November 15, 2017, NMSUG Meeting

Document created by Randy Lynn on Dec 6, 2017
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The November 15th, 2017 meeting of the New Mexico SolidWorks User Group was held at The BioScience Center in Albuquerque, 5901 Indian School Road NE, Albuquerque, NM.

In the spirit of SLUGMe 2017 (See statistics below), free pizza was provided to all attendees.


5:15 – 5:30 Arrive, Get Some Food, Meet Someone New

5:30 – 6:30 “All the Small Things” (SLUGME), presented by Todd Blacksher

6:30 – 6:45 Announcements and General Business

6:45 – 7:00 Student Robotics Presentation by R4Robotics

7:00 – 8:00 TBD

8:00 – 8:15 Wrap Up / Prizes / Giveaways

Networking and socializing thereafter.


The NM SOLIDWORKS User Group will be participating in the national SLUGME event (SOLIDWORKS Largest User Group Meeting Ever).  Over 60 User Groups worldwide will be coming together to share a presentation by Todd Blacksher entitled "All The Small Things."


The majority of the presentation will be spent working in SOLIDWORKS - showing tips and tricks that you may or may not know about. Keyboard Shortcuts, User Interface, Sheet Metal, Weldments, Templates, and Custom Properties are just a few of the things on the menu.



NMSUG shirts like the ones Randy and William wore at the meeting can be procured. Email Randy Lynn, if interested. It involves getting together a small order. They are around $25-$30.


For those of you who can't make it to this one, but were looking forward to a December meeting, sorry to say that the Dec 13th meeting has been cancelled.  The next meeting will be in February, 2018.


February meeting, likely 2/21/18, will be GD&T, presented by our very own Robert Goodwin of Sandia Labs.


Before you start reading the minutes, this scribe wants to apologize for the tardiness getting these meeting minutes posted. I had to catch a plane the following day and also wait for the meeting stats to be posted. Then Thanksgiving came so here I am catching up on a Monday.


SLUGME, All The Small Things, Todd Blacksher

This meeting began at 5:32 PM sharp. Here is the recap from the SolidWorks Forums


One week ago tonight, all across the world, SolidWorks User Groups came together to take part in the greatest CAD community event of all time, SolidWorks Largest User Group Meeting Ever - SLUGME!  Hundreds of SolidWorks users, vendors, resellers, students and employees converged on their local user group meetings on the same night to take part in this historic event. Each group watched a simulcast presentation of some of the most useful SolidWorks tips and tricks, broadcast by Todd Blacksher, leader of the SolidWorks User Group of Nebraska (SwugOne). Even SolidWorks CEO Gian Paolo Bassi welcomed attendees to this incredible event.


This meeting started off with a live video welcome from SolidWorks CEO Gian Paulo Bassi It was morning in Europe and Gian Paulo was on his way to work. There was also a twitter feed during the meeting, hashtag/SLUGME. You may watch the video here.


Once Gian Paolo was finished, Todd Blacksher got right into his presentation titled All The Small Things. Using live models in SolidWorks, Todd covered many SolidWorks commands, shortcuts, and functions that we should know and be prepared to use when the occasion arises. Some of them you may already know. Some you have probably seen but have not had the occasion to utilize. As always, there were a few real eye-openers…WOW! I better remember that. Each segment of Todd’s well prepared presentation was preceded by a shout-out to a particular user-group.


Todd went fast. Some of his tips were difficult to recap and for some of them, you just had to be there. Many of them are covered in the SolidWorks blog and can be found in various other places online. Here we go…


The A-key is for almost anything. Transition sketching from a line to an arc. Use the “A” key to initiate an arc. The A key will also toggle through options in the property manager


Everyone should know about the S-Key. Hit the S-key anytime to see the shortcut bar with relevant shortcuts for part and assembly modeling, drawings, and sketching.


Grab the Extrude in the FMT and drag it to turn it into a cut.


Use the D key to bring up breadcrumbs (selection options) in the proximity of your cursor. Click an entity in the graphics area, then the D key. Voila. The D-key in assemblies brings up the parts and the mates. You know the green checkmark and red X that you see in the top left above the property manager and top right, hit the D key and you will get a third set right next to your mouse.


F+ Is Still Failing but the F key in SolidWorks zooms to full screen.


Shift of Control – Alt F is the standard shortcut to bring up file, Ctrl drag copies the part. The Alt key enables smart mates. The tab key in an assembly hides the parts. Shift tab brings them back (cursor location) Ctrl-shift-tab brings them all back. Whew! That was a lot. Just try it.


Shift C collapses FMT (go to customize – keyboard – to see all the modifiers. Print it out).


When leaving a part, hit these keyboard commands in order. The part will subsequently open in a full-screen isometric view.

Ctrl-7 sets the model to isometric view

Ctrl-B forces a rebuild

Ctrl-S saves it

Ctrl-W closes it


Totally Tubular-Are you going to use a saw to cut that tube? Todd demonstrated using mouse gestures to create a circle, extrude and dimension it, then cut the cylinder with a just a line. He used this to demonstrate cursor indicators.


Let’s cut this tube with a laser. Showed some great slides of a very fancy card holder made from a tube laser-guess you had to be there.


That’s a wrapped cut – wrapping a cut on a tube is not so hard but then Todd did it on a square tube (think, four side faces and four curved corner faces) and it cuts one face only. Then Todd showed how to enable a wrapped cut on a square tube thru multiple faces by creating the tube with a spline sketch.


Flex those pipes – If you have a tube laser…fun stuff…What is the flex tool? It is very cool, Great for bending, twisting , tapering, flexing…check it out online.


Bending a Sheet Metal Tube – Used sheet metal tools, make a little gap, then unfold it to see reliefs. Use this for an extruded shape then close the gap (Note: once you close the gap, it is no longer a sheet metal part).


You Mean There is MORE?? How to get more than just the SWX installed profiles. You have them already. You just need to invoke them from the Design Library>SWX Content>Ansi Inch to get them to display in the property manager.


Need a New Profile –Todd showed how to make a custom profile. Todd traced a piece of crown molding (ref sketch picture) from a catalog. He selected a point outside the extrusion to get the apparent intersection that mimics the corner where the ceiling meets the wall, then saved it as a library feature part. At this point, the custom extrusion shows up in the Weldments>Structural Member property manager. Todd took this an extra step and modeled the crown molding in a room, complete with a cut list.


3DSketch ASAP-best way to create a 3D sketch quick: make a solid first. Turn on the edge filter, window select ALL edges, convert entities, hide the body and you are left with a 3D sketch of a part. Then, on the 3d sketched part, Todd added weldment tubing profiles and knocked it out of the park. Additionally, he added a cut list and showed how adjusting the underlying solid updates the entire weldment. THIS WAS VERY COOL.


Use SolidWorks to tutor math. With a midpoint line sketch he created a conic section. A conic section is how a plane slices through a cone. Different sections will show an ellipse, parabola, and hyperbola.

MultiBody Makes It Happen – Bicycle bar ends. Created an extrude geometry of a diamond then subtracted if from the end.


You Really Think That Will Bend? From the press brake operator, Model the tooling then mate your pieces into it. This helps you see interference between the work piece and die/die holders before you experience interference in the shop.


I’m Sensing a Pattern Here: Todd showed a large framed room of 2 x 4s that updated as he made changes. Guess you had to be there. It was cool.


I Never Metadata I didn’t like – Category CUSTOM PROPERTIES


Do you really want to type all that all the time. – He showed a custom sheet metal title block from his company. He brought in his part and the title block updated totally. Section Area, Total perimeter, and total area were all automatically displayed. At Todd’s company, they use the total area to calculate paint.


How do you keep tabs on your properties? Used the custom properties tab for purchased parts. The custom properties listed the project, department, and vendor properties.


Bob the Custom Property Tab Builder – SoldidWorks Tools Property Tab Builder. Must play with it.


Manipulating Metadata- You can use the metadata to drive a BOM. Use assembly visualization, custom properties drive colors. You can have make items and buy items show up as different colors in an assembly. You could also use assembly visualization to show parts that weigh over a set weigh as one color, and those under the weight as a different color.


Start by NOT typing- avoid typing in all your custom properties. Todd created part templates that include the sketches. This technique works great for 8020 parts. All the options are in the template and they drive the custom properties.


Finale - Draw Me a Bath


Rub a dub, dub model me a tub. – (Hold down shift key to grab the outside of a circle. Drew a slot, added draft and created a tapered tub. This was cool.


Let’s Fill the Tub-CTRL Copy the top plane and move it to the water fill line. Do not merge. Water is one body, tub is one body. Mass properties on the water. Can set volume units to gallons.


Is your water heater big enough – Created a sensor for US gallons. Set it at less than 42 gallons.


Take Time to Make a Drink – He created a 3-2 ounce drink mixer. It was perfect. Created “water” volumes and used combine to make the mixer


Drain the Tub-He had a tub assembly, tub, water, and rubber duck then used a motion study that showed the tub emptying.


If you attended this meeting and plan to attend SWW 2018, be sure to find Todd Blacksher and you yourself a SLUGME ribbon.


Todd Blacksher’s twitter handle is @tahhhd on twitter.




Total SWUG Groups: 63

Total SLUGME Attendees: 1,343

Average Attendees per Group: 21.3
VAR Attendees: 79 (5.9%)

Vendor Attendees: 48 (3.6%)

SolidWorks Attendees: 27 (2.0%)

SWUG User Members: 1,189 (88.5%)

Average User Members per Group: 18.9

First Time SWUG Attendees: 342 (25.5%)

Average First Time Attendees per Group: 5.4

Students: 209 (17.6% of user members)

Average Students per Group: 3.3

Certified Users: 380 (32.0% of user members)

Average Certified Users Per Group: 6.0

Total Certifications: 1,183 (That’s 1 certification for every user!)

Average certifications per certified member: 3.1

Average certifications per group: 18.8

SolidWorks World 2018 Attendees: 206 (17.3%)

Average SolidWorks World 2018 Attendees per Group: 3.3

Total Years of SolidWorks Experience: 9,159

Average Years of Experience per User: 7.7

Average Years of Experience per Group: 145.4

Total Number of Pizzas Ordered: 434

Average Pizzas per Person: 0.32

Average Pizzas per Group: 6.9


Finally, the following prizes were donated to participating user-groups by drawing names from a hat.


Prizes included a drone, Go Pro Hero, 24” cad Monitor, Kindle Fire 7, Best Buy Gift Cards $50, Visa Gift Card $100, Four Veloce Bluetooth item finder-medallions, Zip Polaroid 3D Printer, $200 Amex give card, $50 amazon gift card,


R4Robotics (Rio Rancho Robo Runners)


After a break, we had wonderful presentation and demonstration from R4Robotics. The presenters were Richard DeLillo, Dereck Sanchez, and Jared Cannon. Richard, Derek, and Jared were ½ of a team that took 2nd place in the New Mexico B.E.S.T Robotics competition (10/21/17). Here is a synopsis of the B.E.S.T. competition from the R4Robotics website.


B.E.S.T. (Boosting Engineering Science and Technology) is a program that teaches middle school and high school students about engineering, science, and technology, and encourages students to pursue jobs in these fields.

In six weeks, teams build a robot out of plywood and supplies such as PVC pipe, screws and other hardware, a Cortex, and a micro-energy chain system. Then, after six weeks of using the Engineering Design Process to build and program their robots, teams compete against other teams and their robots. Along with building the robot, students write an engineering manual, design a website, create a marketing exhibit, present a professional marketing presentation, and display spirit and sportsmanship with other teams. Every year over 11,000 students participate in this program for no cost or fee.  Any type of school is welcome to participate. When students participate in B.E.S.T., they can learn about practical uses of math, solve real world science and engineering problems, build a business, market a product, and gain an interest in math, science, and technology.


For this latest competition, they had to build a model of a fire-safety robot. The competition goals are to complete the following tasks in a simulated environment:


Enter a smoke-filled warehouse

Rescue an incapacitated firefighter in 30 seconds or less

Identify chemical drums and douse them with a fire suppressant


The R4 fire-safety robot, nicknamed Flash, has a drive chassis, arm movement, and a firehose. Materials included lots of electronics, plywood, pvc and more. They battery-operated robot utilized a hand-held wireless controller. During the presentation it was driving around the room launching “flame retardant” charges at the attendees.

Robot 2017-11-15 NMSUG Mtg.JPG

One judge said R4’s SolidWorks marketing materials were “too advanced for the competition.”


These students, dressed in their company polos, projected an extremely professional demeanor. The user group was a great place to practice their presentation. The company overview exhibited knowledge of product development. Their design objectives, included field research, design specs and goals, prototyping, design validation, optimization, and testing.


These young engineers clearly know how to perform in a team environment. Here is a list of just some of the real-world skills these kids are refining at such a young age.


Share duties

Manage costs

Handle purchasing

Source components

Meet deadlines

Develop a marketing plan

Conduct outreach

Data collection

Audience analysis

Solicit donations and investment

Manage intellectual property

Effective communication

Public speaking


SolidWorks is a B.E.S.T sponsor and provides educational licenses to the teams. They showed SolidWorks models, drawings, animations (marketing) simulation, and renderings.


Q & A


Some of our members had recommendations for rendering to help R4 overcome SolidWorks memory issues. Each team gets two free licenses. R4 got additional student licenses from SolidWorks.


In the past, R4 would build their competition robots first and then put them in SWX. Now they design them in SWX first and print, cut, later.


In addition to a Robotics team, R4 conducts classroom demos (all ages) they have camps. They have a non-profit (R4 is creative) and take monetary donations.


The students are looking for internships. They have weekly meetings during Robotics season.


AND NOW FOR THE REST OF THE STORY Dereck Sanchez R4Robotics started using SolidWork at age 10. He is 17 years old now. Dereck was profiled in the August 18 SolidWorks Education Blog. He is a real prodigy.


RELATED WEBSITES [this is the SLUGMe Recap]


Closing and Giveaways