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Last night the Star City SOLIDWORKS User Group held its first meeting of 2019. We were fortunate to be partnered with VWCC (Virginia Western Community College) and was able to attract 25 attendees! We had all levels of users from a 22yr veteran all the way to prospective designers in high school with no experience at all. We also had an engineering manager that was a strict Inventor user (BOOOO) and he LOVED the software and presentations from the comments he made during the presentations (ex: WOW...that is cool, etc.). I made sure he got a free student license to practice.


Our speakers last night were Daniel Granillo and Toby Schnaars from SOLIDWORKS presenting on surfacing (beginner and advanced) to our users. I am in the process of creating a survey for the attendees, but was given positive feedback last night after the meeting. My receipts are attached for the food supplies.


I am hoping this is the beginning of something great for our user group.


SOLIDWORKS World is about learning, networking, seeing old friends and making new ones. All while navigating unknown cities and peering down the proverbial Dassault product line info tube to see what’s coming next. It should also be about having fun even if it is in the modest of ways.


I am a huge craft beer fan so it’s only natural for me to find or create opportunities to celebrate beer. For the past several years, especially in the US, beer has taken a more cultural stance which has not been seen since prohibition ended in 1933. To celebrate the awesomeness of both SWW & Beer, I’ll be handing out BEER ME ribbons to add to your conference pass but there is a caveat. You need to show me your awesomeness on Twitter so here are the rules…


  • You need to take a selfie with a beer or something craft beer related, be creative!
  • You have to be in the photo (hence selfie).
  • You need to be at SWW19 in Dallas at the time of the pic.
  • You must post the pic on Twitter and add #beerme #SWW19 to the post.
  • Please tag @edsonius (that's me) in the post too.


Then the trick is to come find me! One sure way to get a ribbon is to attend my Bearded Beer Geeks Tips & Tricks presentation with my good friend Dean Kerste on Tuesday but I'm sure you want your ribbon sooner You’ll also get a sticker that shamelessly promotes my PAN-MASS Challenge bike ride across Massachusetts to help those in need to fight cancer, and to hopefully find a cure for cancer. Here is the link if you would like to contribute to make a donation My PMC Donate Page. All donations go directly to the Erica Leafquist Fund.




Be on the lookout for other ribbons while at SWW; The Bacon Brotherhood, The Beard Brigade, and the CAD Monkey ribbon which you can only get at the CAD Monkey Dinner.


Thanks for reading and safe travels!




Ed Gebo, Owner of Digital Detail & Design

New Hampshire SOLIDWORKS User Group Leader

The Bacon Brotherhood is returning for another year of SOLIDWORKS World Bacon adventures!


SWW18 BBH.jpg


Casey Gorman and myself are going again to SWW, this year back to Dallas Texas!



Not much has changed in the endeavors to acquire your BBH ribbon, but as always follow the directions!



Using Twitter: (or someone you know can post for you)


  • You MUST be in DALLAS and Attending #SWW19 at the time of the picture
  • You need to take a selfie with something bacon RELATED. (yes, you must be IN the photo – it’s a selfie)
  • This can be food, a sign, or a picture with one or both of us. (both gets you bragging rights) Be creative!


  • You MUST post on Twitter with #baconbrotherhood and #sww19
  • You MUST also TAG us @CaseyG_FL and @WMASS_SWUG
  • Then find either Casey or myself to collect your ribbon!
  • 2 styles of Ribbons will be available this year again (BUT IN LIMITED QUANTITY AS WE ARE ONLY GIVING OUT WHAT'S LEFT !!!)
    • A few Regular ribbons based on prior years
    • Ribbons honoring Wayne Tiffany that feature his initial “WT”

SWW18 ribbons.jpg


This year, there are no monetary donations of any kind, instead this will be a more personal gift. I'll be carrying a Journal around for anyone to write a note to the family of Wayne Tiffany. What I'm really looking for are any stories you'd like to share in your own words about Wayne, especially any memories of how you knew him or were helped by him. While talking with his son Josh, and how much everyone donated last year and the wonderful stories that people told me, he remembered one of the names I mentioned from when him and his brother got to attend SWW in Orlando. That led to finding a video of his dad doing a presentation. This journal I hope can be filled up with as many stories we can fit in it and then be gifted to the family. Please help us make this happen!



Remembering Wayne Tiffany



Thank you again to everyone for sharing in the fun and to anyone who donates a story to the journal !!!


The Bacon Brotherhood

John Matrishon & Casey Gorman


PS. Guess how many ribbons we had left when you post on twitter for a special chance to have your own BBH member card created!

Ed Gebo

Beer + Bacon = #SWW18

Posted by Ed Gebo Feb 1, 2018

What started as a funny moment among friends during SOLIDWORKS World 2011, quickly evolved into something way more than I, or fellow Bacon Brotherhood Founder, John Matrishon ever expected.  Then the SOLIDWORKS community totally elevated the bacon theme fun thru the years to the next level.  To that, I say thank you, thank you, thank you!!!




As you may have heard, I have departed the Bacon Brotherhood but with very good intentions.  While I may have fallen off the proverbial BBH bandwagon as a founder, I am still going to participate, just like everyone else, to get my BBH ribbon.  And, you should too!  Here is the post about the BBH at SWW18.


So what does that all really mean?  Well, in years past, I have noticed other subcultures, groups, and events be born at SWW, which I think is complete awesomeness.  You may have heard of the SOLIDWORKS World Runners/Walkers group organized by SW employee, Jim Wilkinson.  Then there is the Coffee Clique, which is the brainchild of New Mexico SWUG leader, William Radigan.  And of course, you have the CAD Monkey Dinner, organized by BANSWUG leader Dan Herzberg.  My belief is we should all give back to the community in some capacity, even if it's to have a little fun.  I applaud Jim, William, and Dan for all their efforts to do just that!


I’m sure you have guessed by now I am starting a new group.  Do you like craft beer?  I sure do!  I've had a love for craft beer from the day I had my first Sam Adams Boston Lager...just a few decades ago.    Craft beer people are passionate about all things beer.  We understand the value and the love that goes into making beer.  We drink beer for the flavor, not to see how many 12 oz. shotguns of water in a can we can drink.  I thought it would be awesome to bring passionate SOLIDWORKS users together with passionate craft beer consumers.  That's a win win in my book!


So, without further ado, here are the rules to get your BEER ME ribbon!

    • You need to take a selfie with a beer or something craft beer related, be creative!
    • You have to be in the photo...hence selfie.
    • You need to be at SWW18 in LA, at the time of the pic.
    • You must post the pic on Twitter, please add #beerme #SWW18 to the post.
    • Please tag @edsonius (that's me) in the post too.
    • Then find me to get your ribbon.  Ready…GO!




In addition to the ribbon, you will also get two stickers.  One sticker is for my beer blog, with the #SWW18The other sticker is for Leukemia awareness via the Erica Leafquist Fund.  Here is your opportunity to give back!  I am riding in the Pan-Mass Challenge this year to raise money to fight cancer.  All the money I raise will go directly to the Erica Leafquist Fund.  Any donation helps, whether its $5 or $500.  Please support my ride and this great cause to find a cure for Leukemia.  Here is the link to make a donation.




Thanks for reading this post, please share with others so they can join in the fun too! 

Safe travels to all and I hope SWW18 is everything you expected, beer + bacon included!


Ed Gebo

Owner of Digital Detail & Design

Connecticut SOLIDWORKS User Group Leader


#FlatSWUGN got his start thanks to John Matrishon back in August of 2016, and he was introduced to the "Twitterverse" by Brad Hakeman as he attended his first SOLIDWORKS User Group meeting in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.



That Tweet and picture really made my day, but what happened next completely blew me away. He went to Nebraska.




Then to Missouri, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Panama City Beach, well, you get the idea.  #FlatSWUGN was going to be traveling a lot.  In all, #FlatSWUGN visited 17 SOLIDWORKS User Groups in 12 US States, and even spent some time in Melbourne and Sydney, Australia.




It was a lot of fun, and such an honor to watch the adventures of #FlatSWUGN over the year.  The SOLIDWORKS user group leaders that participated could not have made me feel more special.  Not only did #FlatSWUGN attend user group meetings, he got to visit a lot of very interesting places.






The icing on the cake happened at the SWUGN Summit meeting at SOLIDWORKS World 2017 when I was presented with this beautiful scrapbook full of #FlatSWUGN pictures, places, and people.




There are simply no words to describe just how honored I was to be flattened, stuffed into an envelope, and sent around the world by our SOLIDWORKS User Group leaders, so let me end by thanking Brad Hakeman Chris Wurtele Rhonda Jacobs Todd Blacksher Ed Gebo Edward Poole Kendra Wardlow William Radigan Michael Lord Duncan Gillis Haldun Olguner Daniel Ferrucci-Herzberg Betty Baker Phil Sluder Travis Newton Nicole Walden Ricky Jordan and Brian McElyea


And a special thanks to John Matrishon for getting the whole thing started.  John and his family (yep, his family got involved ) worked very hard on the scrapbook, and I am eternally grateful.


(We weren't sure if we should to take this picture - we didn't want to mess with space-time continuum.  We didn't.)

If you are attending SOLIDWORKS World 2018 and want to meet and mingle with some of the most respected members of the SOLIDWORKS Community, here are a few places where you might run into them:

NOTE: User group leaders/officers wear this ribbon on their badge:




Saturday, February 3rd - 7:00pm to 10:00pm

CAD Monkey Dinner

Tom’s Urban in LA Live

1011 South Figueroa St

This dinner is organized by several group leaders, but is open to all who register -

Last year they had more than 60 people join in, and they are expecting a bigger crowd this year.


Sunday, February 4th – 1:30pm to 3:30pm

Welcome reception – Partner Pavilion

Dozens of user group leaders will congregate in the partner pavilion, and we will have a presentation in the Theater. Look for the green SWUGN ribbons and introduce yourself.


Monday, February 5th – 4:30pm to 6:00pm, Room 151

19th Annual SWUGN Summit Meeting

This is our annual rah-rah meeting, and we are expecting roughly 70 group leaders to attend.  We have a packed schedule this year, but if you want to come in and say a few words, we will accommodate you.


For more information about SOLIDWORKS User Groups and the people that lead them, visit

The Bacon Brotherhood is returning for another year of SOLIDWORKS World Bacon adventures!


This year has a little changing of the Brotherhood front men.

SWW18 BBH.jpg 


Casey Gorman has stepped in this year for Ed Gebo.  Ed is launching a campaign around a passion of his and many others of the “hops” variety.   For details on what Ed is up to follow him on Twitter @edsonius


Don’t know Casey Gorman?  You should! Casey has been attending SWW since the early days, and was part of the original cast of Bacon Knights when we started. Here is a little about Casey if you are interested, and you should be!


There are few things changes this year, so read below:


Using Twitter: (or someone you know can post for you)


  • You need to take a selfie with something bacon RELATED. (yes, you must be IN the photo – it’s a selfie)
  • This can be food, a sign, or a picture with one or both of us. (both gets you bragging rights) Be creative!
  • You need to be in LA and Attending SWW18 at the time of the picture
  • You Must post on Twitter with #BaconBrotherhood and #SWW18
  • You Must also TAG us @CaseyG_FL and @WMASS_SWUG
  • Then find either Casey or myself to collect your ribbon!
  • 2 styles of Ribbons will be available this year
    • Regular ribbons based on last year
    • Limited supply of Ribbons honoring Wayne Tiffany that feature his initial “WT”  – suggested donation of $1 or above, any amount accepted.

SWW18 ribbons.jpg


What else is new for SWW18 and BBH?  Beside Casey taking over for Ed, we will again be making donations using the ribbons above.  No shirts this year, those are now collector items.  This will all go to a fund on behalf of someone that was close to us and the community.  ALL donations will go entirely to the Colon Cancer Coalition in memory of Wayne Tiffany. We don’t need to tell you that Wayne meant a great deal to us and he will not be forgotten.  This is one small way to keep him with us always.


Remembering Wayne Tiffany


Thank you again to everyone for sharing in the fun and to anyone who donates!!!


The Bacon Brotherhood

John Matrishon & Casey Gorman

I was there for Phil Sluder's first Tips and Tricks session at SOLIDWORKS World 1999 in Palm Springs.  I was one of the lucky ones that got a chair.  Not only was it standing room only, the crowd extended out the door and down the hallway. I learned a lot that day, and I've learned a lot more from Phil since then.


Almost 20 years later we are about to see the end of an era.


Phil is the only person alive that has attended every single SOLIDWORKS World conference AND presented at every single SOLIDWORKS World conference.  In February, he will amaze, astound, and educate SOLIDWORKS World attendees one more time.



There's no such thing as a "full" breakout session (unlike hands-on which are limited to 28 attendees), so go ahead and sign up for Phil's last SOLIDWORKS World session (Monday, February 5th - 2:45pm to 3:45pm).


Let's send him off with the largest breakout session crowd ever!

The third SOLIDWORKS User Group, and the first outside of the US, SolidFacts turned twenty years old last week and I got to help them celebrate.



20 years and counting


Haldun Olguner has been with the group since the beginning, and Duncan Gillis joined the team several years ago to give Hal a hand.  Together they continue to provide Melbourne, Australia SOLIDWORKS users with training, networking, and a friendly, casual environment to discuss engineering and design.



Duncan Gillis and Alby "Hal" Olguner (there is a story)


Hal is also a member of the SWUGN Committee, and has been serving since 2005.  We tried to remember exactly when and where we first met, but the best we could do is narrow it down to either SOLIDWORKS World 2004 in Boston, or SOLIDWORKS World 2005 in Orlando.  No matter, we've been friends ever since.  Hal was gracious enough to show me some of the best sights that Melbourne has to offer, and I can't thank him enough.



Sunday Sightseeing in Melbourne, Australia


Hal and Duncan will be joining us at SOLIDWORKS World 2018 in Los Angeles, so if you are attending the conference, make sure you look them up and give them a big congratulations.



When you're 20, you get to have your cake and eat it too

I wanted to give the Eastern Iowa SOLIDWORKS User Group their own shout-out, but that wasn't the only thing that happened last week.  Jeff Niederman from SOLIDWORKS Product Definition and I travelled through the Midwest visiting customers, attending SOLIDWORKS User Group meetings, and eating some fine local foods (the Monday night Chinese buffet was the exception).


Jeff.JPGThe end of SOLIDWORKS 2018 Beta came just in time for Jeff Niederman


One of our visits on Tuesday was to the Crawford Company, best known in Iowa as HVAC/Plumbing experts, but one of their other divisions is gaining traction because they design, manufacture, and install....


Beer.JPGBrewing equipment!!


Iowa was also a chance to eat some local foods, and acting on a recommendation, we headed out to The Front Street Brewery and I munched on a great Breaded Pork Tenderloin sandwich.  Yum!


Pork.JPGAlways eat locally!


Wednesday morning we headed up to Rockford, Illinois.  It was a dicey trip as I almost ran out of gas on the way, but we managed to beat the flashing "0 miles to empty" dashboard warning, and continued on our way.  Our first stop was the little town of Roscoe, Illinois.  We had a customer visit scheduled for 2:00pm, so we found a little place called Pietro's Pizza and had the best Italian Beef sandwich I've ever had (and I've had a lot of them).


Beef.JPGWe ate on the lawn, but I still did "The Italian Beef Stance" from my knees.


Next stop was PCB Linear for a customer visit and plant tour.  I love all things mechanical - big chunks of steel, socket head cap screws, sheet metal - and the tour did not disappoint.  Little did I know however that they also have a 3D printing division, and wow, that was cool.


3dp.jpgThat's a big pawn


I was excited about Wednesday nights user group meeting because I had never visited the group before.  Thomas Clark took over the group in 2012 and has been leading it ever since.  we had a terrific meeting that was very well attended.  Did I mention?  They served Chicago style deep-dish pizza!


Rockford.JPGDenny Bahl (2nd from left) joined us from Chicago


Thursday morning took us to Madison, Wisconsin and our last customer meeting/plant tour.  Peter Van De Bogert and Sub-Zero/Wolf were our hosts, and the plant tour was great!  Some of you know I like to cook, and I've added a couple of items to my shopping list.


Oven.JPGSix burners, all gas, and stainless steel.  I want one!


The Madison Area SOLIDWORKS User Group was our last meeting, and we were treated to a look at how i3 Product Development gets things done.


IMG_5788.JPGIt took a while to get everyone together for this group shot


Jeff and I would like to thank all of our hosts, our SOLIDWORKS User group leaders, and the myriad of restaurants that kept us fat and happy during the whole trip.


Cheese.JPGI brought a little Wisconsin home with me

10 Years in Davenport Iowa

Posted by 1-3PL95X Sep 19, 2017

A little over 100 SOLIDWORKS User Groups have reached the 10 year milestone, and last week was the Eastern Iowa SOLIDWORKS User Group's turn.


Cake.JPGThe group was originally formed in 2007 by Brandy Tyler.  Brandy stopped me in the dining room at SOLIDWORKS World 2007, asked a couple of questions, and "poof", just like that we had a new user group in Iowa.



Paul Hines accepting the 10 Year SWUGN Award that I forgot to put in my suitcase


Paul Hines assumed the EISWUG leadership role in 2013.  Since then the group has enjoyed four meetings per year, steady growth in attendance, some great presentations, and plenty of food.  As a SOLIDWORKS User Group leader, Paul has made quite a name for himself, and is often referred to as the Quad Cities area "SOLIDWORKS Guy".


Congratulations Paul, thank you Brandy, and a big shout out to all of the members of the Eastern Iowa SOLIDWORKS User Group.  Let's keep it going for another 10 years!!

I love all of our SOLIDWORKS User Groups, but the Central Texas SOLIDWORKS User Group holds a special place in my heart.  In September of 1999, I stood in front of a room full of SOLIDWORKS users and welcomed them to the first SOLIDWORKS user group in Texas.


We had some laughs last night talking about when the group was formed.  When I said "in 1999" it didn't sound that long ago, but when someone said "that was 18 years ago" we all felt a little old.


Four short years later, I once again stood in front of the group to announce that I was stepping down as group leader because I had a job offer that precluded me from running the group any longer.  Unfortunately, the person I handed things off to ran into family and work issues, and the group was in danger of folding.


Then came Bill Casnovsky.  Bill stepped up to fill in "for a while" I think were his words, and brought the group back to life in 2006.


"For a while" lasted longer than I'm sure Bill thought it would.  He was still there in 2009 when we celebrated the groups 10 year anniversary.  He was still there when Greg Jankowski came to visit in 2010, he was still there when Wayne Tiffany made his last user group tour, and he was still there last night as he announced his retirement as president of the group.  In fact, the only meeting Bill ever missed as group leader came a few years ago when he got temporarily lost at sea.


I can't find the words to say how grateful I am that Bill spent 11 years taking good care of my baby.  Thank you for everything Bill!


Not surprisingly, Bill had one more brilliant idea for the group - naming Steve Calvert as his successor.  Steve stepped up a few years ago and assumed the roles of group VP and food chairman (a very important position), giving Bill some help that he had never had.  Steve is a regular (and highly regarded) contributor to the SOLIDWORKS forums, and I'm confident that he will not only keep the group going, he will improve upon all of the work that Bill put into the group.  Congratulations Steve on a well-deserved "promotion".



SOLIDWORKS User Group meetings are typically all about SOLIDWORKS (and related products), but some SOLIDWORKS User Groups offer their members a once-per-year "special" meeting.  There's still plenty of SOLIDWORKS learning, but the rest of the evening (or afternoon) is dedicated to food, fun, and making friends.


I attended two special meetings in July, the annual "Summer Baseball Meeting" in Chattanooga, and the annual "Dave & Buster's" meeting in Panama City Beach.  Both events were very well attended, there were great technical presentations (Phil Sluder was the featured presenter in PCB), and everyone really looked like they were enjoying themselves.  I had a great time, and want to thank Nicole Walden and Kendra Wardlow for setting up the meetings and inviting me to attend.


If your SOLIDWORKS User Group hasn't considered a yearly "special meeting", make the suggestion at the next meeting and have a discussion about what that might be - a baseball game, a BBQ, or even an amusement park or arcade. Who knows, your members might be as happy as the folks in this picture.



Another year has gone by, and the Bacon Brotherhood is trying to bring a little fun, some learning, and a bit of fund raising as well.   Did you go last year to SWW16?  Did you get a ribbon?


Come see us Tuesday Morning for our Tips and Tricks from the Bacon Brotherhood session!


Here's your RIBBON chance again!   Using Twitter:


  • You need to take a selfie with something bacon RELATED. (yes, you must be IN the photo)
  • This can be food, a sign, or a pic with one or both of us.  (both gets you bragging rights)
  • You need to be in LA and Attending SWW17
  • You Must post on Twitter with #BaconBrotherhood and #SWW17
  • You Must also TAG us @Edsonius and @WMass_SWUG
  • Then find either of us to collect your ribbon!


What's new for SWW17?   Slightly new logo, with enhanced Baconess on the main logo.   We  will again be making donations to two funds that are close to us and the community.  For every shirt sold $10 per shirt will be split between the American Cancer Society in memory of Wayne Tiffany and the Erica Leafquist Fund (Dana Farber Cancer Institute).   We don’t need to go into details about each, but just know that both stories will touch your heart as they did ours.  The T-shirt website is up now after a few delays, but it will be available until the end of February.


If you order by Jan 31st, the shirt may get to you in time for World!  (sorry, for the short notice)


Thanks again to everyone for sharing in the fun!!


Please check out their stories below


Remembering Wayne Tiffany


Erica Leafquist Fund  or visit the website to donate directly.

Erica is the daughter of Eric Leafquist, who works for Dassault Systemes, SOLIDWORKS who lost her battle with Leukemia at the age of 14.


To order your shirt, go to


The Bacon Brotherhood

John Matrishon & Ed Gebo

BBH cool.jpgBBH shirt 2017 -back.jpg

SOLIDWORKS - Creating a Helix/Spiral


The Helix and Spiral tool can be cleverly used to generate 3D curves which can be then used as a sweep path. Ideal for creating springs!

The tool will create your desired helix or spiral based on an initial circle sketch and definition values e.g. Pitch and Number of revolutions.


To begin, sketch a circle of the desired initial diameter of the first revolution. Select this sketch and click: Insert > Curve > Helix/Spiral




From the property manager that will appear on the left, select from the drop-down menu “Pitch and revolution”. This allows you to customize these two variables in the helix and the rest of the data will be calculated for you. Similarly you can define the helix by its height and pitch or height and revolutions depending on which values you know.



If you wish to obtain a variable pitch you can select this option. A table will now appear and you can now add in your desired values. Choose the starting angle as well as the preferred direction and click OK.



Have a go!


Harneel Heer