SWUGN Group Leader Spotlight – Cory Derico

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.

Cory Derico – Portland Area SOLIDWORKS User Group


A former member of the Northern Utah SOLIDWORKS User Group, Cory moved to the Portland area in 2012, and one of the first things he did was look for a SOLIDWORKS User Group.  The Portland group was struggling at the time, so he did what comes naturally to user group members, he put it back together.  Here’s what Cory has to say about his user group.

Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Cory Derico.  I am a Technical Illustrator for a UAV company near Portland, Oregon.  I also teach the new generation of SOLIDWORKS users at some of the local colleges.  The rest of my time, I spend with my family.

When did you first start learning/using SOLIDWORKS?

My first interaction with SOLIDWORKS was when I got hired with Ballard Medical, part of Kimberley Clark, back in early 2007.  I had heard of the software and good things about it, and they offered to teach the software.  I was naively confident that I would understand it quickly, having used AutoCAD for several years already.  We made the first sketch, following the tutorial, and then instructed to hit Extrude Boss Base button.  Immediate panic. What have I gotten myself into?  After practicing on simple parts, I caught the bug and have been continually working to advance my knowledge since.

Tell us a little about your SOLIDWORKS User Group.

Are you the founder of the group? No.  Portland Area SOLIDWORKS User Group was organized in May of 1999, when there were only 5 user groups. It has had several leaders, in its time.  Keith Stansbury, Adam Scheible, and more.  I am humbled to be part of this group.

When did you assume leadership?

I attended the Northern Utah SWUG meetings, till I moved to the Pacific Northwest.  When I arrived, I found the group, on the SWUGN page, and emailed the leader.  A few weeks passed and I tried again.  Not hearing anything, I emailed Richard Doyle asking about the group, only to find it had fallen away in the previous years.  He encouraged me to start it back up.  With the help of Chad Clarke (NUSWUG) I held my first meeting in April of 2012, with myself presenting a (very) nervous Tips and Tricks presentation to a group of 42 people.

How long have you been leading the group?

Since I held that first meeting in April 2012.

What as the best meeting you’ve had?

Our best meeting was our last meeting, in August.  Gian Paolo Bassi presented on the future of SOLIDWORKS and Richard Doyle presented a Tips and Tricks presentation.  We had 51 members in attendance, just breaking previous record of 50.

What was the worst meeting you’ve had?

No definitive worst meeting, but I have come out of several meeting knowing things that did not go right and ways to improve, or avoid repeating in the future.  Any meeting that has attendees that are happy and thank us for the meeting, is a success.

What have you learned personally from your UG?

I learned something at every meeting.  New little tricks, or “I didn’t know it had that option” moments.  One thing I repeatedly learn, is that everyone, from the newest, beginning user to the seasoned veterans, will generally come out of the meeting with something new.

Examples: I did a tips and tricks presented at a NUSWUG meeting, and without exiting a sketch, I went right into the feature. Two users stopped me, asking why I did not exit the sketch first, and admitted in 5+ years of using the software, they did not know that was an option.

I learned, from one of Richard Doyle’s presentations about the option to go back over the red boxes within a Trim Feature to restore lines you have already cut.

Last example. Avelino Rochino, came in July and gave a great certification presentation.  He showed a way to go about equations.  Two of us asked about using the = sign to bring the defined global variables option.  He looked at us puzzled.  We had him put in he = symbol in the dimension dialogue box and the drop down with global variable popped up.  He admitted he had not known that before and had learned a new trick.

How many users are in the group?

We have about 300 that get the invitation, but consistently have 30 of those that attend meetings

Why should people attend a SOLIDWORKS User Group meeting?

Food, fun and prizes.  If you are looking for ways to improve your design and knowledge of SOLIDWORKS, what better place can you go to, than a group of your peers?  I try to have a Q&A session every meeting for users to ask questions that are puzzling them.  We have had many users, after bringing a question, know how to approach different ways to resolve their problems/puzzles.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I have had several students admit they were intimidated about going to a meeting, due to the feeling they would be overwhelmed by the more experienced users.  After they attend a meeting, the first question, every time, is when the next meeting will be held.

If you are nervous about attending a User Group meeting, GO, network a little, and if you are nervous, don’t worry, you are not alone.  No one will judge you.  We have all been there, as the new person.  You will be welcomed.  You will come out of the meeting with something new, and maybe some neat prizes.

The users may inspire you.  Being among the NUSWUG group members inspired me to work on the certifications.  I got my CSWP, and eventually my CSWE.

Thanks Cory, I’ll see you soon at another PASWUG meeting.

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