5 Replies Latest reply on May 24, 2017 2:15 PM by Bjorn Sorenson

    How do you handle using advanced features or concepts at a job where new or untrained SW users might have to use the same models?

    Jim Steinmeyer

      In going through the thread on "what makes your blood boil" I started thinking about how do you convey your advanced methods to those who follow you?

           For example; I once worked a contract job where I was to design a new semi trailer by modifying an existing model. I spent several days making changes and getting beams just right only to have my dimensions change and nothing fit the way I had designed it. Come to find out the original designer had used a SSP concept but had not created a master sketch that was separate but had involved sketches to features of several different higher level assemblies. It took quite a bit of time digging around to find what he had done and not knowing how he did things,it would have been much faster to have just started from scratch.

           I keep seeing great time and effort saving tricks here but I find myself wondering how i am going to convey how this magic happens to then next guy who has to work on this model, especially if I am not here to show him. And I believe a very important part of a robust model should be the ease of use for the next guy in line.

        • Re: How do you handle using advanced features or concepts at a job where new or untrained SW users might have to use the same models?
          Chris Saller

          At my company I have an hour training class every other week to share knowledge to other users.

          This way any advanced modeling I do they can work on, hopefully.

          • Re: How do you handle using advanced features or concepts at a job where new or untrained SW users might have to use the same models?
            S. Casale

            As CAD Admin to a bunch of engineers (notice my title as Senior Designer ), the thing that still bites me is the varying level of CAD knowledge. On a regular basis I send out group emails sharing ways we need to do certain things in order to keep our heads straight. I answer the same questions numerous times every week.

             

            My biggest suggestion is to share information constantly- even if they don't want to hear it.

                                                    Although, if someone isn't listening or isn't going to improve then they shouldn't be using the software.

             

            Teach Design Intent and for the ability to be able to problem solve from the top down and bottom up... Design intent directly correlates to the level of knowledge/experience one has with the design software and the things being designed. There is a thread someone recently started about that.

            • Re: How do you handle using advanced features or concepts at a job where new or untrained SW users might have to use the same models?
              John Stoltzfus

              I would like to disappear for a few months - and listen to the feedback, "Are my models easy to change"? "Am I using the correct features in the correct sequence, (what is correct)"? How much am I leaving back for the next guy or am I someone that will trash all my info just before I walk out the door?  Working for any company, you are only as valuable as what you leave behind, the more you set stuff up for the next guy, the better off you'll be, till you break the bank then the next guy will take your place, but there is a great chance the new guy has no idea and guess who they'll wanna call back, maybe...

               

              I'll say this bluntly, If the next guy understands SW - he/she will need to study up on my workflow, it's not the easiest to learn or do, they will need to review all my templates and everything in the temp folder.  All my part/assembly templates have documents embedded in the Design Binder, my templates have a "Lot" in them, only to guide the next guy.. 

              Jim Steinmeyer wrote:

               

              I wish we had a class, or a CAD Admin, or an IT Dept..........

              You and me both, I am actually jealous of guys on here that are able to work with a good team - being alone has a lot of disadvantages.... Come to think of it - we do have an awesome team, just for starters and not to exclude anybody at all, but don't we have access to over a few thousand SW users here on the Forum?..   They might not work the same way, but they sure helped me a lot over the years, hat's off to all you guys that have been teaching me, thanks, and I'm still listening.

              • Re: How do you handle using advanced features or concepts at a job where new or untrained SW users might have to use the same models?
                Bjorn Sorenson

                Some simple ones that come to mind are:

                1. Documentation!  If you have an excel file that drives an API function that creates the skeleton of your parts, or a master assembly sketch, FEA methodology, etc.; somewhere that process should be documented in a fool-proof (as much as possible) step-by-step fashion.
                2. Name all features so that others can clearly see what the design intent is ("why did they put this plane here?").  Sometimes I even add names to dimensions so that people will know which ones are driving critical features.
                3. Use the Comment tool on anything that warrants it so that if someone goes to change a feature, they automatically get an in-context pop-up window with background info
                4. Design binder is a good one but only if other users know to look there
                5. Retain ownership in PDM so other users have to come to you before messing with your models
                6. Develop a methodology for designing commonly-created parts that use advanced features and stick to it.  As a new user to a company, it is reassuring to know for example, that there is a consistent orientation for assemblies, or that there will always be a top-level sketch named "whatever".

                I usually only get as far as 1., 2., and occasionally 3., but in my current position I have that luxury.  Communication is key as others have mentioned; setting up a SWUG internal to the company has worked extremely well for me in the past too.