My name is Travis Quick and I am an Application Engineer with Alignex, based out of Edina, MN. This was my first year at SOLIDWORKS World and I’m excited to tell you about all the great things that went on! From the cool technology that was represented at the Partner Pavilion, to the great new things customers are doing, to getting to meet all the amazing people at SOLIDWORKS that help make this community such a wonderful group to be a part of.
Unfortunately there are SO MANY cool things to talk about; Dear Diary has been filled to the brim with notes! So we will be limiting this post to things that I found MOST exciting and noteworthy, plus takeaways on how myself and my team at Alignex can better serve our client family moving forward.
Since part of my job at Alignex involves teaching how to use the SOLIDWORKS software, I was pleased to see that this passion is highlighted in SOLIDWORKS culture as well. Here are a few examples of the passion I saw at SOLIDWORKS World.
First, there was Tyler Wooten (below), an engineering student at Texas A&M. He saw a need for the visually challenged and printed 3D maps of the college campus.
Next, there was the Dos Pueblo Engineering Academy (DPEA) who uses project-based learning to teach engineering skills to kids. The simple philosophy they teach is an improvement on the abbreviation STEM, which they call STEAM or Science, Technology, Engineering, ART and Mathematics.
It was great to be reminded that our science, technology, engineering and math do not have to simply be functional, but can be beautiful works of ART. Inside the Partner Pavilion, I was fortunate enough to meet one of these bright young stars and see one of their projects. The specific design was similar to their Carousel of Physics, which you can see below.
Another new SOLIDWORKS product, reaching an even younger audience, is SOLIDWORKS Apps for Kids. This software works with children ages 4-14 to capture ideas, shape and create 3D geometry, and even print it in 3D. If you have kids, I recommend taking a look with your child today!
**For you old-timers out there, you might even enjoy the opportunity of creating your very own working Spirograph!
All in all, I found the massive amount of content and opportunities available to students from ages 4-80 to be very exciting. I look forward to seeing what the best and brightest have to offer in the years to come.
Here are my top 10 favorite highlights (in no particular order) of the MANY cool things and products that I found interesting at SOLIDWORKS World 2017.
1. Paul Reed Smith Guitars Using SOLIDWORKS to Customize their Products
It was very cool seeing how SOLIDWORKS completely redefined PRS Guitars' design process for artists and how they communicate their ideas. We also had the privilege of seeing Mark Tremonti of Creed and Alter Bridge perform using his own custom-made PRS Guitar.
2. Anoushea Ansari, an Iranian-American Engineer
Anousha discussed her experience of being a young girl dreaming of space travel, achieving her dreams and being aboard the ISS.
3. Robot Designs of All Sizes
From products small enough to fit on the tip of your finger, to giant mech robots that a person can fit in, to robotic asteroid-grabbing spacecrafts, there were a lot of cool designs at SOLIDWORKS World.
4. Freight Farms and their Leafy Green Machine
Our future is unpredictable and our population is increasing. To help sustain the amount of food needing to be produced and how we produce it, Freight Farms has designed a method of sustainable farming to be set up in shipping containers.
5. New 2018 SOLIDWORKS Features and Products
A number of exciting new features and products are coming in 2018. Check out this Alignex blog post for SolidWorks World audience favorites!
6. Visiting Paramount Pictures and Touring their Sets and Streets
SOLIDWORKS hosted a great party with food, live entertainment and some tents to get out of the rain. It was amazing to see such huge structures which were really just fronts for scaffolding and steel girders.
7. SOLIDWORKS World Robot Wars
Multiple teams came together to test their skills and their metal counterparts in a hammering, spinning, flipping and crushing battle.
8. RoboSimian—A Wall Climbing Robot
One thing I love to do outside of work is go rock-climbing. I haven’t had the time to learn how to do the outside and upside down stuff yet, but maybe soon. One cool product that a customer is developing is a robot capable of traversing areas in need of support and places that may not be safe to send a person. This robot is even capable of climbing walls!
9. Virtual Reality and the Future of 3D Design
I got to see how virtual reality is impacting the future of 3D design and how headsets and gear available today are being used in SOLIDWORKS.
10. Meeting & Networking with the SOLIDWORKS Family
SOLIDWORKS World was a great opportunity to connect with customers that have called in for support, people I’ve met at demos and customers attending training or other events. Plus, I had a chance to meet with SOLIDWORKS employees that I’ve worked with in the past such as Mark Johnson, Brian Zias and Mike Sande.
Among the number of great people and meetings I had was Lutz Feldmann. Lutz surprised everyone in the room, especially his girlfriend, when he asked her to join him up front so that he could propose. We were so happy to be a part of this moment for them and it makes me smile to see how happy they both are!
Finally, I came away with some digital content ideas to better support our customers and learned more about the importance of connecting with people and technology. This next year, I hope to be reading more articles, feeds and blogs on our customers, the products they create and more about new and upcoming technology.
I hope you enjoyed reading about my experience at SOLIDWORKS World and I hope to see you at World in 2018!
Written by Travis Quick
Travis Quick is an Application Engineer at Alignex, Inc. Travis spends his days teaching SOLIDWORKS courses and helping customers on the Alignex Help Desk. If he's not there when you call, he's probably playing video games or testing his physical strength on an outdoor obstacle course.