No August NASWUG-RSA Meeting

Hi everyone.  I regret to inform you that we will not have a NASWUG-RSA meeting for the month of August.  We have run into some scheduling conflicts with the meeting facilities and won’t be able to get the meeting in this month.  NASWUG-RSA WILL be meeting (FOR SURE) in October.  We should have a date and location announced soon.  Stay tuned for a meeting announcement soon for the September 2008 NASWUG meeting.  I can guarantee you it will be sometime after September 22nd because I don’t get back from Disney World until then!  🙂

Server Changeover

Starting tonight I have begun the changeover process to switch server providers for this site.  Over the next 72 hours you may experience disruptions in accessing this site as the new name servers propagate across the internet.   IF YOU ARE SEEING THIS POST, then you are looking at the site on the new host.

E-mails to anyone with an @naswug address could be limited for the next couple of days as well.

Don’t worry!  Everything including the Forum will be kept in the changeover.  I’ll let you know when everything is fully back online.

NASWUG July 31 Meeting Notes

Summer vacation is almost over and school is just around the corner, actually since these notes are a little late, school has actually started. Our July 31, 2008 NASWUG meeting showed a slight increase with 33 in attendance at Dynetics HQ. Ricky Jordan began the meeting with the usual announcements. SW009 Beta is in full swing and Ricky mentioned that the NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) would be removed soon, so watch Ricky’s blog ( for lots of good stuff on the upcoming SW2009 release. Speaking of SW2009, emails have gone out to subscribers announcing SW world 2009 early bird registration. You can save some bucks if you can plan this far ahead and get in on the early registration process. And finally, here is another reminder that SP4 for SW2008 is now out for subscribers.

Ricky Jordan gave a presentation outlining Tips and Tricks in SolidWorks Sketching.  The first part of the presentation outlined some uncommon options in various Sketch tools in SolidWorks that can often be overlooked.  Details for Rectangles, Ellipse, Polygons, and Sketch Text were highlighted along with the Fully Define Sketch command.  The next part of the presentation included a list of recommended sketching methods.  Those items included customizing the CommandManager, working with relations visually, offsetting geometry, trimming geometry, dynamic mirroring and leveraging Sketch Blocks for large 2D data sets.  The last portion of the presentation outlined some Sketch Troubleshooting techniques which included the usage of Display/Delete Relations and SketchXpert.

Richard Hall was next presenting on the topic, Using Design Tables. Design tables can be used to control several different items.  Richard demonstrated a set of models touching on some of items controllable with Design Tables.  For a full set of details pertaining to Design Tables, be sure to check the SW help file under the search heading “design tables”.

A design table can be used to control dimensional changes by configuration in a part file.  A Mil spec bulkhead connector example showed that several dimensions in different features can be controlled by name with a configuration.  This allows each “shell” size of the connector to be controlled by the Mil spec value.  As many or as few variables as needed or required can be controlled.

The Assembly file example showed another use for design tables.  In this example of the connector, the o-ring seal and the attachment nut are added in normal fashion.  The difference is that each configuration by “shell” size is controlled by changing the part configuration in the design table configuration.  This allows you to set up multiple “read that infinite” variations for both connector size and material thickness.

Drawings can also take advantage of models using design tables.  A general table can be created and linked to a variable dimensional variable such as length that is driven by a design table.  This will take some practice to get the syntax correct but it is fun and frustrating to try.  Try your hand at this and let Richard know how it turns out.

For any questions concerning design tables or the models used as examples you can contact Richard at:

Brian McElyea presented on Using Equations.  The presentation focused on how equations can be used in Solidworks, including conveying design intent and creating animations.  Brian covered the different types of variables that could be used in SolidWorks equations and how to use comments to document what the equations do.  The supported operators, constants, and functions were shown, as well as a few undocumented functions to help with more advanced equations and adding logic.  The presentation was wrapped up with a SolidWorks demonstration showing how to enter and edit equations, and some basic functions.  Brian also showed a couple of animations of parts (a spring and a hydraulic cylinder) driven by equations.

Ricky wrapped up the meeting thanking everyone for coming. The next meeting should be the NASWUG RSA meeting some time in August.