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The June 14th, 2017 meeting of the New Mexico SOLIDWORKS User Group was held at The BioScience Center in Albuquerque.  This meeting was a celebration of the New Mexico SolidWorks User Group which was founded 10 years ago. In attendance from SolidWorks was Richard Doyle, Senior User Advocacy for SolidWorks User Groups who also was present at the first NMSUG event in 2007. Also attending from SolidWorks was Rachel Diane York, head of SolidWorks Media Content.


5:30 – 6:00 Arrive, Get Some Food, Meet Someone New

5:45 – 6:15 NMSUG 10th Anniversary Commemoration, Memories and Milestones

6:15 – 6:40 Markforged – Carbon Fiber & Metal 3D Printing, Justin Smart – Interlink Engineering

6:45 – 8:15 The Certification Game, Rachel York

7:05 – 8:15 SolidWorks World Roundup

8:15 – 8:30 Wrap Up / Prizes / Giveaways

Stories from NMSUG’s First 10 Years


Nestor Montano: Nestor was one of the founders and the first NMSUG president. He shared a story about how at SolidWorks World 2007 some MCAD folks invited him to dinner at a Cajun restaurant. Little did he know they were planning to “strongly suggest” he get a user group going.



Randy Lynn: Randy was one of the founders and also a past NMSUG president. Randy recalled the very first meeting. It was held at the UNM Continuing Education building. Scott Harris, one of the SolidWorks founders was presenting on an overhead projector. He was describing how they developed SolidWorks. He showed a slide of a handwritten table. The column headings were the competition such as ProE, I-DEAS. The rows were the different aspects of the fillet command such as full round, variable, and tangential. Scott explained they had these tables for every SolidWorks command and function. They were always checking off the features the competition had and programming them into SolidWorks as fast as they could.




Richard Doyle: Richard actually had a photograph from that first meeting. He noted there were 35 attendees. He says we have been averaging about four meetings a year. Richard asked today’s group the same SolidWorks trivia questions he asked at the first meeting in 2007. Richard also presented William Radigan and the rest of the group a 10 year award.

  William, Richard.png


Nestor, Randy, and Richard were all presented with polo shirts featuring the NMSUG logo.


Markforged – Carbon Fiber & Metal 3D Printing, Justin Smart – Interlink Engineering


Interlink hosts the user group in the Phoenix area. Justin typically does all the presentations at the meetings in Phoenix. Interlink provides onsite SolidWorks expertise to their clients. They are not a SOLIDWORKS reseller. Also in attendance to answer questions was Brad Blake, Markforged West Regional Channel Manager.


Justin had an SLA 250 back in 1994. He admitted what we all already know: 3D printers are neat. We can ogle over the output in design reviews. However, at the end of the day, the printers were just toys and the parts they made were low tolerance non-functioning representations of an item that would ultimately be produced using traditional manufacturing methods. Justin maintains that the Markforged 3D printer has evolved 3D printed parts from novelty items to realistic production parts. The part geometry is usually acceptable and often better than traditional manufacturing methods.


He brought with him an assortment of the best looking parts we have seen anywhere. He showed a $350 machined part  that costs $11 to print on the Markforged printer. Someone asked about threads. He has printed parts with 4-40 threads-no problem. What he showed may be the best surface finish from a 3D printer we have seen thus far and NO POST PROCESSING.


Justin has had his Markforged Mark II ($13,500) machine for six weeks. It ships in a Pelican box. Justin was printing parts within 1.5 to 2.0 hours of setting it up. So far he has had no maintenance. He has to run a 2-minute bed-leveling calibration from time to time. He can stop the printer, embed parts, and continue the operation.


Q and A from the group…


Strength? Along the Z-axis he parts are almost as strong as along the X and Y axes.


Build envelope is about the size of a shoe box.


Materials: Kevlar, Fiberglass, HTHS Fiberglass (increases environment temp), Carbon Fiber (The carbon fiber parts are almost as strong as aluminum). They have an Onyx material which is comprised of nylon and chopped carbon fiber. The small parts he was showing were about $4. It prints “as fast as any other 3D printer he has seen.” Materials come spooled in 50 micron and 150 micron material. Materials and spool prices are available on their very informative and cool Markforged website (


The Mark II prints in 100 micron layers.


You can design in tolerances to your part and the Mark II will scan/measure/ and then proceed only if the part is still in spec. It calls you on the phone if it is not. (It scans every layer in the part build).


It comes with its own cloud-based software called Eiger and is free for download. It uses STL files. Internet access is required. If the internet crashes during the build, it does not damage or kill the job.


Soon Markforged will be releasing the Mark X, the first metal-printing 3D printer under $100k. Its projected cost is $69k. It comes with a cabinet. The printing envelope is about 2.5 times that of the Mark II and it can print in 50 micron layers rather than 100 micron layers. The Mark X prints oversize parts with powdered metal and plastic which shrink during a sintering process. Estimated cost with a sintering oven is $160k. It will print stainless steel, titanium, Inconel, and tool steel among other materials. The sample parts they brought including a splined chain sprocket were amazing.


Feel free to contact Justin or Brad for more information and/or some sample parts.


Mid-Meeting Announcement-Steam Summer Camps


Derek Sanchez was in attendance. Derek is 17 years old. He has been using SolidWorks for six years as part of his robotics clubs and competition teams. (Currently he is using FEA and has a Sandia internship). He was touting the Steam Summer Camps that teach computing and robotics to kids ages 8 to 17. Derek said thanks to SolidWorks all the members of his team get one-year renewable licenses to work on their projects. Folks, this isn’t the basic SolidWorks license either. These kids get it all, Simulation, Flow, everything.


Find more information at:

Steam 1.pngSteam 2.png


The Certification Game – Rachel York from SolidWorks


Rachel Diane York (use the middle name to find her on Google). Formerly Rachel ran a user group in NY then went to work for a reseller, then moved to Missouri and worked for another reseller, and finally joined SolidWorks two years ago. She co-manages certification and manages all the SolidWorks technical content and social media content. Rachel got her CSWP within 30 days of going to work for her first reseller.




Why get certified? The obvious answer is employment. You also get listed in the SolidWorks Certification Directory which is great for marketing, and you get discounts on partner products.


SolidWorks certification is the industry standard. Reseller employees can’t provide tech support in areas in which they are not certified. Certification will make you a better user. By studying the online content, taking the practice exams, and passing certification exams, you become aware of the SolidWorks tools, commands and functionality that many old-school users don’t even know exist.




Certified SolidWorks Associate Exams

CSWA, CSWA-Academic, CSWP-Core (Sketch, Features, Assemblies, Evaluate)

Cost $99


Certified SolidWorks Professional Exams and Advanced Specialty Exams

CSWP-Core (Sketch, Features, Assemblies, Evaluate), can take it in segments

Segment 1 is 90 minutes, Segment 2 is 40 minutes, Segment 3 Assemblies is 80 minutes, (must be able to create a coordinate system). These are bottom up assemblies.

Can retake a segment in 14 days

Cost $99

CSWPA-Sheet Metal, Weldment, Mold Tools, Drawing Tools, Surfacing

Can retake in 30 days

Cost $19.95 each


Certified SolidWorks Expert Exam

CSWE-MD (Mechanical Design). To take the CSWE you must have passed the CSWP and 4/5 advanced exams. There are only 3,052 CSWE’s thus far (at the time of our meeting). If you fail, you must wait 180 days before retaking it.

Cost $149.95


To take an exam…

  • Rachel suggest two monitors, one for SolidWorks and one for Tester Pro
  • You cannot pause the exam. What if SolidWorks or computer or internet fails…Tester Pro tries to reconnect for two minutes then it ends the test, you fail


If you are on subscription you get a free exam for each license you have. (Excluding the CSWE)


A good place to start is here.



When you create a Virtual Tester Account…


Be sure to use a personal email address. You can’t change it later without a lot of work.

How you spell your name is how it will appear on your certificate(s)


JUST FOR FUN, LIVE AND IN REAL TIME, Rachel took the SolidWorks Mold Tools CSWPA Exam.


It is a five question test. She recommends that your record yourself taking the test.


With subscription, login to (log into the customer portal account) and go to Certification Offers for Subscription Customers. The voucher you get via text is good for 180 days. Once you enter the voucher number into tester pro, you are taking the test.



  • Design Intent-Read ahead and know the model. (There are 7 ways to draw a line in SWX).
  • Input-Assign Global Variable and material properties. Save the part in stages to late follow you thought process.
  • Meditation-Choose best profile and default planes. For test taking-The best profile is the one that includes the most variable values.
  • Construction-Create all solid geometry. Remove material, add applied features such as fillets and chamfers. “Set up material, remove material, then do fillets and chamfers.”
  • The summary page is the last page of the exam. The questions are weighted differently. Read through all the questions and look at the weights on the summary page. Focus on the high point questions.
  • Turn off automatic rebuild when test taking. Rebuild manually. For exams especially, put different fillets in separate features.
  • For subsequent questions, first input what you know. Update variables before changing geometry.
  • Delete relationships, never delete the entities
  • Your answers must be dead on to the same number of places in the answers. When you get an answer from Mass Properties, copy and paste the text, DO NOT FAT FINGER IT


Rachel did a 30 minute exam. This was a great way to see how an exam goes. These were real exam questions. Most questions were multiple choice. The last question asked her to make a modification and fill in the blank with the new mass.


THIS WAS AN OUTSTANDING PRESENTATION AND Rachel is giving vouchers to everyone in the group tonight to take either the CSWA or CSWP exams.

If you're reading this before June 14th, 2017 and would like to RSVP for the meeting, please click here:


The June 14th meeting will be the 10th Anniversary of the New Mexico SOLIDWORKS User Group!  To celebrate, we've invited Richard Doyle and Rachel York, the leaders of the International SOLIDWORKS User Group Network (SWUGN), to come share memories and SOLIDWORKS Certification Tips.

We will also hear from Justin Smart of InterLink Engineering about the latest MarkForged 3D printers.  MarkForged has developed a line of Continuous Fiber, Chopped Fiber, and even Metal 3D Printing systems.  If you need functional 3D printed parts, these machines make some of the best!

Rachel York (SOLIDWORKS)

Rachel is the Community and User Advocacy Manager for DS SOLIDWORKS. She’s a Certified SOLIDWORKS Expert, a former user group leader (user group leader of the year 2011), a former reseller application engineer (taught and provided technical support for SOLIDWORKS products), and she’s a huge fan of the SOLIDWORKS Community. She co-manages content for both the SOLIDWORKS Tech and Community Blogs as well as co-manages the SOLIDWORKS social media accounts. In her spare time she enjoys billiards, reading, and playing video games.

The Certification Game

We will slay a Kraken and conquer the CSWP-Core Segment One! This will be done in the style of an old-school Mario game level. I’ll help you prepare for the CSWP-Core (and keep your sanity). We will go over the entire certification process, from creating a certification center account, to taking an exam, to downloading your certificate. Attendees will leave with knowledge of all certifications available as well as how to take them and tips and tricks regarding CSWP-Core Segment 1.


Justin Smart (InterLink Engineering)

Justin has been working as a mechanical designer since 1992.  He received his CSWP in 2008.  Justin has worked in multiple manufacturing industries including; commercial electric motors, consumer products, machine design along with lots of metal fabrication experience.  His primary function at Interlink is Account Manager but he is also involved with managing our in-house projects by providing guidance to design staff on all activities.  Recently he has also taken on an additional role as the application engineer supporting our 3D printer customers.

InterLink Engineering is in its 13th year of business.  We provide Certified SolidWorks designers and engineers to local companies when their workload exceeds their existing staff’s bandwidth.  We also maintain a staff of in-house engineers that serve our product development clients.  Since we are very good at finding and vetting quality people, we are frequently asked to recruit full time employees for our clients.  We aim to provide perfect customer service to our clients and strive to craft a complete solution to their problems.

Markforged ( created the first and only 3D desktop and industrial line of printers that smartly embed continuous fibers (Fiberglass, Kevlar, or Carbon Fiber) to create a printed composite part that is incredibly strong, lightweight, and durable. They also recently introduced a breakthrough method of printing same-day real metal parts. Their 3D printed parts are much stronger, stiffer and more impact resistant than parts from any other 3D printer.

Wednesday June 14th, NMSUG Meeting Agenda:

  • 5:30 - 6:00 Arrive, Get Some Food, Meet Someone New
  • 5:45 - 6:15  NMSUG 10th Anniversary Ceremony
    • Memories and Milestones (5 min each)
  • 6:15 - 6:40  MarkForged - Carbon Fiber & Metal 3D Printing
    • Justin Smart - InterLink Engineering
  • 6:45 - 8:15  The Certification Game
    • Rachel York
  • 8:20 - 8:30   Wrap Up / Prizes / Giveaways

Networking and socializing thereafter.

To RSVP please use the "Attend Event" link below to visit the Eventbrite page for this meeting.

Meeting Location
The BioScience Center
2nd Floor Conference Room
5901 Indian School Rd NE,
Albuquerque, NM 87110

April 12th New Mexico SOLIDWORKS User Group Meeting Tickets, Wed, Apr 12, 2017 at 5:30 PM | Eventbrite


The April 12th 2017 meeting of the New Mexico SOLIDWORKS User Group will be held at The BioScience Center in Albuquerque and will feature Ken Merritt of SolidCAM. Ken will present a live demonstration of toolpath generation within SOLIDWORKS as well as share tips and expertise on design for manufacturing that he has gained during his 30+ years in the world of CNC Programming. Come prepared with your best questions!

We will also have a wrap-up and review of SOLIDWORKS World 2017. Learn about the best and most important developments in the SOLIDWORKS ecosystem, without having to leave Albuquerque.

*** LOCATION ***

This meeting will be held at The BioScience Center. I apologize for any confusion that might be caused by the inconsistent location recently. Please feel free to contact William Radigan, the event organizer, with any questions or concerns you might have about the meeting location. A map and address are shown in the sidebar.

Wednesday April 12th, NMSUG Meeting Agenda:

  • 5:30 - 6:00 Arrive, Get Some Food, Meet Someone New
  • 6:00 - 6:05 Announcement and General Business
  • 6:05 - 7:00 Toolpath Generation with SolidCAM
  • Ken Merritt - Senior Application Engineer @ SolidCAM
  • 7:05 - 8:00 SOLIDWORKS World Roundup
  • 8:00 - 8:15 Wrap Up / Prizes / Giveaways

Ken Merritt (SolidCAM)

SolidCAM has been in the CAM business since 1984 and has been a Gold Certified Fully Integrated CAM Solution in SolidWorks since early 2003.

Ken Merritt is the Partner Manager and a Senior Application Engineer for SolidCAM since 2008. He has been involved in CNC machining and CAM programming since 1986.


This is the second meeting at our new location


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

As before, we welcome any feedback you have about the new location (positive or negative).





NMSUG currently does not have a person to make arrangements for the “free food” that is served at our meetings. In addition to his duties as President, William Radigan ordered Domino’s Pizza for this meeting, mostly for simplicity: a phone call and they deliver. We would appreciate if someone could volunteer to make the food arrangements for our meetings. This involves choosing the menu, paying for the food and making arrangements to get it to the meeting. After that, we submit the receipts to SolidWorks and they reimburse us. Remember, SolidWorks parent company (Dassault Systèmes) is French and they allocate a very reasonable budget for our meetings. If you have attended in the past then you know we usually provide munchies that are pretty darn good. Chateaubriand anyone?


Get 'em while they're hot!
Brandon Getz has gone to great lengths to make these awesome looking polo's happen for us. You'll be the envy of all your geek friends wearing one of these. The cost is $37.50 ea and are available in sizes from XS-6XL. An order can be placed with Brandon up until August 24 and payment can be made directly to the vendor (Ad It Up), but please coordinate this first with Brandon (brandon dot getz AT

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 October. 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. This meeting is still in the pipeline. We’ve had some difficulty coordinating calendars. Stay tuned.



Lately, NMSUG meetings have been attended by folks who also frequent the QUE Lab. From their website…”Quelab is Albuquerque’s hackerspace. Our mission is to foster and sustain an environment that promotes creativity, invention, and collaboration at the intersections of science, culture, art, and technology. We support people inventing, learning, tinkering, and conducting citizen science.”


They host two open nights a week where they open our doors to the public for tours and tinkering, held on Sundays and Tuesdays from 7:00pm – 10:00pm. (like an open house,  but more hands-on).


For more information visit or send an email to





Eric Atencio-Principal at Creative 3 Dimensional
Eric Atencio is a recent graduate of the University of New Mexico and received his BS in Mechanical Engineering. He is now pursuing a Masters in Product Design and Development and Engineering Business at the University of Colorado Boulder. He is also currently an employee at Sandia National Laboratories, opening a brewery with his family and starting other small joint ventures with other individuals, and including his own 3D printing company, “Creative 3 Dimensional”.  He currently uses a Projet 460 (for color designs) and Formlabs +1 (mono color and multiple material), and an Occipital 3D scanner.


2016-08-10 18.37.03.jpg


Eric brought with him several samples of 3D printed parts and assemblies from his work


Here is a rehash of Eric’s PowerPoint presentation



Model like a design engineer, not a graphic designer

Use one program, avoid file transfers-minimizes errors

Computers are perfect, printers are not



Know what your printer can do

Know the part size

Know the feature size

Know your build tray size

If parts are too small, scale them up if possible

If Parts are too big, scale them down or cut and assemble them if possible.



Projet, ZCorp (Gypsum/Ceramic), brittle result, the support material is the same, can recycle unused material, it is cheap. Powder print that is dipped in cyanoacrylate (super glue)

Projet and Objet (Plastic Jet): sprays plastic, higher material cost

Maker Bot (Plastic Extrusion): Eric’s least favorite, this is a toy, extruders get clogged

Formlabs (SLA: Resin, Plastic, Wax, Rubber): Value printer, good price for the quality, easy to post process, the material cost can be expensive

Phenix (may now be 3D Systems-ProX model)-(Metal), the printers are expensive and the prints are expensive. The parts may be cheaper to machine.

Visit This website features 3D printer/scanner comparisons/reviews



Molds for silicone or soft plastics and rubbers

Sacrificial mold for metal casting (plaster)

Sacrificial mold metal negatives (concept) will this work for injection molding?

Print an assembly, assembled

Stack parts in a single step file (Formlabs users)-



Know your printers limits

Keep your printer clean and up to date

Follow a maintenance schedule, this includes doing test builds

Never mess with the machine mechanics or software unless you know what you are doing!

Don’t overload a single circuit for multiple printers-give them their own outlet

Don’t overload the printer build tray with too many parts



Size Limits

Steady hand or stable stand

Low definition and high definition parts-most scanners are low definition

Editing your 3D scan-post processing, point-cloud editing (3D Scan to print in SolidWorks)

3D Print your scan


Eric brought with him an iPad scanner attachment, the Structure Sensor from 3D made by Occipital (3D Proven Systems in Albuquerque uses this scan to create head bust scans).


Eric's presentation can be viewed here: ON THE GO WITH 3D PRINTERS - August 10th, 2016




Once Eric was finished, we had a group discussion sharing local knowledge about the different printers and scanners we use at our jobs. Discussion topics included post-processing, color 3D printing, file formats, printer bureaus, various types of printers, including some far out and new-fangled printers. Many of the comments are noted here:


Post Processing: Many of these printers create offensive odors from melting or burning plastic. Some folks are concerned about the fumes. Are they a health risk? Some of the post processing sprays and chemical have fumes.


Post Processing: An acetone vapor bath (good ventilation required) smooths surfaces. This changes the dimensions but is great for aesthetics.


Post Processing: sandpaper and soapy water, the way model makers do it.


Post Processing: There is a product called Smooth On that you brush on certain materials. It changes the dimensions but makes the parts real shiny. It is great for aesthetics. (See )


Hardware: There is a printer that uses a ream of paper as its medium. (Brand may be Iris) Each sheet has a barcode. The result is cured with something like Elmer’s glue. There is never a failed build, just a paused build, usually when the sheets get out of order. There will be a desktop version in the $19K range. (See 3D Printing and Rapid Prototyping | Mcor Technologies )


Hardware: Dimensionally, SLA is very good for high resolution. Polyjet is also good for high resolution. FDM is better in the x and y axes but it drifts for long parts.


Hardware: Some printers mix materials in the tanks for different durometers.


Hardware: CadBlu and FormLabs make wax printers for jewelry manufacturing (precious metal castings)


Bureau: There is an online company called 3D Hubs “Where 3D prints are made”,  (See 3D Hubs: Browse online 3D printing services )


Hardware: William Radigan brought his printer, a Sindoh 3D Wox (Korean equivalent of HP), $1500, surface finish is not great. It is analogous to FDM. Can print ABS but it smells offensive to some people. (Sindoh 3DPrinter )


One of our members works for a company that is printing ceramics, namely 3D printed ceramic molds for investment casting. Overhangs and complex geometries are not good. Surface resolution is not the best. Good for fluid flow molds. Not a desktop machine. (See here: Home )


Hardware: A local company, Optomec, manufactures 3D printers that print metal.


Hardware: Type A Machines get good reviews.


Hardware: There is a precious metal clay extruder/printer out there that extrudes metal particles with a binder which you then fire. The result is a piece of jewelry.

They are 3d printing concrete: Really? Yes they are. Google It.




Strategies for printing multiple materials on the same part


      • Objet-requires a multi-body part and each body gets a different material.
      • Other brand requires multiple part files all with the same origin and the printer software resolves them.


Vrml files contain the color information and the file extension is .wrl.


Most 3D printers use STL files. William noted that despite the convention, STL files do not include units (inches or mm).


There is a SolidWorks function titled “Scan to 3D”. It is supposed to convert 3D scan data to a 3D model. The general consensus from the group is that this function does not work well.


IMPTOMPTU PRESENTATION-Lance Dettmer, Engineer, 3D Proven Systems


3D Proven Systems (3D Proven Systems), located in Albuquerque, represents, distributes, and sells several 3D printer and scanner brands. Additionally, they provide 3D printing and scanning services and sell supplies. They brought two boxes of some really exotic 3D printed parts for display and show and tell. Given their varied capability, it was interesting to see the same part output from different printers.


Lance Dettmer brought an Artec Eva handheld scanner and on a moments notice agreed to give us a demo. Lance scanned Brandon Getz from the waistline up while Brandon stood very still wearing the new NMSUG Polo Shirt. For three minutes Lance walked around Brandon pointing and waving his Phaser. In real time, the scanner software resolved Brandon’s 3D physique on the screen. Once scanned, Lance demonstrated some of the features available with the scanner software. He noted that a fast computer with lots of memory is required to run the software. Lance also showed some scan files his company had done for clients including an FSAE engine used by our local UNM Formula 1 team. The engine was a 430 MB file.

Brandon Being ScannedPoint Cloud Reconstruction In progress
2016-08-10 19.51.49.jpg2016-08-10 19.52.05 - Zoom.jpg



3D Proven Systems is located at 2121 Claremont Ave NE in Albuquerque. They said we are welcome to drop in and see four tables loaded with samples as well as the different type of printers they offer for sale and for printing customer models. We thank them for bringing some great samples and for demonstrating one of their scanners on the spur of the moment.




The food tonight was from Dominos pizza

30 Attendees

(Minutes are courtesy of Randy Lynn, Lynn Technical Services: SolidWorks, Technical Writing, Technical Documentation)




The meeting was held at the Albuquerque BioScience Center, Main Conference Room (2nd Floor), 5901 Indian School Road NE, 87110. It should be noted that some of our members work at the BioScience Center and make themselves available after work with setup help and logistics (projectors). Thanks to Nate Jones and James Hannon.  Food was from Flying Star. Drinks and desert were supplied by MCAD Thank you to all our sponsors!


We had over 50 attendees!


User-group President, William Radigan started the meeting and showed off the User Group of the Year Award which we won at SolidWorks World 2016 (Feb 1-3). It will get passed around to be displayed at our various sponsors. For now we will leave it at the BioScience Center who provides us a meeting place.


Taped to the wall at the back of the room were five posters, each with a different heading: 3D Printing, Plating, CNC Machining, Manual Machining, Injection Molding. Over the course of the meeting during breaks, attendees wrote the names of preferred vendors under appropriate headings. The categories and vendors are listed as follows.

Links to the various organizations are provided here courtesy of James Hannon.


3D Printing/Prototyping

- UTEP WM Keck Center

- Protolabs (formerly Fineline)

- Forecast 3D

- Creative 3 Dimensional (local vendor)

- Southwest Pattern Works (local vendor)

- Xometry

- DF3D Modeling & Design

- PartSnap



- Kaehr Coatings (local vendor)

- Brothers Plating (local vendor)

- Metal Finishing Specialty (local vendor)



- Precision Fab

- Signature Design + Mfg


- Dream Weaver Designs

- Blue Sky

- Waterjet Cutting Inc

- Sandia Electro Optical Corp

- Jaguar Precision

- Edgewood Machining

- First Cut

- Southwest Pattern

- TCS Industries

- Snap Precision

- Integral Corporation

- Bogue Navaro


Manual Machining

- Larry Smith

- Cosmodyne

- Keith’s Kreations


Injection Molding

- Model Solution

- VAMCO (local)

- All Star Foam

- Proto Mold




SolidWorks World 2016 Recaps by NMSUG members who attended


RANDY LYNN’s SolidWorks World Recap


Each year at SolidWorks World, the SolidWorks User Group Network recognizes the User Group Leader of the Year, User Group of the Year, and awards the Community Service Award to an individual who willingly and freely shares his SolidWorks expertise with the local community.


  1. Out of 220 user groups, NMSUG was awarded the User Group of the Year award! This is a big deal and a testament to William’s hard work on our behalf.  [Randy wrote that, not me. J]  I think through direct contact with Marie Planchard and probably feedback from some of our visiting presenters who carry clout in the user-group community, the word got out that we are doing good things here in Albuquerque, especially in how we encourage and welcome the school robotics programs, FSAE, and that we seem to always have a contingent from NMSU in attendance.


Randy last attended two years ago in San Diego. They rolled out SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual and billed it as a 2d cloud collaboration tool under a rental software license. The response was less than enthusiastic. It is still around though Randy is not aware of anyone using it but was curious to see where SolidWorks is in the cloud collaboration market, especially since OnShape and Fusion 360 are getting significant exposure in the 3D CAD market.


OnShape has more than 20 people on its staff with SolidWorks on their resumes. (They have 34 Interns). They have a very international staff. They offer a free account and $100/month/user account. It runs in a browser, your documents are in the cloud in a “cloud-native” format. It runs on Mac, PC and hand-held devices. Randy thinks it is multi-threaded.


Fusion 360 is a cloud based collaboration offering from AutoDesk, $40/month (free trial) that looks pretty amazing. The website has a link to Fusion 360 Fast Track for SolidWorks Users which is tech support with an understanding that you may be migrating from SolidWorks or another package. It is an application you install on your computer. It runs on Mac or PC. It may be multithreaded.


SolidWorks Xdesign and Xdrive are newly announced SolidWorks products that are installed on a cloud computer and use Frame technology to run it in a browser. Beta testing is starting soon. It will run on a handheld device. It is unclear if it is just SolidWorks installed in the cloud with a few added features. They showed it running on an iPad. He was using a pen to move it around. Xdrive is a cloud-based storage app specifically for Xdesign. You can link it to your Dropbox and other cloud storage accounts you may have. Not sure if it is multi-threaded. Also not yet clear is the cost model for Xdrive and/or inclusion with existing products like SolidWorks Professional or Premium. It is also unclear how collaboration works. right now to run SolidWorks in a browser. Beta soon, product available in the spring. has a diagram that illustrates the SolidWorks Innovation Platform and how SolidWorks and Xdesign fit into the bigger picture.


SolidWorks has significant technology and expertise they can leverage towards a Cloud-based CAD offering. The ideal solution may be if current users can choose to run SolidWorks on either platform and operate on the same files, back and forth as circumstances and convenience permit.


DAVID SAMUEL’s SolidWorks World Recap


David wanted to learn as much as he could about MBD (Model Based Definition). He attended nine breakout sessions that covered various aspects of MBD. Sessions included MBD basics, the paperless office, interactive 3D pdfs with drawing-like information (not necessarily for printing). If you are not familiar with MBD, below are some recap notes from the June 10, 2015 user-group meeting in which John Milberry, SolidWorks Area Technical Manager spoke specifically about MBD.


Model-Based Definition, or MBD is used to eliminate paper drawings from design and manufacturing. Drawings traditionally are used to convey design intent to manufacturing. The US Department of Defense published MIL-STD-31000A which outlines the MBD protocols and requirements for technical design packages. It is intended to automate, reduce errors, and improve communication throughout design and production.


SolidWorks MBD is a SolidWorks add-on that combines existing SolidWorks dimexpert functionality with additional features and functionality to generate eDrawings and 3D pdfs that convey Product Manufacturing Information in accordance with MIL-STD-31000A.


MBD is a separate SolidWorks product. In addition to the Dim Expert functionality, SolidWorks MBD adds 3D Annotations, Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing, Bills of Material functionality, and 3D Dynamic Model viewing.


David also mentioned a large assembly tip he learned in one of his sessions. There are two Image Quality sliders (Options>Document Properties) sliders: Shaded and draft quality HLR/HLV resolution and Wireframe and high quality HLR/HLV resolution. For each, the left end is labeled Low (faster) and the right end is labeled High (slower). At the right end, the last 10 percent of the slider is the “Red Zone.” Many of us thought these sliders related to curvature appearance on our screen. We thought if we had a good graphics card we could move the sliders more to the right. It was demonstrated that a model saved with the sliders to the right consumed more disk space than a model saved with the sliders to the left. In the context of a large assembly with lots of cylindrical parts (fasteners) this difference manifests itself in load times and overall large assembly below. There is more…read Dave Fury’s comments below.


Lastly, David mentioned a product that was profiled on the big stage at SolidWorks World. It was a better bra from a company named TRUSST Lingerie. David Pogue (New York Times technology writer and Yahoo blogger) interviewed two female engineers who used SolidWorks, including Simulation, to design a better bra. Aside from some good-natured humor, the profile was fun and inspiring. The lesson is that just because a design has been around for 100 years does not mean it is fully-evolved. With creativity and the right tools, we CAN innovate on the status quo. The Trusst founders profiled their SolidWorks World experience on their website. Also, check out the Melon-Man video…links follow.


DAVE FURRY’s SolidWorks World Recap


This was Dave’s second SolidWorks World. Dave’s employer asked him to learn and research as much as he could about SolidWorks PDM Standard which is replacing Workgroup. Unlike David Samuel and MBD, there weren’t many sessions that talked about the new PDM Standard. Time to put MCAD on speed dial.


Dave relayed a report from the Monday session where SolidWorks indicated they may have a flex module/licensing plan in the future.


Dave also mentioned the Image Quality settings to which David Samuel referred to above. After learning this, Dave and NMSUG member/coworker Wayne Meagher spent a couple of days actually opening assemblies, moving the Image Quality sliders to the left, and saving them. They have since noticed a savings in disk space and faster opening and manipulating of models.


WILLIAM RADIGAN’s SolidWorks World Recap


Zemax lens mechanics is a new SolidWorks Add-On. In his work, William has been on the receiving end of Zemax generated STEP files and which he had to incorporate into his SolidWorks designs. He is excited to start using this add-on with his clients. William maintains Zemax’ $2000 price tag is well worth the time it will save him in addition to a cost savings for his clients.


The partner pavilion featured many 3D printers. Most notable may be the Sindoh-3D Printer, 3Dwox DP200, cost $1000. It comes with a .4mm nozzle, layer height goes down to .05 mm. This seems like a real good value in a printer.


Alin Vargatu’s Custom Property Presentation: WOW! This was a very good hands-on session. Did you know…

  • A custom property can drive an equation
  • A custom property can drive an annotation
  • A custom property can color code components


MORE TO COME! This presentation was so good, we plan to try to make it available to our group perhaps live with Mr. Vargatu or it may be something we put on ourselves with his notes.


SolidWorks Visualization is the result of the SolidWorks acquisition of Bunkspeed. It is better rendering than PhotoView 360. If you have a Premium license then you can download it right now.


2016 PLANS for the NMSUG


2016 NMSUG Meeting Topic Survey


Tips and tricks, SolidWorks hacks, 3D Scanning, Tol Analyst, and Surfacing were at the top of the list.


Tolerance Analysis


                Keith Rice?

                Macros vs. Add-in


                1 hr or 20 minutes? The group voted for 1 hours

                Alin’s Custom Property Presentation mentioned above? Group said yes


NEXT MEETING, April 13th

                Jim Wilkinson

                                How We Make The Sausage


                Southwest Composite Works

                                Member Presentation !!!

                                Best practices for designing carbon fiber parts in SolidWorks


                Rachel Diane York/Richard Doyle


Meeting June 8th/15th

                Phil Sluder – Surfacing

                Ramesh Lakshmipathy – SolidWorks Simulation

                                Stress & Strain

                                Simulation contest with a giveaway


Meeting August

                3D Scanning and Printing








                .1mm (.004”) for $20,000

                2.0 mm (.080”) for $800


Meeting October





                Tips & Tricks

                                Neil Custard


Meeting December

                Redneck Workaround Guys-Adrian Fanjoy and Josh Altergott

                Weldments-Chris Castle, Solid Box


WILLIAM RADIGAN-How to Take Full Advantage of SOLIDWORKS Motion Analysis Data


William is our user group President. He is a PE and has had his own company, Radigan Engineering, since 2006. William’s presentation is How To take Full Advantage of SOLIDWORKS Motion Analysis. This presentation will discuss how SOLIDWORKS Motion Analysis can be used within the design process to efficiently reach machine performance goals. It will also show how simulation results can also be used for comparison to measured values or numerical post-processing.


SWX Motion is a shortcut to a college level ME303 Dynamics course that is available right in SolidWorks. SWX Motion uses the MSC ADAMS solver inside of SolidWorks.


  1. First make sure to ‘check’ the “SOLIDWORKS Motion” Add-In under Tools à Add-ins (Unfortunately, it’s only available in SW Premium. L)


Tips for using SWX Motion-If you know your assembly is destined for Motion Analysis…

  • Keep your FMT short
  • Flexible Subs work but be wary
  • Avoid Flexible Subs of Flexible Subs


Limit Mates are infinitely stiff at their boundaries


Observe your assembly tree. The position of assembly components are indicated by

  • over defined-BAD for Motion Analysis
  • under defined
  • (?) not solved
  • (f) fixed (locked in place) IS NOT THE SAME AS FULLY-DEFINED


Remove Redundant Mates-The goal is to reduce the number of redundant mates and make the model easier to solve.


SolidWorks mates are copied into the motion study. In Motion, some of the mates need to be softened (built-in slop based on bushing properties).


You can also add local mates to the motion study. They exist in the motion study only and will not appear in the SolidWorks Feature Manager Tree.


Fix the rotation on fasteners and similar connections. This reduces the degrees of freedom in the system and simplifies the motion analysis.


The goal of this project was to build a mechanical arm to mimic a known acceleration.


In William’s example, he needed a pair of concentric mates at each end of a shaft (otherwise it would be a perfectly rigid cantilever. While it looks OK, it does not mimic reality.) The “cantilevered” shaft is infinitely stiff. Employ a hinge mate instead of a coincident/concentric mate THEN in motion, apply a bushing along with its catalog properties to the hinge mate to more accurately model the non-rigid motion.


In motion, you can use the motor tool to apply a rotation to a part. You can define the motor’s angular velocity and acceleration.


Use the Motion Study Properties to define the motion analysis.


With motion, you can pick a point on your motion model and use the Trace Path option to generate a motion profile. You can export that data (x, y, z) to a csv file and show it in Excel.


Using the Results property manager, you can generate any number of plots, each with their own properties, to show displacement, velocity, and acceleration of your trace point. You can mask plots onto each other. Editing functionality lets you title the plot and name the axes, and the names you use will become the column headings in the exported CSV file. He also demoed how to use the Results dialog to show the reaction forces.


Within the Motion Study Properties…

                GSTIFF is constant time steps for continuous motion, solves quickly

WSTIFF is for discontinuous motion such as a bowling ball striking a pin, variable time steps and solves slowly.


Ultimately, William was able to create a linkage the mimicked the acceleration plot from his customer.


QUESTIONS: Can you use this to look at the stall torque. Don’t think so.





Many thanks to Rapid Sheet Metal, Drive Works, and MCAD for providing giveaways for NMSUG meetings!


Last Wednesday was the busiest day in NMSUG history.  We had a full calendar of Education and Entrepreneurship activities, capped off by a terrific User Group Meeting in the evening.


Many thanks to Randy Lynn for the meeting minutes below.
Lynn Technical Services: SolidWorks, Technical Writing, Technical Documentation

Wednesday December 9th, 2015, Meeting Minutes:


The meeting was held at the Albuquerque BioScience Center, Main Conference Room (2nd Floor), 5901 Indian School Road NE, 87110. Food was from the Flying Star Restaurant. Drinks and desert were supplied by MCAD. Thank you to all our sponsors.

In attendance, two student robotics teams who were also presenters earlier in the day at the SOLIDWORKS for Entrepreneurs session at Fat Pipe ABQ. Also in attendance, Stephanie Stack, from Plural Sight, online learning library who is looking for SolidWorks content creators. Visit their website, and if interested, follow up with Stefanie (

SolidWorks World 2016, January 31 to February 3, Dallas, TX, for detailed registration information.

SolidWorks Policy change for licenses that are currently out of subscription:


CURRENT POLICY: If you have a SolidWorks license that is out of subscription/maintenance, you can pay a $500 penalty AND the annual subscription/maintenance fee for your product which will bring that license into compliance for the upcoming year. This offer ends after December 31, 2015.


NEW POLICY: If you have a SolidWorks license that is out of subscription/maintenance, you will be required to pay all the past due subscription/maintenance fees to bring that license back into compliance. For licenses that have been expired more than two years, and depending on the product, it may be less expensive to purchase a new license altogether. Contact MCAD or your reseller for the specific information about your license.

TODD BLACKSHER-SWUGN Representative for the Southern US

Todd has been using SolidWorks since 2002, and has been a CSWP since 2005.  He is the founder and President of the SolidWorks User Group of Nebraska (SwugOne), and is currently the SWUGN Representative for the Southern US.

Todd's presentation was: SOLIDWORKS . . . Saving TMCO Money.  Todd started out designing antennas for “flip” cell phones. From there, Todd morphed his practice into designing corporate and private airplane interiors. His designs employed fiberglass and aluminum composites. Many of the wood interiors in planes are actually veneered onto aluminum composites to save weight. When his employer bought SolidWorks “everything” changed. After plane interiors, Todd worked for a water bottling/ distillation equipment manufacturer where he employed extensive use of SolidWorks sheet metal functionality. From there, he landed his dream job with the Nebraska SolidWorks value-added reseller.

Todd since went to work for a Lincoln, Nebraska machine shop called TMCO, a 40 year old company that has doubled in size every five years. National Manufacturing Co, a subsidiary of TMCO, manufactures laboratory bread making/testing/sampling equipment, bug detectors, seed sorters (color) and seed sorters (protein). In addition, TMCO has a laser art department called Metal and Art that supplies artists with laser cut panels made from scrap metal.

Todd uses SolidWorks at TMCO to save time and money and you should do too.

  • Installation: use or at least learn about administrative images, install from a local image that you keep on a USB drive
  • Templates: Setup and create your template(s) so you can jump straight into work. Better yet, create template folders that will appear as tabs in the New SolidWorks document dialog box.
  • User Interface: the tools are context sensitive (grayed out when they are not suitable for the current command), watch the pointer for cursor feedback. Increases efficiency.
  • Customize your flyout toolbars and tool pallets. Use the S-key shortcuts. Customize the S-key menus. Utilize keyboard shortcuts. Learn about mouse gestures and program your two mouse buttons. Make the S-key your Down mouse gesture
  • Use a 3D Connexion controller
  • Use the R-key to find and pop-up recent files. Pin the ones you use the most. It can also control configurations.
  • Shift C-Collapses the Feature Manager Tree
  • Tab-hides a part in an assembly. Shift-Tab unhides items.
  • Shift-Tab jumps between open files
  • Ctrl-7 full screen isometric view; Ctrl-Q full FMT rebuild; Ctrl-S Save DO THIS EVERYTIME YOU CLOSE A MODEL
  • Use the Toolbox. Over the years, Toolbox has had its naysayers. Todd says the current version of Toolbox is much improved since the old versions that were difficult to learn and understand. If you have not checked out the Toolbox fasteners lately, check it out. You can edit the toolbox (Toolbox Editor) outside of SolidWorks. You can add part number and description custom properties for the toolbox items.
  • Use folders in the Feature Manager Tree
  • Employ custom properties wherever possible. You should NEVER NEVER need to type in a title block. You can even drive configuration view names with custom properties. Use the Property Tab Builder help generate your custom properties.
  • For large projects, occasionally create a Pack and Go file, zip it up and save it. Check the Include Drawings button. You can add a –test prefix or suffix. Use these files as a safety helmet to fall back on in the event of a failure or problem.
  • TMCO has a tube laser. Tube lasers are AMAZING! Go online and watch some “tube laser videos”
  • Send your employees to classes at your VAR and to classes at SolidWorks World.


Akamee graduated from UNM in 2014 with a degree in mechanical engineering. There were only five women in her graduating class of 60. She has a daughter and sees a void in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) specific development tools-TOYS, for girls. Akamee’s startup, As Girls Grow, is developing products tailor made to girls’ interests but with digital, creative, and engineering themes. AGG has produced a first run of prototype toys some of which were developed in part using SolidWorks. Akamee is currently soliciting expertise to develop web content and ideas for manufacturing plastic toys. Her current development research has included injection molding, 3D printing and maybe waterjet cutting. For marketing and safety endorsements, new toy products need to comply with the Toy Industry Association guidelines. Akamee is learning that injection molding may be less expensive than 3D printing. Several members in the group offered Akamee pointers for manufacturing processes, molding, and materials. Marie Planchard of SolidWorks indicated that As Girls Grow qualifies for the SOLIDWORKS for Entrepreneurs program so now they will be getting SolidWorks assistance from MCAD. NMSUG members can help this startup also. If you have expertise to offer and/or share, contact Akamee through her website,

MARIE PLANCHARD-Director of the Education Portfolio at SOLIDWORKS.

Marie is responsible for global development of content and social outreach for the SOLIDWORKS products across all levels of learning including educational institutions, Fab Labs, and entrepreneurship.

Marie’s presentation was: "SolidWorks Community: Growing with My SolidWorks – Entrepreneurs – Education – Certification".  Marie works for SolidWorks and lives in Boston (100 inches of snow last year).

MySolidWorks is the online community based venue for SolidWorks users. 3.2 Million Users worldwide. It is the amalgam of all the SolidWorks sponsored content in one place. has three levels:
  • Guest
  • Standard (available to licensees who are currently on subscription)
  • Professional ($360/year) additional videos and CSWE training

It works on tablets, phones, etc. You login using your SolidWorks login and id.

Subcategories include
  • Manufacturing Network, (It’s the “YELP” of Manufacturing)
  • 3DCC, 3D Content Central, online models, thousands of them, many posted by the vendors themselves
  • SolidWorks for Entrepreneurs
  • SolidWorks in Schools
  • CSWP, Training and Certification

SolidWorks for Entrepreneurs, get a seat of SolidWorks for 1 year for free if you are:
  • Making a real product that can be designed in CAD
  • Have less than $1M in funding and revenue
  • Have a business plan and references
  • Complete the application and pay $200 application fee ($180 if which supports educational programs for girls in Rwanda).

SolidWorks in Schools
  • Formula SAE program
  • ¼ Scale Tractor competition ASABE
  • Robotics outreach and competitions
  • Provide qualified graduates for their customers
  • STEM, advocate Science, Technology, Engineering and Math
  • Assisting in Academic Research & Development

Certification: SolidWorks recognizes the need to raise the bar in engineering and manufacturing
  • CSWA Provider Program in School-Colleges and HIGH SCHOOLS!
  • Ascertain student’s 3D CAD skills and fundamental engineering principles
  • Network verification for SolidWorks global customers and CSWA students
  • Minimum Subscription Requirements
  • Lifelong certification exam history
    • Specialty exams

Marie displayed a Free voucher code for a CSWP exam. Use the Event ID/Voucher link, not the VISA/MasterCard link. Use the link for a specialty exam. Tell William which exam you want and he will pass it along to Marie and she will try to get us a code for the exam we want.


TIPS TO PASS THE CSWP = must pass all three parts. The exam is 90 minutes long. You take it online. You get a scan code when you are finished
  • Use Global Variables and Equations
  • Number of Decimal Places (precision)
  • The first multiple choice answer MUST BE EXACT for the subsequent parts to the problem
  • Read the next series of problem variables carefully
    • Problem 1, A=110
    • Problem 2, A=120
    • Problem 3, A=135
  • Reference Coordinate Systems-Know how to define a custom coordinate system
  • Width Mate and Angle Mate
  • Material – Exactly
  • Mass Properties – mass, moment of inertia, based on material

CSWE-Requires you to be FAST! There are only 2000 to 3000 CSWE’s worldwide!

The October 14th meeting was well attended, thanks in part to a large turnout of New Mexico Tech students. Welcome!  Thank You to everyone who participated and made the event so much fun.

October 14th, 2015, Meeting Minutes:


  • The logo contest will be settled at the end of the meeting
  • Eric Atencio of Creative 3 Dimensional will be 3D printing the winning logo. The winning Logo’s creator will get one. If you want one, contact Eric. He can make any size or color.
  • There are job opportunities for people like you:
  • For those who are willing to give up their e-mails, there is a space mouse up for raffle. Drop your name in the hat.   The rest of the SWAG will be distributed via the regular raffle.
  • Food provided by Which Wich thanks to SolidWorks and Mike Mitchell


Wednesday December 9th, Meeting Agenda:

5:30 - 6:00 Arrive, Get Some Food, Meet Someone New

6:00 - 6:15 Announcement and General Business

6:15 - 7:00  Todd Blacksher - SolidWorks Tips & Tricks

7:00 - 7:20 Akamee Baca Malta - As Girls Grow

7:30 - 8:30 - Marie Planchard - SOLIDWORKS in Education

8:30   Wrap Up / Prizes / Giveaways


The New Mexico Tech Baja team

                The SAE Mini Baja vehicle competition involves a variety of contests and papers centering on each team’s Baja vehicle. The SAE rulebook is relatively thick and dictates a number of the decision points. The NMT team is divided into four groups… Frame, Drive train, Suspension, and Controls. They have recently ‘started over’ with their vehicle, so they have had a number of basic problems to address. They shared with us a number of those issues.

                Frame: The goals are rule compliance, light weight, safety, and durability. The team started with a number of simple sketches. They made impressive use of the SolidWorks weldments tools. They also had to create a jig for welding up the frame. They attempted to run their weldment through the Student FEA package, but it would not properly work. The resulting frame was in the hall for all to see.

                Drive Train: Most of the components were by rule, off the shelf standard parts. The team did make their own gearbox. They stepped through their trials and tribulations with SolidWorks and their machining facilities. My favorite was the gasket trick. To seal the halves of the gearbox, they printed a one-to-one profile of the seal section, cut out that paper, dipped it in urethane, and presto, a sealing gasket! Next semester, the team will work on optimizing this box.

                Suspension: This presentation focused on Portal hubs. This is an extra gearbox between the drive train and the wheel. It is used in off-roading vehicles. It provides a reducing gear ratio and an additional physical offset from the drive. Both help the vehicle clear rocks and obstacles. This item went through a couple of iterations. This time FEA was helpful to add ribs and distribute forces. The team was able to make the pretty FEA before and after pictures that all bosses love. Sadly, the parts failed to fully consider the chain drive running through. Next year for sure!

                Controls: This presentation had a variety of small problems encountered. The team described their shifter. It was a simple forward, neutral, reverse shifter. Last year it would wander out of gear. So this year they created a spring loaded detent for shifting. The FEA for the pedal failed and caused a material change. They also showed an electrical box they modeled. It was printed in an SLA and survived well in that form.

The team discussed a number of their trials and failures. Their total budget was about 12K. So between their meager budget and massive redesign, they did not fare too well. (I’ve seen well-funded teams. It is disheartening to compete against them. ) But next year will be better! Good luck guys.


3Dconnexion Mice

This was a sales presentation of a family of hand held computer mice. So you have probably seen the mice that look like hockey pucks. A dial on the top doubles as a joystick-like device.  This is a left handed mouse meant to complement the right handed mouse. It handles most of the manipulations/ rotations of 3D CAD objects. This motion is more natural and fluid than the typical motions of just a right handed mouse. The concept with all of these mice is to balance the left hand/ right hand motions during CAD operations. The less the keyboard is touched, the faster you go.

There were three basic left handed mice. They varied mostly in size from a travel size to a heaver deluxe version.  The company has partnered with SolidWorks to make a number of buttons immediately useful. However, everything is programmable to make your use of SolidWorks as efficient as possible.

There were two more advanced space mice. The dial / joystick was nested in an ergonomic hand rest surrounded by a lot more buttons. The buttons again had pre- programmed functions, but they can all be repurposed for your needs. There is room for dozens of commands to be placed into this mouse. You can add even more functions with gestures.

They also had a cool right handed mouse. This had three main buttons AND a scroll button. They also had some special buttons developed with SolidWorks to rapidly scroll 10x in and out.

All these products looked like sweet must- haves for the CAD jokey dedicated to efficient working. The Demo was open to all who wanted a turn driving.


User Experience Design

Kevin Berni came down from Boston to visit and let us know what he does. He also took every opportunity to explain how they justify the changes they make. He seems to have taken a bit of heat for these over the years.

His team deals primarily with Workflow, Interfaces, and User priorities. Their focus is 1) Focus on the Model 2) Minimize mouse travel, 3) Flexibility

The problems they are trying to solve/ drive their work becomes quite lengthy.

  • Problems with high DPI monitors.
  • Future revisions within SolidWorks
  • Fixing old code
  • Modernizing the look of the UI
  • Helping the 8% of colorblind users. (Yellow and green are the worst choice for colorblindness)

The pixel density of newer screens is a big issue. There are thousands of items that need to be scaled to avoid interfaces shrinking to ridiculously small sizes. Our beloved old SolidWorks icons are not scalable. So this is the opportunity to update the 2016 icons. Many of the icons were taken from other Dassault Systèmes products.

We did get a good preview of a number of these icons.

We then got a look at a number of newer 2016 interface features

  • You can lock the toolbars. So when you accidentally grab it, you no longer spend two hours combing help or forums to just put it back! There are also more intuitive ways to just put it back when you forget the new locking feature.
  • Breadcrumbs. Wow. I think I need to drive this before I give the thumbs up on this. This has a lot of potential.  When you click on your part, instantly lots of icon driven menus pop up near where you clicked. These menus allow you to do just about everything that normally follows such a click. You get icons to help clarify what you selected. (point, line, surface, loop, etc) There are menus for what you might want to do to that thing you just selected. (Mate, sketch, move, or ??) Yes this is also very programmable. The idea is that your mouse moves to the menus less. The pop-up menus are instantly pared down to your selection and brought next to your pointer.
  • Triads are now human sized. If you are exploding or cross sectioning parts, triads used to manipulate these are big and easy to grab. Yeah!
  • Threads can now actually be in the part using the wizards. (Always been possible, but SLAs make this more important. Too bad for the guy with 1000 bolts in an assy and the threads turned on.)
  • Sweep functions have been redone dramatically.

Please help at SolidWorks functions with usability testing.

Interesting fact, the usability guys can typically guess when you started using SW by how you use it.

Ending business

The Space mouse was won by Brandon Getz!

We decided on logo #3. Also design by Brandon Getz.

MCAD is holding 2016 rollout events. Check it out and get free food! (Wednesday - October 21st, 2015)

Meeting minutes are courtesy of Brian Hill of Southwest Prototyping. He promises to do a worse job if there is a next time. (He doesn’t mind speaking in the third person, but notes are difficult and painful to find time for.)

Wow, what an evening!  The August 12th meeting had a record number of participants.  Over 50 people from across the state gathered to learn aboutResumes, Routing, and more than anyone ever thought there was to know about SOLIDWORKS File References.  Thank You to everyone who participated and made the evening so much fun.

August 12th, 2015, Meeting Minutes:


MCAD provided a $1300 gift certificate for a training course as one of the prizes to be given away at the end of the meeting.

Jeffrey Weathers arranged for drinks and helped out with food in lieu of Mike Mitchell being gone. Thanks Jeff! Food was from Buca di Beppo.

In the court of public opinion, the consensus is that the NMSUG Logo is anemic. If you are creative, prepare a logo for the October meeting and submit it for a “fabulous” prize TBD.

The preliminary agenda for the October meeting is:

Wednesday October 14th, Meeting Agenda:
    5:30 - 6:00 Arrive, Get Some Food, Meet Someone New
    6:00 - 6:15 Announcement and General Business
    xxxx - ~30min - NMT Mini Baja Team - Vehicle presentation
    xxxx - ~1hr - Jim Wilkinson - "How we make the sausage"
    xxxx - 20min - 3Dconnexion - User Efficiency
    8:15 - 8:30 Wrap Up / Prizes / Giveaways

Dave Furry- Routing

Basic presentation. Terminal parts need a connection point (sketch on a plane and a point). This is required to terminate your routes. David noted that creating ribbon cables with routing are complex and he elects to use traditional modeling methods if he needs a ribbon cable.

Use the routing property manager to select
            Wire gauge/color (from a library)
            Orthogonal route
            Minimum bend radius

Once set up you can quickly “install” point-to-point wires between terminals or connectors.
The wire geometry is created with 3D splines. Once in place you can add spline points to your wires and drag/move them.

QUESTION: Does moving the connectors update the route? Yes. Dave moved one of his connectors then did a rebuild and the wires moved. This is a huge harness design timesaver (vs. rerouting).

David saves all his wires inside an assembly as opposed to discrete part files. This keeps his working directory from getting polluted by cast-off part models.

Routing functionality works for harnesses, tube plumbing, and piping.

Dave ended with a large harness that had 24 wires, 48 connectors. Can also show zip ties. SolidWorks gives a BOM that has wire numbers, colors, lengths, terminations. SolidWorks can also create a flat wire drawing or a pin board.

Routing is available in SolidWorks Premium.

Brian Hill – Resumes 101

Brian is from Southwest, a small engineering services firm that provides expertise to local inventors, provides equipment upgrade services for the labs, and designs automation equipment. Brian has his own company on the side, Point Chin Designs, and works in product development and plastics design.

In a non-loyal environment (Chicago) a resume holds more sway than a web service such as LinkedIn.

Resumes are frustrating because they try to do everything. They filter candidates, create talking points, and may even determine salary. New college grads (NCG’s) get lots more latitude than experienced candidates.

A portfolio of past work speaks volumes about where you are. Take pictures, preserve some information and show it off.  Brian is also a proponent of LinkedIn.

Resume Rule 1. Customize your resume to fit the job
            Tech job resumes lend themselves to a chronological format
            Showcase industry specific skills discovered from company research
            For email resumes, use more buzz words
            For interview resumes, more stories

Resume Rule 2. Remember who is reading your resume
No one will read it top to bottom, 30 seconds is how much attention it will get.
            Your resume will be in a stack of others.
            Managers first want to reject you and remember you later
            Managers (not engineers) hire engineers. Get a manager’s attention

Objectives used to be popular. Not anymore. Don’t use an “Objective” section unless you are changing careers and need to explain why work history does not apply to the job for which you are applying. Don’t use the word “Quality.” It is a red flag. Nobody purposefully does poor quality work.

A Career Summary at the top of a resume is becoming more common.

Core Skills: This has become a common section. Make sure the skills you list are real and job dependent. Keyboarding is NOT a skill.

Don’t use White Font. It does not work anymore. It may get you rejected. (Google it!)

Professional Experience: Be able to tell a themed story about your experience. The professional experience section is story vignettes that “preface” your experience and accomplishments.

Length: One page for NCG’s, two pages if you have considerable experience. NOT more than two pages.

Brian suggests putting your big all-encompassing resume on LinkedIn and then customize it for specific positions that you are applying for.

Question: What about Education and Training? It depends on where you are in your career.

Matthew Fetke, MCAD – How the SolidWorks Certification Exams Think

Matthew used the SolidWorks Advanced Surfacing Certification (CWSP-SURF) Sample Exam (practice test) as his example. Some certification sample exams include part files, some do not.
Matthew recommends purchasing the manual for the functionality of the exam you want to take.

With regard to surfaces:

  • Use as few spline points as possible. Only put spline points at inflection points.
  • Pierce relationships are more robust than coincident relationships.
  • Initially move spline points and not spline handles.
  • Spline handles are the second tool for mimicking existing curvature.
Matthew worked through the first problem on the Surfacing sample exam. The answer that the test is looking for is the surface area of the part he created.

Matthew worked through the second problem: It was a fillet feature questions. He knitted two surfaces together in advance of using a surface fillet command. (Note: the surfaces edges have to be perfectly coincident.) Again, the answer is the surface area.

The third problem was a cut/trim surface problem. The answer is again the surface are of the finished part. MAKE SURE YOU ARE USING THE SPECIFIED MATERIAL AND UNITS. Your answers depend on it.

The fourth problem was to make the collection of surfaces a solid. Start by joining the surfaces with the Knit command and “Try” to form a solid, use ABS for the material. The weight is the answer…in grams.

Good Luck. Need to be able to do the practice test in ½ hour.

Themes: Pierce relationships are critical to robust surfacing. Understand them if you want to be proficient.

These tests build on themselves. The second problem usually depends on results from the first problem. Using global variables can help work through them efficiently.

Testing tips: Use two monitors. Use a 3D mouse. Always do the practice exams.

Tom Cote- SolidWorks File Management and Relations

Tom’s company, Applied CAD Solutions, provides CAD Admin and Data Management Specialist services. Tom has presented at numerous SolidWorks Worlds. He live less than an hour’s drive away from the SolidWorks east coast headquarters and frequently visits them to discuss EPDM functionality.

This presentation is to help users understand a core concept in SolidWorks: HOW FILES ARE CONNECTED. At SolidWorks World, this presentation lasts an hour and 45 minutes.

Do you ever get the SolidWorks Pop Up that reads “Unable to locate the file…Browse or Suppress all missing components” and the included checkbox, [Don’t show again]? And now in SWX 2014 this window dismisses itself in 10 seconds and will give you a report.

What causes broken references?
  • You renamed the file & SolidWorks does not know the file name.
  • You renamed the folder and SWX does not know the path.
  • You moved the file and ….
  • You deleted it.

If you stay “Don’t show again”, it remembers. Don’t check this box unknowingly. You can uncheck “Don’t show again” in the SWX Tools > Options dialog.


If you know where the missing file is, open it in RAM then unsuppress it in the assembly.
Repoint the file from the File > Open menu, click the References button. This works well for one file at a time but not for lots of files.

SolidWorks Explorer is not a great program but it can be useful for renaming. If you do not have a vault, use it to rename and manage your files. It is much more robust than Windows Explorer. You can use it to see SolidWorks custom properties and even update them.  You can even print from SolidWorks Explorer. Only use SolidWorks Explorer on files that are not open in SolidWorks or better yet, have SolidWorks closed when using SolidWorks Explorer.

TANGENT: Tom figured out how to fix the "short menu down arrow" problem (deemed not possible at a prior meeting). Right Click on the Command Manager > Customize >Customization >Show All and Show All.

Tom did a quick Pack and Go demo for the group. EPDM’s has “Copy Tree” which is Pack and Go on steroids.

SEARCH ORDER, where does SolidWorks look for files? Tom listed the 13 places that SolidWorks searches for a missing file (in order). If SolidWorks asks you to browse for a file, it has first looked really hard. Look online of in the forums to find this amazing list or use the term “Search Order” in SolidWorks help.

File References vs. External References:
    A file reference is the path filename
    An external reference is a geometry reference that is dependent on the geometry of another file.

The presentation is available direct from Tom Cote and may also be online from a SolidWorks World archive.

Checking the “Search file locations for external references” in Tools>Options slows SolidWorks down.

Changing references in the Save As command had evolved significantly since 2012. SolidWorks 2013 and 2014 also made changes to this. (Tom showed the different Save As dialog boxes since 2012).

In the 2014 Save As dialog be sure to purposefully check the “Save With References”

BUT…The Save As does not gather up the drawings and Simulation files. For that use Pack and Go.

Duplicate filenames can cause a Different Internal ID error. How do you fix it? – Go find Tom’s presentation.


Workgroup PDM Users: Workgroup PDM will be replaced by “SolidWorks PDM Standard” which will be included in SolidWorks 2016 Pro and Premium, this is sometimes known as "EPDM Lite".  If you are unsure of the impact that this will have on your workflow, please consult your local VAR.

Meeting minutes are courtesy of Randall Lynn, Lynn Technical Services,

Last week's meeting set a new record for attendance with 39+ members and guests.


The meeting minutes below are once again provided courtesy of Randall Lynn, Lynn Technical Services: SolidWorks, Technical Writing, Technical Documentation.


If you'd like to join us for the August 12th meeting, please click here to RSVP.


Also, please note that Lobo Motorsports has invited us to attend the 2016 Secondary Design Review. It is currently scheduled for August 5th, 6:00 PM, ME Building, Room 218

June 10th, 2015, Meeting Minutes:

William Radigan, NMSUG President, Coordinated and ran the meeting.

FOOD: Dinner was provided by Whole Hog Café.  Arrangements were made by Mike Mitchell. Mike has been taking care of the food at NMSUG meetings for several years now. Thanks again Mike!


The Wednesday, August 12 tentative meeting agenda includes:

  • Ramesh Lakshmipathy from SolidWorks will be presenting on SolidWorks Simulation
  • SolidWorks Certification (free test codes)
  • Dave Furry (???) will be giving a presentation on Solidworks Routing.

John Milbery, SolidWorks Area Technical Manager for NM, Model Based Definition

John is a 20 plus year SolidWorks user who currently works on the SolidWork MBD development team.

Model-Based Definition, or MBD is used to eliminate paper drawings from design and manufacturing. Drawings traditionally are used to convey design intent to manufacturing. The US Department of Defense published MIL-STD-31000A which outlines the MBD protocols and requirements for technical design packages. It is intended to automate, reduce errors, and improve communication throughout design and production.

SolidWorks MBD is a SolidWorks add-on that combines existing SolidWorks dimexpert functionality with additional features and functionality to generate eDrawings and 3D pdfs that convey Product Manufacturing Information in accordance with MIL-STD-31000A.

MBD is a separate SolidWorks product. In addition to the Dim Expert functionality, SolidWorks MBD adds 3D Annotations, Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing, Bills of Material functionality, and 3D Dynamic Model viewing.

As an introductory illustration, John had a photo of a military tank next to all the printed paper Product Manufacturing Information for the same tank. The papers weigh more than the tank. The government and specifically the air force are the major proponent for MBD.  One-third of a development budget is spent on 2D drawings yet sixty percent of them do not match the model. The Department of Defense wants to remove paper.

Other MBD standards in addition to MIL-STD-31000A include ISO 16792-2006 and ASME Y14.41-2012. The SolidWorks MBD team is working closely with the MIL-STD-31000A standards committee, hence SolidWorks MBD is 99% compliant at this time.

The three keys to creating an MBD environment: define relevant data on the model, organize the annotations in 3D space, communicate this information electronically. Dim Expert has been the underpinning and is used to fully define the model. The SolidWorks MBD auto-dimension scheme, tolerance status, and GD&T rule checks all work with imported geometry. There is also an optional tolerance stackup analysis. MBD is more than just 3D dims on views because it captures the zoom state and ultimately will capture the display state (still being developed).

John showed video of a gearbox with all the design information created by SolidWorks MBD. The user can see and rotate the usual 3D Views. A real show-stopper was the SolidWorks Dynamic Annotation Views (SolidWorks patent pending) which are very cool. Dims and annotations fade in and out as the model is rotated. All the functionality works seamlessly even for section views. To share the model, the SolidWorks MBD licensee can generate 3D PDFs using any number of included 3D pdf templates.

SolidWorks MBD can easily integrate existing dimensions from a legacy model. SolidWorks MBD supports section views and configurations.

To publish MBD files, the DOD prefers the 3D PDF. SolidWorks MBD also leverages eDrawings. A library of PDF templates is included. Choose a template, choose the views, choose the custom properties then generate the pdf. The user can rotate/revolve the model in the main view window. 3D pdfs are much smaller than SWX drawing files. The end-viewer can interrogate the pdfs.

In MBD Assemblies: All 3d views are available, the user can hide and show items. Selecting a part highlights the corresponding row in the adjacent BOM table. It is remarkably slick.


Generally speaking MBD is early in the adoption pipeline. Adoption is slow outside the DOD.  It is intended to automate, reduce errors, and improve communication throughout design and production.

There is talk about a Deconstruction feature that would start with the PDF and generate 2D drawing sheets.

TheSolidWorks MBD add-on, list price is $1995 with a $495 annual maintenance fee.

There are some informative SolidWorks MBD videos on You Tube. Check it out.


Mathew Fetke CSWP Mold, Surfacing, Weldments

Mathew continued our coverage of SolidWorks certifications. He went through the Mold Design sample exam and gave pointers along the way. In general:
  1. Study the command set and take the sample tests available at
  2. If you can do the Sample Exam in 1/2 hour or less then you are probably ready for the actual exam.


Formula SAE or FSAE is an international collegiate engineering design competition in which teams design, build, test and race a Formula-1/Indycar style racecar. The cars are not only judged on their performance metrics, but also on their design and financial feasibility. Andrew Hegge (Drivetrain Team Lead) and Aarya Engineer (Marketing Manager) from the University of New Mexico FSAE team (Lobo Motorsports) were on hand to show how they use SolidWork to address their design and manufacturing needs. In addition, several other members of the student design team were in the audience.


FSAE Program has 11 international competitions. UNM has participated in the program since 1997. There are 50 members on the 2015 team. Lobo Motorsports is currently ranked 5th (out of 170) nationally, and 17th (out of 511) internationally.


FSAE is a three semester program: design, build and test, that teaches communication, project management, and engineering skills. The overall project is managed with teams which are as follows:


Management team
Marketing team
Drivetrain team
Electrical team
Chassis team
Engine Team
Suspension Team
Brakes Team


The current car uses a continuously variable (snowmobile) transmission (CVT), and a toothed belt drive to the wheels. The aerodynamics create 440 lbs of downforce at 70 mph. The car can produce 1 G of acceleration and 1.5 G of lateral acceleration.


The cost to build the car is $30,000. The team has to raise 2/3 of the money.
They operate on an $80,000 budget. Some German teams have a budgets in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, yet the UNM team historically has been very competitive despite its modest budget. Andrew Hegge attributes this to the team devotion and also always iterating on prior year's designs and data, in other words, they never start from scratch.


Their 2016 goal is to be in the top ten overall. The entries are graded on design, autocross, and endurance.


They have to keep the CG very low enough to pass a 45 degree center of gravity tilt test. The fluids cannot leak on the 60 degree tilt test.


Design for Manufacture principals are key to getting the engine in and out of the car easily. They use toothed belts over chains. The wings are molded and laid up with carbon fiber.


From 2014 to 2015 they transitioned to 10" tires rather than 13" tires for a lower CG and lower rotational mass. This required a different chassis geometry and new brakes (smaller rotors, calipers). They also created a modifed CV joint to save weight. They use SolidWorks simulation extensively. Changing tire diameter also required updating the entire suspension geometry.


The student-welded chassis has 2500 ft-lbs per degree of torsional stiffness.


The wing is mounted to the suspension A-Arms and not the chassis which makes the downforce go straight to the tires.


Brake torque must always exceed engine torque!


The team will be competing in Lincoln, Nebraska this week (June 17-20) for the 2015 competition. Check out this website for more information: .  Also a great deal of competition and team information is available on social media (Facebook, Twitter, & and Instagram).


Ironically, the UNM Mechanical Engineering Department does not teach SolidWorks in its core CAD curriculum. Historically, Dassault Sytemes/SolidWorks has been a major FSAE supporter. The teams uses educational versions of the software. The department allocates six computers but it sounds like they are not very good SolidWorks computers. They have student licenses and they do not have professional/premium licenses.


Lobo Motorsports is always looking for sponsorship, machine shop resources and monetary support.  Please contact Lobo Motorsports, or William Radigan if you are interested in donating time or money to the program.

Additionally, NMSUG members have been invited to participate in the 2016 Secondary Design Review. It is currently scheduled for August 5th, 6:00 PM, ME Building Room 218



April 8th was the largest NMSUG meeting in at least the past 3 years, with 37 attendees sharing their experiences, resources, perspectives, and products.  It was epic!


Come be part of the action.  Check out the 2015 Meeting calendar below to see which of our upcoming meeting topics resonates most with you.

April 8th, 2015, Meeting Minutes:

(Meeting minutes courtesy of Randy Lynn, Lynn Technical Services, SOLIDWORKS, Technical Writing, Technical Documentation)

FOOD: Lasagna, pasta, salad and bread from Gino's New York Style Pizza - Arrangements were made by Mike Mitchell. Thanks again Mike.
REDUCE MACHINE PARTS COSTS BY DFM, TIPS AND TRICKS, by Steve Lynch (remotely from the Rapid Group)

Steve Lynch, Director of Technology at the Rapid Group: Quick Turn Prototyping

Note: The Rapid Group includes Rapid Sheet Metal: SolidWorks Add-On has been available for over a year, Rapid Machining, and Rapid Wire Cable

When designing items destined for quick-turn prototyping, pay close attention to Tolerance, Feature Machinability, & Finish.

As an example, Steve showed his custom motorcycle. He needed to move the foot shift lever back four inches to better accommodate his frame. Against a green background and adjacent to a $20 bill, he photographed the stock part which locates the foot lever. In SolidWorks he started a sketch, drew the outline of the dollar bill (known dimensions) and closed the sketch. Then he opened a second sketch on the same plane. From there he used the Sketch Picture functionality [Tools>Sketch Tools>Sketch Picture] and inserted the photo. He used the dollar bill as a gauge against which to resize his sketch picture so that he could subsequently and accurately trace the part. His part consisted of several interior circles then filled in the outline with splines that automatically landed tangent to the circles which represented the circles.
After that he extruded the part and was finished.

At Rapid Machine, they actually machine the parts. They have a SolidWorks Add-On that is FREE! Reference your part to the add-on and choose a material and plating or finish style for an instant quote. In Steve’s case, his part cost $190. To compare parts, he created a two-item assembly and over-layed the new part on the old part.
The add-on flags features which if reworked could reduce the cost. Examples include
  • small holes deeper that 4X the part thickness
  • deep or long radiused corners. A 3:1 runout, the end mill starts to chatter.
  • hard corners in a pocket-can they be radiused?
  • For machine surfaces with a high degree of flatness, bosses should be used.
  • Radiuses are more expensive than chamfers.

The cost quoted is the actual cost, it reflects desired lead times and any fixturing. Note, if the tolerances are +- .005” or more, no additional tolerance data is required. They do production parts and will do a design review with their customers to identify features that cost money and where they can save.


Steve Slides from the presentation can be downloaded


Rick's company is Intelligent Design Services. The work closely with Jaguar Precision Machine to offer full service design and concurrent engineering capabilities to customers.

If you use features repeatedly, use Library Feature Parts. They have the file suffix .sldlfp.His first demo part was a thin panel and he would drag over a D-sub cutout that was configured. He dragged it in, picked the configuration, then picked two edges and Voila. RT-Click Edit Feature on the library feature part to choose a different configuration.

Rick demonstrated how to make a sldflp. In a part, he created a slot. with vertical and horizontal dimensions to fully define its location. He named it in the FMT. With it selected, rt-click in the design library pane and choose Add Feature. Now that slot feature resides in the design. To use it, simply drag it onto a face in a model.
Question: must you maintain associativity to the library? No but if the library feature was configured, you would only have the one configuration included in the part and could not reconfigure it. If the sldlfp was included with the file then you could update the configuration.
You can have multiple features in a design library part.


RICK has agreed to share a few of his libraries. The link is: 

CERTIFICATION, Dennis Barnes from MCAD

Dennis is from MCAD, the local SolidWorks Reseller. They have about a dozen tech reps waiting for your technical support call. The New Mexico support number is 323-6144. MCAD has 10 workstations in the teaching lab where they offer classes for all levels.

Dennis talked about the CSWA-Certified SolidWorks Associate Exam is a 90 minute timed test. You need 80% or better to pass.

To see a sample exam, go to the SolidWorks Website>Support>Training>Certification. On the RHS see the link for sample CSWA exam and download the zip file. The current download has three parts and a pdf file.

Read the exam instructions, and then self-time yourself for the practice test. Do it and you will have a fair idea of what is involved.  Dennis went through the sample CSWA test with the group and gave pointers along the way to successfully take the test. For any of the certification exams, it is a good strategy to choose the problems with the most points first and save the low-point, least valuable problems for last. Also, a clear understanding of global variables helps for multiple part problems.
The exams are taken online with an exam client called Virtual Tester. You create a login and it is a timed test. You cannot stop the time once you start it. It is strongly recommended that you use two monitors.
The CSWP-It is the most common advanced-level exam.

Once you pass an exam, you have the option of being listed in an on-line directory of Certified SolidWorks users. [There is a validation step that you must execute one time.] Also, you have the option of placing the Certified SolidWorks User logo and the barcode on your business card which prospective employers can scan and see that it is really you.


There is now also a distinction betweeen a CSWA-Academic and a CSWA-Commercial.


There is an upcoming MCAD SIMposium, April 29 at Chama River Brewing Company. For more information, contact an MCAD employee or visit the MCAD website!


Chris is the owner/developer of Flatter Files, a digital flat file cabinet for distributing drawings and documents. It provides multiple platform access portals for suppliers and partners. Flatter Files works with existing collaboration tools like Workgroup. It replicates the old Flat File analog central access to the latest drawing revision.

Four components: Centrally there is the cloud. Additionally, there is the uploader app, web app, and mobile apps (iphone, ipad, android) which all interact with the cloud.


The uploader apps works in the background continuously. SolidWorks generates the pdf or cad file that gets uploaded. You can set up permissions to control access levels and options.


Flatter Files works with thousands of drawings.


The user can download whatever you give them access to. You may prevent them from printing it or downloading files.


You can create a specific warning message that appears when drawings or documents are being modified (I.e. "check out").


Revisions can be maintained: you can toggle between Rev A and Rev B AND changed text and dimensions between revisions are highlighted. The new revision shows up automatically when it is checked in in SolidWorks.


Assembly Views: Works with multiple sheet drawings. Assemblies with a BOM can automatically create a pdf for every single item in the BOM.


Key features: Flatter File documents, pdfs and cad files, are automatically generated and automatically updated.


There is an easy email screen where you can email files to a third party. They do not need a flatter files login. This was very easy. Shared links are included in an update screen. It sends the end user a link and where he can select the files for download with whatever restrictions you have specified. Once set up the third-party will AUTOMATICALLY get an email with a link whenever the drawing or file is updated. This is a very nice alternative to sending emails and attachments whenever a drawing is updated.


Flatter Files uses SSL Encryption, same as banking. Flatter Files data is certainly more secure than emails and pdfs. Furthermore, it includes stats that show who looked at files and when but also who HAS NOT looked at files. Hence, if your client demands a revision right away, hopefully, when you send it over, he will open it and view it right away. If he does not, you will know it.


Question: can you use flatter files instead of a pdm system: yes but it is not really made for that. Flatter Files is for distribution and PDM is for collaboration.


SOLIDWORKS "Workgroup PDM" is getting phased out. They are replacing it with PDM Standard which sounds kind of like Enterprise Lite.
Publishers can require two-step authentication for clients.
Active Directory support is coming soon, perhaps in a week, meaning you can use the same username and password that you use at work to access your Flatter Files portal. You could also use your same exchange or email password.


Pricing: Starts at $50/month for companies with 1 contributor. This includes unlimited Viewers, 1 TB of storage.


A company with up to five-SolidWorks licenses can use Flatter Files for $1500/year.
Chris Vaught,, 405-261-9295 -


MakerBot uses it. Call or log in if you have any questions.

Our February 12th meeting featured "PhotoView 101" by Rob Rodriguez.  The presentation included a complete rendering workflow from model assessment through to final image creation.  His slides and example models can be found here (~152 MB):


The complete meeting minutes below are courtesy of
Randall Lynn, Lynn Technical Services
SolidWorks, Technical Writing, Technical Documentation

February 12th Meeting Minutes:

Rick Johnson was originally scheduled to give a short presentation about using library features. A last minute family emergency prevented his attendance. Our thoughts are with Rick and his family.


William was recently back from SOLIDWORKS World. He used his time there in part to discover content presentations that may be relevant for our user group, particularly in the context of the survey results that he presented at the December 10, 2014 meeting. Possible topics for upcoming meetings include Advanced Modeling, Weldments (Chris Castle-SolidBox), Surfacing, Rendering, Large Assembly Modeling. He also asked the group if they might be interested in a presentation by Jim Wilkinson who is the SolidWorks Vice President of User Experience. Jim’s presentation would give insight into how SolidWorks thinks. Audience members indicated that this sounded like an interesting and worthwhile presentation. Also, there was brief discussion about MBD, Model-Based Definition, (Hooray! No More Drawings.) SolidWorks announced a new product, SolidWorks Model Based Definition. An excerpt from the press release reads as follows

"With the SOLIDWORKS MBD application, engineers can now generate one master document for all product and manufacturing information, downstream processes, and compliance with regulations and standards without having to produce and maintain separate sets of expensive 2D engineering drawings."

Tables at the back of the room had free stuff on them and attendees were invited to leave their business cards and/or company schwag.


NMSUG President William Radigan presented a brief real world example that demonstrated three methods for creating a heavily perforated sheet metal enclosure panel. (12” x 12”, 1/16” holes on 1/8” spacing).

  • Pattern a hole: simple, looks good, can see the internal components, shows up in a drawing, high overhead-long rebuilds.
  • Use the “Fill Pattern” function: simple, looks good, can see the internal components, shows up in a drawing, high overhead-long rebuilds.
  • Apply a RealView “Cosmetic Hole Pattern”: This is a simple way to visualize the internal components.  The holes do not show up in a drawing unless the view is shaded.  Realview Graphics must be turned on.  This option does not create actual hole geometry which would create an unnecessary burden on rebuild times.



Rob (along with Mike Pelock-MCAD, William Radigan-Radigan Engineering, David Samuel-SNL, & Dave Furry-DF 3D Modeling & Design) were all just back from SolidWorks World 2015 which was held Sunday-Wednesday this week in Phoenix, AZ. Rob made an overnight stop in Albuquerque, en route to his snowy home near the east coast, to give his PhotoView 360 101 presentation to our user group.

Rob is the founder/owner of Axis Cad Solutions, He is a familiar SolidWorks World presenter and many of his fine rendered images have appeared in SolidWorks literature and software start-up splash pages.

For much of his presentation, Rob used a hand-held cordless electric drill model that he downloaded free from GrabCAD. (, check it out!) He noted that the assembly model was exclusively imported solids and may not have originated in SolidWorks. Nevertheless, it was still suitable for applying SolidWorks artistic effects and rendering tools.

PhotoView 360 is an add-on that is included in SolidWorks Professional and SolidWorks Premium. Enable it from the Tools>Add-Ins menu.

APPEARANCES: It makes sense to first apply SolidWorks Appearances to the model before rendering. Rob indicated that while SolidWorks applies Appearances, most other software packages apply Materials. An appearance can represent a material, texture, or color. Access the Appearances tab from the Beach Ball tab on the Feature Manager or the Task Pane. Drag and drop appearances onto the model. A flyout menu will appear that gives the option of applying the appearance to the Face, Feature, Body, or Part. It is possible to apply appearances on top of existing appearances. Face appearances override Feature appearances which override Body appearances which override Part appearance. All the applied appearances can be seen in the Appearances tab of the FMT where they can be sorted by History, Alphabetical, or Hierarchy. Rob prefers Hierarchy because it show the overrides.

There was a question about component vs. part. In the context of SolidWorks appearances, SolidWorks uses the term “component” to refer to a part in an assembly. Keep this in mind if you when you are consulting SolidWorks help files.

Rob applied, removed, and reapplied several appearances to his drill model. He showed how you could select a group of components in the FMT Appearances tab and change the appearance them all at once. This is particularly handy if you need to update the appearance on a large number of components.

Some of the audience members mentioned unusual behavior with regard to appearances on imported parts and appearances in the SolidWorks appearance database. Rob indicated that imported parts often have a hidden display state and that may cause unusual behavior. He suggested switching to a different display state. He also indicated that many of the appearances in the current SolidWorks database are like to old PhotoWorks appearance definitions and this sometimes causes some problems.

DECALS: For his example, Rob located and downloaded some DeWalt logos from the internet. He used PhotoShop to convert them to PNG files but indicated that there are a number of other image editing programs that can do the same thing. PNG files work best for decals because they include an alpha channel which is a separate layer that is the area surrounding the image. The alpha layer includes the area within the picture border that is not part of the image (such as the spaces inside the letters D and A) AND it is clear or transparent. Hence, when a PNG file is applied onto a face in a SolidWorks model, the face color/appearance show through the alpha layer surrounding the graphical elements. Rob demonstrated how you can use image editing tools to create a mask layer on a jpeg but this method still has drawbacks and a PNG file is really best for decals. Once you have a PNG file,  you can drag it into the Decals Library folder in the Appearances, Scenes, and Decals Tab in the task manager. Once you have it in the Decals Library, you can drag it onto any surfaces. Be sure the View> Decals option is turned on, otherwise they will not appear. Rob applied Dewalt decals to his drill model and it looked Great!

TEXTURES: Everything Rob demonstrated to this point in the presentation was preparing the model for rendering. Textures are also available from the Appearances Tab in the Task Pane. Rob applied a knurled texture to some surfaces the same way he applied appearances earlier. NOTE: RealView Graphics must be turned on to see textures in the model while in SolidWorks.

Keep in mind, all the work up to this point, applying appearances, decals, and textures, occurred in SolidWorks and not in PhotoView 360.

RENDERING: At this point, Rob started rendering his drill model. Rendering uses lots of overhead and can really slow down your computer. Rob demonstrated the PhotoView 360 Render Preview window and Image Quality settings to show how to create “Preview” renderings quickly before tying up your computer for a 1+ hour Final render job.

RENDERING TRICKS: Perspective, Cameras, Lights.
Rob always puts the SolidWorks model in Perspective mode before rendering. Perspective more accurately mimics what we see in real life.

Camera views are his preferred way to set the model up for rendering. Access Cameras under the Scenes, Lights, and Cameras tab (under the Appearances FMT tab).Right-click, Add Camera will show two screen windows. The left window is the camera and the right window is what the camera sees-the model. Use the two windows to create a view orientation that you think you want to render. Saving the camera is a lot like saving a view. Also, cameras can actually see inside a model and even look out from inside a model whereas in traditional orthogonal views, you can never see inside the model.

Lights are accessed from the same tab as Cameras. There are Directional, Spot, and Point light options. Lights are either off or on in both SolidWorks and PhotoView 360. Right clicking on a light in the FMT gives the option to turn it off and on in the difference program modes. Rob prefers to turn lights on in PhotoView 360 and off in SolidWorks for rendering. It gives a better appearance. There are times however that a SolidWorks light in addition to the PhotoView 360 lights can yield some interesting affects. While lighting can be controlled with individual lights, Rob prefers to use the lighting “presets” afforded by environments. Environments are HDR files that contain preset lights. The default SolidWorks scene is 3 Point Faded. SolidWorks/PhotoView 360 share and Environments library. Rob demonstrated some the the lighting settings and options like Bloom and Shadows.

Lastly, Rob showed several renderings he has done for customers. He showed the Drill model rendered in three different colors and also with cartoon and contour effects.

Rob’s company, Axis CAD Solutions is close to announcing a new SolidWorks Add-In they have been developing. It is called PV360 X. It enhances PhotoView with improved scenes, appearances, and a streamlined user interface. Beta is expected within 30 days and a possible summer release date. For more information, visit .

REFERENCES: Photorealistic Rendering Using SOLIDWORKS AND PHOTOVIEW 360 is available from the SolidWorks store and from Rob’s company website, . Rob also indicated he will make the presentation slides available for download.  (See Above)


The meeting ended with a whole bunch of great giveaways. The RapidGroup donated two $25 gift cards. SolidWorks donated laptop mice, journal books, and umbrellas (go figure).

We had leftover pizza and salad. Bring your Tupperware next time.

The December meeting was a fantastic success!  Many thanks to Rick Holets (Ideal Vacuum Products) and Dennis Barnes (MCAD) for their fantastic presentations.


The February meeting will be held slightly off-schedule in order to accommodate SOLIDWORKS World 2015 as well as our invited speaker, the legendary Rob Rodriguez!  We will move the meeting back one day to THURSDAY February 12th, same time, same place.   Rob is the president of Axis CAD Solutions and a nationally recognized expert in the area of Surfacing and Rendering.

December 10th Meeting Minutes:

(Once again, the meeting minutes are courtesy of Randy Lynn, [Lynn Technical Services].  Thanks Randy!)

William Radigan, NMSUG President, Coordinated and ran the meeting.

FOOD: Jason's Deli, Sandwiches, Chips, Salad and Pickles. Drinks in a cooler.
Prior to the meeting date, NMSUG President William Radigan submitted a survey link via email to the membership. He recapped the survey results/answers in a short PowerPoint presentation. In summary, the membership prefers the Wednesday meeting time and the 2 month (5-6 meetings yearly) frequency.

At the meeting, a couple of tables in the back had Job Search/Networking signs on them, suggesting that folks who wanted to network could sit at these tables. During the meeting, William posed the question, should NMSUG be a network and job search vehicle. It didn’t seem like many folks had an opinion one way or another. William mentioned that some groups have had issues if a recruiter or user is over eager to display their skills in hope of landing a job. Again, it didn’t seem like anyone in the group had a strong opinion one way or another except that if it becomes a problem, a policy may need to be established. Late in the meeting, one member offered up business cards in anticipation of “SolidWorks for hire.”
{I think} there may have been a question or two related to if the group was interested in mentoring technical efforts in the community or students where SolidWorks expertise might be useful. Most folks seemed to nod in agreement that this would be a good thing.

The scheduled February 2015 meeting date coincides with the last day of SolidWorks World. (Wednesday, Feb. 11). The group has an opportunity to have noted speaker Rob Rodriguez give his talk on surfaces, rendering, and Photoview 360 IF we agreed to have our meeting on Thursday, February 12. The members voted to move the meeting to Thursday and host Rob Rodriguez.

William Radigan demonstrated the Polygon tool. It’s great for bolt circles. You can use the rt-click>Edit Polygon command to add/remove segments. Increasing the number of segments adds a new ID for the new segment only. Relationships to points on the original polygon remain intact. Removing a line only breaks relationships that were attached to the endpoint of the removed segment.

One user asked how to get accurate threads on a 3D printed part. She was having trouble modeling the threads in SolidWorks. Another user suggested downloading a McMaster-Carr part with the correct threads then add/subtract that model to get the desired threads for printing.

Rick works for Ideal Vacuum Products. Prior to going to work for IVP, he had never used the SolidWorks API (Application Programming Interface). Now he has been at it for about a year. Rick started by demonstrating how to record a macro that would save the SolidWorks model on the screen as a jpg.  It worked except that running it a second time would create the unintended result of replacing the original jpg with the newest one. He then opened up the macro code and demonstrated how to modify the code to accept user input for a dynamic name while the macro is running.

Rick demonstrated how to assign a macro to a command manager button or a keyboard equivalent.  Lastly, Rick shared a real-world scenario that have at IVP. They have 63 items for which they need to offer downloads  on their website. For each item they need three isometric rendered jpeg views, a portrait one-sheet drawing (probably a jpeg or pdf), a five or six file formats. Rick showed the API code that will pull up a file, orient it properly and render and save it three times, then load the next file and repeat. He maintains that this has save the company many hours vs. creating 189 renderings manually. The macro also opens and saves each part in all the different file formats taking into account that the path and file extension need to update accordingly. He also iterated that with some pixel mapping they have a macro that reads drawing view bounding box sizes and evenly distributes the required views on the drawing sheet.
Rick said that lots of SolidWorks macro code and ready to use macros are available online. There is a ready-made macro called Config Ripper that saves out configurations as separate parts. The SolidWorks API Online Help is very useful . He will also share code if users request it. If you have a tough question or problem, send your macro code to the API support folks at SWX and let them geek out on it.

Example macros from Rick's presentation, as well as "SaveAsSTL" and "SaveAsSTEP" macros can be downloaded here:

Does he use a macro to set up the cameras for the rendering? No but you could.
Can you use a macro to do moves? Probably not. Motion studies are better suited for this.

Dennis maintains that you should rarely or never need to move your mouse to the menu to retrieve commands, rather, 90 percent of your commands should and can be accessible within 2” on-screen inches of the mouse pointer. To achieve this he uses

  • In-context mouse gestures
  • In-context Shortcut bar-pop ups (S-Key)
  • In-context pop-ups (left-click on certain entities)
  • Right-click menus (right-click on most entities)
  • Short-cut keys

Dennis demonstrated and gave examples of each of these strategies.
NOTE: In-context means in the workspace somewhere on an entity or near a model  or assembly image on the screen or on or near a drawing view or entity.  Sometimes in-context is referred to as on-the-fly. It is usually quicker to access a command in-context rather than dragging the mouse up to a menu and selecting the same command.


In-context Mouse Gestures: Depressing the right mouse button then nudging the mouse brings up a donut-shaped in-context palette menu that is divided into four or eight slices depending on the user settings. Each slice has a default command but all are customizable. Dennis recommends customizing the S-key (see below) to a mouse gesture. After a while you get accustomed to the command location in the mouse gesture donut and accessing them becomes second nature.


In-Context Shortcut bar (S-key): This is the S-Key. If you are not using the S-Key already, start. Depressing the S-key in context brings up a palette of commonly used commands that are suitable for the current workspace (part, assembly, drawing, sketching). The S-key works out-of-the box and is great for new users. Try-it. Adding additional commands to the S-key is simple. Tools>Customize>Mouse Gestures Tab and scroll all the way down the command list and you will see how the gestures are assigned.


In-context pop-ups (left-click on certain entities): If you left click in empty screen space nothing happens. Left clicking on a model entity however brings up an icon palette OR an icon palette with a list of commands below it. Again, they are suitable for the current workspace (part, assembly, drawing, sketching). To customize the palette, right click in the palette space but not on an icon and click on the customize flag that comes up. This will invoke the customize window. It is intuitive from there…drag and drop. To customize the menu when it appears, access the Customize Menu command at the bottom of the menu and select or deselect the checkboxes next to the menu commands in the list.


Right-click menus-Right clicking anywhere brings up a menu. Right clicking on the FMT brings up a menu. The commands are workspace applicable. As with the in-context pop-ups, the last command in the menu is always Customize Menu. Note the Recent Commands item in nearly every right-click menu.


Short Cut Keys- There are a whole bunch of SolidWorks shortcut keys. To see them and customize them go to the Tools>Customize (not Customize Menu at the bottom of the Tools menu, but Customize which is about three lines UP from the bottom) and select the Keyboard Tab. From there it is intuitive. The CTRL, SHIFT, and ALT keys also have many uses. A useful link to discover those is at


Create Custom Workspaces-Recall the Copy/Settings Wizard? It would only run when SolidWorks was closed and was a utility for migrating settings when upgrading to a new version of SolidWorks. Now the Copy/Settings Wizard works while SolidWorks is running. As an example, you can establish your preferred weldment modeling environment, shortcuts, menus and so forth, then save that using the Copy Settings Wizard. Whenever you want to model a weldment, first load this environment then proceed.


The SolidWorks search box drop-down has four options. Use the command search option and start typing to find a command. You can invoke the command from the results.


Lastly, Dennis discussed some items that are new in SolidWorks 2015. He demonstrated the Isolate command. Now you can save it as a display state. The may be a good alternative to Dissolve SubAssembly Here. Within the Isolate command use Tab and Shift Tab to hide and show items. Also in 2015 you can save selection sets.


Contact Dennis at MCAD if you would like a copy of his PowerPoint Presentation.



The meeting ended with a whole bunch of great giveaways. Thanks to all our sponsors and check out Rapid Sheet Metal online. The have a RapidQuote add-in that is great for sheet metal parts. They are working on a Rapid Quote add-in for machined parts as well.  Download SolidQuote at

The October meeting provided a little something for everyone.  The tips-and-tricks for effectively using advanced mates were well received and group participation was excellent.


See below for the complete meeting minutes courtesy of Randy Lynn.


Join us for the next meeting, Wednesday December 10th, details to follow.

October 10th, Meeting Minutes:

William Radigan, NMSUG President, Coordinated and ran the meeting.

FOOD: Red and green chile enchiladas, tacos, rice, beans, guacamole, red and green chile on the side, assorted drinks.

The NMSUG has a group page on the MySolidWorks website.  User registration (free) is required.

There is also an NMSUG LinkedIn group page moderated by Dave Furry:

William encouraged users to share local knowledge at a future meeting either as a 15 minute vignette or a primary meeting topic.
Discussion was opened up for suggested meeting topics. Here is a list of suggested topics:

  • Routing
  • API / Macros
  • Drawing automation...templates and sheet formats
  • Weldments and sheet metal
  • Rapid Prototyping/3D printing...this discussion became lively. Several members in the group own or have access to 3D printers. There were many comments regarding 3D printers in the $500 range.
  • Importing and Exporting solids (cad models from other programs, Inventor was mentioned).
  • Model Based Design.  The ASME Y14.41 standard addresses model based design or designing without drawings and SOLIDWORKS 2015 provides support for this standard. [click here for a description]
  • 2D to 3D conversion.
  • SolidWorks AddOns such as the Rapid SheetMetal Quoter.
  • William mentioned that the newly revamped SolidWorks Customer Portal is very good and there is an NMSUG sub area where we could have group-only discussions and dialogs.
  • UX/UI Efficiency and Optimization (how to minimize mouse-clicks and ‘screen painting’)

Mike's slides and SOLIDWORKS files can be downloaded here:


Mike Puckett, SolidWorks Certification Specialist.  Mike lives in Las Vegas, NV. He has been with SolidWorks for six years. He worked and used SolidWorks in the plastic-injection molding business for several years prior to that.
Mike gave a prepared two-part presentation; SolidWorks Certifications followed by Advanced Mates.

SolidWorks offers three main exams, CSWA, CSWP, and CSWE, Certified SolidWorks Associate/Professional/Expert.
Many educational institutions that teach SolidWorks curriculum use the CSWA in their curriculum.
The exams are all administered online. You must first download and install a small program, TesterPro Client from After installing the client, you register your name and information. Once registered, you select and pay for the exam when you want to take it. Mike provided a vendor code for a free CSWP exam. The code is [redacted – contact a member who was present or Mike Puckett]. The code must be redeemed before October 17. Redeeming the code (at your Virtual Tester login page) gives you a credit for one free CSWP at a later date.  About 60% of those who take the CSWP pass. A higher percentage of takers for the CSWE pass but that is probably because it costs significantly more money and can only be taken a couple of times in a year.

Mike provided an example of each of the mates listed below and answered questions if there were any. He indicated that the files are available if anyone wants to revisit them. As a precursor, he mentioned that SolidWorks 2015 included many improvements to mates.

Beginning with SolidWorks 2014, you can pin the Mate Manager so it does not close upon completing a mate. This is useful if you have many items to mate consecutively.
Use a common reference. Mate A to D, B to D, C to D rather than mating A to B, B to C, and C to D.
Use subassemblies a the top level of large assemblies for speed and robustness.
For problematic mates, drag them to discover what degrees of freedom still remain. Sometimes it is easier to delete and start over. Don't over define entities with mates.

Mike used the S-Key throughout his presentation to invoke the in-context mate menu. At one point, after a brief pause, the menu disappeared. Mike demonstrated that by hovering over the vicinity of the model where the the menu was invoked and then pressing the CTRL key, he can make the in-context menu reappear.
Mates Discussed with Examples
  • HINGE MATE: Concentric/Limit Angle/Width mate combined
  • MULTI-MATES: When used, multi-mates group related mates in folders automatically.

Most of the mates above are for restricting the motion between two parts. Mike demonstrated how to insert a subassembly with motion into a parent assembly and using the Flexible/Rigid settings (toggle) to define if the motion is "allowed" in the parent assembly. Historically, the Flexible/Rigid settings were only available in the subassembly-Properties dialog box but beginning in 2014, this toggle was included as an icon in the Mate Manager in-context menu.
Mike touched just briefly on Surfacing commands with an example of an RJ-45 connector hood that had a small surface anomaly (flat, hard corners) that would need to be "smoothed" before creating a cavity mold. He demonstrated using Surfacing commands to do this. Once he finished the part, he subtracted it from a larger rectangular solid and created the negative of a mold cavity for the part.

William gave away several door prizes from our sponsors; SolidWorks and Rapid SheetMetal.
There was a mention of Smart Mates and Dennis Barnes of MCAD came up an demonstrated a Smart Mate.



The BOXX Workstation will be available to test drive at MCAD for the next two weeks.Bring in your most challenging part or assembly on a thumb drive and see how this high-performance workstation handles it.  Also, don't forget that there are coupons available if you're in the market for a new PC.




Click here to download Craig's slides.


If you'd like to test-drive the GRID system, the link below will allow you to use an online demo for 24 hours:




The demonstration of SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual was (might be?) a peek into the future of CAD.  It represents the ultimate in collaborative design and social integration.  (And just might be the sort of tool that our children expect to have on their tablet's / phones in 10 years.)  A big Thank You to Mike Pelock for bringing us the demonstration.

Lagoa - Cloud Based Rendering

Jeremy Luchini gave a technical overview of their cloud based rendering software and showed how awesome these tools are for delivering visual content throughout the entire product lifecycle.

Lagoa claims to be the fastest way to produce high quality 2d and 3d images, without the need for expensive hardware and graphics cards.

Images can be rendered concurrently by multiple users in separate locations.

Dramatically improved lighting and materials compared to other rendering programs.

No limit on image size.  Wow!

Multiple ways to share content and co-edit scenes.  Jeremy reiterated the point that SolidWorks is a communication tool and this is a new approach to sharing data, with the ability to collaborate with multiple stakeholders.

Lagoa has made a free demo version available for NMSUG members.  Please use this link.  The demo includes beta-features as well as a limited time “Pro” account upgrade.

Phil Sluder from TriAxial Design and Analysis

Phil presented his “best of” series of SolidWorks Tips and Tricks.

Phil Sluder is an icon in the SolidWorks community.  He is one of only a handful of folks that have participated in every SolidWorks World (16 & counting!).  Not only as a participant, but also a presenter!

Phil’s mantra about his tips and tricks is that they are not found in the Help Menu.  These are tricks that he has learned by figuring out the tools.  He said: “Learn the tools by pushing the buttons in the dialogue box.”  “You won’t know them until you get out of your comfort zone and try them.”

Here’s a short list of our favorite “tips”:

  • Toolbox parts.  How to make toolbox parts into “regular” parts.  This was a totally new topic for me.
  • Wires and tubing in Exploded Assembly.  A quick and easy way to generate the picture that you need for your documentation.
  • Pesky Filleting Problems?  Forget the FilletExpert, learn how the tools work and then do it yourself!
  • Pierce mate reference.  It’s an Ice Pick!
  • Check out the LinkedIn group’s conversation to share your favorite Tip.