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Archive for 2015

Bringing 2D into the Next Dimension

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

As part of GoEngineer’s re-branding campaign from a few years back, the technical support team gained a face: Joe Engineer.

Being a company that provides SOLIDWORKS and Stratasys products, services, and support, I recently decided to use these tools to take Joe from 2D to 3D.

Imagine taking a flat 2D drawing of a cartoon character and trying to bring it to life! How? Well, the answer is one face at a time (pun intended)!
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CAD Admin’s Corner – Change Management

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

What is change management? And what roll does a CAD Admin play in it?

As most of you know, change management is the method by which we track the changes and traceability of a product. There are different names for this method depending on the company, but they are all in essence meant to do the same task. It is the key to success of any sized company to have a properly documented and efficient change management system in place.

Engineering changes have a few basic steps; first, there is the change request from the field. Second, the change order comes from the engineer to make the change. Next, the design group will make the changes and send it through checking. The final step is the change notice back to the field that it is complete.

In this post I will cover some of the ways that the CAD Admin can help automate and fully digitize this process. No more are the days of printing off reams of paper to get one change all the way through your system. The time of printed drawings and drawings in general, are numbered and becoming a thing of the past. They will join board drawings in the halls of “I can’t believe we use to do it that way.” Most of the products that are named in this post are already available within your SOLIDWORKS Professional and Premium packages.

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Welcome to the CAD Admin’s Corner

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

CAD Admin CornerWelcome to our new series focusing on the nuts and bolts of being an Admin. The scope of what an Admin does can vary greatly from company to company. In some cases, as with smaller engineering departments, the Admin not only handles software functionality but also can be a: trainer, I.T. and may even be called upon to handle project assignments. For larger companies, this role might be more defined and be seen as a subject matter expert who works with multiple departments to achieve their goals or as I affectionately have called it, “The Red Tape Labyrinth.”

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3D Printed Girl Scout Cookie

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

Girl Scout SOCAL (1)

Our Santa Ana, CA office was buzzing with fun and giggles last week. We welcomed an Irvine Girl Scout Troop to get an insider’s look at custom design and 3D printers in action. 11 troop members, aged only 8-9yrs old, were all but shy when it came to being an engineer for the day. They excitedly listened to Jeff Jordan, Applications Engineer at GoEngineer, as he walked them through the SOLIDWORKS design steps of creating a custom Girl Scout cookie. They got their design inspiration from a favorite cookie, the Thin Mint, then added the Girl Scout logo for fun.


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SOLIDWORKS Shortcuts Quick Reference Guide

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

Do you recall a time when an Application Engineer first came to your business to demo SOLIDWORKS? You might remember seeing him or her click all over the screen, mashing buttons, moving parts and bringing up features with the slightest movement of their wrist.

It may seem like they were working magic but I’m here to clue you in on a secret. They didn’t have a special macro running in the background nor did they spend countless hours customizing the settings to tweak the shortcuts. Mostly, they used the default settings in SOLIDWORKS to make their workflow faster and more convenient. Just like any program based in the Windows operating system, there are quite a few commands that are common to any program (everyone knows about Ctrl-X, Ctrl-C, and Ctrl-V). But all programs have their own little quirks, and SOLIDWORKS is no exception.

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It’s The Little Things – SOLIDWORKS 2015 Enhancements

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

Sometimes it’s the simple things in life that bring the most satisfaction. With over 200 enhancements that SOLIDWORKS makes with each release; small enhancements and sometimes entirely new tools, can go unnoticed. Such is the case with two particular enhancements found in SOLIDWORKS 2015.

SW15The first enhancement I would like to bring to light, and quite possibly the easiest to overlook, is the addition of a year on the SOLIDWORKS icon. For those SOLIDWORKS junkies among us, and those who have multiple versions installed, this means that it’s no longer a best guess as to which SOLIDWORKS version you are opening. Maybe I am easy to please but I really like this 4 character enhancement to SOLIDWORKS 2015.

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CFD for the Common Man

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

hot-potato30 years ago, Computational Fluid Dynamics was a topic reserved for PhD analysts or research groups at Universities. Fast forward to 2015 and CFD is accessible on the laptop (or even some tablets) for any engineer with SOLIDWORKS CAD. When we classically think of CFD, applications such as air flow over airplane wings or water flowing through a pipe come to mind. While these quintessential studies were the foundation of the development efforts, we can also study many common everyday scenarios.

Earlier this week I was cooking some fish and vegetables (admittedly both were from a frozen bag). One of my main frustrations with the particular vegetable blend that I used was that the potatoes never come out quite right. Green beans…perfect! Fish fillets…perfect! Potatoes…cold in the middle.

Time to put on my engineering hat! The fish is sliced into thin fillets and the green beans are long and slender. Both of those geometries lend themselves to relatively high surface area to volume ratios when compared to the chunky potatoes. If only there was a way to figure out how long I should leave the baking sheet in the oven without forcing myself to eat fish for the next several weeks.
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A ROPE OF 3 STRANDS CAN DO GREAT WORK

Friday, January 30th, 2015

The gap in work force skills in the United States today is becoming alarming.  Our country and industries were built upon the hard work of our parents and grandparents. One of history’s largest generations is exiting the workplace in droves as the Baby-boomers retire.  Over the next 10 years, there will be a huge hole left in our manufacturing and engineering industries.  Many of the skills and knowledge that were taught to the baby boomers are no longer present in our education system – things have changed!

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Computer Numerical Control Basics for Non-Machinists

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

During my travels as a CAMWorks Application Engineer, I’ve instructed many training classes to  diverse groups of machinists, designers and engineers.   Frequently while teaching, I notice a striking challenge in terms of context for those lacking adequate machine shop experience.  This can be difficult during training, considering how much artistry and background is required to skillfully work with CNC machinery. While CNC’s can be unforgiving dangerous machines in the wrong hands; there is really not much magic to understanding the essentials.  CNC is similar to driving a car, or more accurately, using a giant 3-Dimensional, computerized Etch-A-Sketch, except with giant spinning blades and twenty horsepower motors.

CNC

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