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