SolidWorks 22-Minute Webinars
SolidWorks is taking performance-training webinars down to just 22 minutes in an effort to help today’s time-strapped designers. With a new series of webinars, SolidWorks provides a quick what, why and how for key features.
You can register for the live events, or—if you’re really strapped for time—you can watch the recorded webinars at your convenience. The biggest advantage of the live events is the ability to participate in the QuickPolls they take throughout the presentations.
All in all, the webinars include high-quality graphics, the presenters are knowledgeable, and most of them are easy to understand. They also do a good job of bringing in unbiased, third-party information that can be used to sell different features into management.
In some ways, these videos are more commercials for different features and WHY to use them. There’s also some attention paid to HOW you can use these features to do projects better or faster. Sections of the videos go through different demonstrations so you can at least see the features in action.
So far, there are four archived webinars to choose from. I had about an hour, so I watched three of them and added my commentary below:
This is a good basic overview about how SolidWorks can balance your need for innovation with cost and time-to-market requirements. The key is having a concurrent development cycle that lets design, validation, technical documentation and data management occur simultaneously. More than a third of the attendees identified themselves as SolidWorks users in the first QuickPoll, but this show is really for people who’ve never used the software before.
The things I found most interesting were the bottle-filling machine that was pictured about a third of the way through, the fact that out of nearly 2 million SolidWorks users only 55,000 are “certified,” the fact that 90 percent of SolidWorks enhancements are customer driven, and information about the “CAD/CAM Slam,” a group of SolidWorks Gold Partners that integrate CAM features into SolidWorks (I may do a post about this in the near future.)
This presentation has a lot of great data from Aberdeen Group and Gartner about the benefits of using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to overcome design challenges and reduce errors. I learned, for example, that a late-stage design change to electronics can cost 300 times more to fix than if it was caught earlier on. The same change can cost 1,000 to 10,000 times more to fix in manufacturing ramp up, and a product recall due to not fixing the problem can be 100,000 times more expensive. Ouch!
According to Aberdeen Group, the biggest impacts of not using CFD are more physical prototypes (expensive) and non-optimized products (missed opportunity). The presentation goes over the basic uses of CFD, but the biggest news was from the QuickPolls: The top business pressure among attendees was a shortened product development schedule, and 50 percent of attendees use physical prototypes to test their designs and 12 percent don’t test them at all.
This presentation shows how SolidWorks EPDM uses automated and rules-based processes to solve six key problems caused by not having a PDM solution:
- References lost due to files being renamed or moved
- Poor performance opening and saving files over a network
- Wasted time searching for files
- Difficulty in maintaining past versions of files
- Work lost due to inadvertently overwriting of files
- Manufacturing the wrong version of a design
Once again, the best info for me came from the QuickPolls: 80 percent of attendees admitted to having lost or overwritten design files, and more than 62 percent named version control as the single-most desired feature in a PDM solution. The other thing I learned was that the blue and white icon used in SolidWorks EPDM is called “the blueberry.”
Let me know your impressions of these 22-minute webinars, and which ones were the most useful.
Image: Dassault Systemes