Alignex Blog

Attending a SOLIDWORKS User Group Meeting

Mike Strand on March 17, 2015 at 8:33 AM


The power of a user group is evident once you attend. With a room full of engineers and designers who all use the same program, there’s a great chance of discovering a new technique, feature or process that elevate a design. A few of us from Alignex attended the Sioux Falls meeting to join the discussion which ranged from new features of SOLIDWORKS 2015 to facts about the larger SOLIDWORKS community.

User groups are a great place to learn more about SOLIDWORKS and engineering in general. There are also lots of video resources as well as offerings in schools and colleges. Here are a few interesting stats about the community of SOLIDWORKS learners:

  • In addition to the Sioux Falls chapter, there are 241 more groups throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia.
  • More than 2.5 million student users were taught in roughly 28,000 secondary/post-secondary schools.
  • There are over 7 million YouTube views on SOLIDWORKS’ channel.
  • ...and don’t forget the Alignex YouTube channel as well!


At the Sioux Falls user group, much of the session was focused on learning more about the new features in SOLIDWORKS 2015. Some of these features were added to improve performance such as with load times. Many others were added because of requests by users. Here are a few that seemed to stand out:

  • Within assembly modeling there are new mate features including the Profile Center Mate which speeds up the mating of two surfaces and reduces the amount of mates needed. 
  • Changes to the Angle Mate introduce a reference vector indicator that allows for stating exactly where you’d like the rotation and prevents flipping. You could link this to a formula, for example, that would change depending on the length of a connected beam.
  • Other areas such as Assembly Control have improved during use with options like rotation about the axis.
  • Selection sets similar to Composer now exist for selecting edges and faces or parts themselves and saving those selections to the Feature Tree.
  • There’s also a new ability to lock the movement of components while you drag or place them somewhere else.

Whether you come interested in learning about a new feature, meeting more users or discussing an exciting part of your work, a user group meeting is a great opportunity to expand your network and maybe even become a little quicker with SOLIDWORKS in the process. If you are interested in attending a meeting in the future see if there’s a SOLIDWORKS user group near you. Or contact your regional rep: Richard Wand (Midwest). A Special thanks to Brad Hakeman of Sioux Falls group for inviting us!


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