Hosted User Group Meetings – A Really Good Idea

I attended the NTSUG meeting last week which was graciously hosted by Special Products and Manufacturing, Inc of Rockwall, Texas.  SPM did a great job hosting the meeting, starting off with a quick and interesting presentation on their company and the company’s capabilities.  No sales pitch, just a quick look at their equipment, processes, and company vision.  Add some nice sandwich trays and side dishes, and that could have been enough. 

They also did a very good SolidWorks presentation on getting the most from your sheet metal supplier.  Jim Owens went through the SPM Design Guide and offered a lot of suggestions on setting up your sheet metal models – showing examples in SolidWorks where applicable.  Every attendee that wanted one was presented with a hard-copy of the guide, and a few other very nice documents that even a novice sheet metal designer could use to ensure that parts are easier and cheaper to manufacture.

The plant tour was definitely the highlight of the evening.  It was well organized, thorough, and very interesting.  There was plenty to see – lots of examples of parts they’ve produced, robotic welding and grinding centers, and the steady pounding of turret punches cranking out a myriad of different sheet metal parts.  Several SPM representatives were on hand in each area of the shop to answer questions – a nice touch!

Kudos to group leader Christie Buresh for putting this meeting together.  A lot of NTSUG members drove an extra 20 – 30 miles to attend, and nobody left disappointed.

If your group ever gets the chance to have a company like SPM host a meeting, jump at the opportunity.

Richard Doyle
My official title is Senior User Advocacy & SolidWorks User Groups - but most people just call me "The User Group Guy". I've been a SolidWorks user since 1997, and was one of the founding members of the SWUGN Committee. Since starting the Central Texas SolidWorks User Group in 1999, my career path has led me to DS SolidWorks and a dream job supporting the SolidWorks User Group Network worldwide.
Richard Doyle
Richard Doyle