User groups are busy this time of year!

I love attending SOLIDWORKS user group meetings. The meetings themselves are usually a great time to learn something from the presenter…even if the presentation is not on the types of things you normally do with SolidWorks. (It usually turns out that I learn the most from these.) After the presentation, if you are lucky, the host of the meeting will take you on a plant tour.

At the last Central Indiana SOLIDWORKS user group meeting, the presenter was fabulous. However since I was the presenter, I didn’t learn as much as I usually do. (Great Aunt Eleanor always says if you want to learn something keep your mouth shut and your ears open. She also says druids get too many hit points in World of Warcraft.)

After the meeting we got to tour our host, Impact Forge’s plant. Freaking cool. I’ve been through die plants before. It is impressive to feel the floor and your heart shake as these multi-ton presses bang on their dies. However if the material they are hitting is nearly molten metal and this metal “splashes” off the dies at what must be over 2000 degrees Fahrenheit –your Engineering Data Specialist pretty much giggled with every impact.

Here are some thumbnail pics I took with my camera phone. I would have gotten closer, but frankly I was a bit intimated.

ScrapsSome scraps as the came off of the die, they were still glowing as they hit the floor.

WorkerHere a worker holds the piece as a 16 ton hammer makes an impact. You can see the glowing steel reflecting off of the graphite spray used to help the part release from the die. (Spray graphite…don’t wear your white pants here!)

SmallerHammerOne of the smaller hammers I saw. You can see the upper part of the die just over the further guy’s left shoulder.

What’s going on in a user group in your area?


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