Direct CAD News & Views from Kubotek USA

4 Things to Think About to Help You Work Faster with CAD Models

Posted by John Agoglia on Thu, Jul 30, 2015

I’m not an engineer, but I’m surrounded by them at work and at home.  I’ve even been accused of thinking like one—which knowing the context of when it was said, I take as a compliment.  So, with all this immersion into the ways and minds of engineers, I can’t say I'm surprised when I hear a talented engineer say something like, "I've been using your software for years.  I don't need any training.  I already know all that I need to know." 

Oh, really. I bet you dimes to donuts, you also utter phrases similar to “who was the idiot that designed this?” or “I’ll figure it out as I go,” and "how hard could it be." On top of that, these phrases are more likely to come out when you're in a hurry. And doesn't that seem counter-productive?speeding resized 600

Nearly every engineer in the world today has one thing in common: they are pressed for time.  They need bigger, better, faster and they need it yesterday.  Sound like you?

I don’t care if you’re a manufacturing engineer, design engineer, an R&D engineer, a sales engineer or a domestic engineer.  I’m sure you, like everyone, are looking for ways to improve on the status quo and get things done quicker. 

But sometimes just doing what you're currently doing, only doing it faster isn't the right answer. I guarantee that many, many things (like software) have changed and improved in recent years, all for the betterment of you and your processes.  And if you aren't spending time - even just a little - to keep up, you're really missing out.

What are the things you should realize if you find yourself racing against time?

  1. Know your time is a limited commodity.  You need to find ways to use it wisely.  Have you heard the saying, "sometimes you have to spend time now to make-up time later?" (Probably not because I just made that up.)  But it makes sense, doesn’t it?  You're never going to improve unless you put the time in to make improvements. 
  2. Realize that you don’t know what you don’t know. That even applies to the most talented engineer.  We can’t be an expert in all things. Seek out those who are.  After all, there are some people whose main objective is to know more about CAD software than you do. 
  3. It’s okay to stop and ask for help if you don’t know how to do something.  Sure, you might be able to figure it out on your own.  But you could end up wasting a lot of your time trying to figure it out.  Be honest—you know that if you ask the right source, you’ll likely get an immediate answer.
  4. Take advantage of the resources available to you: technical support, online lessons and training classes, video tutorials, tips & tricks, webinars...I could go on, but the point is, you might already be paying for these things, so use them.  And even if you aren't paying for them, take advantage of what's free.

So, what does this boil down to?  Figure out what fits your schedule and then either do your research, get educated or ask the question. Yes, you might have to spend a little money. And you're certainly going to have to spend some of your time. But you should leverage the resources that are already available to you. (Ahem. Like maybe your CAD software vendor?)  Maybe with any luck, you’ll uncover things you didn’t know and figure out how to use that knowledge to get your job done and get it done fast. 

PS.  So yes.  Kubotek offers a variety of CAD training courses for KeyCreator Direct CAD. Kubotek University is also another place where loads of resources and expertise reside - and it's available for free to customers current on their maintenance contract. Also check out our numerous on-demand webinars, available for free on our website.

Get in there and see if you can uncover ways to use powerful functions, new and old, to get your job done.  It will be time well-spent.

photo credit

Topics: CAD training

Retooling Manufacturing Business in Downturn and Upturn

Posted by Scott Sweeney on Mon, Aug 10, 2009
So there was good news on the job front today, sort of, in the US, not as many jobs were lost this month and the numbers for the last 2 months were revised on the positive side. It looks like we may have hit the bottom and we are on the way back up again. On the down side, many are still out of work and it may take years to get them back to work again.

Companies in times like these spend time figuring out how to do more with less. They get lean and implement agile strategies. As spending goes up and people get back to work we sometimes get lax and stop focusing on the things that increased our profits and productivity.

I encourage all of our partners, customers and friends to continue to look at lean and agile strategies and also strategies for increasing revenues, becoming more vertical, and expanding offerings to your present and potential customers.

Some value-added services I have seen companies working on include:

* adding the ability to do FEA, finite element analysis, for customer's product designs
* adding translation capabilities to their software to improve their ability to quote, collaborate and edit customer files
* improve marketing and collaboration with the addition of photo-realistic rendering
* remove paper from the manufacturing floor and replace it with computers and viewers to eliminate costly errors
* adding the capability to geometrically compare and validate CAD files to reduce waste and scrap
* train engineers in the latest features of their software, thereby speeding design and editing from 20% to 10x
* add low cost integrated NC capabilities to the CAD software to replace high-cost complex NC software.

These are all great strategies for improving productivity and increasing revenues and profits. Which strategies would provide you with the most immediate and substantial positive net results? Be sure to determine that and work them into your plans for the remainder of the year.
As the economy makes a comeback, remember to continue your continuous improvement programs and prepare yourself for both the upturns and the next downturn.

I'd like to hear other strategies you are using to improve your sales, profits, reduce costs and waste.

If you'd like to know more about the above strategies, please call, email or tweet us and we can share more with you.

Here's to an improving economy and improving our businesses.

Thank you for reading and commenting,

Scott

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Topics: CAD, CAD training, Manufacturing, Optimize, agile manufacturing, 3D Software, retooling, 3D CAD, FEA