Archive for September, 2008

COSUG meets at Aerosport

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

Tuesday night, the Central Ohio SolidWorks User Group met for the first time on the south end of Columbus at Aerosport. There was a pretty good turnout – I’m sure there were over twenty pizza eating engineers in da houz!

Cliff Walters of Aerosport gave a great presentation showing the many techniques they use with SolidWorks surfacing. He demonstrated two real life projects he has been working on and showed the challenges he ran into and the solutions he has developed.

Cliff Walters

I’ve done done some pretty mean surface models in my time but I always find it fascinating when watching a real surface professional -it is as much as an art form as it is engineering! Industrial designers are an unique breed.

After Cliff’s presentation, we had the opportunity to tour their plant and saw their many prototyping techniques. The guys there were great hosts, everyone there seemed to have a good time.

Jeff Sweeney

CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

SolidWorks World – Procrastinators unite

Friday, September 26th, 2008

Fellow loyal procrastinators: Thanks for coming to the May membership meeting. I’ve called you all in today to remind you all of our motto: “Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow unless putting it off costs us money.”*

Keeping this motto in mind, let me remind you the first early bird deadline for SolidWorks World 2009 is fast approaching.  If you wait around until the last minute, it will cost you $200.00. Though some of you may argue the full registration fee of $995 is still a great deal. The $200 savings would go along way to paying your membership dues that you still have not yet paid.

I expect to see all of you there.

*Our procrastinator motto is really cool; but is too long for a T-shirt. I was planning on having a new one for today’s meeting but never got around to it.

Jeff Sweeney

Jeff Sweeney
Engineering Data Specialist and El Señor Presidente of the National Association of Procrastinators [NAP]
3DVision Technologies

Jeff Sweeney

CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

Upgrade PDMWE before SolidWorks

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

With all the excitement of SolidWorks 2009’s release – remember PDMWorks Enterprise 2008 or older versions cannot be used with SolidWorks 2009.


Jeff Sweeney

CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

GetVar vs GetVarFromDB – the rematch

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

In a previous post, I spent a lot of time bashing my new friend, the Enterprise PDM function “GetVar”. The help file skims over the differences between “GetVar” and “GetVarFromDB”. So I thought it may be helpful to the world if I list them here.

[This would be so much easier to read in a table; but using this WordPress is like writing a novel with a crayon -not the skinny ones, the big fat ones that come eight in a box.]

If the file is checked out:
GetVar – retrieves the value the checked out person sees in his datacard
GetVarFromDB – retrieves the value from the version back in the vault

If the file is checked in:
GetVar – whines and cries like a baby and won’t work
GetVarFromDB – retrieves the value from the latest version in the vault

One other problem I have found with the help file. . .

Several times you’ll see an example that looks like this:
varEnum.GetVar("comment", "", value)
I’ve been told by API support that passing an empty string for the configuration is not proper etiquette. While it is true that it still works, there is an SPR out that may soon prevent this from working. The code for getting the part level variable should look like this:
varEnum.GetVar("comment", "@", value)

Keep an eye on this one when upgrading.

Jeff Sweeney

CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

DriveWorks works with SolidWorks 2009

Friday, September 19th, 2008

Good news for all of you early adopters out there. DriveWorks has confirmed that DriveWorks 6 is compatible with SolidWorks 2009.

I was a little worried that it would have trouble with Speedpak assemblies but Glen Smith says we are good to go!

In case you were wondering, there really isn’t much new in DriveWorksXpress 2009. Drat.

Jeff Sweeney

CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

It’s here! It’s here!

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

SolidWorks just released SolidWorks 2009. If the reviews are any indication, this is the most stable and fastest release ever. It is available now for download, expect DVDs to arrive on your doorstep sometime early October.

But don’t take my word for it, Randy Simmons will be giving the first preview Thursday the 18th at the Miami Valley SolidWorks User Group meeting.

Ahhh…Christmas in September. I knew I was wise not to take my Christmas tree down yet!

Jeff Sweeney

CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

SolidWorks Add-ins – ain’t no big thang

Monday, September 15th, 2008

Normally when you think of SolidWorks add-ins you think of COSMOS, DriveWorks, CAM programs, …big programs. Don’t be intimated by these traditional add-ins. You can write small, very handy add-ins yourself -they can have a very fast return on investment!

I am seeing more and more companies with their own little add-ins. Most commonly these add-ins are just small little routines that check company standards on files before they get saved. [FileSaveNotify] An add-in like this is a lot more useful than a macro because your users can’t “accidentally” forget to run them -it will be run every time the file is saved!

  • Check to ensure all parts have the proper file properties defined
  • Check all purchased parts to ensure they have valid part numbers (via connecting to their ERP)
  • Check all drawing entities to ensure they are on the proper layer
  • Check to ensure the BOM is present and in the proper format

What little things do you find yourself having to go back fix after you’ve release your assemblies for production? Perhaps an add-in is the answer?

Jeff Sweeney

CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

An easy way to rule the world

Monday, September 8th, 2008

Here’s a nice little SolidWorks Enterprise PDM trick I saw one of our customers in Bowling Green, Kentucky do: Create a group named “Everyone”, add everyone to it, and check the “Add new users automatically to this group” option.

You don’t need to give this group any rights but there are several times it comes in handy:

  • A fast way to “Refuse Login” if you need to ensure everyone is off the system
  • Make a great search that you want to share with everyone?
  • Want to ensure everyone is using the same viewers? There are lots of group settings you can manage.

I am sure you can come up with lots of other uses.

Jeff Sweeney

CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

I like to keep hitting my head against the wall

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

You know the old joke: “I like to keep hitting my head against the wall because it feels so good when I stop.”?

I think I figured out why I like programming.

First, will all of you SolidWorks Enterprise PDM admins join me in protest of the function “IEdmEnumeratorVariable8:GetVar”? Why do I have to have write permissions of the file just to read the variable?! …but more on that later.

I just wrote a cute little routine that checks out a file, does some file manipulation, then checks the file back in. Easy and sweet. Worked great when I tested it on its own but I was getting many problems when I included it into my add-in.

Hours go by. Testing it outside works, testing it in the intended environment [within an add-in] no work-ie.

Any guesses? It is an obvious answer once you hear it.

Yeah, My add-in also did some small variable checks when the file got checked out [EdmCmd_PostLock] -these checks used the soon to be boycotted “GetVar” function. Thus my original routine was checking out the file, which was then calling the checkout hooks which were trying to checkout the file. Two separate routines trying to get write access to the same file. You don’t need to be an Engineering Data Specialist to know that is a bad thing.

Chant with me: “No more GetVar! With GetVar you won’t go far! No more GetVar”!

Please excuse me while I leave to get some ice for the bump on my head.

(Once I found the problem, the fix was easy. I had several options. I chose to change GetVar to GetVarFromDb.)

Jeff Sweeney

CSWE Engineering Data Specialist 3DVision Technologies

Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join other followers
Powered By