids. Building rockets. Man, where was this guys when I was a kid? You can check out the whole video here.
While I missed the usual special guest speaker, and another year of it not being Jessica Alba, what I did really enjoy was that all of the speakers were SolidWorks users. That was something that has been missing in past sessions. The ways that people are using SolidWorks excites me, makes me want to learn, and do, more.
I hope that at next year’s SWW, SolidWorks thinks a bit more about the attendees’ experience during the general sessions and helps the sponsors keep the energy levels high with exciting presentations and not boring, boardroom presentations.
That being said, man was it good being back at world. Thank you, SolidWorks, for the invite to SolidWorks World. I had a blast!
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About Jeff's Tool Shed
While most of what I write will be about SolidWorks, or partner products, from time to time I've been known to go off on random rants about whatever crosses my mind.
Legal B.S.: The thoughts, opinions and commentary posted on Jeff's Tool Shed are mine and mine only. I speak only for myself and no other person(s) or entities, real or imagined.
To satisfy (I hope) FTC disclosure rules: I am provided with non-commercially licensed software and hardware for review by many companies, including Dassault Systemes. (Duh, this is a review blog) While reviewing said software and hardware, I am in contact with employees of the companies providing products involved and, occasionally, asked for feedback (again, it is a review blog). I am not compensated for any of this. DS SolidWorks Corporation has paid for my travel, accommodations, and some meals for various user group events including SolidWorks World.
Questions, comments or complaints can be posted in the 'comments' section of each post or you can email me directly. Thanks for reading!