Some notes about SolidWorks World 2008

Hello all,

Now that I am overcoming my illness I would like to take a little time to comment on the SolidWorks World User Conference 2008.

To start with I want to mention that I ran into several architectural users of SolidWorks.  Hmmmm.  When I asked why they are not using Revit, AutoCAD, Chief architect many of them commented on ease of use and ability to do more.  I wish they could have provided more detail to these comments but I did find them using the SolidWorks Weldment tool for stick framing and structural design.  Then using those models in the COSMOS analysis package to ensure they were meeting code.  When I sold SolidWorks I worked with many companies that designed glass curtain walls, spiral stair cases, and the structural design of commercial building for much the same reason.

I met with educators from around the world and discovered some very interesting things.  In Finland schooling is very vocational even down to the elementary school level.  The instructor that I met from Finland discussed how by the age of twelve their students were not only proficient in designing/analyzing in SolidWorks but also manufactured everything they designed.  That Is a country that is embracing technology and science to increase their global economic standing.

For the students here, as you enter your chosen profession you need to work hard to make our country change gears and do more to encourage science and technology in schools.  you can do this many ways; mentor students, meet with government representatives, work with your company and encourage them to join organizations like FIRST http://www.usfirst.org/.  This organization gets companies to donate 6 weeks of their time to adopt a group of students from a school to design and build robots for a Superbowl style competition complete with vendors, sponsors, Presidential visits and prizes.  Last year the competition was so big it had to be held in the Georgia Dome.  Check it out.

I also picked up some great quotes.  I will focus on this one : “There is no partial credit in the machine shop”  translation for architecture students : “There is no partial credit on the job site”.

Lets examine this quote – At the end of the day if you have not put all of your effort into ensuring your design, documentation and communication is not 100% accurate with no chance of being misinterpreted your company will have lost money.  IN manufacturing as soon as the machining tool starts the customer owns that piece of material and the time.  If you did not locate all of your features, size all of your features, apply the appropriate tolerances as required for the design to work correctly, etc… or dimensioned your design in a way that can be interpreted as loosely as government laws, gossip or other prominent books that people follow you did not do your job.  This will reflect poorly when it comes time for review.  So, take a little extra time.  Review your work.  Ask your self over and over again “Why will this not work?”.  Have other review your work.  Ask them “Why will this not work?” When you think you are done get up.  Walk around.  Come Back ask one more time ” Why will this not work? and have I missed anything?”.  Then get it approved.  You are responsible for your own actions and work.  Be the best.

More to come

Chris MacCormack