How I Beat the Squirrels Using SOLIDWORKS xDesign – Part 2

Collaborating with my wife on this project to defeat the squirrels will be fun. Tracy is a Mac user, and I like using my iPad as much as possible because of its portability and the cool apps so this will test the true cloud capability of xDesign. I feel confident we’ll be able to collaborate and come up with a cool design that not only keeps the squirrels away from the bird feeders but will look really cool on our deck.

There are a couple of design requirements I have in mind for the new bird feeder stand. It must be mounted to the deck; Tracy has to be able to reach it without the aid of a ladder; and the arms supporting the feeders must rotate or at least the vertical support pole has to rotate so the feeders are over the deck for easy filling.

I came up with a few design concepts and sent them to Tracy to get her input on the ideas. We used the social collaboration portion of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform to accomplish this. Of course we can send each other emails or texts but those communications are outside of the project and will get lost. I wanted to keep everything together so we can track our progress and look at the history as the project evolves. These things are not easy to do with email or texts.

Getting Tracy on the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform was easy. I sent her an invitation to join the Squirrel Beater Dashboard where she was able to collaborate with me on the design. Here’s what it looks like on her iPad. So this step was pretty straightforward.


I liked her idea of making the three arms rotate individually instead of having the central pole rotate. This is a better design because the arms can be positioned at any angle we want. I’ll add a provision to add a fourth arm if we want to add a couple of more feeders.

I worked on her idea and branched out a new design from the original design. Branching a new design from an older design in xDesign is a breeze. Branching has a couple of advantages. The first is the original design is preserved in case I need to go back to it. The second advantage is there’s no need to copy the original design and rename it, thus losing all the history related to the design intent of the original design. The branched-off design of the original or any other branches are managed by xDesign. Each branch is given a unique revision letter and number i.e.: B.1. In any case all my work is preserved and easily re-called using xDesign.

I’ll work on the new design and report back in the next blog in this series of Beating the Squirrels.

Mike Sabocheck
Mike Sabocheck is a Technical Sales Director with Dassault Systemes SOLIDWORKS. Mike has been with DS SOLIDWORKS for 21 years. Prior to SOLIDWORKS he worked for Xerox for 17 years and then for Intergraph. His specialties are applying SOLIDWORKS to different design and manufacturing processes.