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Don’t Discount the Simple

In a couple of months Unitec, Inc. will pass 25 years in business milestone.  In the summer of 1988 Marty LoSchiavo decided to leave Micro Control Systems, the original name of Cadkey, Inc. and become a reseller of the product.  Yes, Unitec was a 3D CAD provider since the beginning.  I was about 4 months into my 9 years at Cadkey when I attended his going away party.

This morning during a review of technical support cases, one case reminded me on how far we’ve come.  The client had developed a plastic case that housed a hand-held microphone. The client liked the look of the top, but the bottom piece was not looking right to him.  The client constructed the entire shape in one feature – a loft.  This loft was made of a plan view, a profile view and 3 cross-sections.  The top was a conical shape. The plan view was an egg-like shape with the walls drafted.  The top and sides were blended with a constant-radius fillet.

In SolidWorks 2013, using loft was not the very best way to model this part.  The top could have been modeled as a boundary surface.  A face fillet would have been an ideal (and cool) way to blend the top and sides.  We could have developed the part in such a more elegant manner.  What an awesome real-world example for application-specific training –  one of our favorite services.

It turns out the support tech who handled this case, Jeff, found a single missed relationship in one of the sketched.  This change modified the model to the satisfaction of the client.  Jeff would never think to call an injection-molded part complete unless he could get it out of the mold. Jeff was equally satisfied.

This simple case is a classic illustration of the old axiom: the perfect is the enemy of the good (Voltaire). This client doesn’t model fancy plastic enclosures; he had a utilitarian project to complete.  Being a 3D CAD expert is not his endgame.

25 years of experience comes in handle quite a bit, especially when attacking other people’s challenges.  One of the greatest lessons of experience – don’t discount the simple.

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