I’ve been reading a bit lately about transactive memory. It’s a theory that basically states that in any organization, the group mind may know something in its entirety although individual members will only know either certain things or how to find the person with the appropriate knowledge. Collectively, however, it’s an efficient and effective system.
Reading about this has reinforced my belief that the more work we put into obtaining data, the better we remember it. Have you felt that way? In the old days, we may have had to drive to a library and pore through volumes of material to find something. Now, we find that all we need to remember is which file drawer we’ve placed something in, or, in an even more contemporary example, that it comes up at the top of the list in Google if I phrase my search terms in a certain way.
I am a big believer in being familiar with one’s resources. Reading about memory systems and mnemonic tools has reassured me that this is in fact how the brain works, and indeed it’s safe to say at times it’s less important to remember something than to know how to find it when needed.
What does this have to do with SolidWorks?
I’m glad you asked. As trusted advisers, we here at Graphics Systems believe in empowering our customers, and a vital part of our training classes is teaching not only the software but tools for its effective use. One of those tools is 3D Content Central, a Dassault Systemes SolidWorks hosted site.
If you’re about to model any sort of purchased part, check this site out first as there are countless free searchable parts and assemblies available in native SolidWorks format. Yes, I said “free.” The only stipulation is you agree to receive an email from the company whose products you’ve downloaded, but that’s a rather small price to pay! Additionally, you are able to post your own company’s parts for others’ use in their designs…so it’s a win-win situation and the site has spawned quite a user community.
So, remember those resources at your fingertips, such as 3D Content Central and my.solidworks.com (as was covered in these pages recently by my coworker Dale Rice).