William Radigan

October 8th Meeting Minutes

Blog Post created by William Radigan on Oct 10, 2014

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. https://forum.solidworks.com/groups/new-mexico-solidworks-user-grou/content

There is also an NMSUG LinkedIn group page moderated by Dave Furry: https://www.linkedin.com/groups?home=&gid=4894055



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 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 www.virtualtester.com. 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.