NASWUG April 14 Meeting Notes

Our April 14th meeting has come and also has April 15th  We had 29 in attendance at the Dynetics HQ building with Ricky Jordan our president presiding.  And thanks to Richard Hall for trying out a new food choice (pizza does get a little old doesn’t it!)  Ricky talked briefly about the upcoming  SWUGN Summit event near us, this time taking place in Doraville GA(NE side of Atlanta) at the Holiday Inn NE Atlanta on Tuesday, May 19th.  For those unfamiliar, this is a great event hosted by SolidWorks and led by Richard Doyle.  Registration is only $40 and includes  breakfast and lunch plus a full day of technical training.  It is very much like a full day of breakout sessions at a SolidWorks World event.  Follow the links on the SWUGN website ( to register online.
ModernTechMechanical ( created an “Engineering Stimulus Package” in conjunction with the SolidWorks Engineering Stimulus Package that is available to help currently unemployed engineers.  This basically provides displaced engineers and designers with FREE SolidWorks 3D CAD software, training, Certified SolidWorks Associate (CSWA) certification opportunities, and job placement services. 
Richard Hall talked briefly about the new look at 3D Content Central and how useful this great CAD source is.  If you haven’t visited this site before it is well worth a look see.
Brian McElyea then presented on SolidWorks Workgroup PDM.  Basically don’t think of this as something for more than one computer/engineer.  It is a fantastic tool for file management, and product data management even on a single computer.  The sytem keys on meta data and using notes you can build design history tracking that makes it very simple to retrieve previous versions.  So you can think of it as a versioning system (i.e. unlimited configuration system) that allows you to go back to any previous design stage.  PDM is not restricted to just CAD file/design.  You can use it with any type file that you want to manage and control versions and version history.  By using the PDM system you don’t have to manually create and store multiple folders and multiple models.  The PDM system manages this for you.  SolidWorks Workgroup PDM is included in SolidWorks Professional and Premium.  If you have a need for PDM for a large group or for multiple site locations and want the ability to control all aspects of your file/design managment then the separate Enterprise PDM version is what you need.
Next up was our NASWUG RSA president Gary Hall presenting on DimXpert.  Gary did a warm up of this at the previous RSA meeting so he was fine tuned for this one.  Just to reitierate from that meeting, DimXpert differs from Autodimension in that it recognizes patterns and countersink holes and it produces predictable results.  For example with Autodimension you typically get unwanted dimensions that have to be selectively deleted.  Whereas with DimXpert when you select an edge only the feature represented by the edge is dimensioned.  A word of caution with patterns: if a hole pattern was not created as a pattern of Hole Wizard holes then any changes made to the model do not update the hole callout.  DimXpert is not just for native SolidWorks parts.  Gary walked through this example using an imported model, selecting specific datums and then applying DimXpert.  This is a great tool for those that have a need to produce manufacturing drawings.
  Thanks to Brian and Gary for outstanding presentations.  And just a note to all members.  Anyone interested in presenting on a topic should contact Ricky Jordan.  We always get outstanding presenters from the SolidWorks community and sometimes don’t realize the wealth of experience within our own group.

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