SWUGN Group Leader Spotlight – Carlos Andrés Mesa Montoya

Since 1996, SOLIDWORKS User Groups have been a valuable resource for SOLIDWORKS users all over the world.  The SWUGN Committee and DS SOLIDWORKS provide ample support, but the real stars are the SOLIDWORKS User Group Leaders. Every week or so we’ll spotlight one of our group leaders and the local user group chapter that they are responsible for leading.

Carlos Andrés Mesa Montoya – SOLIDWORKS User Group of Pereira

Carlos Andrés Mesa Montoya
Carlos Andrés Mesa Montoya

A little over a year ago, I received an email expressing interest in starting a SOLIDWORKS User Group in Pereira, Colombia.  The message was quite passionate, but it was one sentence that made me realize that this was a special group of people:

“It’s an honor to express our interest to support the community by contributing to the worldwide growth and strengthening of the SWUGN program.”

Fast forward to the present, and the SOLIDWORKS User Group of Pereira will hold their fifth meeting of the year today at the Universidad Tecnologica de Pereira.  So far the group is seeing 60 – 70 members show up each time, and Carlos is so happy that he’s formed the CED SOLIDWORKS Simulation User Group as well.  We caught up with Carlos and asked him a few questions about himself and the group.

Who are you and what do you do?

I am a Mechanical Engineer graduated from the Technological University of Pereira, and I am currently a student at the Master of mechanical engineering program at the same university. In this moment, I am a teacher at the mechanical engineering faculty at the university and I am working in the robotics and industrial automation area, however my real passion is the mechanical and product design. In this field I can incorporate CAD tools and CAE in order to develop a product that meets the customer’s needs. At our institution, students have used SOLIDWORKS in many projects to design products such as thermic machines or serial robots.

When did you first start learning/using SOLIDWORKS?

As any designer, we initially learn how to use AutoCAD (2002 to 2006). However, in 2006 I began working with SOLIDWORKS and it was love at first sight. I’ve been using the software for around 9 years or more and I haven’t stopped learning since then. SOLIDWORKS is definitely one of my favorite CAD platforms.

Tell us a little about your SOLIDWORKS User Group.

SOLIDWORKS User Group of Pereira was founded in late 2014.  It was created as a result of the effort and work associated with the training, education and projects developed by the students that belong to the Proma & DiMa research group at the Technological University of Pereira. So far we have carried out four user’s meetings this year.

Pereira is the capital of the department of Risaralda (Colombia) and it’s part of the famous coffee sector. Our city is known for its growth in the manufacturing processes and mechanical design field; the vast majority of companies use SOLIDWORKS software to design, however it didn’t have a user’s group until last year (there only existed one group in my country). Therefore, we decided to create our own user group with the Technological University of Pereira and Pereira Technopark node’s support.

Are you the founder of the group?

I am the co-founder of the SOLIDWORKS User Group of Pereira. I created the group with the engineer Alber Andres Posada. We as group leaders, have taken the decision to form a working group based upon the user‘s group, where we can administrate all the activities developed so far.

What as the best meeting you’ve had?

Definitely the first meeting was inspiring.

What was the worst meeting you’ve had?

All of the meetings have been getting better, so I consider none has been the worst.

What have you learned personally from your UG?

I have learned a lot of new skills in SOLIDWORKS, like surfacing modeling, sheet metal, mold tools weldments and 3d advanced modeling tips that I didn’t know before.

Why should people attend a SOLIDWORKS User Group meeting?

I think this is the best opportunity to learn about different SOLIDWORKS tools and tips. It is also an interesting way to meet the industry and manufacturing sector demands in the region.

Anything else you’d like to add?

The user group encourages its users the need to get directly certified with SOLIDWORKS, in order to demonstrate the skills which are held in each of the different modules of the program. Below, we share the number of certified people in our group:


We invite all the SOLIDWORKS users worldwide to visit our fan page – https://www.facebook.com/swug.pereira.

Thanks Carlos, and congratulations on a very successful year with the SOLIDWORKS User Group of Pereira.

Some meeting pictures that Carlos shared with us:

First Meeting - march 2015
First Meeting – march 2015


Second Meeting - April 2015
Second Meeting – April 2015


Third meeting - May 2015
Third meeting – May 2015


Fourth Meeting - August 2015
Fourth Meeting – August 2015
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