MCAD Tech News #165

1 Feb, 2006 By: Jeffrey Rowe

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Event Report: SolidWorks World 2006

Viva Las Vegas! A look back at the user conference and a look ahead to the next product release

OK, I’ll admit it up front: Las Vegas is not one of my favorite places. I don’t gamble, I don’t smoke and I generally try to avoid situations where I might make a spectacle of myself.

Yet despite my general disdain for the venue, I really enjoyed SolidWorks World 2006 International User Conference and Exposition, held January 22-25 at Caesars Palace. And I wasn’t alone. More than 3,700 attendees and approximately 90 members of the international press found their way through the intentional labyrinth that is Caesars to convene for what SolidWorks claimed to be the largest mechanical CAD conference in the world to date. The Partner Pavilion was packed with more than 100 exhibitors -- not surprising considering that SolidWorks reports that it now has around 1,000 third-party partners.

During the course of the event I talked with many members of SolidWorks upper management and was reminded how approachable and forthcoming they are about most issues raised and questions asked. The only questions that anyone seemed to hedge about were those regarding SolidWorks’ current and future relationship with its parent company, Dassault Systèmes, causing one to wonder about the long-term standing of this marriage. Read more >>

MCAD Modeling Methods: The Latest Reverse-Engineering Tools Can Save You Time and Money

by Mike Hudspeth, IDSA

My boss asked if we had any 3D models of one of our older products -- we needed to use it as the foundation for a new product. The product had been on the market since the early 1980s, well before our company even had CAD software. We were in luck. We found drawings of parts created in CAD by a company we had bought in the late 1980s. The problem was that they were 2D drawings, not 3D models, and they weren't very up-to-date. You know how that happens -- changes are made, but no one takes the time to update the drawings.

My boss asked me how long it would take to model the parts. I explained that because of the out-of-date drawings, I'd have to spend a lot of time measuring actual parts. It could take weeks to get to where we felt confident we had halfway accurate models. There was an alternative, he said in a moment of managerial inspiration. He knew of a company that performed 3D scanning. Maybe it could supply us with at least a surface model to go from. We contacted the company, with mental images of Starfleet officers whipping out tricorders and scanning our parts. Sure enough, the company could supply us with fully parametric SolidWorks files, in just more than a week. We were thrilled. Why wouldn't we be? We didn't know anything about 3D scanning. We do now.Read more >>

Mark Your Calendar: MCAD Events

Introduction to Solid Modeling Training Seminar
Various dates through June 27, 2006
Various U.S. locations
Series of courses presented by Alibre include free beginner classes offering an introduction to 3D solid modeling, including parts, assemblies and associative 2D drawings as well as intermediate courses ($295 including training materials) offering hands-on experience creating 3D parts, assemblies, exploded views, part drawings, assembly drawings with BOMs and sheet metal parts.

ARC WebForum Series
February 8-March 22, 2006
Series of educational online sessions at 11 a.m. ET highlight recent ARC research findings in the manufacturing and supply chain industries. Topics in the first quarter include “Benchmarking Consortium” (February 8), “User Need and Future Trends for MES Applications” (February 15) and “Global Trade Management” (March 22).

Learn Solid Modeling
February 13-15, 2006
Albuquerque , New Mexico
Three-day seminar presented by Alibre offers an in-depth look at solid modeling.

Driving Continuous Improvement in Product Development by Refining the Process: Applying Design/Engineering Process Definitions
February 16, 2006, 2 p.m. ET
Free teleconference briefing from CPDA.

AUGI CAD Camp -- Seattle
February 23, 2006

Renton Technical College, Renton, Washington
Learn productivity tips and software shortcuts from the nation's top CAD experts and network with your peers.

AUGI CAD Camp -- Indianapolis
March 21, 2006
Indianapolis , Indiana
Sterling Systems and Autodesk User Group International host one-day special event in which Autodesk software users will learn from the top Autodesk instructors and CAD gurus in the nation as well as enjoy a professional networking opportunity with peers in their industry.

For Cadalyst's full calendar of events, click here>>