Darin Grosser | How To Eliminate Drawings…and Other Tips from A 25 Year SolidWorks Pro
Who is Darin Grosser?
Darin Grosser has been an application engineer supporting SolidWorks users since 1997. As a result, he has a plethora of experience and practical tips for using the software.
He is also a prolific content creator who has found innovative ways of not only showcasing the value of the software but how it can be implemented in users’ personal lives.
GoEngineer acquired his company in 2019. Amazingly, he developed a deep appreciation for GoEngineer and how they cultivated a work environment that is, in his words, “the most fun I’ve ever had in this ‘job’ ”.
EXPAND TO VIEW EPISODE TRANSCRIPTION
solidworks, people, engineer, software, drawing, customers, cad, design, point, company, product, part, called, annotations, bit, tools, years, add, based, western michigan university
Aaron Moncur, Presenter, Darin Grosser
The Being an Engineer podcast is a repository for industry knowledge and a tool through which engineers learn about and connect with relevant companies, technologies, people, resources and opportunities. Enjoy the show.
Darin Grosser 00:15
But labor of love is always what’s behind a lot of these things. I’m fortunate to have a job doing what I’d like, you know, if everybody could be so fortunate, you wouldn’t work a day in your life. And, you know, the job can be stressful, and there’s pressure at times to get things done. But these are the things that I do when the clocks off. So when I get paid for it, as well, you know,
Aaron Moncur 00:46
Hello, and welcome to the Being an Engineer podcast. Our guest today is Darren Grosser, who has been an application engineer supporting SolidWorks customers across the US his entire career, he loves being involved in the many unique and amazing ways that designers, engineers, students, and entrepreneurs go from concept to reality, using SolidWorks tools. And he has a particularly soft spot in his heart for 3D printing. So Darren, welcome to the show.
Darin Grosser 01:14
Hey, thank you very much.
Aaron Moncur 01:15
So tell me about how you decided to become an engineer. And then on top of that, if, from what I can tell you graduated, and then really jumped straight into the the application engineer, kind of the SolidWorks support role, and and how that transition happened. And if you’ve ever considered, you know, industry.
Darin Grosser 01:37
Well, you know, there are a few points in your life that you can kind of go back on that were turning points. And it’s definitely one of those moments. I’m the third of three brothers. So I have an older brother, it’s about 10 years older than me. And my middle brother, they’re about seven years older than me, my oldest brother went to Western Michigan University, and from there went to Ford Motor Company. So while I was in high school, still, he was at Ford and me with really how to direction kind of some interests. But you know, when you’re in high school, you have way different interests than you do now. Yeah. And, you know, one, one Wednesday, I took a day off and, and tagged around with him at Ford. And this was 1989. And we saw some things that even today’s standards are still pretty amazing mainframe computers, the phosphorus pen light pen screens that they used to use pcgs. You know, he showed me the things that were high technology and 89. And we ended the day going across the street, because they just got a brand new machine, something cool, I haven’t seen yet. And it happened to be a 3D systems SLA machine stereolithography. And looking into the machine running, all I saw was liquid and little red laser zipped over top of it. And then all of a sudden, this engine connecting rod lifted up out of the liquid. And that moment was like, Okay, this is a real Star Trek moment. It kind of was the point where I was like, okay, I’m taking drafting classes. Now, this is what this leads to. This is the direction this is it. So, and 99 two printers have been around a lot longer than people know. Yes, it’s meant to be no, but Amazon makes them mainstream. Now, they’ve been around for a long time.
Aaron Moncur 03:12
Yeah, it’s incredible to think about that. 1989 I mean, that was over 30 years ago, and, and they were using them back then. I’m sure the technology wasn’t quite as good, but it was good enough to the use.
Darin Grosser 03:23
Expensive, quality was always good. Those parts were brittle by nature, but you know, they’ve they’ve, you know, figured out ways to ultraviolet Li treat those to make them more rigid. And just, you know, we have hundreds of materials and, and hundreds of methods now. So I mean, it really is just one of those technologies that once a few people get going and I do start to flourish, then it just blows up.
Aaron Moncur 03:44
Well, I also love that you spend some time actually on the job, not yourself on the job, but with your brother at his job seeing what he actually does you know that that’s, I think that’s an opportunity that maybe we don’t all think about. I know I didn’t think about it when I was in high school. But for those proactive high school students out there thinking about what they might like to do, I think that’s a tremendous
Darin Grosser 04:09
option to explore is just finding someone, maybe you don’t have a brother that works at Ford, but surely you know, someone who’s who’s in the space. And you can ask them, can I come to work with you for half a day and just tag around and see what? Well, we used to have student groups come through our office often and you know, we’d show them the 3d print lab and things like that, and you get two or three that are interested in some of the rest of them. It’s a throwaway day, and who cares. It could be a throwaway day, but it could be the turning point, you never know. So expose yourself to it, you
Aaron Moncur 04:38
know, who knows, one of the one of the most useful tools I have found, as I don’t know, just a human certainly as a business owner and as an engineer, but just in life in general, is finding ways to expose myself to new ideas. You know, it’s so easy to especially as an engineer, a lot of us are kind of introverts, but close the door, sit in your office, and just Do your thing. And you’re probably not going to experience tremendous growth doing that. But if you can expose, if you can find, you know, systems that expose yourself on a recurring basis to new ideas that I think that’s a great path that leads to growth,
Darin Grosser 05:18
I have to say that kids were a rebirth for me on that. Because as an engineer, you have solved your problems. And you’ve kind of narrowed down the sculpt scope of when something comes up, you kind of like, know what you got to do. But then your kid comes in, and they’ve never done this. And they start to do other things. And I found myself early on saying, No, no, no, no, you got to do it this way. Because this is how it’s going to turn out. And and then I step back and wait, you know what? I’m just gonna watch this and see what happens. Because, yeah, cuz one time, my youngest daughter did something, I was just like, Whoa, I really never thought of doing it that way. And I never would have because I’ve already ruled all her things out. So you really got to open that perspective, because you just never know, you know?
Aaron Moncur 05:57
Yeah, that’s pretty incredible. And kids, I talked about a system for him. What’s, what’s the word? I’m looking for? exposing yourself to new ideas. Kids are a great system for that. Right? Like, they’re going to be in your face all the time, asking questions and doing things. And that is there’s no escaping exposure to new ideas when kids are around.
Darin Grosser 06:16
I signed up for Tic Tac yesterday, and that never would have happened if it wasn’t for 13 year old.
Aaron Moncur 06:20
So there you go, yeah, very nice.
Darin Grosser 06:23
Yeah. So but I ended up going to the same school as my brother as a result of that. So I went to Western Michigan University for the same degree, going for the same thing. And oddly enough, I had a guaranteed job waiting for me at Ford when I graduated. And you know, timing is everything. And the month I graduated December of 1996, Ford had a hiring freeze. just didn’t work out timing was bad. So went and delivered pizzas for a couple of months for my wife who ran a hungry Howie’s franchise at 17. She was, you know, up to 20 at that point, but really kind of found this job by accident, because my middle brother saw job posting, you know, back then, you’d see him to the newspaper. And he saw job posting about place that was just down the road of where he was working at the time. And he gave me a phone number on a sub bag that I didn’t call for three weeks, ended up finally calling that and took the interview and offered a job on the spot. Worst interview I’ve ever had worst performance ever. But I was offered a job here. And I took it reluctantly. And that’s now coming up here on 24 years ago.
Aaron Moncur 07:28
Well, so that was I mean, back in the kind of the infancy of CAD right with 96.
Darin Grosser 07:33
Yeah, well, yeah. 19 SolidWorks came out in 1995, sort of Windows 95, which is really where it went from Windows 3.1 just an interface to something that actually had graphics worth a darn. Yeah. Now what was a crazy part of my interview is that I was going to a place that that used AutoCAD, which everybody knew at the time. But he also said and we also represent a Windows based CAD system called SolidWorks. Why just come from Western Michigan University, and we were using SGI and sun SPARC stations. 16 Meg’s of RAM back then that was a huge machine, big deal. And we were using sdrc ideas. And if we had a model shaded, we couldn’t rotate it. We had to go to wireframe and rotate it. Or it would rotate wireframe and then it would refresh. So when I heard of a Windows based CAD system on this Pentium 75 computer, I wasn’t impressed, 20 seconds later, when a sketch extruded and it rotated around. It was kind of on from there, you know.
Aaron Moncur 08:29
Another Star Trek moment?
Darin Grosser 08:30
Yeah, it was the infancy. But you know, SolidWorks could barely do drawings at that point. But 3d parts and assemblies and rotating shaded models that that was enough to tell me that it was something big.
Aaron Moncur 08:41
I need to go on YouTube and see if I can find a video of SolidWorks 1996 or 1995. The first one, I would love to just see what that looked like back
Darin Grosser 08:50
then a buddy of mine at a different reseller in the Wisconsin area has a Windows 95 laptop that he has SolidWorks 95 running on but he always different trade shows and sessions and stuff. So people can walk up and see what it looked like What a great idea. I got, sadly, somewhere because it used to come on a CD, by the way to you know, so different different times. different times, in the evolutions are amazing. They really are. You know, we have a product that’s gone from what it was to now something that’s roughly 20 million lines of code just for the CAD product. And that’s just insane. That’s incredible. And getting to learn it piecemeal over this time is a benefit because swallowing it whole right now is it’s easy, but there’s just so much to it. Yep, that’s fast, big program.
Aaron Moncur 09:36
But you’ve entered in one a few times the model mania SolidWorks competition, which I didn’t even know existed to be honest until I was researching for this interview. What What can you tell us about the competition and about your winning entries?
Darin Grosser 09:52
Well, internal to the SolidWorks community. We have a very passionate community. So we have 6 million users but there’s also almost 300 user groups. around the country, all of us itching to get back together face to face and eat some pizza these days. But internal to the SolidWorks World Conference, which is a yearly event that’s held around the United States, but it’s, it’s coming up here virtually in February is, is just a friendly competition. And the partner pavilion and partner pavilions are just, you know, the trade shore partners set up so you can go and see demonstrations of their products. But what it is, it’s a timed competition, you step into a booth, you’ve got 20 minutes, clock ticking significantly ups, the stress, it’s a weird thing. But physiologically, when you see the clock ticking, it’s just a whole different deal. They give you a drawing, you draw the part now, then you say I’m done with phase one, they give you a drawing with changes. And based on how well your design intent, and how well you guessed, our Proctor have this over the last 20 years you start to learn his tendency is guess what he likes to put into the product, then you have to implement your changes. And sometimes that goes well. And sometimes it goes horribly wrong. And the end product is and this is what any CAD system is that you will have 100 engineers, Top of the World Class engineers from the resellers out there going after each other. And if you put 100 part files on the screen, you’d see 100 different feature histories. Hmm. It just exemplifies the fact that there is no one right way. There are ways and there are, you know, ways that are harder but just a solid, it’s just it really is it shows the difference between a skilled user and a power user in their effectiveness to D. You know, deconstruct apart quickly, but also have a very good design intent so that changes aren’t going to blow up apart tree.
Aaron Moncur 11:42
Yeah, it’s kind of amazing I I’ve talked about before in the podcast, I think that there’s some really cool engineering principles like the area moment of inertia, where you take a beam that’s oriented one way and it’s you know, soft and flexible, and you rotate it 90 degrees, and all of a sudden, it’s really firm and really difficult to deflect. And the feature tree in SolidWorks is kind of analogous, right? There are different ways to you know, quote unquote orient, that’s that feature tree or build that feature tree out, some of which are going to be really robust and make make it easy to make changes, and others are going to be just really, really challenging, even though the solid model that you end up with might look the exact same. Really interesting how you can get to the same point with a lot of different, you know, roads, and some of which are just a lot better than others.
Darin Grosser 12:33
Yeah, at the end of the day, they they figure out who won by kind of working backwards, mass properties have to match doesn’t matter where the origin is just mass properties. And then from there, we kind of go backwards, because at the end of the competition, you also have to run a small simulation, so a static study of some sort, and then that gives you a safety factor. And that’s ultimately the the answer. But yeah, it started in 2000 in New Orleans at SolidWorks world and I was just a 20 you know, 24 year olds not nose kid at the point at that time. But you know, it was something that was interesting and has grown over the years in momentum. That now we do it between the resellers work against each other, the customers are in their own competition separate. The customers are usually faster than the resellers, because they’re banging on the software eight hours a day, and we’re supporting people’s other efforts. Usually, it’s amazing that the professionals, although we’re very knowledgeable, we’re not quite as speedy because of day to day stick time. Sure, the customers are fabulous. So but you know, I won twice. Other guys that work for us, john MacArthur’s one a couple of times, Sean Bentley, we’ve all placed at various times as well throughout the years. But it’s just a fun, friendly competition out there. And you know, kind of gets us out there and lets the engineers who are typically behind the scenes shine where the salespeople in those situations are usually the ones that get the glory.
Aaron Moncur 13:52
Yeah, very cool. I have seen a bunch of videos that you have created and posted of various topics, and many of which are SolidWorks and work related, but they’re not, you know, purely work related. They’re not the typical, this is how you make this feature in SolidWorks that that you might see on I don’t know, resellers website, or some kind of tutorial channel on YouTube. You’ve done some really interesting projects on that. And and I want to get into that in a second. But first, I wanted to ask, it’s gonna take a lot of time to put these videos together. Is that Is it just a labor of love for you? Or is this you know, part of your role at at go engineer.
Darin Grosser 14:33
So it has evolved to that. But labor of love is always what’s behind a lot of these things. Again, I kind of I’ve made no mistake that I’m fortunate to have a job doing what I’d like, you know, if everybody could be so fortunate, you wouldn’t work a day in your life and, you know, the job can be stressful and there’s pressure at times to get things done. But these are the things that I do when the clock is off. So when I get paid for it as well, you know, and as far as these go, I use the software in an effort to flush out what’s in my head, visualize it for other people who maybe don’t see what I’m trying to describe with hand puppets and pointing to things in the space. And in the latest video, I was able to work out a very odd positioning and random type shape with a fixture, that just isn’t something that you can just do while you’re doing it and have it turned out well, it’s really hard to visualize that way. So in some cases, it’s just a crutch to, you know, do a sanity check. And in other cases, there’s just no other way that I could do this and have the result that I wanted. So SolidWorks is just one of those tools to me that, you know, like, like my customers and industry, of course, they’re making a living out of this. They’re, they’re building their products, and they’re, they’re manufacturing them, they’re going out the door, and they’re cutting up a customer sites. Now I live in a bit of a vacuum as a reseller, where I support those efforts, but I really have never manufactured my own product, you know, so that’s where I feel that little need in my life to be able to use 3d printers you got behind me here to produce things. But I’ve been a DIY er forever. So most of what I do is home improvement of one sort or another. So I’ll use SolidWorks in those efforts. And early on to me, it was just a way to be able to learn the software, we implore to our customers, you get access to the software at home with your corporate license, use it to build your deck or to do something you’re intimate with, because you’re going to be learning it stick time you’re getting better and better just by doing a project that you’re that you’re passionate about. So I take my own advice there.
Aaron Moncur 16:28
Yeah, let’s talk about that a little bit the the home improvement projects, because as SolidWorks users in industry, in a way, we’re all very familiar with how to use the software to develop a widget, right? So what we do every day, but we might not think about using it for I don’t know construction type projects or these home improvement type projects. But you’ve done a fair amount that I saw a home renovation that you talked about the deck and there’s a tree house and probably other things I haven’t even come across, talk a little bit about, you know, using SolidWorks for home improvement projects. And also, since you have gone through this process several times already, what what are some of the gotchas that we might want to be careful of as we get started in that space?
Darin Grosser 17:16
Well, for starters, the software is called SolidWorks. Okay, and that is, you know, obviously, what we’re geared towards, we’re geared towards mechanical design of solid components, you know, assemblies, testing, form, fit and function, mass properties and the like. And architectural is not what we’re what we’re after, it’s not what the software spirit is or the design for it. But there’s obviously a big difference between what a software can do and what it was meant to do, right. And over the years of growing with the software, one of the advantages of going through and being tech support for a great number of years, is you are forced in a little bit of a way to find workarounds, find ways to make the software work on a day where it doesn’t want to behave, but your customer needs to get their job done. So we’ve done a lot of not only using the tools for exactly what the features were meant for, but also figuring out other ways to stretch a feature to do something that wasn’t necessarily intended to. And that’s where things like weldments, which is for structural frame members have special machines can be used for what structures if that’s necessary in your architectural application, I did a bathroom project where it was very important that the plumbing was where it needed to be. And there obviously there’s interference issues inside the walls. But my kitchen project, I really just represented the walls as a four and a half inch thick. You got your stud you got your your wallboard, your drywall. And that’s just a footprint. In that case, I didn’t need the piece part count of what was in the wall. So I use the features in a way, obviously, it kind of the end goal in mind, if I need to cut list of the items to go purchase those, then I’ll do a little bit more effort and Nick individual piece part. If not, I need to represent something that I know I can just bang out and deal with the details that I’m trying to flesh out at that point.
Aaron Moncur 19:04
It seems that you are a family man, you got a wife, you got kids, and there’s some videos where you you work with them on some projects. Can you talk a little bit about how you have been able to incorporate your work life with your family life and how you’ve been able to involve your family with some of these design projects?
Darin Grosser 19:25
Well, the family almost has no choice but to be involved in a way actually, you know, I know COVID has all of us working from home now or a lot of people working from home now. But I’ve actually been in this room right here, my home office since 2007. So, you know, going on 1415 years now. And I was set up at home because it put me a little bit more centrally located in Michigan. So West Coast and East Coast, West Michigan, East Michigan, and I was on the road mostly if I wasn’t in the office, I was on a customer site so it positioned me more strategically to get to places. What it also did. Does it kind of isolate me from some day to day distractions? So working from where I’m at right now, working from home is something I’ve been doing for a long time and had to explain to my kids Yeah, look, I’m looking at the screen because I’m working, you’re on YouTube, I get a paycheck. You’re having fun. And so, you know, they’ve been they’ve been, in some cases painfully aware that I’m working. In other cases, just they know what they’re dead does, you know, because I’m enthusiastic to talk about it. And I’m not just trying to talk about anything but work when I’m not working. You know, because that’s a sign that you hate work, right? Yeah, turn it off, leave, and I don’t want to think about it. And can I just don’t have that life, which is, again, fortunate. The content started to build into that. I’m gonna say by accident. And, you know, being out there in YouTube and those areas, there’s a couple of influences that actually came into my life that I wasn’t expecting. Back in 2015, or SolidWorks. World Conference was in Phoenix. And the SolidWorks technical staff always brings in a guest speaker of sorts. And that year, they brought in a guy named Destin sandlin earned his name, I have not he is Smarter Every Day on YouTube. So he has seven or 8 million followers at this point. But he’s a guy that’s out of the Alabama area. And he is super intelligent with a southern accent, he says he uses that to his advantage because people don’t expect much out of him. But he works for for one of the aerospace companies down there. And he makes videos in such a way that they get very technically heavy. And then they go down to the fifth grade level and talk a little bit about it. And then they get technically heavy again. And then they they do this evolution to show you the process. And I watched this live presentation that he did of this, which he then culminated in doing this thing called Prince Rupert’s drops. So you might want to write that one down, check it out later, it’s unreal, where he clips at the end of this glass that had been solidified by being dropped into a cold bucket of water. And the entire thing shatters at a particular rate, that he used a 50,000 frame per second camera in order to show on his videos. Since then, he’s gotten access to up to 500,000 cameras to show some really amazing stuff. But but his lesson of show your intelligence, but don’t talk down to people bring it to their level and make it relatable. And just those couple of things was all I needed to know that you know, that I could do that. His final thing was was the point of his Southern accent was people don’t expect much out of him. And it makes he takes advantage of that by shocking them with how much he knows. But then again, bringing it down to a relatable level. And the main thing was that there’s millions of people out there on YouTube. And of course, there’s 48 hours of video going up every minute to YouTube, be yourself because that’s your differentiator. There’s lots of stuff on YouTube, but there’s only one you.
Aaron Moncur 22:50
I’ve been reading a business book called understanding. Oh, I think it’s understanding Porter. He’s a business writer. And someone did kind of a, almost a biography on him because of his I’ve never read his his seminal work. But apparently, it’s very, very, very dense and hard to get through, someone kind of did a condensed version of it. And one of the things that he talks about is, you don’t need to be number one, people talk about, you know, we are number one in this or we are number one, in that what you need to do is be unique, because being number one is a zero sum game, only one person can be number one. So it’s really, really hard to be number one in something. But everyone can be unique. There are a plethora of opportunities for you to be unique, and you just set it you know, be be yourself. That’s the way to the unique and be successful.
Darin Grosser 23:45
Well. It’s like setting on attainable goals. You’re never gonna hit your goals right now. And don’t make them wiffleball either. But, you know, reach and grow, but don’t make it something you can’t be successful on and then just start the next track.
Aaron Moncur 23:57
Yeah, I’m going to go out on a ledge and guess that you are at least to some extent a gadget guy you like or appreciate gadgets, I saw a drone video that you made. There are probably others. I wondered if you ever any, you’re also into 3d printing, 3d printing is something that you love to do. Do you ever make components for any of your gadgets to improve their performance or alter them in some way?
Darin Grosser 24:24
Yeah, I wish I had more free time to do that. Yeah, but there are things that I think about like that. And a lot of times these days, if you’re not like right on something like that, you can go to grab CAD or one of those types of sites and you’ll find somebody has already done it. Yeah. You know, most times it’s like, you know, a SolidWorks model that maybe there’s some things I want a little bit better or it’s not quite as clean or you want to change it but it’s it’s the ability to do that that always excites me. So yeah, I’ll customize some things to a point. I am definitely building things that don’t exist and printing those because there are a lot of just repurposing things that I like to do that You know, I used to walk around Home Depot and try to figure out what I could use to make something happen. You basically have an open ended way to make something happen with a little modeling time and, you know, a couple hours of a printer. So I leave it open ended and I do that quite often. Absolutely.
Aaron Moncur 25:15
Yeah, I saw your video where you made with some Home Depot parts a, an extension at a 90 degree angle to drill in your rooftop on your kid’s treehouse, which was that was really cool project.
Darin Grosser 25:30
Yeah. Necessity is the mother invention. That is that the phrase?
Aaron Moncur 25:35
That’s the one.
Darin Grosser 25:36
Yeah, you know, and I put it in the video that I never saw it coming. Because it was a literal moment where you can’t script it, you can’t stage it. You’re just standing there, and you just went, oh, gosh, what am I gonna do here. And, and when you’re working, you know, 20 feet up, I’m 25 at the point at the the peak of the roof. It’s, it’s already unsettling if you’re not a tree person, which by the end of that project, I was because I just been going up down the ladder. So often it felt more comfortable. But the process of creating a tree house was literally building in the driveway, disassembling it, and then you already had your pilot hole. So putting it back together in the tree was easier. Not easy, but easier. Sure. That the whole thing about Wow, I didn’t realize I couldn’t reach what I needed to reach as I as I painted myself out of a corner with four by eight sheets of roofing. So that was just one of those things were Okay, yeah, I’ve got a rental place around the corner where I can go ahead and get a tree lift. But the whole point of doing it yourself is not only to try and get some satisfaction, but I’m trying to save a little money here too. So I could have done that. Or I could have used it as an opportunity. An opportunity is a word that I use often because to me a lot of times with 3d printers, it isn’t about whether I should it’s about whether I can I have 3d printed fishing lures, I’m gonna pull one of these off for a second one second. These are 3D printed fishing lures that we just did. Now, the goal of these is to actually go ahead and hang some hooks off of these and catch some fish next summer. They’ve got air chambers on the inside so that they float because this material doesn’t flow. They’re designed 3d. They’re designed photorealistic rendered, and they print, right that like that off the machine. So you know, there’s things like that, that we try to do with these printers in order to go ahead and stretch what they can do, of course, to prove a point or to make something that didn’t exist before. That’s going to be about a $75 fishing lure.
Aaron Moncur 27:35
Yeah, exactly the time to design it.
Darin Grosser 27:38
It’s $5 to go to the store and get a repower. Yeah, so in this case, it’s not that I should because no, that’s not the best way to do it, when I can. So we made, we made a presentation out of it, we made it how you’d finish this. So you get glossy versus matte surface finishes and how to model your part. So you can take advantage of the stratasys j 55. printer, everything has an advantage, or I’m sorry, an opportunity to just kind of see what you can do, and then turn it into something. Most of the time, I get into a position where either with the software because I’ve been using it for so long, or just kind of in real life. And if I get myself into a corner, I’m kind of like, you know, but somebody else has probably been here before. And you know, I just I’ll make something that might help somebody else get out of this corner. Maybe they didn’t see coming.
Aaron Moncur 28:21
Yep, I love it. Well, you’ve been working with SolidWorks for so long now that you have all this expertise and experience stored up what what are a few SolidWorks tools that probably most of us maybe don’t know about, or that are at least underutilized, that the average SolidWorks user might find helpful and should maybe spend some time learning.
Darin Grosser 28:43
So I’ll keep it just to standard SolidWorks. SolidWorks comes in three different versions, which is sellers, standard, professional and premium. But the reality is, is that all of the modeling functionality is in every version of the product, you don’t have to pay extra to get sheetmetal or weldments, or molds or any of that that stuff that said, I’ll leave this sort of open ended in the beginning here is that I find a lot of people will live in the area of the software that more suits their company, and not get outside that. And the example that I use for this is you can ask anybody how much of the software they know they’ll say they know 100% they really know 100% of the 10% they’re aware of, you know, think of how much you know, how about Microsoft Excel, how vast it really is.
Aaron Moncur 29:27
Darin Grosser 29:28
So things like you know, a customer who uses mechanical design, they’re making special machines, prismatic parts, purchase parts, that kind of thing. Well, they don’t know that they need to know surfacing. Because they don’t make those kinds of parts. They don’t make organic shapes and you know, Bezier curves and things like that. However, surfacing isn’t just for modeling. It’s for repairing bad imported parts patching things that were garbage, using them to cut what’s eventually going to be a solid part for maybe some sort of form or shoe or fixture or something knowing other parts The software that aren’t necessarily particularly germane to your to your job description, is what makes you a little bit more deadlier in those nearly situations that will come up the product, though, I mean, it’s, it’s an amazing tool and the fact that, you know, over the 20 years, first of all, price wise, we haven’t raised the price of silver standard, since I started even with inflation, it’s still always been the same base price. But these three hour presentations we do every year, we’re adding 250 new things to it. So the growth has been tremendous. And it still continues to be that way. So even if you’re just using the tools you use, every year, there’s, you know, a handful of great new things that have been added in based on customer requests that a lot of people don’t know about unless they attend to what’s new presentation or watch one of our rollouts in October. So if you’re on the software, and you’re not looking at what’s new, then there’s things there that you’re just simply not aware of that are either improvements to the stuff you’ve been using all along, or a brand new things that either make the technique you’re using kind of obsolete or is a purpose built tool versus a way that you’ve figured out how to do something, you know, that’s been added to the tool? So you know, the answer to that really is it’s kind of different to everybody, you know, based on what their needs are or what they already know.
Aaron Moncur 31:15
Here’s a similar question. But how about any plugins or add ons Are there any in particular that that you have seen and found to be particularly interesting or useful?
Darin Grosser 31:27
So the modeling tool is is capable of making anything, let’s just leave that open ended, it really is down to a user’s imagination. And maybe the time they have to throw at something. And what the add ins do what what some of our solution partners do, and a lot of cases is they automate the existing functionality in order to do a process. Early on, add ins were four things we didn’t do at all. And still don’t do it all things like simulation, FAA cam, you know, those are things that are not necessarily a modeling function. But they’re definitely something that needs to work on the models. And that’s why we chose to, to embed those directly in SolidWorks. But it’s things like like some of the products here now kind of be brand nonspecific, because we don’t represent all of these. But some of the tools that you can add into SolidWorks enhance the surfacing functionalities, they treat it more like a like a sub D type of a modeler, which is something SolidWorks doesn’t do. But it creates salwars geometry using these algorithms and the functionality that they’ve created to, to maybe enhance salwars capabilities. There are still products, products that will put in the appropriate connections, fittings, plates, cross drilled holes, number of physical fasteners necessary for IBM’s and joints and floors that come together. Now in SolidWorks, I make those using weldments. I make the structural steel. But the smarts that go into the connection isn’t necessarily something you have automatically in the software. tools that automate that process will use rules based engineering to then fill in the blanks and add the plates, the necessary weld the necessary fasteners based on sizes and heights and other criteria. So those are the things that will take people’s capabilities and really amplify them to the next level. So one last one I will put out here just kind of an open ended one, a product we do represent here, engineers called driveworks. And driveworks, literally is knowledge based engineering. So everybody’s open ended process, we go through the function of capturing what rules are important to them, building a user interface around it so that anybody can go in and fill out pulldown menus or input boxes. And then from there, hit go and it will spit out designs that are configured to those particular parameters. Those are the ones that really take the software and just absolutely put it on steroids in order to recreate one offs using these these really great methods.
Aaron Moncur 33:46
That’s interesting, I hadn’t heard of Dr. works, is there a website or somewhere that people can go to see all the different add ons that SolidWorks has?
Darin Grosser 33:58
You know, for our website, you just go to go engineer COMM And you’ll see the bar across the top all of our partners will be there. You can also hit SolidWorks comm and hit the solution partner page. And that will be the global list. We call a solution partners and gold solution partners. There’s a slight difference, too. There are around 300 products that either work inside of SolidWorks except native data from SolidWorks or have some sort of handshake development that goes hand in hand with it.
Aaron Moncur 34:26
Nice. I’ve always thought of SolidWorks or just CAD in general really as a tool to translate design as opposed to design itself. You know CAD itself is not designed design is is it’s What the What’s in your head and what’s in your heart and CAD is just kind of a tool for communicating that design with others, especially manufacturing. Do you have any insight into things that the CIO is doing in the future to improve the efficiency with which CAD helps us communicate design?
Darin Grosser 34:59
Years ago, we coined a term and I don’t know, if we coined it, we just started saying it an awful lot. But it was the term used now called designing engineer. Back in the day this this, you know, range when I went to Ford with my brother, there were designers and they were engineers, okay. And what would happen is a designer would sit at the CAD system, and an engineer would stand over their shoulder and tell him what to do while they were the cat, Jackie. And obviously, it gets to the point where you now have two people doing one job and they started to meld those together, when you get finite element analysis on your CAD model. Now you’ve got an engineer, doing, you know, doing simulation on a model. So it’s kind of starting to be the same person in some cases. So we’ve gone to the point where the CAD model is the center of the universe, and it feeds every other area of every company. So when it comes to who’s next in line, it could be marketing, who can use the CAD data to create collateral, its sales, who obviously needs it to sell things, manufacturing, the guys over in quality assurance and have to do inspection, the guys that are doing Cam toolpaths, all of these things are connected together. And the CAD model is the center of the universe with those. So we’re we’re taking things these days, is, you know, in a lot of efforts to streamline the process and make things accurate, which is kind of like everyday process. We’re getting more and more, I guess, virtualized when it comes to where the data lives. And we’re starting to remove some of the other things like drawings from the equation, now, customers are going to have to change at their own pace. And it’s going to be decades for this to happen. But progressive users right now are eliminating drawings from the process altogether, and sticking only with 3d parts and assemblies. Interesting. And the reason is, is because, you know, we’ve had 2d drawings since the drafting board and prior. And when we got these nifty 3D CAD systems, we muddled up these great accurate 3d parts, and we shove them together in an assembly and see if they can fit and move and collide. And then we go to old standby. And we drop it on a 2d drawing, and we detail it out hand that drawing to somebody, and then hope that they reinterpret it properly to make the 3d part we already had. Yeah, so not only do we have another document to manage, we have associativity. And change ability that has to be handshake, you know, between those, we’re finding that a lot of bad file management practices are disconnecting even the associativity that every CAD product has, and we’re still ending up with inaccurate drawings. So it’s a lot of extra overhead for almost no benefit. And in most cases, it can come back to bite you. So the pushes over the last decade or so and it’s again going to take a while is a lot of companies are scrapping drawings, and they’re going to the model based definition paradigm. So they’re starting to annotate a solid body after the fact. And what that does is it adds these PMI or product manufacturing annotations to a part that was modeled, it could be 100 different feature trees with 100 different dimensions and sketches and features there. But at the end of the day, the geometry that’s final would be annotated the same way. So instead of relying on feature and sketch dimensions to make your drawings, we’re just going to scheme the part out like we would on a 2d drawing anyways, but we do it in the 3d part or assembly and skip the drawing. And there will be ways to add tolerances and surface finish call outs and materials and colors and all that it’s fully production level annotated. But what it does is it gives you a 3d assembly or a part and then along the bottom, it’ll have a bunch of saved views, which will give you front view, top view, right view section view, flattened sheet metal view, whatever those happen to be exploded view. And it will show you the annotations on screen that are important to those orientations. So it is the 2d drawing view display what we’re doing and then the 3d file and skipping that extra piece of overhead.
Aaron Moncur 38:39
And that will of course require manufacturers to adopt the same process, which, like you said, to take decades for that to become the norm.
Darin Grosser 38:46
Right and it’s places like like SpaceX and Tesla are two examples I use because they use Katia and they don’t make drawings and archivers receiving either Katia native part files with PMI on them, which we can read and use. Or they’re receiving step ap 242 files, which also supports those 3d annotations. That’s the standard that’s not just geometric, it also has the file. And there are these things that we called semantic annotations. When you click them, it highlights the faces that they’re attached to. So the neutral blackbox file is a step file, which anybody can open up and they can machine to if they wanted to. But it also contains those annotations. So it doesn’t matter who’s opening it or who’s using it. It’s a universal there as well.
Aaron Moncur 39:27
So tools like master cam, and you know, other similar tools, are those being developed to accommodate the skill of PMI?
Darin Grosser 39:35
Prettry much yes, yeah. So master cam, SolidWorks cam, those products are using those annotations in an effort to do things that we call tolerance based machining. So again, you have a generic body was called generic because it works on either native SolidWorks files or imported data wouldn’t matter. And those are built to a nominal size, right? So if you machine off of that the tolerances are numerical, but there’s no physical shift to the geometry on screen. That’s just how CAD works. What, what these annotations do is it allows you to put in, say, a dimension between two holes and throw a tolerance on that. And then SolidWorks cam picks that up and uses that as the plus and minus of the machine toolpath. So it’s not a feature dimension. It’s not a sketch dimension. It’s a applied dimension after the fact that triggers that tolerance based machining. So we’re getting away from a lot of the things where translations necessary. We have the one blackbox file, if not native files that support it, and then eliminates that extra drawing, which is just more things to do.
Aaron Moncur 40:36
Yeah, well, that’s a terrific answer. I did not see that coming. There’s a member of our team that he’s really into, or he is suggested anyway, that we explore, I think is dimension experts where I think that kind of takes you in that towards that direction.
Darin Grosser 40:53
Dim expert applies the dimensions. And then SolidWorks model based definition is an add in you have to purchase if you want to publish that out which a PDF with rotatable views. And an added step file is the ultimate result. Okay? Anybody with a computer can read a PDF, and that’s really the idea?
Aaron Moncur 41:11
Well, we spend, I mean, on a typical design, if it’s an r&d project, where we’re going through 100 iterations, that’s a different story. But on a typical design, where it’s pretty clear what we’re developing, and we just have to go from A to B, we spend probably 40% of the design time doing drawing. So if we spend 100 hours designing something, we’re probably going to spend another 40 hours putting together a detailed drawing package that we send to the manufacturer along with the 3d CAD. So that’s, that’s a huge time savings. If you can get away from having to put together those 2D drawing packages.
Darin Grosser 41:46
We used to ask customers when we would go in and talk to them, especially when they’re making a CAD change. But in general, if the customer ever used those 2d drawings that were unnecessary check mark of the project. Because I would walk into a conference room of a customer who had make large test assembly lines for transmissions, right, they’d have 20 different stages that do different things. And when you look at this thing printed out on plotter paper on the wall, it’s just spaghetti. I don’t know how anybody makes heads or tails of any of it. But it was 100% required for that to be part of the deliverable package. And if you kind of go up the chain and ask them, and almost never gets opened on the other end, it’s just like old habits that we’ve all we’ve always done this before. So let’s keep doing it. Yeah. And then sometimes that’s it and, you know, it’s, it’s something that people will hold on to dearly, because it’s what’s worked, you know, obviously, it’s what’s this through to this point?
Aaron Moncur 42:36
Darin Grosser 42:38
Eventually, somebody will go, you know, I’m kind of fed up with this, there’s got to be a better way. And they start to look, and it’ll take a while, but it will.
Aaron Moncur 42:45
Well, what are a couple, two or three of the most common support requests that you get? And how can people avoid even getting into the situations where they need support for these two or three things?
Darin Grosser 42:58
Well, unfortunately, support departments exist, because it’s inevitable. Yeah, yeah, I hear a lot of people complain about everywhere. And you know, and it doesn’t matter what it is. The fact that every every technical logical company in the world has a software support department, because of the inevitable fact that there will be bugs. And, you know, a lot of what we see these days, you know, and it’s difficult is installation issues. And installation is is the biggest moving target you’re ever going to see. Because it can’t just say it works on Windows 10. It works on Windows 10. With everybody’s infinite different configuration of other software already loaded on the machines, potentially redistributables, or are things that are shared resources are either configured differently or with different versions, it is inevitable that you’re going to come up with some problem that could be related to hardware, it just kind of is what it is. Now we have great, you know, people already able to be accessed very quickly. Through live sessions like this, we found that obviously, taking control of a computer and watching somebody do something that’s re creatable or testing it on their hardware is absolutely essential to diagnosing something. But you’ll you’ll get these issues where we have to start with the video cards, always the video card first thing, if you don’t have a video card on the right driver, the whole computer might be flaky as a result of that. So if you know the video card drivers not right, you start there. And then if things continue, then you continue down the rabbit hole. But But support is always a case of CSI, you have a crime scene, you don’t know how it got there. But now you have to figure it out, and then clean it up to and it’s fun to do. It’s also stressful, especially when there’s a time based project for the customer, which is always but but installation issues invariably are going to be something that’s always a problem. Those are things that we hope people will at least let us know ahead of time or schedule over the weekend or with us and we can help with those. But But those we try to head off as many things as we can by by teeing people up with the right checklists and things. But invariably, something’s going to happen that way.
Aaron Moncur 45:04
Yeah, yeah. I read about the SolidWorks entrepreneur program, which was another thing I didn’t even realize existed, can you talk just a little bit about that.
Darin Grosser 45:17
So trying to get the software out is is like the future for us, it always has been, and you started education level, because once you get a kid interested in something, they’re gonna love that forever. And obviously, if I had you SolidWorks, in high school, I would have been looking for a college that had it, then I would have been maybe looking for a job after that, yeah, I didn’t have SolidWorks in college and look back and really wish I would have, you know, obviously, so that’s not something that that’s available. But getting it into schools was the first thing about that, because of again, the way a person will progress. They’re entrepreneurs are our companies that obviously has limited resources, but have some sort of drive and a product in mind. And there’s a bunch of criteria that they do have to meet in order to get the software. But it’s basically giving them the software for a period of time, and then once they come out of entrepreneurship and go live, then there’s going to be some sort of payment to that. But we’re trying to tool them up with the things that they are going to need to make their company successful. In our case, hopefully that effort that they will be successful, and then then we will make some money off of that. We do that a lot of go engineer just in general that if a person is successful, if we help a customer a little bit better, and just make them better, they’ll just buy more software. So if we start with them, it’s invariably going to come back at us. Yeah, but entrepreneurship is, is is a big deal. Because there was a time in life where if you had an idea, you invested your life savings into making tooling and getting a prototype and then hopefully walking into a conference room with a company and having them as passionate as you are about it. Today, with a $4,000 piece of software, I can basically design test make renderings, make sure form fit and function to set a little more money, I can make toolpaths 3d print them and have them in their hand. And I’m out that much money if my invention doesn’t go anywhere. And entrepreneurship really kind of exemplifies that. You know, we have an idea. We don’t know how to get there, we need the tools to get there. And SolidWorks will will help them get there. We just want to be on board after they’re successful.
Aaron Moncur 47:18
And if people just Google SolidWorks entrepreneur program, they’ll pull up the right page.
Darin Grosser 47:23
There would be up or goengineer.com
Aaron Moncur 47:25
Hmm, cool. Well, speaking of go engineer, you you’ve worked there now Well, I guess technically, you’ve worked at the same company for the past, you know, 25 years or so. And the name has changed a few times. I guess they’ve been acquired. And currently it’s go engineer. You talked a little bit about the incredible culture at go engineer and how you love working there. Because of this, this culture that the company has fostered. Tell us a little bit about that culture. What is it that go engineer has done to make the workplace such a joyful place that people love working in?
Darin Grosser 48:00
Its this will be a weird word to use vut it is bizarre, how fun it is to be here. The company prior to being acquired, we had fun. And we were a family and we’ve known each other obviously, for a couple of decades at that point. And before any of us were married and had kids and now we’re all very much beyond that. August of last year now, so year and a half, sorry, the year before August 2019. Go Engineer bought us. And at that point, it was a bit of a shock because there was no writing on the wall. And legally there couldn’t have been any writing on the wall. So only the powers that be knew that. But what eventually or inevitably was understood about the whole situation is that my previous owners really wanted to make sure that we were as well taken care of as possible. And we were family. Obviously, we had been there again for birth of each other’s kids. And the offer from Ken Coburn at go engineer was one of those things where they knew that they would be handing us off to the best possible Stewart. And what we have found is that after a couple of weeks of stress of my lifelong career now being purchased out from under me and trying to to understand what my future looked like, the retrospect on this is that after those two weeks of Unknowing, you know, knowing what the future was gonna hold. Once I kind of understood that I was a convert from the beginning and that’s been the best thing ever. And really to kind of bottle it up. The culture at go engineer is is really one of productivity. The people here produce content, we make things happen. We are doing activities, our sales are the best We are number one in Stratos is number one salary in the world. And that’s a no small task. It was a bit intimidating when I first saw the way the culture looked live. But what what makes the culture happen is we lift each other up. We don’t get ahead by making ourselves smarter, not somebody else, if I know something, and I can help other people learn that we all grow collectively. And it really is about lifting each other up, we have a phrase here, that basically is productivity is the currency of freedom. And if you’re taking out good content, or you’re making good demos, or you’re doing great training, nobody bugs you. They don’t want to micromanage you, nobody, nobody, we are hired to do a job. And we are a group of amazing professionals. And nobody at the top has time to micromanage anybody, nor the desire. And it really allows you to know that you’re in this company, and that your livelihood is in the hands of other like minded people. And you know, if you don’t fit the culture, you’ll you’ll you’ll probably figure that out quickly. But frankly, if you don’t fit the culture, that means that you’re not just a happy person who loves what they do. And then if you’re not that person, I don’t know what what else I can do for you. But this place, it’s it’s interesting, the collaborative nature, I’ve never experienced such a collaborative nature between people. And again, their willingness to go out of their way to help each other really is an amazing place.
Aaron Moncur 51:07
Was the phrase he used, ‘Productivity is the currency of freedom’. Is that what you said? I love that. That’s, that’s true.
Darin Grosser 51:15
Yeah, just because, you know, we, we all do a different job, which is the other key to this place. Application engineers like myself, we don’t all have the exact same tasks, responsibilities and expectations. They’re tweaked based on our interests, they’re tweaked based on our skills. And they’re, frankly, people at this company that enjoy doing the things that I don’t like doing. And I like doing the things that a lot of people don’t. And it really works out to the point where our owners and our leadership team, realize that happy people are productive people, we’re all very happy. And if you just treat everybody slightly different, so that you can massage their expectations to what suits them better, then you’re just going to get a better product out. And that is better for everybody. So all we do is just be ourselves, we do great work. And we just get together and talk about how awesome what everybody else is doing to.
Aaron Moncur 52:06
Can I have to push back a little bit here because this this all sounds wonderful, right? Like, you know, fairy tale work environment here. But that doesn’t just happen. There are just things that people need to do to cultivate that type of environment. What, what are some of those things?
Darin Grosser 52:28
So the chronology of my acquisition, I’ll go back just a little bit here. I’ll circle back to the actual answer. We were purchased August of 19, our sorry, 2019. Three weeks later, 60 of us from Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, and Missouri area, were on airplanes to Utah, to go to something called go University, which is the company’s yearly corporate get together. So we were purchased, we had signed offer sheets. And then about eight days after that 60 of us no small effort, financial hours, since we’re now staying with the other 225 people at a resort in Park City, Utah to do a five day get together about being with family enjoying each other, learning each other talking about your kids and not really talking about work, and just kind of getting together. And it’s something that go engineer has been doing for five years, because the owners know that regardless of the expense is so necessary to get us together face to face as a team to be able to, to learn more about each other and who you’re helping and who we’re really doing this for.
Aaron Moncur 53:33
Fascinating. So it was absolutely a university wasn’t necessarily, we’re going to bring you in and train you on how to do Go Engineer, bring you in, and you’re going to basically have a little vacation, right?
But pure timing, because of the acquisition being August 1 and go University being August 18. They scrambled to get us out there because flights and hotel rooms in this place were expensive, and just again the time of it. But to me, it was the olive branch that said we just bought you guys and we’re so invested in this that we need you to come on out here and just need everybody. And then we did take some breakouts for the newly acquired people to figure out the pay the pay system and the time off system and health system and we did these things. And for us it was a drinking from the firehose learning everything we didn’t needed to do to assimilate in the first month that we required. And then from there, it’s been smooth sailing as if there was no bumps in the road with any type of integration and acquisition.
Aaron Moncur 54:29
I ou love it, that’s beautiful. Yeah, unreal.
Darin Grosser 54:33
During that, by the way, and I noticed the skepticism coming from you.
Aaron Moncur 54:39
The good engineer.
Darin Grosser 54:40
I went there 100% skeptical and like, okay, I hear you. I hear you, but I need to see this. And I’m hoping but I need to see this. Sure. And I would have conversations in little pockets or with individuals and I would look for the chink in the armor and man, it just wasn’t there. It just wasn’t there. There was no okay, what’s the rub? Okay, this is great, yeah, what do I have to give up because of this coolness? And there’s like I don’t, I don’t know what to tell you. That’s just how it is. Now we’re a year and a half later, I still don’t have the chicken. It’s it really is shockingly the way it should be. And it’s simple. And it really started with our business development team and our inside sales guys, Tyler Hagen and Brian McCracken. They’re the guys that kind of bring the new people into the company. And they show them this lift each other up type of feeling. And then it just spreads like a good virus from there and early on the company people would then transition into support or out in the field or this or that so start to spread. Well, that feeling was already well inside the company when they brought us in. So it was just like a an indoctrination when we went to go you and we got to see it live. And it was shockingly real and you know.
Aaron Moncur 55:49
We have to do a whole other episode just about go you and the culture at Go Engineer. That sounds amazing.
Darin Grosser 55:55
Yeah, we had to do it virtually this year, of course, which was, you know, one of the top five disappointments of my year from COVID. Sure, yeah. Because because there was a bunch of us that weren’t acquired, couldn’t go because of schedules. We already had things on the calendar. And I really wanted the rest of the staff to see this. But we’re going to try and do it this year. Hopefully if things work out August again this year, we might go with the rest. Yeah, yeah, it is pretty amazing.
Aaron Moncur 56:19
Awesome. Well, Darren, thank you so much for spending your time with me today. This has been incredible. I love all the things that you’ve shared. How can people get ahold of you?
Darin Grosser 56:30
You know, through email, it’s very easy. You can go to the Go Engineer website, actually and find me there but firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find me out there on Twitter is a place I’m available. That’s going to be go with Darin LinkedIn, I’m gisteren grocer. So those are a few of the places that I frequent out there as well. But on YouTube hit Go Engineer on YouTube channel, we are again, we’re building content fast and furious, here’s literally three to four content pieces per day coming out of engineer
Aaron Moncur 56:57
Darin Grosser 56:58
Yeah, I’m doing about one every couple of weeks because my production quality I’ve kind of put a little bit more into it and some deep diving and this and that but but from the team that you asked a question earlier that I never did answer and that was you know, doing these kinds of things with the blessing of the company or elsewise. When I started, I was kind of doing them as my own pet projects. I wanted to learn premiere or video editing and just kind of played with it and that spark from Destin Sandlin’s Smarter Every Day, there was was got what got me started. Some of the technical people at SolidWorks showed me a little bit of video editing and they proved that I could do you know a little bit of mixing video track with a secondary audio is what I learned and I that demystified that. Well, when Go Engineer bought us, they sat me down in that room. And this was the moment. I said, okay, what do you like about your job? And I told them, I like to do this. I like to see customers. I like to make content. What don’t you like about your job? I don’t like doing PDM implementations. I don’t like doing tech support. I you know, these things are stressful for me because their customers data and it’s real. Two days later, they sat down and slid me a piece of paper and says, okay, we want you to do all the things you like, and we don’t want you to do the things you don’t like.
Aaron Moncur 58:02
Whoa, that’s incredible.
Darin Grosser 58:03
Then I said where do I sign? Yes, because content is fun for me, but content under the blessings of my of my leadership team that they want that and crave it, man, it’s just it’s the best because now I can do it free and you know, creative things are better when your mind is is is liberated.
Aaron Moncur 58:21
That’s a big deal
Darin Grosser 58:22
That’s part of the culture is that this stuff is beneficial. It’s great for our customers, it gets the word out there and we want you to make it those were just word music to my ears.
Aaron Moncur 58:30
And to know that the company was really listening to what you were saying and then acted on it that must have been huge for you.
Darin Grosser 58:36
You know that I got on a plane happy looking for the for the chink in the armor that didn’t appear. And, and yeah, happily ever after. I’ve never said it more intensely than I do these days, but but it was a needed shot in the arm at a point in my career where I was kind of getting stale, and really needed something enthusiastic to happen. And man, when you least expected the most dramatic thing turns out to be what you needed. And that’s where I’m at today.
Aaron Moncur 59:02
I also think it’s educational that at least in part, this opportunity arose out of your own personal curiosity. You were making these videos on your own because it was fun for you. You’re curious about doing that. And so you explored it and and then that grew into something that now you get to do as a formal part of your role at your job.
Darin Grosser 59:27
Like model mania, there’s a competition now at SolidWorks world that’s been going for the last five years which is this this digital content challenge. And the first year it happened I kind of made a nice video I got 10th place but for the last three years I have won it, I’m going for, for Pete this year for North America and twice in a row. I’m going for three times for the world now. So treehouse, so the home renovation video was my entry this year. And again, it was it was fair competition on my own kind of, you know, not sanctioned work, but I did it on my own hundreds of hours and again, labor of love This time, I didn’t do it on my own time, I did it on a company’s blessed time, and I still was able to give them product and, and enjoy what I did. And it really isn’t an amazing time to, to do my job.
Aaron Moncur 1:00:12
Yeah. Well, congratulations. I’m so happy that you’ve you found this position there. Me too. Absolutely. Well, Darren, is there anything else that we should talk about before ending the podcast?
Darin Grosser 1:00:22
You know, I, I think we covered a lot here. And I, we should get together probably again in another year, because things change so often, you know, and I know, you talked to one of my other colleagues, and he sees things from a different perspective. And that’s great, because we are a collection of all the people that make this company and it really, to us. The acquisition took pressure off of a lot of us because we ended up having a lot more people that were good like us, instead of being a few people, we were lots of people that were very skilled and, and, you know, it really has made the last year and a half. And then looking forward one of those things that I really look forward to because we just have so many resources, doing so many great things that we can all focus on our own little things and collectively, you know, add quality and the value added that our customers desire.
Aaron Moncur 1:01:09
So great, so great. Well, Darren, thanks again for being with us. This has been incredible. Really appreciate your time.
Darin Grosser 1:01:16
Right on. Thanks.
Aaron Moncur 1:01:21
I’m Aaron Moncur, founder of Pipeline Design and Engineering. If you liked what you heard today, please leave us a positive review. It really helps other people find the show. To learn how your engineering team can leverage our team’s expertise in developing turnkey custom test fixtures, automated equipment and product design, visit us at testfixturedesign.com. Thanks for listening.
We hope you enjoyed this episode of the Being an Engineer Podcast.
Help us rank as the #1 engineering podcast on Apple and Spotify by leaving a review for us.
Find us under the category: mechanical engineering podcast on Apple Podcasts.
Being an Engineer podcast is a go-to resource and podcast for engineering students on Spotify, too.
Aaron Moncur and Rafael Testai love hearing from their listeners, so feel free to email us, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on Apple Podcast and Spotify!
About Being An Engineer
The Being An Engineer podcast is brought to you by Pipeline Design & Engineering. Pipeline partners with medical & other device engineering teams who need turnkey equipment such as cycle test machines, custom test fixtures, automation equipment, assembly jigs, inspection stations and more. You can find us on the web at www.teampipeline.us.
You’ve read this far! Therefore, it’s time to turn your headphones up and listen now to this episode to learn all these. Don’t forget to tell your friends who might like this too!