Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
We tend to forget that Chuck Dickens was a pioneer in serial journalism since we just pick up the book and read. Readers first got to know Oliver Twist in monthly episodes from February 1837 to April 1839. Serialization enabled Dickens to adjust work in response to user feedback and to completely explore themes (and sell magazines while he was at it). For readers, it was really the best of times when the next episode revealed itself.
Which brings us to today s Check It Out: TopSolid 7 Revealed. This is a big, multimedia feast created by Bill Genc, the US technical director at Missler Software. It takes you through the entire process of building a part with the company s TopSolid 7 CAD/CAM system. Yes, yes, it s a demo, but it s not a JAD (just another demo). It s a marker to beat, laid down to the online marketing staffs of software developers across our industry, a service to anyone considering a new CAD/CAM system, and a tutorial for existing TopSolid users. And it s not done yet. More on that in a minute.
Genc takes you through the big stuff, little stuff, and maybe even a couple of things that are on his staff s to-do list. Genc writes in an easy-going, avuncular manner, and assumes that you have a familiarity with design and manufacturing. He appears to leave nothing out. In fact, the transparency of Genc s tour of his software is admirable for a software developer.
The information that Genc conveys both in text and video is so vast that he s divided his presentation into sections more like book chapters than web tabs. These chapters follow the general steps of a TopSolid 7 CAD/CAM project. For example, you can read segments on creating a new project and importing customer data, fixture design, preparing parts for machining, and machine set-up. Each chapter is what would at minimum be a full-length article on most e-zine sites. The text is richly illustrated with screen shots that you can click on to get a closer view. Depending on the discussion at hand, there could be a half dozen multi-minute, narrated videos demonstrating key functionalities.
And there s more to come. Currently six chapters are offered, and Genc indicates he has four more to go. The upcoming episodes cover verifying the job, machine simulation, post-processing and setup sheets, and what to do when your customer sends in revisions.
TopSolid 7 Revealed is not a large PDF or a 5-minute video. It s big and ambitious. Plan to spend time reading and watching it like you would an e-book. But before too long, you ll really get what TopSolid 7 brings to the CAD/CAM world, which is all very interesting.
TopSolid 7 Revealed is a labor of love as much as it is demo. (BTW, you can download a demo copy at the end of each installment.) It s that human quality in cahoots with the information Genc provides that makes TopSolid 7 Revealed an appealing engagement for the consumer. So, hit the link and check this out.
Thanks, Pal. – Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering