Friday, November 21, 2014

CAD Jobs: Engineering SysAdmin in Goshen, IN

Our customer Supreme Corporation in Goshen, Indiana is looking for a new Engineering Systems Administrator. Are you their candidate? Check out the job description below and then contact them at the details listed below.

Engineering Systems Administrator

Responsible for design and maintenance of Solidworks CAD and EPDM systems at Supreme. The individual in this position will have a working knowledge of Solidworks Design software, EPDM and Manufacturing Systems.  Work with senior management to understand the goals and metrics of the business in order to develop the Solidworks/EPDM System and corresponding add-on modules.  Communicate across all levels of the organization, maintain a project/task list, and execute quickly and efficiently.

  • Management and co-ownership of the Solidworks EPDM system
  • In-Depth knowledge of Solidworks CAD design software.
  • Coordinate and produce training material for Solidworks and EPDM usage.
  • Ability to lead employees and drive results across multiple disciplines.
  • Develop and maintain data integrity/security rules within EPDM (according to set policy)
  • End-user Support of Solidworks issues, problems, and updates
  • Collaborate with corporate management to ensure policies and initiatives are aligned with the overall corporate strategy (document management, workflow, engineering data quality)
  • Working with the business owners to understand requirements and needs while ensuring completion and timeliness
  • Maintain technical proficiency through professional reading, professional development courses and general awareness of current issues
  • Will Report to Engineering Director with a dotted line to the I.T. Director

  • The ability to see the big picture and understand how the EPDM platform can add true value
  • Minimum 2 years of experience in system administration of EPDM Platform (version 7 and/or 8)
  • Minimum 2 years of experience in use of Solidworks Design software (2013 or later)
  • Advanced MS Office skills including PowerPoint, Word, and Excel
  • MS SQLServer 2008-2012 experience (query-building, backup and maintenance of SQLServer)
  • General Windows Server system administration experience
  • Excellent project management and organizational skills
  • Excellent communication and listening skills
  • Excellent business acumen, ability to communicate across all levels of the organization
  • Willingness to drive projects to completion
  • An outgoing personality


John Fehring
Director of Engineering

Supreme Corporation
2572 E. Kercher Rd.
Goshen, IN 46528

Office:  (574) 642-4888 - Ext. (289)
Direct:  (574) 642-0811

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Migration from Windows to Enterprise PDM Part 3: Legacy Revision Workflow

Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3

Many companies have several projects stored in their Windows file system prior to an Enterprise Product Data Manager (EPDM) implementation. While it is ideal to leave older projects within the old filing system, it is sometimes important to integrate them into the new PDM system for future use. This is the final entry of a three part blog series entitled Migration from Windows to Enterprise PDM.

It is recommended that you implement in a test vault prior to executing on your production vault. Some instructions are intended for migrating large amounts of data at once. If you are only moving a few documents into the vault, it is still applicable, but some steps may not be necessary.


Enterprise PDM does not automatically detect the revision levels of legacy data once it is entered into the vault, regardless of what is showing in the datacard. The datacard may display a revision, but if you were to do a new release, it would start at the beginning; this happens because EPDM keeps a revision counter separate of the datacard variable for each file. The only way to remedy is this is through the use of API (programming) or a Legacy Revision Workflow

Begin by creating a new workflow. Make sure your Conditions are set to either point to a single directory (such as a folder named Migration or Legacy) or exclude everything. If you choose to exclude all files from the workflow, you can move it to the workflow using a Workflow Link. The condition would need to be of type Filepath and the argument would be !=% (does not equal anything).

Thursday, November 13, 2014

CAD Jobs: Mechanical Engineer in Cynthiana, KY

Our friends at EZ Pack in Cynthiana, Kentucky are looking for a mechanical engineer, and they've asked us to spread the word. Are you their engineer? Check out the job description below, and then contact Larry Horning using the information provided.

- Provide engineered solutions for new products and modifications to existing products.
- Produce full manufacturing specification package including Engineering BOMs.
- To resolve problems at the root cause quickly and effectively and manage engineering change process
- Follow Group standards of in the areas of QFD, FMEA,  prototype development and field testing
- Follow Group engineering standards and associated IT systems,
- Ensure products meet standards and performance levels specified for safety, function and reliability
- Reduce cost through consultation with the production department, purchasing and suppliers.
- To investigate and address Customer Complaints in a timely manner.
- Drive standardization of components
- Stay knowledgeable about competitor design trends; apply latest technology to new and existing designs where appropriate to stay current and innovative.

Basic Qualifications
- Bachelor Degree in Engineering, Mechanical or Industrial  
- 3-5 years experience
- proficient user of Solid Works
- Experience using Product Data Management (PDM) systems
- Technical expertise in mechanical, hydraulic, and pneumatic systems
- Strong communication skills, both written and spoken
Preferred Qualifications
- Ability to identify risks both technical and commercial with proposed product change or new product
- Creativity and innovative thinking
- Ability to work with others to meet deadlines.
- Able to assess workload and commit to realistic time-lines.
- Able to select from multiple design alternatives when a clear best choice is not evident.
- Able to investigate root cause of machinery warranty or performance issues

- Good Presentation and interpersonal skills.
- A "Can do" attitude and ability to interact with a multi-functional team.

Larry Horning
Director of Engineering, Warranty, Service
Phone:  859 235 2022

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

SOLIDWORKS TECH TIP: Drawings - Hide/Show Edges

Did you know that you can hide/show edges of particular features or components? This quick method can help you highlight or clarify a single hidden feature or component in a drawing view without cluttering it.

For example, I'd like to highlight the Spring Mount Feature in a top view of my Clamp:

But when I do, I get too much information:

You can choose to show hidden edges for only particular features by right clicking them in the FeatureManager Design Tree and choosing Hide/Show and Show Hidden Edges:

This method also applies to components in assembly drawings. For example, I've shown hidden edges for just the Plunger component of my dart gun:

Monday, November 10, 2014

SOLIDWORKS TECH TIP: Meshing Tips and Tools for Better Results (Part 3)

Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3

Since I am always being asked what makes a good mesh, I decided once again to blog about a list I put together a while ago. This was a general list, in no particular order, of things you can do, things you can use, and things you can look for in creating a mesh; knowing you have a good mesh, you can feel better about the results you are getting. 

This is part 3 in the series and will discuss checking for "convergence." Be sure to check back for part 4, as we show you how to automate this process with the Adaptive Meshing tools.

As you may find with your analysis, mesh refinement leads to an increase in your displacement and stress results, and ultimately provides you with more accurate results. If you continued to refine your mesh, your results would continue to go up, but would eventually converge to a finite value. This value that you are approaching is the "limit" and would be the solution of a mathematical model of the same problem. Differences between the solution of a mathematical model and the solution of the solved Simulation FEA model are due to discretization (meshing) error. But again, discretization error does diminish with mesh refinement.

The process of consecutive mesh refinements that we go through is called the convergence process. And it is up to us to proceed with mesh refinement until we reach convergence with our results. So how do we know when to stop this process? Well, a good rule of thumb is to compare the results in each subsequent analysis. If two subsequent stress values are less than 10%, then the solution has converged and no further mesh refinement is needed. Keep in mind, the 10% is just a general standard, and can be decreased depending on your industry (e.g. medical) or if you just want a tighter tolerance.

In the images below, you will see the stress plots of three studies in which the mesh has been refined each time. Notice how the maximum stress increases each time, but with a lesser degree as the solution starts to converge.

Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3

For more training and tutorials on the many 3D CAD Modeling solutions in the SOLIDWORKS family of products and add-ons, please feel free to look through our Webcast Archive, register for an upcoming webcast or event, or look into our 3DU SOLIDWORKS Training and Certification courses.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Aras Office Connector | Your Better World

If there are two things in life I don't like, it's not finding things when I need it and doing something twice (sometimes a consequence of not finding things).  This is especially true of my electronic documents.

How about you?  Do you waste time managing your product documentation in multiple systems?

How much effort does your Sales team put in to finding and sharing product data sheets, user manuals, and other collateral with customers?  Where does Manufacturing get up-to-date procedures and work instructions?

Are these technical publications created in a Microsoft Office application such as Outlook, Word, Excel, and Powerpoint and then published to shared network drive in hopes that those that need these documents know where to look, know if they have the latest version, and are informed of pending changes?

Aras Innovator and the Aras Office Connector may just be your ticket to a new world of productivity.

Imagine your better world where the creators of these documents can automatically submit their new and and revised documents to a secure vaulted repository directly from within the native Office application they use every day.  Imagine that better world allows you to quickly and easily search, retrieve, and manage those documents directly from that Office application.

Imagine that better world allows your company to configure the naming and numbering scheme of your documents in a consistent manner; no more life where some documents are named "Oven_Temp_Setup_Instruction" and others named "Instruction_Setup_Oven_Temp".

Imagine your better world easily enables control of the document security: who can see it, who can change it, who can delete it from the repository.  Your better world now has a formalized process for document creation, editing, and distribution that greatly enhances your company's productivity and simplifies compliance to your quality standards.

Your better world is now.  Find out more by taking a few minutes out and attending the Aras Office Connector Demo on November 12th at 11AM EST.

Register for Aras Innovator Demo Series: Aras Office Connector

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

White House Announces Inaugural 3D-Printed Ornament Challenge

Now that Halloween is in the rear view mirror, the tradition of decorating the White House for the holiday season is in full force. With thousands of people expected to visit and millions with access to the decorations via the internet, there is a lot of planning and work that needs to be done.

This year the White House, in partnership with the Smithsonian, is looking to the 3D printing community for help. 3D printing designers will have the opportunity, through November 10, 2014, to submit ornament designs; a selection of the winning entries will be hung on the White House Christmas tree and will enter the Smithsonian's collection of ornaments at its National Museum of American History.

Those interested in the contest don’t have to have access to a 3D printer, just design software, as the actual printing of ornaments will be done courtesy of the White House. Contestants will also have to create an Instructable of their model along with the STL file itself. 

For more information and details, head over to Instructables to submit your designs and read about the specifics of the challenge.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Put Organize Back Into Your "Organiz"ation’s Business Processes

Many companies today suffer not from a lack of data in the product set necessary to make it but rather from the data being created and managed in such a way that other departments either don't know about it or can't find it with ease. How often do we hear, "The left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing?" Often companies place more emphasis on how each department is organized and not enough emphasis on organizing their business processes where information flows from its data producers to its data consumers. This dis"organization" leads each department to create their own methods for producing and using much the same information, resulting in duplicate efforts and waste.

Companies must have streamlined product design, development, and manufacturing processes through the entire lifecycle. Engineering notably has a significant role as producer of data. However, Engineering is not the only data producer in the company. Marketing may produce the marketing specifications from which Engineering develops design specifications. Quality may produce inspection plans that suppliers, through Purchasing, must be aware of so the supply chain understands what the receiving inspection requirements are. Manufacturing may have manufacturability limitations/specifications ("can't make it") that need to be shared back to Engineering. Each department in your company is a producer/consumer of the product data set. PLM can break down the silos of data so that each department works from the "same story".

Ask yourself these questions:
· Where is the lack of real-time information hurting your company?
· How often do Purchasing, Manufacturing, Quality, and Sales know about your product changes after it is too late because your CAD systems and ERP system aren't talking?
· How often does your company perform reworks because a part was made to the wrong specification?
· Do you have the tools to effectively manage both the data and the workflow necessary to see a new customer requirement through it inception, design, manufacturing, and release?

It is time to make effective organization of your processes with a PLM solution that can easily adapt in function and scale as your business grows.

Check out these links for more information about Aras PLM solutions:

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

3D Printing a Hit at American Manufacturing Trade Show

The Advanced Manufacturing Trade Show (AMTS) gives those in attendance the opportunity to learn about the latest cutting-edge technologies being used in the manufacturing industry, and this year's show in Dayton, Ohio was no exception. With many different vendors exhibiting at AMTS, there was no question that one of the most interesting technologies showcased this year was additive manufacturing. Additive manufacturing allows companies the ability to 3D print parts in a fast and cost effective manner.

Having been a a leading reseller of Stratasys 3D printers for over 15 years, we found that the buzz over additive manufacturing was at the forefront of AMTS as our booth was very well attended. Attendees who met with us at the show ranged from part designers to manufacturers, all of whom recognize the need to utilize 3D printing in everything from concept modeling all the way to functional prototypes. Our booth gave participants a great opportunity to witness 3D printing on both PolyJet and Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) machines in action, along with being able to touch and feel the 3D printed parts the machines had created. 

AMTS also featured a presentation by our own Vice President of Rapid Technology Solutions Joe Rocca and Statasys Territory Manager Michael Wegman. Rocca and Wegman discussed the wide range of benefits that Stratasys additive manufacturing brings to the industry and how 3D printing is being used by the manufacturing industry to optimize better products.

Highlights of the presentation included Rocca giving a breakdown of the history and current state of Stratasys additive manufacturing. Also, Wegman enlightened those in attendance on some of the new developments users can expect from Stratasys in the future along with how the company plans on growing in a way that keeps the needs of their customers in mind. "This year’s show was great for us" said Rocca. "It was very well attended and we were able to get a lot of great exposure for the Stratasys product line FISHER/UNITECH offers."

Friday, October 24, 2014

SIMULATION TECH TIP: Meshing with Solid Elements in SOLIDWORKS Simulation

Figure 1: SOLIDWORKS Simulation Tetrahedron Mesh on a Part
Meshing is one of the most recognizable tools that we use in simulation. We often look at components that have been meshed and see a map of triangles (tetrahedron elements) that are used to provide us with analytical results. But, what exactly is a "mesh?" Specifically in SOLIDWORKS Simulation, what does the mesh consist of? How is it used to provide us with all of these simulation results we see? I want to give a brief overview of the anatomy of the mesh, how it calculates results, and explain the pros and cons of the different element types.

Figure 2: Solid Elements in SOLIDWORKS Simulation

The mesh is broken down into two main areas: elements and nodes. The element is the overall "triangular" shape that you see throughout the model in Figure 1. Nodes are a part of the element, and is best shown by Figure 2, where nodes are called out by the red points. Figure 2 shows the two types of solid elements we can use in SOLIDWORKS Simulation. The left part of the image shows the draft quality mesh, which is a 4-node tet (tetrahedron) element. The right of the image shows our higher order 10-node tet element. When we run a finite element analysis, we are essentially calculating deflections for the nodes in our elements. Overall, the goal is to typically calculate stress and strain values, which is a derivative of the displacement. The following equation is run by the computer to calculate deflection values:

Figure 3: Finite Element Stiffness Equation

Figure 3 shows the equation that is used to calculate the deflections in our FEA models. "K" is the stiffness matrix, "U" is the displacement, and "F" is force. When we rearrange the equation, we set the output to be the deflection, "U," where "U" is a function of the stiffness. The stiffness is what makes all the difference between the draft quality element and the default, higher-order element type. Due to the lack of nodes for the draft quality element (4-node tet), the overall stiffness of that element is amplified, and less likely to give more accurate results relative to the higher-order element for stress values. If you are running a final analysis, always use the higher-order elements. However, draft quality elements do help out if you want to run a quick analysis to ensure that you have working FEA model. Due to the smaller number of nodes, there is less calculation and therefore you receive results much faster. Once you've run a "draft" run with draft quality elements, go over to the property manager and uncheck the box for draft quality elements.

For more training and tutorials on the many 3D CAD Modeling solutions in the SOLIDWORKS family of products and add-ons, please feel free to look through our Webcast Archive, register for an upcoming webcast or event, or look into our 3DU SOLIDWORKS Training and Certification courses.