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Posts Tagged ‘SolidWorks’

SolidWorks 2010 and Boston

September 13th, 2009

A few weeks ago, I was privileged enough to have been invited up to SolidWorks Corporate HQ for a preview of SW 2010.  As my busy schedule permits, I will be posting a few things about 2010 and the new functionalities.  For now I want to share the highlights of the visit and some of the items shared by SolidWorks.  A few of the well know bloggers joined me on the trip and a couple of the west coast guys didn’t make it due to illness and prior commitments.  The posts from everyone there can be found by following my links in my blogroll. 

Day 1 consisted of a review of a product that was released on SolidWorks labs, Sustainability, Jeremy Regenerus showed a presentation put together by Rick Chen.  Rick called in and walked us through the full package that will be available with new features and capabilities in SW 2010.  Next we had a quick update from Bob Miner  and what’s going on in SW Labs.  If you haven’t been there, go check out what’s new.  One of the questions we were asked to consider is “What are some ideas for mobile platforms?”  If you have some ideas, just post them in the comments below with SW Labs in the comment. 

DSC02843

We next had a presentation From Marie Planchard with some information on SW education programs.  Marie was kind enough to give us an education version to share with someone back home.  I gave mine to a recent HS graduate who is currently in Junior College pursuing an associates degree in drafting and design.   I’ll be touching on this more in one of my Educators Corner pieces. 

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Lunch was with Jeff Ray and several interesting topics were discussed.  One statement that I asked Jeff to expound upon was in regards to hiring.  His statement, and the sentiment of previous CEO’s of SolidWorks, is that hiring is the most important thing to be done in a company.  The discussion was that if you hire good people, you end up with good work habits and good products.  This was quite interesting and I wish it could be applied in all companies.  After lunch we were treated to a few min. with Jon Hirschtick former CEO and one of the founders of SolidWorks.  Jon is now the “future technologies” guy at SW and he shared a few things he thinks are going to be key in the future of CAD including the transition back to hardware.  Another interesting product is very small projectors that could eventually end up in you phone which would be a boon for collaboration. 

The rest of the afternoon was spent with the User Experience Group, formerly the Usability team of  Jim “Wilkie” Wilkenson, Tom Spine and Lynn Churney.  Tom shared with us the 3 steps that were used to create SW 2010 and will also be used to service future versions.  The steps are:

  1. change the design process
  2. creating artifacts of design
  3. usability testing early and often

Since the group is always looking for ideas, if you have any just reply to my comments and put “usability” in the body

We also had a quick visit from John Slocum who discussed 3D Content Central where he told us of some new features including self service supplier catalog publishing with and online subscription model.  This allows suppliers to publish their models in a catalog format while being able to control how and when they publish.  John also mentioned that the 3DCC Beta sight would be up soon, check it out and participate.

 

Later that evening, we were treated to a few laps at F1 Boston, a very large indoor cart track.  It was a lot of fun but not so comfortable.  Some of us looked like stuffed sausage:

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After all was said and done, Ricky Jordan of Rickyjordan.com was the overall winner after several qualifying heats.  Congrats RJ!

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DSC02888

He kinda looks like the “Stig” in this photo huh. 

I would like to thank SolidWorks and all those who were responsible for inviting us up and for the great hospitality we were shown.  I would like to give special thanks to Nancy Buchino and Matthew West and to all the other bloggers who were there.  See you soon guys, 

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GONE TOO LONG

September 5th, 2009

Sorry I’ve not posted in a while. With my company downsize and an influx of new contracts, my work hours have gone up significantly and with family life thrown in there, I basically have been on the schedule of work, eat, sleep for about 2 months. BUT, I hope to post some new stuff in the next week or so on SolidWorks 2010 as well as some new posts including my recent experience with an install of SolidWorks Enterprise PDM. Stay Tuned!

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SolidWorks User Group Technical Summit! Have you attended one lately?

July 4th, 2009
Summit: Dictionary.com defines a summit as;
  1. the highest point or part, as of a hill, a line of travel, or any object; top; apex.
  2. the highest point of attainment or aspiration: the summit of one’s ambition.
  3. the highest state or degree.

I really like parts of all 3 of the definitions of summit; apex, aspiration, state.  Summit make me think of something lofty that you look towards.  The intent of the SolidWorks User Group (SWUGN) Technical Summits is to give users of all levels a day of training from fellow users of SolidWorks and also a chance to casually network with your peers.  So why haven’t you attended a SWUGN Technical Summit?  With a total fee of just $40 which covers multiple training sessions, breakfast AND lunch, how can you go wrong.   I’ve enjoyed the privelege of attending 3 SolidWorks Technical Summits over the past 3 years and I have presented at 2 of them.  My latest escapade involved a fellow SolidWorks user, teacher, user group leader and all around Good Egg, Randall Bock.  I met Randall at SolidWorks World 2009 in Orlando and we became quick friends.  He mentioned that one of the SWUGN Technical Summits was going to be held in his stomping grounds (Penn State University) in June.  When I arrived home from World, I asked my wife how she felt about spending our vacation in Pennsylvania.  We agreed it would be nice to see since there was so much to experience and we had never been there.  This way we could mark another state off our maps.  Fast forward to May.  After getting a short scare from work that a project may be due, it wasn’t, I finalized my travel plans for the Happy Valley Summit.  Randall and family (Brenda, Sarah and Evan) were nice enough to invite us to their family farm for a day of leisure after our long drive in.  The weather was great and we had a fantastic day (thanks again Brenda, that strawberry cake I won’t soon forget)!

Building a Volcano

Building a Volcano

On Monday, Randall invited me to visit with some of the local companies who use SolidWorks in and around State College including QBC Diagnostics, the Advanced Research Lab (ARL)-Penn State (I would share what we saw but I would have to kill you) and GE Inspection Technologies with Mike Puckett of SolidWorks.   Afterwards, we went downtown to meet the early arrivals and presenters for dinner at The Deli ResturantJohn “Muggs” Ferguson, Lars Christensen, Mike, Randall and myself had a great meal and a great time.  We even got to sample some of that bright yellow Happy Valley Sunshine as we gazed out of the atrium windows of the restaurant.  Later we went for Ice Cream at Berky Creamery as we walked the beautiful campus of Penn State University.   Are you still wondering why you should attend?
Yum! Milkshakes

Yum! Milkshakes

 

Summit day!

 Tuesday started with a brisk walk from my hotel to the on campus venue called the HUB.  I helped with the setup as did some of the other presenters and some of Randall’s students.  Richard Doyle (SWUGN himself) was getting the opening session ready to go.  The expected turnout was in excess of 90 so we were all excited.  Breakfast was served and Richard jumped right in at 8:00 to kick everything off. 

 

HVSWUG Summit is open!

HVSWUG Summit is open!

Breakfast is served

Breakfast is served

Richard addressing the attendees

Richard addressing the attendees

At 8:45 it was time to let the fun begin.  Session 1 included Assemblies  with Greg Yohn of DesignPoint Solutionsand Simulation with Randall Bock. Session 2 included Mold Design with Mike Puckett of SolidWorks Corp and PDM with Mike Sabocheck of SolidWorks Corp.  Lunch was from 11: 30 to 1 and lots of great door prises were given away including a FREE Pass to SolidWorks World 2010 in Anaheim, Ca.  Are you still wondering why you should attend?  The afternoon kicked off and session 3 included Drawings  with yours truly Richard Hall from WestWind Technologies (and also NASWUG) and Sheet Metal with Jeff Beardsley of Prism Engineering.  Session 4 included CAD Management with Richard Doyle of SolidWorks Corp. and Rendering  with Arthur Young-Spivey of CADD Edge.  Closing out the day in session 5 was Surfacing with Muggs Ferguson of John Ferguson Design and Weldments with Timothy Theiler of CADDWorks.  Each session had great content and I was able to get photos of all the sessions except for Sheet Metal which was the same time I was presenting (sorry Jeff).  Maybe someone else has a picture they can share?
Session 1 Assemblies with Greg Yohn

Session 1 Assemblies with Greg Yohn

Session 1 Simulation with Randall Bock

Session 1 Simulation with Randall Bock

Session 2 Mold Design with Mike Puckett

Session 2 Mold Design with Mike Puckett

Session 2 PDM with Mike Sabocheck

Session 2 PDM with Mike Sabocheck

Lunch Buffet

Lunch Buffet

Nothing was left of the lunch buffet after the attendees went through.  I would like to say the food was great personally but, I was prepping for my session and when I came out to get a quick bite, the pans were empty as if someone had licked them clean or sopped them with loaf bread.  Oh well, it’s not like I couldn’t go without a meal or 2, maybe next time?

 

Session 3 Drawings with Rich Hall

Session 3 Drawings with Rich Hall

 

Session 3 Sheet Metal with Jeff Beardsley
Session 4 CAD Management with Richard Doyle

Session 4 CAD Management with Richard Doyle

Session 4 Rendering with Arthur Young-Spivey

Session 4 Rendering with Arthur Young-Spivey

Session 5 Surfacing with Muggs Ferguson

Session 5 Surfacing with Muggs Ferguson

Session 5 Weldments with Timothy Theiler
Session 5 Weldments with Timothy Theiler

I would like to thank SolidWorks and Richard Doyle for giving the users the chance to participate in training sessions like this. Even though the trip was long for me, the rewards were worth the effort. So, I ask again, are you still wondering why you should attend?

Man, I should have finished this last night.

Man, I should have finished this last night.

"so three men walk into a bar....."

"so three men walk into a bar....."

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SolidWorks Summit anyone?

June 12th, 2009

Happy Valley…..sounds like a nice place to be!  Well coming up on Tuesday, June 16, I will be there!  My family and I are heading out tomorrow for the long drive up to State College, PA.  I will be presenting at the SolidWorks Summit hosted by the Happy Valley SolidWorks User Group.  If you are in the area and you need a day of SolidWorks training, you cant beat a Summit.  Randall Bock and the rest of the HVSWUG have done a crackerjack job of putting together what should be a great event. 

I know it’s been a while since I have posted here, but life has been in the way.  Work has been very busy and I have been prepping for the summit presentation, along with my wife completing another school year teaching.  My girls have their extracurricular events and  other things.  Please know that I am working on several new “Educators Corner” pieces and I will be blogging and tweeting from the summit next week as time allows.  See you soon,

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Educators Corner “Update That Resume”

May 3rd, 2009

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Recently I had a nice email discussion with an instructor about one of his Senior engineering students and what he could do with his resume.  Let me say up front, I’m no expert on resume writing, but, I do have to keep mine up to date at work for proposals and such with the company’s interrest in mind.  I also keep my full personal resume current about every 6 months with the latest updates.  Every region and every job has its ways that are preferred for how a resume should look and what should be on there.  Since I work in Huntsville, Al, one of the high tech centers of the Unites States with large commercial, military and space interests represented, there is a pretty simple format to follow for a resume here.  I think this formula should work for anyone in the engineering/technical fields.  The formula for the best resume is short and full of details.  Below you will find a list of what I have found in my carrier to be a good compromise for your resume.

  • Experience and education are paramount and personal information can be brought up in an interview and is not necessary as filler.  Never include ”hobbies” or other personal or religious information unless it is directly related to the job position you are applying for.   
  • Find a resume format that condenses everything onto one page.   The more pages, the less likely a person scanning for details is to look.  Rule of thumb is one page is great, 2 is ok, 3 pages go in the garbage. 
  • Bright colors are not necessary in the format or paper.  Subdued shading is preferred.  Most companies still print and fax to black and white and colors obscure details and, if for some reason the document has to be scanned or faxed, it creates black blobs which don’t look good. 
  • The use of a generic objective is ok for a generic resume.  ex: I am seeking a position in the engineering field pursuant to my skill and education.
  • If you are applying for a specific job, the resume and content should be tailored to the potential position.  ex: Modify the generic objective to state for a military/aerospace company to something similar to: ”I am seeking a position in the aerospace community where I can play a productive role with my experience and education.”
  • Include and entitle a  list of basic skills as “core competencies”.  ex: If the company uses SolidWorks as its design package and you have SolidWorks experience, then move SolidWorks to the top of the list.  Also include all software experience no matter how good or bad you are or how much you like it.  Companies today are looking for diverse experiences to help build their “core competencies”.   This could get you hired!
  •  If you are going to have a resume listed with a recruitment (headhunter) agency then they may want a generic version or maybe 2 or 3 versions if they are in a diverse market environment like Huntsville.  It just depends and this should be a question the candidate asks the agency when signing up to be represented.  One thing of warning about headhunter agencies, if you don’t mind short term, feet wet, type jobs to gain experience and pay the bills,  this can be great and challenging carrier path for a single person.  If you are a more mature, experienced person who doesn’t want to jump around or who is looking to get married or is already married, this might not be the avenue for you.  
  • Have the reference sheet ready to go but do not send it unless required by the company, also carry one in your notebook during an interview.  Put the statement “References Furnished Upon Request” at the end of your resume.  References will be checked but the space this takes up applies to your page count.  (see comment above regarding page count)

I hope this helps and this info should be shared with anyone looking for jobs.  I have found the following site to very good advice.  I don’t agree with everything it says as applied to the engineering/technical fields, but it has very good content.  http://www.damngood.com/jobseekers/tips.html

Stay Tuned for more from the Educators Corner featuring SolidWorks!

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Educators Corner “Tony Cantrell”

April 19th, 2009

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A couple of months ago, I started asking around my network for educators who might like to get some coverage here on the Educators Corner.  Richard Doyle, our great SWUGN leader and recent winner of 2009 CAD Society Joe Greco Community Award, sent me a list of people and my next guest was one of the folks listed.   When I say that Tony Cantrell is an experienced guy, I’m not exaggerating in the least.  When you read the following excerpt from his resume you’ll see just what I mean. 

1973 – 2008  Design & Drafting

Thirty-five years experience in design and drafting of mechanical, facilities, product and civil drawings.  Experience includes board drafting, Anvil4000, Cornerstone, Mainframe Cadam, Professional Cadam, MicroCadam, Helix Design System, AutoCad R14Lite to 2004, and Solid Works 99 to 2008.  Geometric Tolerance & Dimensioning.  Hands on experience in machine shop practices, and field construction.  Office Skills in Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, Access, PowerPoint, Visio, Architectural Graphic Standards, Means and Pulsar estimating systems.  Operating Systems: IBM Mainframe, Unix, AIX, Dos, and Windows 3.x, 95, 98, NT, 2000, 2000me, XP.

RH: I’m glad to have you on Educators Corner, Please tell me about Tony Cantrell (TC). 

TC: I went to school at Midlands Technical College for Industrial Drafting (This was all drawing board and slide rule; no calculator).  I currently teach at Midlands Technical College NE Campus doing continuing education classes using SolidWorks.  I am the user group leader for the Palmetto SolidWorks User Group and we are having a user group meeting April 20, 2009.  If you are interested in attending please contact me at the email link HERE.

Tony Cantrell

Tony Cantrell

 

 

RH: Do you have any industry experience?  

TC: My current job, since 2000, is with Westinghouse Nuclear Fuel Company Columbia, S.C. where I Design/Draft/Model Various product parts.  I also assist engineering in design, build testing and installation of equipment, fixtures, tooling, gage components and product.

RH: What led you to become a teacher and why SolidWorks?

TC: I really enjoy watching the light bulb go on when someone understands something, and with SolidWorks, it is just a matter of time.

RH: How long have you been teaching?

TC: Just about three years now.

RH: What SolidWorks certifications if any do you currently hold?

TC: CSWP 2005, CSWA

RH: What are your classes (age range and/or skill level)

TC: Continuing Education (SolidWorks the basics, Engineering Design, Drawing and Detailing) all adults ages 18 and up.

RH: What is a typical classroom day like for you?

TC: My classes are in the evenings from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm, I generally start with an introduction to SolidWorks and me, and then off to the modeling.

RH: What is your preferred teaching method?

TC: I like to start by showing the basic steps and then turn them loose and watch what happens.

RH: What method of teaching SolidWorks have you found to be successful?

TC: So far, what I stated above seems to work, occasionally I have to spend a little more time with some students.

RH: What curriculum and industry standards do you teach?

TC: The curriculum is Continuing Education, as far as standards, I would say mainly ANSI but I do answer questions about ISO when asked.

RH: How do you use the SolidWorks Educator resources and curriculum in teaching your class?

TC: Currently, I am teaching from the SDC books written by David and Marie Planchard. I do go out to the educator site for ideas and techniques.

RH: Do you have any work from the students or from your curriculum that you are able to and would like to share? 

TC: I do not save any of the models, but I use the exercises from the textbooks by SDC Publications mentioned above.  

RH: What industry do you teach for or what is the prevalent industry in your area that would eventually hire a SolidWorks trained person?

TC: I do not target any industry.  As far as the industries around; this is a list of companies in our general area:

Westinghouse
Spirax
Mid State Tooling
Energy Solutions
A.O.SMITH  
REI Automation Inc.
Superior Machine Co of SC, Inc.
Garlock Helicoflex
Fischbein-Inglett
Accutech Machine
Michelin
Hansen International
ALPHA Mfg.
Howden Buffalo
Protected Vehicles, Inc
Watermark Design, LLC
Bose
Jarden Materials
Schneider-Electric
American Spiralweld
Precision Machine Works
Hagler Systems
Elite Tool & Design
Curtis Fabrication
Whidtec
Force Protection Industries
Tobul Accumulator, Inc
Interlake
Access Mfg.
CompositeResources
Energy Solutions
Mancor
Steck Technologies, Inc
Custom Components Inc.
Parsons
Thermal Engineering
Partion Systems Inc.
Kaydon
King Design and Drafting, LLC
Shaw Group
Midlands Biofuels
Dixie Poly Drum Corp

 

RH: What universities or community colleges are nearby that your students would attend and pursue a course of study with SolidWorks application?

TC: Clemson University, University of South Carolina, multiple TECH schools

RH: Have you attended SolidWorks World? If so, what was beneficial from a teaching standpoint?

TC: Yes, Orlando twice and New Orleans.  This past year was the first from an educator standpoint and for me, meeting Marie Planchard was a highlight.

RH: Will your school board or current school be willing to fund a trip for you to SolidWorks World? 

TC: I really doubt that, since I am an Adjunct Instructor and not full time.

RH: Knowing that most school systems are in desperate financial situations, do you feel that there will be continued support for teaching SolidWorks and CAD drafting skills. 

TC: As long as there is a demand for educated people in these fields, then tech schools will try to offer these courses.

RH: How important do you feel that teaching CAD/drafting skills is for the future of engineering and industry in general?

TC: I believe it is imperative that we teach these skills, if we don’t, how will we progress?

RH: What are the biggest challenges you face in teaching SolidWorks/drafting?

TC: Getting more classes.

RH: What are some goals for your future and do you always plan on teaching?

TC: As long as I am able, I will probably teach these classes or until they run me off.  My goals are to have fun and show others how much fun design can be.

Tony,

Thank you for taking the time to share with everyone.   

Stay Tuned for more from the Educators Corner featuring SolidWorks!

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Educators Corner “Randall Bock”

April 6th, 2009

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 It’s amazing who you can meet at SolidWorks World where a whole bunch of like minded folks get together.  Right after breakfast on Monday morning of day 1, Gary Hall (my brother of no relation) and I were headed up to get in line for the general session.  As we approached what we thought would be a good entrance point, Gary said hey I know those guys.  We walked over and got in line where I was introduced to Randall Bock and Wescott Pusey.  I found out from our conversations that they were SolidWorks teachers at Pennsylvania State University, better know as Penn State or PSU.  I also found out that they were running the Happy Valley SolidWorks User Group on campus.  Throught the week we kept in touch through Twitter and email and Randall ( @randllbock ) told me that one of the SWUGN summits was going to be hosted by HVSWUG later in the year.  Details have not been released on the Happy Valley Summit yet but the date has been set for June, 16 2009.  I have never been to Pennsylvania so it sounds like a good road trip to me.  I am planning on taking my family up on vacation in June and attending the Summit.  Randall has a lot of dynamic ideas and projects he has shared with us here at Educators Corner.  Be sure you take a look at what the next generation of SolidWorks students are learning at a major university. 

Randall Bock

Randall Bock

 

  

 

Rich Hall (RH): Hi Randall.  Why don’t you share a little about yourself.

Randall Bock (RB): I currently hold a BS, MS in Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Penn State.  In my day job I am an Engineering Associate and Affiliate Instructor at The Pennsylvania State University in the area of Agricultural and Biological Engineering.  In my area of core responsibility, I work with faculty and students in the design and implementation of teaching, research, and outreach programs. The engineering and agricultural challenges being studied are wide ranging: bioreactors, food-born pathogens, particulate mechanics, natural resource conservation, structural and mechanical design, food and biomass processing, agricultural health and safety, ethanol production, computer modeling and simulation, and nano-technologies.  My night job is Continuing Education Instructor at The Pennsylvania State University at University Park where I develop and instruct coursework for EDSGN 496A: SolidWorks Fundamentals (3 credits).  Virtually all products manufactured in modern facilities begin as three dimensional computer models (3D-CAD).  SolidWorks has approximately 800,000 licensed seats worldwide and is the most accessible 3D-CAD application at Penn State.  This course delivers the methods and techniques necessary to become proficient in the application of SolidWorks for product design and manufacturing.  The SolidWorks corporate certification exam is included. Advanced topics on weldments, sheet metal, and finite element analysis are covered. 

RH: What led you to become a teacher and why SolidWorks?

RB: Up until 2006 I was using AutoCAD to do 3D solid modeling.  One of my students showed me SolidWorks.  I stopped AutoCAD, dove into SolidWorks and never looked back.  The software changed nearly every aspect of my job.  Design became fun and life got better.  Much of my work is developing prototype equipment for research.  Now with SolidWorks I have the ability to design and analyze using the same package.  Before my class was developed, Penn State did not offer a rigorous course in 3D modeling.  Freshmen engineering students were doing the SolidWorks tutorials as part of a general engineering class and other students we doing the Pro/E tutorials.  In general I found that the software was under utilized.  This fantastic engineering teaching tool was available but no one was using it.

RH: How long have you been teaching?

RB: I started teaching in Spring 2008 with 20 students.  The class has grown to 40 students in two sections with broad interest among under graduate students, graduate students, engineering professors and returning adult students.

RH: Why do you teach CAD with SolidWorks?

RB: Penn State has 500 EDU licenses that are available in all University computer labs through out the Penn State system.  Students new to SolidWorks can achieve CSWA level proficiency in one semester.

RH: What SolidWorks certifications do you currently hold?

RB: I passed the CSWA, CSWP, and plan to take the CSWP-CDES this Spring.  I am also a CSWA provider. 

RH: What are your classes (age range and/or skill level)

RB: The age range is from college freshmen to 65 year old professors.  Most have tried the software but they all lack the knowledge required to make elegant parts and assemblies.  Symmetry, design intent, multi body, and in context modeling are all new concepts. 

RH: What is a typical classroom day like for you? 

RB: I work as a research engineer during the day and teach in the evenings for continuing education.

RH: What is your preferred teaching method? What method of teaching SolidWorks have you found to be successful? 

RB: Since student learn differently, I teach using a variety of methods:

  • Standard lecture for new information
  • Follow the leader: for detailed modeling techniques or complex features 
  • In class challenge assignments
  • Timed quizzes: to prepare them for the CSWA
  • Homework assignments: I encourage them to work together
  • Midterm project: consisting of 8 parts minimum
  • Final Project: assembling the parts from the midterm project, producing drawings and doing FEA. 

RH: What curriculum and industry standards do you teach? 

RB: I developed my own curriculum which using what I call “Basic Strategy”  (Blackjack inspired terminology).  This Basic Strategy presents good habits, best practices, and reinforces the basics: design intent, symmetry, constraints, etc.  I have found that students really need the knowledge of experienced users.  Good design practices and strategies normally come from experience; I try to give it to them in the classroom.  I tell them that as a goal: 80% of producing a 3D modeling happens in their head and that pushing the keys is the instant gratification / detail phase. 

RH: How do you use the SolidWorks Educator resources and curriculum in teaching your class? 

RB: The SWE resources are project based.  I start the students with the basics.  I feel making impressive looking parts in the beginning diverts attention away from fundamental modeling techniques.  So I have them start by making very simple shapes.  Then later after they have learned the tools one at a time, they are assigned progressively more complex parts.  After they can make complex parts, I have them pick a project.  I emphasize that the project should have some value to them personally or should otherwise be connected to a project in another class. 

RH: Do you have any work from the students you are able to and would like to share?

To view the following files you must have eDrawings for SolidWorks.  Please click the free Download link below:  

forsite

 

 

bale-compactor

bale-compactor

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
Bike Project

Bike Project

 

 

 

 

 

Bike Project 2

Bike Project 2

 

 

 

 

 

Buick Engine Project

Buick Engine Project

 

 

 

 

 

Crossbow Project

Crossbow Project

 

 

 

 

 

Food Processor Project

Food Processor Project

 

 

 

 

  

Go Kart

Go Kart

 

 

 

 

 

Hit/Miss Engine Project

Hit/Miss Engine Project

 

 

 

 

 

Little Digger Project

Little Digger Project

 

 

 

 

 

Mouse Trap Game Project

Mouse Trap Game Project

 

 

 

 

 

Paint Marker Project

Paint Marker Project

 

 

 

 

 

Pinball Machine Project

Pinball Machine Project

 

 

 

 

 

PSU Wrist Watch Project

PSU Wrist Watch Project

 

 

 

 

 

Pump Project

Pump Project

 

 

 

 

 

Running Shoe Project

Running Shoe Project

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RH: What industry do you teach for or what is the prevalent industry in your area that would eventually hire a SolidWorks trained person?

RB: I do not teach for any particular industry although most student are in mechanical or aerospace engineering.

RH: What universities or community colleges are nearby that your students would attend and pursue a course of study with SolidWorks application?

RB: Penn State is it.  We are in central PA there is nothing else for miles!

RH: Have you attended SolidWorks World? If so, what was beneficial from a teaching standpoint?

RB: I attended SWW 2009.  This was a great networking and learning opportunity for me!  I am hooked!  I am already planning for Anaheim.

RH: Will your school board or current school be willing to fund a trip for you to SolidWorks World?

RB: So far this hasn’t been a problem.   Penn State supports my trip to SWW as professional development. 

RH: Knowing that most school systems are in desperate financial situations, do you feel that there will be continued support for teaching SolidWorks and CAD drafting skills? 

RB: At Penn State… if it makes money they will let you do anything.  I need to recruit more adult students.  Possibly the Engineering Stimulus will help!

RH: How important do you feel that teaching CAD/drafting skills is for the future of engineering and industry in general?

RB: It is absolutely essential for engineers of all disciplines to have a strong foundation in 3D CAD and analysis.  Many of my students receive job offers based on the classroom training and CSWA.

RH: What are the biggest challenges you face in teaching SolidWorks/drafting?

RB: Having the time and energy to do my daytime job and then get charged up to teach from 6-9pm. 

RH: What are some goals for your future and do you always plan on teaching?

RB: I started the local SWUG because I found that classroom experience isn’t enough.  Students need contact with real world projects and the opportunity to present their solutions.  I hope the Happy Valley SolidWorks User Group can provide an educational and networking resource for Penn State students and local industry.

We are hosting a SWUGN Summit on June 16, at Penn State (State College, PA).  Please watch the SWUGN web site for further details.  Please feel invited to join us for a great time in Happy Valley!

Randall,

Thanks for taking the time to share with me at Educators Corner.  I am looking forward to visiting you in June!

Stay Tuned for more from the Educators Corner featuring SolidWorks!

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Educators Corner “SolidWorks Supports Education”

March 18th, 2009

sw-educators-corner-2As I try to cover SolidWorks education from different perspectives, I sometimes wonder just how committed the folks at SolidWorks Corporate are.  Well let me tell you about two of the guys.  Jeremy Luchini and Mike Puckett are the guys behind the SolidWorks Certification program.  Recently Jeremy and Mike made visits to some young and impressionable SolidWorks users and made a difference.  Check out Mike Puckett’s Blog and read his account of these visits.  I love these quote from Mike’s story: “Its great to see these kids so excited about engineering at such a young age.” Mike said, speaking about some students involved in the  UsFirst Robotics Competition.  A later visit to still more students at Greenville High School in Marc Nelson’s class spawned this quote from Mike, “One student even asked if they could turn in an assignment after the weekend just so they could use the new home install they had just received.”  Talk about inspiration!  I appreciate what these guys are doing personally and what SolidWorks is doing Corporately to support the next generation of engineers.  If you appreciate what they are doing as well, leave comments here or on Mike’s blog.

Stay Tuned for more from the Educators Corner featuring SolidWorks!

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Educators Corner “Adam Scheible”

February 28th, 2009

sw-educators-corner-2In this installment of the EDUCATORS CORNER,  I will be talking with a former SWUG leader who now spends his extra time teaching at the post secondary level in Oregon.  Let’s see what he has to say about using SolidWorks in Education!

Richard Hall (RH): Hi Adam. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m Adam Scheible (AS).  As a child, I had a fascination with engineering. More specifically, I liked process engineering and eventually took a drafting class in middle school. I continued this pursuit by attending Benson Polytechnic High School in Portland, Oregon, then started classes for mechanical engineering. In 1996 I started working full time for a local Medical/Dental manufacturer. I became active in the Portland Area SolidWorks User Group, and was elected as their leader for three years. Over the past three years I have taught at both Portland Community and Clackamas Community Colleges. Currently I teach one or two SolidWorks classes weekly at Portland Community College. You can follow me on Twitter at @adamiser

Adam Scheible

Adam Scheible

RH: Do you have any industry experience? If so what and/or who with?

AS: I work full time for Beaverstate Dental, a Medical/Dental manufacturer in Newberg, Oregon. I have been there since 1996, and manage Sustaining Engineering and Quality Control. I also do various contracting/consulting jobs with local companies. This full time involvement in industry enables me to stay on the edge of the daily workings of the SolidWorks program, community, and processes.

RH: What led you to become a teacher?

AS: I have always enjoyed teaching and mentoring. When I made the case to purchase SolidWorks at Beaverstate Dental in 2002, I joined the local SolidWorks user group. I was an active participant and presenter, and became the user group leader in 2005. I held that position until December 2008 when I needed to give more time to my family and teaching.  (Richard Doyle’s comments on Adam)   

RH: Why do you teach CAD with SolidWorks?

AS: Why SolidWorks? That’s easy, it’s my professional tool of choice. I can have more done at the end of the day with SolidWorks.

RH: How long have you been teaching?

AS: I have taught at the college level for three years. I have been an active member of PASWUG for seven years, and continue to be supportive of the growing SolidWorks community through work, schools, and social media.

RH: Why do you teach CAD with SolidWorks?

AS: I teach SolidWorks because of the culture of both the SolidWorks/Dassault company and SolidWorks community. It’s what I use in industry and what I believe in. Basically it’s the best tool for my daily livelihood.

RH: What SolidWorks certifications if any do you currently hold?

AS: I don’t have any certifications, but am trying to get the nerve up to take my Certified SolidWorks Professional (CSWP) test before the summer break.

RH: What are your classes (age range and/or skill level)

AS: My student’s range from young adults to older, transitioning adults. Their skill level is across the board too. Most are working toward their BSME, but some are just trying to add to their skill set. Needless to say the classes are in high demand by everyone and we had to add another session this term. The popularity of SolidWorks is showing its relevance in all aspects of industry. This diversity is shown in each of my classes.

RH: What is a typical classroom day like for you?

AS: I work full time, and teach two nights per week. So, after a day at the office, I open the lab at 5:00pm to let my student’s work/learn/ask. I start teaching at 6:00pm and usually lecture for two hours. The next two hours are work time where I canvas the room helping students individually. I conclude my day at 10:00pm and then drive home to have dinner and kiss my sleeping kids goodnight. I repeat as necessary.

RH: What is your preferred teaching method? What method of teaching SolidWorks have you found to be successful?

AS: I have tried various textbooks and found strengths and weaknesses with all of them. Like Marc Nelson I used the SolidWorks Mountain Board project for a few terms. However, since I use SolidWorks professionally on a daily basis, I could not endorse some of the methods it presented. So, I wrote my own book and augment this with annotated video tutorials. Most importantly, I teach the “big picture” instead of button pushing. I’ve created my own version of the essentials course. I try to set up each lecture in three stages. 1) Key ideas outlined in a bulleted list. 2) Scripted example as a step by step lecture showing each button press. 3) Workflow example showing methodologies and thought process. 1, 2, 3 that’s it. Oh, I’m also a PowerPoint hater, and never use it.

RH: What curriculum and industry standards do you teach?

AS: Academically, I don’t have any curriculum standards. Likewise, I don’t have to teach to any industrial standard because I don’t just cater to drafting students. I’ve had students from mechanical engineering, industrial design, and manufacturing; so I try to focus on SolidWorks functionality instead of a specific industry or standard. That’s not to say they won’t learn drafting standards, but there is more to SolidWorks than drafting.

RH: How do you use the SolidWorks Educator resources and curriculum in teaching your class?

AS: For a long time the SolidWorks Educator resources were on the installation DVDs. However, the school IT department does the install before classes start. So, I never saw the materials offered. Then, there was a time that those resources were made available on the website and I was able to grab the mountain board project. However, this fall the SolidWorks website went through a major overhaul and the educator resources were not available. So, I don’t use the educator resources. Did I mention I tried the Mountain Board project two terms a while back? I could tell you more about it off the record. I just like to do things my own way. However, I see that content has been added to the SolidWorks Educators Blog, so I’ll have to check it out.

RH: Do you have any work from the students you are able to and would like to share? (pictures or models)

AS: I feel I should ask students permission before I share any of their intellectual property or projects, but I can tell you about our core classroom project. I build my class around a simple Lego set. Each piece we model illustrates various SolidWorks tools and functionality. We assemble the blocks to build various vehicles, and output drawings, renderings, and bills of materials like any company would expect.

 truck7

truck-13

RH: What industry do you teach for or what is the prevalent industry in your area that would eventually hire a SolidWorks trained person?

AS: Oregon still has a large high tech sector. We have the Intel headquarters, Nike, and a lot of bio-tech upstarts. Everyone is using SolidWorks at one level or another.

RH: What universities or community colleges are nearby that your students would attend and pursue a course of study with SolidWorks application?

AS: Just about all technical colleges and schools in the area use SolidWorks. Most post secondary schools are transitioning away from ProE and moving to SolidWorks. A partial list includes: Portland Community, Clackamas Community, Oregon State University (Beavers), University of Oregon (Ducks), University of Washington (Huskies), Clark College.

RH: Have you attended SolidWorks World? If so, what was beneficial from a teaching standpoint?

AS: I attended SolidWorks World 2006. Everything I attended and everyone I met was beneficial. However, I did not see an educator presence there at all. I plan on attending next year and hope to do a presentation as an educator. (PS: Don’t steal my ideas.)

RH: Will your school board or current school be willing to fund a trip for you to SolidWorks World?

AS: I will probably be funding the trip to SolidWorks World 2010 on my own. Oregon seems to “spend” money very well, just not on anything anyone wants. I could go through the channels, but remember, I like to do things my own way.

RH: Knowing that most school systems are in desperate financial situations, do you feel that there will be continued support for teaching SolidWorks and CAD drafting skills? If so, is it short term or long term support?

AS: This is a very hot topic for me because I both work in industry and am a member of the school faculty.

<edit: remove inflammatory, political monologue. (AS)>

A restructuring is badly needed. I try to live my life with this simple idea. I can’t discredit something if I haven’t made a real attempt to fix it. Therefore, I joined the curriculum advisory board at Clackamas Community College. One of the options on the table is restructuring the program from a two-year associates degree to a one-year certificate; something Portland Community College did some years ago. However, this is erosion of the highly-prized education model and may eventually lead to erosion of other degree programs. So I don’t have an answer right now, but I am at least taking an active part in the evaluation/solution process.

RH: How important do you feel that teaching SolidWorks/CAD/drafting skills is for the future of engineering and industry in general?

AS: CAD is an integral part of engineering today. At an increasing level engineers are doing their own detailing work. As companies further combine MRP/PDM data and personnel resources, the data shared needs to be current and complete. SolidWorks data is a huge benefit in this collaboration.

RH: What are the biggest challenges you face in teaching SolidWorks/drafting?

AS: My largest hurdle while teaching SolidWorks is un-teaching AutoCAD. When will the world stop teaching this as a current tool??!! To be fair, legacy data exists, but only needs to be maintained for the short term. Getting the students out of the 2D dungeon is the hardest part. Getting them to the wow-factor of SolidWorks is always a great day in the classroom.

RH: What are some goals for your future and do you always plan on teaching?

AS: This country needs engineers. I think our schools have produced too many liberal arts majors in the last 10 years. My goal is to reach younger, middle school age students. I recently talked with Saturday Academy, a local group dedicated to mentoring and offering classes to school kids.  I would like to start teaching SolidWorks classes at this level, but the hurdle now is hardware. We need to get new enough computers to run the next releases of SolidWorks.

Rich,

Thanks for taking the time to interview me and other SolidWorks educators out there. Your outreach through the blog, just like our teaching, helps the engineering community as a whole. Your time and contribution is appreciated by all. Was that the tardy bell? Well, I guess it’s time to get to class.

You are very welcome Adam.  I am very interested in your curriculum compared to other post secondary teachers.  If you are teaching SolidWorks at any level, give me a shout and let’s talk.  See you next time,

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Educators Corner “Marc Nelson”

February 23rd, 2009

sw-educators-corner-2I am going to begin the Educators Corner by talking with a high school teacher from Michigan. Every time I hear something from this guy it usually is about teaching. I met him on Twitter and I feel he shares the same passions for SolidWorks and for education that the SolidWorks bloggers and most active SolidWorks users do. So without further adieu:

Marc Nelson

Richard Hall (RH): Hi Marc. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Marc Nelson (MN): My name is Marc Nelson. I currently teach at Greenville High School, Greenville, Michigan. I received my BS in Technology Education, in 2000 from Andrews University and my MA in Industrial Education in 2009 from Central Michigan University. I am currently a member of the West Michigan SolidWorks User Group. My Twitter handle is @marcnelson and my school website is http://www.jackettech.com

RH: Do you have any industry experience?  If so what and/or who with?

MN: I began teaching right out of college so I have very limited industry experience.  I did do an internship for my Master’s degree at Apiaries and Orchard Forklift in Edmore Michigan.  I worked mainly on what would become their parts manual for their main product, the Hummerbee Forklift.  Unfortunately I had to use AutoCAD for most of it and then they went to SolidWorks after I was finished (per my recommend).

RH: What led you to become a teacher?

MN: My desire to become a teacher came from several different influences. I have always enjoyed working with young people and watching them create, design and learn new concepts. I chose the area of industrial education because I enjoyed working with my hands. I thought it would be exciting to work with young people teaching them to apply their creativity to woodworking and metals. After taking drafting in high school, I developed a love for design and drafting and later learned CAD.

RH: How long have you been teaching?

MN: I have been teaching for 9 years, 4 at the middle school level and 5 years at the high school level, all for Greenville Public Schools.

RH: Why do you teach CAD with SolidWorks?

MN: When I started teaching CAD five years ago, the lab was equipped with AutoCAD 2000 LT. Knowing the program was old and that it had issues running on our network, I began looking for something that was based around parametric design concepts as well as a leading contender in the field of CAD software to replace it. Man, I was such a rookie back then. A colleague recommended I try SolidWorks and a vendor supplied me with a trial disk. After a brief love/hate relationship, I began to catch on. SolidWorks seemed to fit in naturally for the students I had try it out. I was able to find a vendor who would support us with our current network configuration (Novell). After having taught with the program for three years now, I have found that students easily catch on to the program due to the fact that today have a basic understanding of 3D space from video games and online experiences.

RH: What SolidWorks certifications if any do you currently hold?

MN: None currently.

RH: What are your classes (age range and/or skill level)

MN: I teach grades 9-12 and all of my classes have a mix of the four grades. Right now my student enrollment is about 140 or so with 28 per class max.

RH: What is a typical classroom day like for you?

MN: My day starts at 6:30 with my Engineering Graphics and Architectural Graphics classes. These are my upper level students. I currently have two CAD 1 classes, which are my introductory CAD classes. There is one CAD 2 class and a CAD 3 class as well. CAD 2 focuses on detail drawings, assemblies, section views, fasteners and some basic CNC through G-code. CAD 3 focuses on surfacing and packaging problems. I also teach a consumer tech class that is focused on basic automotive and home maintenance. It makes for a very busy day that wraps up with students at about 2:30. I then spend the next few hours planning and grading, hoping to not take work home. I am also our building’s technology representative to the district so that is one more duty during the day when issues arise.

RH: What is your preferred teaching method? What method of teaching SolidWorks have you found to be successful?

MN: What ever is successful. I have tried many different approaches and continue to try different things out. Introductory classes always start out with sketching. From there, I have varied my approach. Since I am sort of a traditionalist in the area of drafting, I prefer to teach orthographic projection early in the curriculum. Because I incorporate this early, I often do not jump in and use the SolidWorks educational curriculum right off the bat. In the introductory levels I will often teach the traditional drafting concepts and tie SolidWorks in as the method for obtaining these concepts. In my advanced classes, we spend more time focusing on design and learning.

RH: What curriculum and industry standards do you teach?

MN: My current curriculum is derived from a traditional drafting curriculum. Currently, Michigan does not have a specified drafting or vocational curriculum. The industry in our area varies and so I teach general approach to industry standards. My philosophy has been that since not every student I teach will stay in Greenville, I should prepare them with a good foundation for their post high school education no matter what area of design or engineering they go into.

RH: How do you use the SolidWorks Educator resources and curriculum in teaching your class?

MN: I have used these in various different ways. My engineering graphics class usually does the mountain board project every year. I often assign the tutorial and introductory activities to students who excel and allow them to work at their own pace. I am continually reviewing these materials and seeing how I can incorporate them into my classes. The power points are often a huge benefit as they allow students to refresh or review concepts I have taught about SolidWorks. These are great resources and I don’t fee like I use them enough.

RH: What industry do you teach for or what is the prevalent industry in your area that would eventually hire a SolidWorks trained person?

MN: Locally we have a heavy tooling and tool and die industry influence. But I teach my classes with an open-ended approach when it comes to industry. Since I would love to think that every student that leaves my classroom will continue on into an engineering career with SolidWorks as their chosen application. But as we all know, many times the workplace decides the CAD application and young engineers must learn the new software. Therefore, I want my students to learn two main concepts: 1) How to visually communicate parts through drafting/CAD and 2) How to learn a CAD program. If they have a basic understanding of these to concepts, I feel they will be successful in their post high school educational endeavors.

RH: What universities or community colleges are nearby that your students would attend and pursue a course of study with SolidWorks application?

MN: Our local community college is in the midst of transitioning to SolidWorks. Ferris State University and Central Michigan University also offer SolidWorks training in their engineering programs.

RH: Have you attended SolidWorks World? If so, what was beneficial from a teaching standpoint?

MN: Unfortunately no. But how many days till SWW10? The bloggers and Twitter users did a great job at giving the highlights, but I look forward to being there in person next year and meeting everyone. I feel like I have so much to learn and I could benefit so much from seeing when is being done with SolidWorks.

RH: Will your school board or current school be willing to fund a trip for you to SolidWorks World?

MN: This I am not totally sure of. I put in for it this year, but it happened to be about the same time that we found our funding was going to be lower than projected. I am sure the school administration would be happy to send me if there were outside funding options such as grants or donations.

RH: Knowing that most school systems are in desperate financial situations, do you feel that there will be continued support for teaching SolidWorks and CAD drafting skills? If so, is it short term or long term support?

MN: Continued support at the district level is very high as long as we can financially support it. Support from the state is questionable. Not doubt, with Michigan’s revised high school curriculum and budget cuts, electives are being cut in many districts. My short-term projection is we will be here. Long term projection is, well, I am not sure enough on that one to say. I would love to say we would be here for a while but with some wacky decisions being made, I can’t say for sure.

RH: How important do you feel that teaching SolidWorks/CAD/drafting is for the future of engineering and industry in general?

MN: Teaching the skills incorporated in SolidWorks are very important for our future. We as teachers are training tomorrow’s engineers, the ones to face greater challenges in design and conquer the challenges we cannot overcome today. The SolidWorks CAD package allows me to teach students to think critically and make changes based on data presented to them through the COSMOS applications. It allows them to see how entire assemblies work together to formulate a working solution to a problem. And teamwork can be incorporated into the learning process much like in an engineering design center.

RH: What are the biggest challenges you face in teaching SolidWorks/drafting?

MN: Two big challenges: time, the network and internal tech support. I really wish I had more time to sit down and become better with SolidWorks, learn it from one side to the other so I feel more proficient with it when I teach it. Second, our district is cross platform (Mac and PC) and we are running the district network on a Novell network. I am not going to go into the details, it adds complications along with how work orders are problem solved and resolved.

RH: What are some goals for your future and do you always plan on teaching?

MN: My plans for the future have always been to continue teaching. I love kids and teaching them to think and learn on their own while designing being creative. That is not to say I wouldn’t change my plans if the right job came along. I have considered working towards a college level position and even considered going back to school for an engineering degree.

Marc, Thanks for taking some time to share with me and everyone else about your life and passion for teaching and for SolidWorks.

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