For years I have been using the Nascar/F1 speech in front of my operators. “You think that Jeff Gordons crew ever forgot to check the oil level or tire pressure before a race?” why should they be held to a higher standard than you? If you run a CNC machine do me a favor, check the coolant level, check the maintenance screen, period!.
So what about you? you a racer? No not a race fan, but are you set up for speed?
You can spend thousands of dollars on upgrading the work station you work on, but it is not just about that, its also about finding a way to increase your personal work flow with the software you are using. If you are a race fan you know how the race car driver is always looking for the best grip for his race car, simply trying to figure out how the car can go a little faster.
There is a billion websites how you can maximize your performance on you computer, RAM, Muti-core, defrag bla bla bla. When you get to the specific software you are using your selection gets a little smaller, the Solidworks community has a great numbers of bloggers who are has made some great post in regards maximize your work flow. One of them is www.Solidsmack.com by Josh Mings, even if you are not a Solidworks user you will love his Friday smackdown, where he points you in some great, sometimes mysteries corners of the web.
Recently there was a post on Solidsmack called “Set it UP, Killer Solidworks Interface, Better Workflow” The post blog gives a handfull of great tips on increasing your work flow, check it out for your self http://www.solidsmack.com/solidworks-interface-tips/2008-10-14/.
The “S”key in Solidworks is a great simpel function. If you forgot about it, or never even knew about………well you might just been running the last 48 laps in 2nd gear. Here is the trick, delete all your toolbars including all the default settings in your “S”key menu. (Wow suddenly there is alot of screen to work with, huh?) Now you just start adding functions by hitting the “S”key => Right click and add the function to the menu as you are going on with your work, you are now only having the functions on the screen that you are using.
Now being a Mastercam user (have to remember to suggest the “S”Key to CNC Software) would this be useful?, well yeah off course, actually you can say that Mastercams interface looks pretty cluttered on default.
I would recommend you to try two different ideas with Mastercam, just because they are a little different animal than Solidworks.
1st is the Nicorette version, we are keeping 1 toolbar, but just like in Solidworks only adding the functions we use.
This will make you stop squeezing over all those buttons you never use anyways. 2nd is the cold turkey, where we clean it all up, Right click on the menu portion, clear all the check marks for the different toolbars, and go into customize
then it is simply just “drag and drop” into your right mouse button.
The “Separator” on the left side is going to make things a little more organized, the final result is that you just opened up a lot of extra work space, and less mouse moving.
This is off course just a small part on what you can do to increase your work flow, but by taking this 1/2 step back you can step 2 forward pretty quick. The truth is that Jon Hirschtick (Solidworks) and Mark Summers (Mastercam) Don’t know better than you what functions and in what order you use the icons, that’s why they made them customizable, and you should really take the time to play with it a little. Work flow is that importen.