Fredericksburg SolidWorks User Group

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Meeting Notes

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November Recap

Posted by Fred.SWUG on November 13, 2013 at 11:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Thank you to everyone that came out on Veteran's Day to learn about different methods of repairing imported geometry. There were a lot of questions and suggestions made during and after the presentation, so I'd be happy to add all of the new ideas and re-present this topic in the future for anyone that may have missed it.

Chick-Fil-A slightly messed up the order, but the popularity of the chicken, lemonade, cookies and "secret sauce" certainly made up for any minor mistake.

Did you know that you can make your own Chick-Fil-A sauce at home? Do a quick search online, the recipe is quite easy, and you can make up enough to dip nearly everything in it!

May Recap

Posted by Fred.SWUG on June 6, 2013 at 12:55 AM Comments comments (0)

•Fredericksburg’s Primavera Pizza came through again with some fantastic pizza. The BBQ chicken turned out to be the most popular.

•Our topic for the evening was thecreation of threads on solid models. If you need to build a prototype part with threads, you'll need to know how to build the thread correctly. Smaller threads can be handled with taps, dies and by placing inserts into the model. The thread we focused on as an example was a 3.5" 12 UN thread.



March Recap

Posted by Fred.SWUG on April 2, 2013 at 9:05 AM Comments comments (0)

An attendance record was nearly broken, but we’ll have totry just a little harder next time.

  • Fredericksburg’s Primavera Pizza came through again withsome fantastic pizza. The BBQ chicken turned out to be the biggest hit. Ithought it was so good, that I went back and picked up another one last weekendfor a meeting with
  • I created a account for FredSWUG. If anyonewould like to post anything, just send it to me. I have some Skyrim relatedcontent on their now.
  • SolidWorks World 2013 was a popular topic and I think we alllearned some new keyboard shortcuts and tips/tricks for working with parts and assemblies.
  • Our second topic for the evening was the identification ofunknown fonts. I know this is a topic that I run into every few weeks whenneeding to match a logo or font on a drawing or imported CAD model. Hopefullyeveryone else will know what to do when confronted with this challenge in the future.

 I'd also like to thank for sending a care package out for the meeting. Those orange "stress balls" were a surprise hit with everyone!

January Recap

Posted by Fred.SWUG on January 17, 2013 at 11:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Could it have been the best meeting ever?

Turnout was great and I’d like to again welcome to our newest members. Qdoba delivered some fantastic food, everyone had a good time and of course the presentations were top notch as usual.

Back by popular demand was an encore presentation by Oke that covered many tips and tricks when working with configurations. Oke really knows his stuff and I learned a few new buttons that I had never even noticed before.

Additional presentations on how to speed up an assembly were very informative and we also took a look at the creation of a steel axe from the Skyrim video game.The reemergence of dust corners for use on stairwells, the recreation of a font by Albrect Duer from the year 1535, the use of the Golden Ratio in design, pondered the mystery of what everyone did before the letter J was added to the English language in the 1630’s, and learned that depending on how you revolve a sphere in SolidWorks you'll get a different surface area. Hopefully the techguys will figure out that mystery for the next service pack!

Thank you again to Rapid Sheet Metal for their support of our usergroup. I've spoken to a few people that have ordered parts from Rapid Sheet Metal and the response is always the same: "Outstanding work, with quick delivery".


November Recap

Posted by Fred.SWUG on November 30, 2012 at 1:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Despite the pending holiday, turnout was good and all attendees were happy with the chicken and cookies provided by Chick-Fil-A. A fight nearly broke out over the last remaining chicken strips and cookies, but an agreement was reached and all parties left satisfied.

I'd like to thank again our sponsors: Solidworks, Rapid Sheet Metal, and Applied Rapid Technologies for the prizes, room and time to host the event.

  • Oke gave a fantastic presentation on the use of configurations, andalso displayed a custom tool he designed to generate a BOM for large complexassemblies. I'm sure he would be will to give the presentation again so thatabsentee members will be able to benefit as well.
  • We discussed several new and innovative products that make use ofmagnetism and how SolidWorks is being used in their development.
  • I'd also like to thank our surprise guest speaker (who asked to remainanonymous) for her very amusing and informative lecture on the use of SolidWorksin the video gaming industry.

Please join us in January when we discuss the upcoming SolidWorks World 2013 conference, examine the use of SolidWorks to model an axe from a popular vidoe game, and discover more tips and tricks when working with large assemblies and configurations.


September 19th Recap

Posted by Fred.SWUG on September 21, 2012 at 9:55 AM Comments comments (0)

A great pizza selction was selected by Oke from Primavera Pizzeria at 600 William Street in Fredericksburg.

Our sponsors: Rapid Sheet Metal, SolidWorks, CADSharp, and ARTCorp provided some excellent prizes, information, and resources.

During the meeting several amazing tips and tricks were shown along with some rather outstanding models that were used as examples. A few of the favorites were:

  • Demonstrating some benefeits of the Selection Manager over the use of Compound Curves.
  • Advanced uses for a 3D Sketch.
  • Making use of a Derived Sketch to speed up modeling and editing.
  • The use of complex layout sketches to form the basis of complex parts with minimal features.
  • The seven secrets of SolidWoks professionals that will have you modeling parts in half the time of your non-informed peers.

Our November meeting will focus on two user requested topics: large assemblies and methods to increase their speed, and examples of using configurations at the part and assembly level.

July 2012 FredSWG Meeting Agenda

Posted by Fred.SWUG on July 12, 2012 at 1:50 PM Comments comments (0)

We've got a fantastic meeting this month, so I hope you can all attend.


First, and most importantly, we're having elections for our executive board. Our nominees were announced at the last meeting, in May. The nominees are:


Adam Snow

Bryan Newton

Frank Maas


At the beginning of the upcoming meeting, the nominees will describe their leadership skills, and the group members will elect them to the two new Chair positions:

Chair: In charge of organizing presentations and guest speakers, communicating with group members, updating the group website, and scheduling meetings with SolidWorks HQ.


Vice-chair: In charge of securing meeting venues and building membership/retention, ordering food for meetings, and other administrative duties.


These positions will be elected separately, but should be prepared to work closely together. (Remember, one or both of these officers will get free admission to SolidWorks World as long as they are in office.)


After the elections, Eman Kim of Trimech will give a brief presentation on the essentials of surfacing. But pay attention! After the presentation, the group will be randomly split into teams, and will face off in a Surfacing Model Mania Challenge! The winning team gets a very special prize, and the title of FredSWUG Surfacing Czars. (Take a look at to get an idea of what the contest models might be.)


As always, please RSVP, and logistig info is available on the homepage.


See you there!

Executive Nominations

Posted by Fred.SWUG on May 3, 2012 at 9:00 PM Comments comments (0)

As many of you may already know, in August, I'll be heading off to graduate school in Boston, and that means the group will need to choose a new FredSWUG chair. In fact, since most groups have more than one official, I'd like to hold full elections for the following positions:


Chair: In charge of organizing presentations and guest speakers, communicating with group members, and scheduling meetings with SolidWorks HQ.


Vice-chair: In charge of securing meeting venues and building membership/retention, ordering food for meetings, and other administrative duties.


These positions will be elected separately, but should be prepared to work closely together. (Remember, one or both of these officers will get free admission to SolidWorks World as long as they are in office.)


Here's how it will work:

1) Send nominations of current group members to me before Monday, May 14th, including the position they are being nominated for (self-nominations are accepted, and confidential).

2) At the meeting on May 16th, nominees will have the option to accept or decline their nomination.

3) At the next meeting, on July 18th, candidates will have the option to give a short pitch, and the group will vote.


If anyone has any questions or concerns about this transition, please let me know. I strongly hope that the group will continue to grow and flourish through this time.

Thank you,

Daniel Herzberg 


March FredSWUG Meeting Recap

Posted by Fred.SWUG on March 30, 2012 at 6:30 PM Comments comments (0)

The March 2012 FredSWUG meeting was our best ever! We had a great turnout, a very useful presentation, and a special guest who gave away a unique prize. Thank you to everyone who attended!


We started out with a brief recap of SolidWorks World 2012, which was held in San Diego in mid-February. For a more complete recap, check out these General Session videos (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday), the official SolidWorks Blog recap (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday), and my "SolidWorks World According to Twitter" posts (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday).


We next learned about the new features of SolidWorks 2013 that were revealed on the last day of the conference. There were a lot of positive reactions from the group to many of these upcoming features, especially the promise of previous release interoperability. View the entire list of new features here, or download it in presentation form here.



Next, Marc Weigand of SpaceController took the floor, and demonstrated their impressive new 3D mouse. After a hands-on demonstration of the device, and its unique new features, Marc raffled off a brand new SpaceController to one very lucky group member. Congratulations James!

The main presentation was on working with dumb solids (or imported geometry) in SolidWorks. The presentation was originally given by Lars Christensen at SolidWorks World 2012, and I was lucky enough to be able to present it to the group. The presentation covered best practices for importing, imported file structures, direct editing tools, and Featureworks. You can download the presentation here, and the demo files here.



The next FredSWUG meeting will be on May 16th. Stay tuned for more details!


March FredSWUG Meeting Agenda

Posted by Fred.SWUG on March 3, 2012 at 9:50 AM Comments comments (0)


Note your favorite food when you RSVP.

Visit from Marc Weingard of SpaceController

Marc is flying in all the way from Germany to visit his first User Group meeting, and to demo - and give away - their new 3D Mouse.

Recap of SolidWorks World 2012

Videos, tweets, and stories from the conference 

Presentation of SolidWorks 2013 Features

Overview of the innovations coming in SolidWorks 2013, as presented at World

Working with Dumb Solids

A presentation given by Lars Christensen of CADimensions at SolidWorks World


  • Understanding Dumb Solids
  • Using Import Diagnostics
  • Learn which tools can be used to edit dumb solids
  • Understand FeatureWorks, which helps transform imported dumb solids into parametric SolidWorks files.

Special Prizes, Networking, and Wrap-up