June 15, 2016 New Mexico SolidWorks User Group Meeting Minutes

Version 4


    UNM Science & Technology Park
    800 Bradbury Dr SE
    Albuquerque, NM 87106

    This was our first meeting at this location. If you were in attendance, please provide any feedback you may have about the new location (positive or negative).


    NMSUG Polo Shirt-Member Brandon Getz is heading up an effort to place an order for official polo shirts with the New Mexico SolidWorks User Group Logo. They will be made locally. Expect and email soon with details.

    SolidWorks Forums screenshot…who knows about the forums. Find them here. There is where the NMSUG super happy vendor list is updated. This list is managed by Brian Hill. Register at http://forum.solidworks.com.


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    Food: Dinner was provided by La Riva's Cafe.  It was simple (sandwiches, cookies, & drinks) but tasty!

    GD & T Seminar Opportunity-Tony Cimabue, local GD & T guru, has offered to present NMSUG an exclusive “Intro to GD & T” seminar. This would be a special meeting in addition to our regular 6-8 week meeting schedule. The 2.5 hour seminar will likely take place in August or September. SolidWorks will provide dinner and a meeting space. We need a minimum of 15 committed individuals. Note: some of our members have attended classes by Tony Cimabue and they give him glowing reviews.

    Next Meeting is August 10. The topic is 3D printers and scanners. We will have printers and scanners on hand along with experts to answer questions.




    Andy Ferris (Zemax) Lens Mechanix


    Andy is the product manager for the new LensMechanix tool from Zemax.  LensMechanix is an affordable Optical Simulation tool that runs inside of SOLIDWORKS.  Andy will be showing the simulation capabilities as well as the workflow improvements that are made possible by not sending STEP files back-and-forth with your Optical Engineer.

    Zemax’ manufactures software design tools for optical design. Their flagship product, OpticsStudio, is the industry standard standalone product marketed to optomechanical engineers.


    A new tool from Zemax, Lens Mechanix, merges the optical design capability with SolidWorks. Formerly, the OpticStudio to SolidWorks file exchange required STEP file import exports. LensMechanix eliminates the STEP file conversion process which can take days for complex designs.The process was cumbersome, metadata was nonexistent, and occasionally high accuracy data was lost in translation. The LensMechanix add-on runs within SolidWorks and removes the file format exchange/transfer/export process. It streamlines the optical to mechanical hand-off. LensMechanix is marketed to mechanical engineers. It allows mechanical and optical engineers to work together concurrently but each in their own environment. The actual lens geometry created in OpticStudio acts natively when opened in SolidWorks.


    LensMechanix is ideal for designing optical systems packaging. The user can apply optical geometries such as black paint or a shiny surface that are important to optical design. Real-time ray tracing and filtering happen inside SolidWorks. This functionality simplifies the optical design validation from within SolidWorks.


    LensMechanix is best for cameras, laser systems, imaging systems, and precision optics. It is not really optimized for something as simple as a light bulb in a panel hole. LensMechanix works well for light pipes. It sounds like they may also be designing a reflector design tool and or an illumination tool.


    Zemax chose to release LensMechanix for SolidWorks first, other CADs later. It sounds like they did their homework and learned that SolidWorks is the standard.


    For a live demo, Andy opened an OpticStudio camera lens design in SolidWorks. The lenses existed as isolated bodies in space. He then showed the lens packaging that was designed in SolidWorks to house the lenses and hold them correctly in their relative positions.


    LensMechanix can show the rays in systems with lenses and beam splitters. Users can control the aperture, optimize the system for the precise amount of light required for best design performance. Andy showed how the rays can be filtered and isolated to learn about source and path.


    LensMechanix can design in temperature effects of light transmission to determine how light passes thru sun heated optics or cold optics (its different).


    LensMechanix includes a list of Scatter Profile Surface Properties and includes an interactive OPS-Optical Performance Summary table, a key optical design aid.

    Computational domain control-can hide mechanical components and render the optical components only.


    LensMechanixs retains the OpticStudio design output and compares it to the same from the SolidWorks design. You can save an OpticStudio output file from SolidWorks that can subsequently be opened by OpticStudio.




    Thank you Andy for coming all the way from Seattle, WA to present.

    Otto Herrmann  and Matthew Fuentes from (
    VAMCO Mfg. - Albuquerque),


    Otto is a mold maker at VAMCO here in Albuquerque. He will be presenting some of VAMCO's capabilities as well as best-practice information for creating short-run injection molded parts.


    Otto opened with some comments relating to the inability to cast some parts, especially from 3D printers. He frequently is brought objects by entrepreneurs that cannot possibly be cast. VAMCO commonly works with entrepreneurs, “we do a lot of work with geniuses who can’t find anyone else to help them get it done.” They work mostly with plastics. They do offer machine work. They are starting to offer more machining services.


    They have two locations; Bernalillo and Albuquerque. The Albuquerque location houses the CNC machining and casting equipment. They have nine employees.


    VAMCO will run molded part runs for as little as 500 parts. They will build the mold and run the parts each year. They can facilitate growth for small and startup companies.


    They build mold bases that allow them to swap the internals which allows for several prototypes to be made from the same mold base before making the large expenditure of a permanent mold.


    They use aluminum MUD (Master Unit Die) style mold bases. They do everything in house. Otto showed on screen a 9 x 14 mold, that would run $1500-$2000 dollars. They have run over 200,000 parts in some of their molds. Otto maintains that with care, their molds last longer than the industry norm for aluminum molds.


    VAMCO uses Rhino CAD CAM for all their organic drafting, designing, and machining. They have a HAAS VF-2 and a HAAS VF-3. They prefer to get IGES files output by programs like SolidWorks. The VF3 machine envelope is 36 x 24 x 24 inches tall.


    VAMCO has five presses in their Albuquerque facility. They have a few additional presses in the Bernalillo facility.


    A question was asked; can they do any optical quality polishing? VAMCO can make a mirror finish but no way of testing or calibrating the finish.


    What is the largest shot size? 8oz of injectable material.


    They will frequently build a casting and cast parts that are larger than their shot size.


    What materials can they mold? Visit their website.




    Matthew Fetke (MCAD) Weldments Tips & Tricks

    Matt is one of the extraordinary Application Engineers at MCAD here in Albuquerque.  He will be presenting some favorite time-saving tips & tricks for creating welded steel structures. (Or bonded carbon-fiber shapes, or dimensional lumber assemblies, or t-slot framing assemblies, or ...)  The Weldments tool is extremely versatile and this presentation will show off some of its many uses.


    CUSTOM PROFILE AND CUT LIST-Picnic Table Example

    • Sketch preparation
    • New weldment profile
    • Mirror & Pattern
    • Rotate and Locate Profile
    • Cut List Overview

    Matthew used a picnic table made from dimensional lumber…(for a weldments demo?). For this example he had to create 2 x 4 weldment lumber profile (not in the standard SolidWorks library). The picnic table consisted of three or four separate 3D sketches. Matthew created a 2 x 4 (1-1/2 x 3-1/4) profile and saved it in the weldment profiles default location. (Look in system options>File locations). You can change this but keep in mind the tiered folder structure is important. Study the literature.


    Discussion: you need to add proper sketch points to the end of centerlines if you want them to be locator points for profile placement in SolidWorks.


    He added the profile along the path to create the first plank on his picnic table top.


    Use mirror body instead of mirror feature. This seems to work better, and requires less overhead.


    Cut-List, Tool-Options-Document Properties: Rename cut list bodies, new in SolidWorks 2016.


    The gist of this demo was custom profiles.


    3D Content Central has tons of weldment profiles.



    • Create Multiple Planes Quickly
    • Copy Sketch to new planes
    • Introduce 3D sketching
    • Trim overlapping beams


    CTRL-CLICK on a plane to offset/copy it. You can also do a pattern of planes.


    He showed a nice demo of a pierce relationship


    Matthew demonstrated lots of Rotate Profile and Change Position executions from within the Structural Member Property Manager.


    Cannot run interference detection on a part file so bring it into an assembly if you need to run interference detection.


    3D SKETCHING-Widget Example

    • 3D sketching
    • Corner Treatment
    • End Cap
    • Gusset


    Tip for 3D sketching-use the tab key to toggle the vectors


    Matt showed how to add end caps and gussets to weldments.


    Keep in mind, structural elements, (library parts) automatically come in as a beam elements in FEA models.


    Matt gave a quick demo of the Weldment Cut List functionality