I have some exciting SOLIDWORKS User Group (SWUGN) news! On Tuesday, April 29, 2014, SOLIDWORKS will host a SWUGN Summit event in Albany, New York at Siena College.

user group

Why is this a big deal? I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know more about how the SWUGN is structured and why a Summit event coming to the Northeast is so awesome.  The SOLIDWORKS User Group Network starts at the local level and are typically run by group elected officers (aka volunteers).


Here in Albany, NY we attend the Tech Valley SOLIDWORKS User Group (TVSWUG), formed in 2010. The president, David Antanavige, takes care of location, food, and presenters. tvswugThe Hospitality Coordinator, Sue Dunbar, takes care of the prize table, capturing the attendance and keeping the email list up to date. Each group assigns responsibilities how they’d like, and the more, the merrier! They always meet at Siena College in the Roger Bacon Auditorium and all the presentations are technical in nature, and cover a vast range of topics.  We’ve seen them present on everything from Sheet Metal, to Certifications, to Augmented Reality, to an entire meeting dedicated to SOLIDWORKS EPDM. Content is driven by group members. If you want a presentation on drawing template creation done, contact your group leader and ask for it… they’ll do their best to make it happen.


These meetings are FREE. That’s right – NO MEMBERSHIP FEES and at TVSWUGN, the dinner is always provided. TVSWUG likes to meet four times a year (once per quarter), and the meetings are typicalling from 5:30pm to 8:00pm.

After the local level, the User Group Leaders get together and elect regional representation – The SWUGN Committee Members. These are two-year terms during which the Committee Members make sure the leaders in their area have everything they need to make their groups successful, as well as provide a sounding board for new ideas or issues concerning the group.

You can find contact information for the SWUGN committee at: http://swugn.org/swugn/about.html.

richard doyle

At SOLIDWORKS, there is the one and only Richard Doyle, Senior User Advocacy, and in charge of SOLIDWORKS User Groups — also known as “The User Group Guy.”

Richard co-founded the original SOLIDWORKS National User Group in 1999 and is responsible for supporting the 200+ SOLIDWORKS User Groups Worldwide year-round, which is no small task.

This brings us back around to talking about the Summits.  Richard conducts 11 regional events throughout the year, known as the SWUGN Technical Summits. Why 11? Because 12 is SOLIDWORKS World!

The SWUGN Technical Summits are one-day training and networking events in cities throughout the world.  I like to think of them as mini-SOLIDWORKS World events! They are structured the same way. It starts with a group session in the morning, followed by several presentations where attendees get to pick and choose what content they want to see.  The technical sessions are geared toward all levels of users. I guarantee each and every attendee will leave the Summit learning something they didn’t know. If that seems a little bold, I promise you it’s not. I’ve been to each and every meeting (seriously, perfect attendance) of TVSWUG, and each meeting I left with some exciting piece of new knowledge. With an all-star line-up of presenters and all kinds of content, the SOLIDWORKS User Group Technical Summit in Albany is SURE to be a hit.

This event will be $40.00 with lunch provided. You can register at http://swugn.org/swugn/events/6700_ENG_HTML.htm.

Any questions, or would like to be added to the TVSWUG mailing list, please feel free to contact David Antanavige at dantanavige@gmail.com.

And if you haven’t checked out the SOLIDWORKS User Groups yet, look for one in your area on the SWUGN calendar.

See you at the Summit!

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