In our department, we design interior joinery for superyachts. This means that we need to have the ability to build high quality furniture that rivals Giorgetti and Smania, but with new technology and tools rather than old world craftsmen. Now, don’t get me wrong, the guys in our shop are world class; I am amazed at their work every time I see it!

Using SolidWorks allows me to ‘build’ a room from scratch in virtual reality; a CNC router allows those parts to be cut precisely as I envisioned them. The biggest challenge is to find the right kind of person for my department. Most designers don’t have cabinetmaking experience, and most cabinetmakers don’t have CAD experience. Our schedule and  staffing requirements do not allow me the luxury to develop a person over time; they must posess a minimum amount of both worlds to be successful.

We also use PDM Workgroup in our company. This allows us to have several projects and users going at the same time without having to worry about one person overwriting someone else’s work. It also allows virtual collaboration so we can see interferences with other trades before they hit the shop floor saving time and money. Now, I know there are a lot of PDM systems out there, but the one  I have is the one I will embrace; anything else would be folly and unproductive. I will save any ‘wishlist’ items for the other help blogs that are out there. A few that I use:

SolidNotes, 

The SolidWorks Blog, Twitter

This area of my blog will be a journal of successes, failures, course corrections and overall life as a SolidWorks user and department manager.

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