It’s like it’s 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 I’ve come to expect, SolidWorks put on a great show. I really liked the layout of the Anaheim Convention Center. I didn’t feel like I had to walk miles to get to wherever my destination was. Which isn’t to say I didn’t do a lot of walking, ‘cause I did. I’m 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. It’s 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 “there’s an app for that”, then look over my shoulder to be sure the Apple police aren’t coming after me for copyright infringement. This year’s 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 front…left 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.

I’d 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. I’m trying to find out why there was such a deviation from years past. If I get anything, I’ll 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 wouldn’t miss it for anything. I hope to see you there.

SolidWorks World – February 2, 2010

Posted on February 3rd, 2010. Posted In SolidWorks Community

Wow, what a day its been; not that its actually over yet. I just returned to my room to relax a little bit before heading over to Jon Hirschtick’s room. He was kind enough to invite the Twitterverse over and Im not one to turn down such an invitation.

Right now, this is turning out to be the best SolidWorks World I’ve been to yet. Why? Honestly I can’t put my finger on why. Maybe it’s the venue. Maybe it’s the people. Maybe it’s James Cameron. Maybe
All I know is that I’ve woken up each day raring to go. Looking forward to seeing what the day has in store. Part of it could be the fact that I’ve remained sober every night, but I think that’s a small part of it. I’ve just felt really comfortable this year, almost like I’m at home. Whatever it is, I’m lovin’ it!

Let’s get into the nitty-gritty, shall we? Today was the day for James Cameron. Much like Sir Richard Branson last year, Jim was interviewed instead of just speaking to us. Jon Hirschtick had the honor and did a damn fine job. I was simply amazed at Cameron’s grasp of engineering, among other things. The guy is brilliant. We got to see an 8-minute behind-the-scenes video of the making of Avatar. I was really impressed with the technology they used. Each actor had a small camera, attached to a small boom, recording their every facial move. I remember talking about how realistic the facial expressions where after seeing the movie, now I know why. The innovations that were created before, and during, the making of Avatar will probably change movie-making, as well as TV. I think it will be a good thing. Imagine being able to feel immersed in every show like you did when you saw Avatar. If you haven’t seen it, what the hell are you waiting for?

I spent more time in the vendor pavilion, lining up more products to review for all of you. Coming in the not-too-distant future will be DriveWorks Solo and ElecWorks. Ill be meeting up with SolidNEST tomorrow to, hopefully, line something up with them as well. Ive had conversations with the guys from and will be loading up their software soon as well. I’m also keeping my fingers crossed that Dell might be sending toys my way, too. All-in-all, the review cycle looks to be heating up.

My very first solo presentation went well, I believe. I’m optimistic that SolidWorks Crashes & Slowdowns was well received. I was damn nervous at the beginning, and admitted as much to the audience which, by the way, was much larger than I’d thought it would be. The session was also on a live feed, so there were people watching me that I couldnt see. (Hmmm, thats actually kind of creepy when you think about it.)The bonus to it being broadcast is that I’ll get a recording of my session. I’m sure my boys will love watching it with me once I get it. It’ll provide plenty of material for a pick-on-dad session.

Next came Stump the Chumps II. So far, we’ve been hearing nothing but good things so far. However, I’m waiting for Mr. Doyle to weigh in. We’re also thinking of a format change for STC III. It’ll involve coolers of beer and the movie Animal House. I dont want to give up all the details though. Just keep an eye out when they release next year’s agenda.

Every year there’s plenty of shwag to bring home to the kids. I have to say, though, that this year’s haul is the best yet. First, Ill never be short handed again thanks to Solido:

Next, from Julie at Z Corp, is my new friend, Jane:

Today is the last day of SolidWorks World 2010. Bummer.

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