Celebrating 25 Years of SOLIDWORKS User Groups

It’s hard to believe, but April 2nd marks exactly 25 years since the first meeting of the first SOLIDWORKS User Group Network (SWUGN) chapter, which is the Seattle Area SOLIDWORKS Power Users Group (SASPUG). And to celebrate, they are having a big online event on Tuesday, April 6th – and everyone is welcome to attend!

Image Credit: SASPUG MeetUp

The meeting is hosted by current SASPUG leader Eric Beatty, someone who is very active in the SWUGN community; you may recall that his company’s design for a high-precision waterjet machine was featured in the SOLIDWORKS 2020 What’s New rollout events. For this special meeting, he reached out to me and asked me to be part of their evening program.

Why would Eric from Washington state ask someone from Wisconsin to present at their meeting? He knew that I have an operational installation of the original SolidWorks 95 software, and wanted to know if I could show the software using the first demonstrations he saw of it back in the day: the “Boomerang” and the “Camera.” I’m always happy to show the roots of our shared CAD obsession, so of course I accepted the invitation.

My original copy of SolidWorks 95 at GSC, lovingly preserved for posterity.

If you’ve taken the SOLIDWORKS Mold Design course, you will recognize the Camera as one of the parts provided for use in the labs – that design really held up! The Boomerang is more of a topology test to show how SolidWorks 95 models could undergo extreme changes and still keep their original parametric features intact.

It’s been a long time, but I’ll have the demos down pat and ready to show when the time comes, no problem. The challenge of showing the screen of my ancient Dell Precision M90 took a bit of figuring out, however, but with a little box from Amazon and an S-video cable scrounged from my basement, I’ve worked out how to broadcast to GoToMeeting.

A little new technology enables the broadcasting of old technology.

In addition to my SolidWorks 95 throwback, Eric will be talking about the SWUGN community in general over the past 25 years, and Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS CEO Gian Paolo Bassi will share his vision for the next 25 years; it should be a fun and entertaining online event!

The online SASPUG 25th Anniversary Meeting is open to everyone, so register now and I’ll see you there.

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Meet the Author

Jeff Setzer

As Technology Evangelist, Jeff loves showing customers new ways to use software and complementary tools to make their jobs easier. Jeff has been working with SOLIDWORKS since its first release in 1995 and he has been with GSC from the beginning! He is a Certified SOLIDWORKS Professional, a Certified SOLIDWORKS Support Technician, a Certified SOLIDWORKS Instructor, a Certified Simulation Support Technician, and a Microsoft Certified Professional.

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