The SolidWorks World 2014 Series: 1. Preparing for the Conference

Article by Alin Vargatu, CSWE updated January 24, 2014


SW2014 bannerSolidWorks World 2014 starts in two days in San Diego and the Javelin Blog intends to keep you up to date with all the events that our team members will participate in.

In my case, I will start this series of articles tonight, with a short review of what I have done in order to prepare for the conference.


If some people believe that traveling to such a show is just about having fun and partying, I can tell you that in our case it involves a lot of work. For example, this year, Javelin AEs will establish a record by delivering 5 presentations in 3 days. In case you are interested what is the recipe for preparing SolidWorks_World_grade presentations, I suggest following these steps:

  1. Start at least a year before the actual conference by identifying and hoarding interesting topics and case studies you come across. I am really fortunate to have multiple sources for great ideas, considering that I am continuously in contact with thousands of SolidWorks users while delivering training courses, providing technical support or volunteering in the SolidWorks Community (SWUGN and the forums).
  2. Select and research the topics that have the most potential to be of interest to the users, trying to mine the “new” and “valuable” gems out of them. In case you find other experts in those topics, invite them to join you in researching, creating and ultimately presenting. This year I have the pleasure to work with two well known users: Richard Laflamme, the owner of Laflamme Design Solutions, Western Ontario SWUG leader, a Javelin Customer and Dr. Irfan Zardakhan, my colleague at Javelin.
  3. Submit abstracts for the presentations to the SWW acceptance committee during the summer before the conference. Richard Doyle wrote an excellent article about how to write such abstracts in order to be increase you acceptance chances.
  4. If everything goes well, you will receive the acceptance letter around September. Now is the time to create a draft of your presentation and test it on live audiences with every occasion you get. In my case, I was lucky to be invited by several SolidWorks User Groups in Ontario to present some of these topics. I have also sprinkled my training courses with extra material from these presentations. I cannot thank enough my former students and the SWUG members for the extremely valuable feedback and suggestions they provided every time.
  5. Finalize the presentations. This is the hardest part for me, just because I always find something new to add, so it seems that I can’t ever finish them. For example, one of the sessions I am delivering this year together with my colleague Dr. Irfan Zardadkhan is a hands-on lab where the attendees will discover the fastest workflow for entering values for custom properties of all components of a given assembly. Imagine you have an assembly with 100 components or more. How long would it take to input all the custom properties for each model? 5 minutes, 1 hour or 2 days? We put together 10 exercises to describe the fastest workflow in a step by step manner and started to write the PowerPoint Presentation. And we wrote and wrote until we found out that instead of a simple presentation, we created a 100 page course manual. The question is, can we deliver such a course in 90 minutes? We will see on Monday afternoon.

    Copy (2) of Custom Propertie smanuals

    The Custom Properties Course – 100 pages to be taught in 90 minutes

  6. Print and ship 40 manuals to the conference. All of the attendees of the hands on session will receive their own personal manual to keep, including the file set for the exercises.

In case you are interested which presentations will be delivered by Javelin AEs, here is the complete schedule for this year:

Monday, January 27, 2014:

1:30-2:30 PM, Room 10 – How to Teach SOLIDWORKS

Speakers: Alin Vargatu and Dr. Irfan Zardadkhan

Abstract: It is not uncommon for students to have difficulties grasping basic concepts when they are taught SOLIDWORKS the “traditional way.”
Attend this presentation and learn new, innovative, and extremely effective teaching techniques that will make you a better SOLIDWORKS instructor and also a better user.

Attendee Benefits: Learn how to use easy-to-understand analogies between the SOLIDWORKS Universe and Real Life in order to successfully teach SOLIDWORKS to new users.


2:45-3:45 PM, Room 11B – Workflows for Efficient Mixed Meshing in SOLIDWORKS Simulation

Speaker: Bill McEachern

Abstract: This session is a presentation on methods to ease the construction of mixed mesh analysis models and how they can be smoothly integrated in downstream operations of generating detailed models and drawings.
Shells, beams, and solids elements will be discussed and the techniques required by each for ease of structural analysis.

Attendee Benefits: Learn about using all element types and how to build and construct models that make analysis straightforward and with as little effort as possible.


4:30-6:00 PM, Room 31A/B – Think Differently! Boolean Techniques—Perfect Solutions to Modeling Problems

Speaker: Alin Vargatu

Abstract: Discuss the new and spectacular SOLIDWORKS tools for creating and managing multibody parts. We can even call these tools game changers. Once mastered, these multibody techniques will open up surprising possibilities for saving time, taking shortcuts, and finding new solutions to old design problems.

Attendee Benefits: Begin to think outside the box and save design time while modeling in SOLIDWORKS 2014 with the help of real-life case studies.


Tuesday, January 28, 2014:

10:30 AM-12 PM, Room 32A – Master the Use of Custom Properties and Save Time (hands-on lab)

Speakers: Alin Vargatu and Dr. Irfan Zardadkhan

Abstract: Discover timesaving techniques to manage metadata using SOLIDWORKS 2014 in 10 lessons. Learn the fastest ways to create, modify, and use properties inside assemblies, BOMs, configuration tables, title blocks, or SOLIDWORKS Explorer. The attendees will receive printed manuals and complete file sets.

Attendee Benefits: Become confident that you can manage file properties from anywhere inside or outside SOLIDWORKS. This session is all about speed and productivity.


Wednesday, January 29, 2014:

10:30 AM-12 PM, Room 10 – Ten Different Ways to Create Inter-Part Relations in SOLIDWORKS

Speakers: Alin Vargatu, Richard Laflamme

Abstract: Let’s debate the pros and cons of the different techniques (in or out of context of the assembly) used for creating inter-part relations to be used during the concept phase or for design automation. As a BONUS, we will find the definite answer to the question: “Should I delete the InPlace Mates?”.
Attendee Benefits: Get exposed to new techniques for creating inter-part relations. Learn how to choose the best workflow for the job and create fast and robust models.


The good news is that even if you could not attend our presentations live, you will still be able to watch the recordings of the break-out sessions in about a month. Unfortunately, the hands-on lab will not be recorded, but should you be interested in becoming more productive managing Custom Properties, we will deliver this course live on-line in the near future.

I will land in San Diego Saturday night and I hope to post the second entry in the SolidWorks World 2014 series of articles on Sunday. By that time I should have attended a brainstorming meeting on improving SolidWorks training, visited the Partners Pavilion and met my fellow SolidWorks Forumists at the SolidWorks World Tweetup Session.

Stay tuned.



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Alin Vargatu, CSWE

Alin is a SOLIDWORKS Elite Applications Engineer and an avid contributor to the SOLIDWORKS Community. Alin has presented multiple times at SOLIDWORKS World, Technical Summits, and User Group Meetings, while being very active on the SOLIDWORKS Forum.