William Radigan

April 8th, 2015 NMSUG Meeting Minutes

Blog Post created by William Radigan on Sep 10, 2015
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 here:www.radiganengineering.com/download/851


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:  www.radiganengineering.com/download/854 

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, cvaught@flatterfiles.com, 405-261-9295 - https://www.flatterfiles.com/


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