As we approach SolidWorks World 2010, we'll periodically post interviews with some of the people leading presentations. We're kicking this off by talking with Gerald Davis. Gerald started using SolidWorks with the 98+ release, completed the CSWP exam in 2005, owned an operated a precision sheet metal job shop from 1983 through 2004, and has been an independent design contractor since 2004.Gerald’s presentation, titled What Sheet Metal Manufacturers Wish You Knew, is scheduled for Day 3 of SolidWorks World 2010, and is sure to draw a crowd.
Q: As a presenter, what do you enjoy most about SolidWorks World?
A: I really enjoy the audience reaction to the material I present and questions that they ask, which are often great. I also enjoy the dialogues throughout the event and meeting other users focused on similar problems. There’s a real sense of community at SolidWorks world; I love the time spent talking with my peers and I appreciate them listening to my presentations. It’s kind of a thrill for me to know that I have an engaged audience. It helps that I’m a natural-born talker, and could talk for hours if they let me!
Q: What do you anticipate the hot topics to be for the 2010 show?
A: Personally for me, I see sheet metal and manufacturing as hot topics. The
CAD industry is shifting and focusing more on the manufacturing side, and what
it takes to support the production of products and actual goods. In the past, there was more focus on how you
get a design completed on a computer.
Now, CAD operation is so intuitive, the question is how to produce
efficient designs. It’s not clear that
any of the CAD providers are pioneering the way there--everyone’s lagging a
little bit somewhere.
Q: What’s your best/most unique/funniest memory from past SWW shows at which you’ve presented?
A: It would have to be from SolidWorks World 2007 in New Orleans. As it was less than a year and a half after Katrina, it was interesting to see how the city changed compared to how it was before, and after, the sheer resiliency displayed by the city. It was an interesting trip, to say the least.
The most outstanding, joy-filled trip was Orlando in 2005—everything was just magical. SolidWorks World was infected by Disney-ness. As for least favorite sites, Las Vegas was terrible because the venue was spread out, making it hard to connect and network with people. That’s what SWW is all about: bringing what’s usually an online communication to life with face-to-fact interaction, which was hard at that venue.
Q: What presentation are you looking forward to the most for this year’s show?
A: I always look forward to Mark Biasotti’s presentations. He is fabulous as a presenter. There are so many presentations I’d like to see, but there are two I’d like to catch that are scheduled at same time as I am. I’ll probably be swapping thumb drives with those who couldn’t attend my session, and vice versa.
Q: Any tips for future presenters?
A: I’ve participated in Toastmasters, which has really served me well in prepping for live presentations. Toastmasters is great way to prepare for that.
Another way to prepare for presenting is to attend as many user group meetings as you can and make presentations; it’s the finest way to anticipate what your engineering audience will expect from you and will help with presenting what your audience wants. Along with attending user group meetings before the show, I’d recommend sitting in on as many other SolidWorks World sessions as you can before you present, and be sure to take lots of notes.