William Radigan

December 10th, 2015 NMSUG Meeting Minutes

Blog Post created by William Radigan on Jan 18, 2016


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, www.pluralsight.com and if interested, follow up with Stefanie (stefanie-stack@pluralsight.com).

SolidWorks World 2016, January 31 to February 3, Dallas, TX, visitwww.solidworks.com/sww 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,www.asgirlsgrow.com.

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.

MySolidWorks.com 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!