TopSolid End User Conference 2017
The annual TopSolid End User Conference that took place the April 26-28 in Lombard, IL was an enormous success. TopSolid users from around the US showed up to learn about all of the new features that TopSolid 2017 had to offer for the Mechanical Cad and Cam market as well as the Wood market. During this 3-day conference, users were introduced to new features of the best-in-class software solution by Missler Software.
Starting Day 1 the right way
On The first day of the end user conference TopSolid users learned about the past 12 months at Missler Software. We were extremely happy to report that, thanks to our users, Missler Software has had our best year yet with more than 15% growth worldwide and a remarkable growth in the US market of over 40%! A very big thank you to all our customers both local and abroad for your continued business.
Next, the users were introduced to the best new features of TopSolid 2017 by yours truly, (Bill Genc: Technical Director). During this presentation, I introduced some of the biggest new improvements for TopSolid 7. This included some major changes to our PDM such as multi-session mode for both standalone and client/server versions of TopSolid. We also spoke about some of the new products available such as TopSolid Strip Design for the Progressive die market and the announcement of TopSolid Web Explorer that can give users access to all PDM data from any device, anywhere in the world with web access. One of the other huge improvements we spoke about during this session had to do with the new Freeze Documents command. This command allows designers of large assemblies the ability to freeze the update on synchronized documents until they are ready to let those items rebuild. This new command massively decreases the amount of time it takes to push changes on large assemblies.
After this, I continued to a new presentation about 5-axis milling. Here I focused on discussing the distinct types of 5 axis mills and what the strengths and weaknesses are for each. We then went into TopSolid and started to program a 5-axis part together so that we could talk about some of the other challenges with 5-axis such as link movements between cuts. Here I spoke about how to get in and out of a plane matrix using our link movement editor. As this discussion came to an end, we loaded everyone up onto a good old fashioned school bus and headed out to Heidenhain USA in Schaumburg IL for the next part of our meeting.
At Heidenhain, we all got to experience a great tour of the facility by the extremely generous staff of Heidenhain USA. After the tour, Heidenhain provided a very nice lunch to all the TopSolid attendees. After lunch, we headed to their show room where the TopSolid Users got to see the part we were discussing earlier run on a Hermle 5 axis mill with Heidenhain’s flagship control, the i640. During the test cut, our users got to experience firsthand how everything we showed them in TopSolid runs on the real machine. After this, the extremely knowledgeable Julian Renz of Heidenhain gave our users a remarkable presentation about the history of the company and the power of the Heidenhain control. Here I know that each of our users walked away with a wealth of knowledge. I would also like to mention that our friends at ISCAR were present on this project and supplied us with the best tooling possible to create a successful part.
That evening, we all found ourselves together at Millers Ale house were users and TopSolid staff alike shared a lot of fun stories with each other. I mean after all, kids will be kids…right?
It’s time to learn some new features
On day 2 of the end user conference the real fun began. We spent the morning doing our absolute best to introduce TopSolid users to all of the new features that are available with TopSolid Design for 2017. The PowerPoint that I prepared (available for download at the bottom of this article), includes 198 slides worth of improvements. What’s more is there are fully narrated videos embedded in the PowerPoint so that anyone can benefit from the presentation.
After this presentation was completed, we then started to divide up the users into specific groups. I took our Mold and Electrode users and continued to present what’s new for those specific products. Kyle Provancher took the Cam users and began to introduce them to all of the new features with Cam for 2017. By the end of day 2, everyone was pumped up by all of the great new improvements of TopSolid 2017.
An evening out to celebrate
That evening, we all hopped on a bus again and headed to TopGolf in Naperville, Illinois. Here we had a great time challenging each other on the range all the time while enjoying great food and some much-earned delicious beverages. Everyone got to test their skills on the range hitting RF tagged golf balls out to various targets. If you have never experienced TopGolf, you should check it out. It’s a wonderful time for all…even if you’re not a golfer!
Time to finish up
The morning of Day 3 of the end user conference was spent finishing up presentations on new features. The rest of the day was spent on one-on-one meetings with various clients to learn how we can be of further help to them. All in all, the event was fantastic. I want to thank my team for working hard to put this together, and of course our customers for attending. We look forward to next year’s event!
For those of you who attended the conference (and even those of you who did not), below are the download links for all the presentations. Please note that you will need PowerPoint to view these presentations.