Monday, September 22, 2014

So You're Planning Your 2015 Enterprise PDM Upgrade...

You'll love the new features in Enterprise PDM 2015.  Here are some important things that we know so far.

There are some important changes for Enterprise PDM now that its licenses will be served by the SolidNetWork License (SNL) Manager software in 2015.

We don't have all of the answers quite yet, but here are some things to get the wheels turning, and we'll be sure to post again just as soon as sp0 is finalized.

First thing: You'll need your serial number now. It's that 16 or 24 digit number that you received the day your license purchase went through, however many years ago, and that you could not ever find within the Enterprise or SQL interface after that.

Here's what you do:

Which will result in:

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

SE Michigan and NW Ohio SOLIDWORKS User Group Meeting: October 14, 2014

Our very own Rod Harper will be presenting at the next SE MI and NW OH SWUG meeting coming up in mid-October! RSVP to the meeting and meet up with Rod and other users in the community. Check out the invitation from this SWUG below -

The Southeast Michigan and Northwest Ohio SOLIDWORKS User Group meeting is here! This is an opportunity for you to network with your colleagues and peers to see how others are using SOLIDWORKS in their workplace. This meeting is free and open to students, teachers, designers, engineers, employers, and anyone with an interest in SOLIDWORKS and the design industry.

We will be showcasing great presentations with food and prizes too! Our grand prize giveaway is a Google Nexus 7, 32GB, black.

We will also have a special visitor at this meeting: Richard Doyle, User Group Community Manager from the SolidWorks Corp, is flying in from Austin, Texas. 

DATE: Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 
TIME: 5:30 - 8:30 p.m. 
Career Technology Center (T-building) 
Monroe County Community College 
1555 S. Raisinville Rd. 
Monroe, MI 48161

RSVP to this User Group Meeting at the following link:

Monday, September 15, 2014

EPDM TECH TIP: Making a Dynamic Dropdown for your Datacards

In Enterprise PDM, you can insert a Combobox Dropdown that will allow you to either type in an entry or choose from a list. What if you want your typed entries to show the next time you use that dropdown? This is possible through the use of a list that is based on a SQL query. First, you will want to create a list that will contain the items you would like to start with in your dropdown. In this example, I have created a list called Start Customers.

Next, you will create your query-based list. Add a new list and for Data type choose From SQL Database. Type in the following query:

SELECT  DISTINCT  VariableValue.ValueCache
FROM         Variable INNER JOIN
                    VariableValue ON Variable.VariableID = VariableValue.VariableID
WHERE      (Variable.VariableName LIKE '<variable name>') AND VariableValue.ValueCache !=''
SELECT DISTINCT cardlistvalues.value
FROM         Cardlistvalues INNER JOIN
                    CardLists ON CardListValues.CardListId = CardLists.Id
WHERE      CardLists.Name = '<start list name>'

You must replace <variable name> with the variable you will be assigning to the Dropdown and <start list name> with the list you created for your initial values. The server, database, login, and password should all be pointing to your EPDM datavase server. Set the Refresh to Periodic refresh every 1 minutes. Be sure to test the list and save.

Now you are ready to use it in your datacard!

TIP: Be sure to use Dropdown instead of Droplist or you will not be able to type new values in. For Items, choose Special Value and choose the name of the SQL based list.

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.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

CAD Jobs: Fixture Design Engineer in Ft. Wayne, IN

Our friends at Ottenweller Company in Ft. Wayne, Indiana are looking for a fixture design engineer. Do you fit the bill? Check out the bullet points they sent us and then use the contact info below to apply, or apply at their website (


We are looking for a designer that would have a strong solid works working history and have some of the following skill sets:

  • Sheet metal fabrication
  • GD&T understanding
  • Understand the fundamentals of welding
  • AutoCad experience
  • Past experiences in production environment 

Joel Reed
Engineering Manager
Phone: 260-484-3166 x 286

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


When studying shrink fits and press fits, we have a couple of options in SolidWorks Simulation; I would like to explore a couple of them in this post. If we just care about the end result, we can use the "shrink fit" contact sets. This technique is available in linear static as well as non-linear studies. Using the shrink fit option, the solver will attempt directly solve for the deformation of the male/female interface in its final condition.

If we want to evaluate press fit forces and want to see what's happening during the press operation, we will want to use non-linear simulation, which solves for the final answer as well as the steps in between. Here is the force response of a press fit simulation:

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

FISHER/UNITECH Announces Second Annual Design Excellence Forum

Events to Showcase SOLIDWORKS 2015 and the leading Product Design & Manufacturing Solutions

FISHER/UNITECH, a leading provider of SOLIDWORKS 3D design software and Stratasys 3D Printers, will host its second annual Design Excellence Forum – a provocative event scheduled in 11 cities throughout the Midwest and Northeast. This year's Design Excellence Forum will offer several presentations showing how to leverage today's most innovative technologies to achieve excellence in design and manufacturing. The Forum promises to cover many stellar topics: 3D mechanical CAD enhancements; conceptual design with cloud-based collaboration; unified electronic design; improved simulation techniques; advanced 3D printing for product development; data management; and the latest tools for technical communication. This event also features a reveal of the new SOLIDWORKS 2015 software. This roadshow will begin on October 1st in Kansas and travel throughout the Midwest and East Coast during the month of October.

The Design Excellence Forum serves as a unique and complimentary resource for SOLIDWORKS users, prospective users, and upper management alike.  This forum offers management the opportunity to stay involved and up to speed on the latest and greatest manufacturing and product design technologies in the industry. Executives are invited to discover methods of optimizing design for additive manufacturing, improving product development efficiency through data management, leveraging electronic design automation, and learning how design validation improves product quality. These solutions are sure to expedite manufacturing processes and make companies highly competitive.  SOLIDWORKS users can expect to be exposed to rich content that will enhance productivity and grow their skillset.

"Our Design Excellence Forum will give end-users and executives alike a viewpoint of how today's most innovative technologies are being used by manufacturers to compete in the global economy," said Charlie Hess, CEO at FISHER/UNITECH.

The Design Excellence Forum is completely complimentary and all are welcomed to attend. Registration is required. For more information on the agenda, locations and dates please visit This event is sponsored by HP, Dassault Systemes, and Stratasys. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Stratasys and Automation Alley Joining FISHER UNITECH to Deliver Update on 3D Printing

FISHER UNITECH, a top reseller of SOLIDWORKS 3D design software and Stratasys 3D Printers, will host a technical counsel on the advancement of 3D printing on Tuesday, August 12, 2014 at 10:00 AM at Automation Alley, located at 2675 Bellingham Dr. in Troy, MI. FISHER UNITECH has partnered with Stratasys Corp. and Automation Alley to deliver a riveting update on the ground-breaking improvements in additive manufacturing, including both PolyJet and Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) technologies. 

Attendees can expect to hear from industry experts on how 3D printing has revolutionized manufacturing and receive free advanced training. The FISHER UNITECH rapid technology team will present on several new ways that 3D printing is being used in tooling and industrial automation including injection molding and metal casting applications. Guest speaker Michael Wegman from Stratasys Corp. will give attendees insight on the Stratasys business strategy and advances in materials science that are driving new uses for additive manufacturing. 

"3D printing is entering an exciting new phase for manufacturing due to advances in our build envelopes and new materials.  We are looking forward to joining FISHER UNITECH at Automation Alley to share our insights on these advances," said Michael Wegman from Stratasys Corp.

"We are excited to share our expertise in 3D printing applications with the Automation Alley community," said Charlie Hess, President at FISHER UNITECH. "In addition, we are pleased to have Michael Wegman present the Stratasys strategy for additive manufacturing. It will be a productive event for those interested in applying 3D printing to their product development process."

The 3D Printing Tech Update is complimentary and all are welcomed to attend.  Registration is required. For more information, registration and the complete agenda, please visit

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

SOLIDWORKS COMPOSER TIP: Mirroring Parts in Composer

Recently, I was contacted by a customer that was struggling with creating an opposite-hand version of a part in Composer and wanted to know if it was even possible. The engineers had only provided him with one side; however, both a left-hand version and a right-hand version of the component existed.

Composer *can* do this utilizing the "Symmetrize" function. Symmetrize makes the geometry symmetrical according to the desired point, plane, or axis.  Simply select and copy your geometry, then select "Symmetrize" to create a mirrored version.

I've prepared an example in the short video clip below.

Remember: it's the little things!

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.

Friday, July 11, 2014

CAD Jobs: SOLIDWORKS Drafter and Electrical Harness Drafter in Elkhart, IN

Our friend Arlene at TechniPower is recruiting for a client of hers, and is looking to fill two positions. Check out the descriptions below, and if you think you're a good fit for either, contact Arlene at the information provided at the bottom of this post. Good luck!


Your daily responsibilities include initial design, development, and maintenance of production prints while communicating with various external and internal customers.

This is approximately a 4+ month contract and will probably go permanent for the right candidate. My client is located Elkhart, IN.


  • SOLIDWORKS proficient
  • CSWA Certification a strong plus
  • Minimum 2 years drafting/detailing experience
  • Previous drafting/design experience with Plastics or Fiberglass - surfacing, a plus
  • Previous design/detailing within automotive or RV industries, a plus
  • Sheetmetal design experience
  • Good written and communication skills

  • Electrical Harness Drafter

    Design and develop detail layouts and harness prints for electrical circuits and power distribution systems; electrical circuits include but are not limited to 12V, 120V, and A/V. Requires basic knowledge of RVIA, NEC, and CSA codes.

    This is approximately a 4 month contract and will probably go permanent for the right candidate. My client is located in Elkhart, IN.


  • Technical School Graduate in Electrical systems or Associates Degree in Electronic Technology, preferred
  • Working knowledge of AutoCAD  (using 2011)  and MS Excel.
  • Knowledge of SOLIDWORKS a plus – client is converting to SOLIDWORKS for the harnesses
  • Create 2D/3D detail routing prints for harness installations. Minimum of 2 years experience within this field preferred
  • Implement new electrical ideas and enhancements.

    (847) 296-6020 x144 (Inside Illinois)
    (800) 898-5154
    FAX:  (847) 296-6027

    Wednesday, July 2, 2014

    Revolutionizing Injection Molding with 3D Printing: On-Demand Webinar

    STRATASYS On Demand Webinar

    How PolyJet 3D Printing is Revolutionizing Injection Molding

    Injection Mold
    Thermoplastic injection molded  prototype created
    by Diversified Plastics using 3D printed molds.

    Learn how PolyJet 3D Printing is rapidly transforming the injection molding industry by viewing our webinar, 3D Printed Rapid Tools for Injection Molding.

    During this webinar, you'll learn:
    • The role and value of 3D printed injection molds
    • Which materials are best suited for use
    • How other companies are using 3D printed injection molds
    • Tips for successful design, production, fitting and finishing
    • How companies like Seuffer saved 96% in production time and 98% in molding costs as compared to traditional metal molds
    If you're a product designer, engineer, manufacturer or educator, don't miss this inside look at how Stratasys technology is able to produce injection molded prototypes at a fraction of the time and cost of producing metal molds. 

    Learn More