My design background began over 20 years ago in 1989 when as a 16 year old I joined a carbide press tool manufacturing company. It was around this time that affordable Computer Aided Design software came to market that was targeted towards small to medium size businesses. Although many invested in this technology they continued to operate a manual drafting facility in order to maintain their legacy drawings. As a drawing office apprentice, it was one of my duties to carry out such a task, therefore even though 2D CAD had already been implemented, it was on a manual drafting board that I began my career. After spending the next several years carrying out modification work, shop floor changes and detailing, I transitioned to 2D CAD where after receiving some basic in- house training, I progressed from detailing work to become a fully-fledged press tool designer.
Competing in a marketplace where lead-times and price are the keys to success, it was repeatedly expressed by management how important it was that the CAD department found ways and means of working smarter and faster. Tasked with this matter and during times when workload permitted, I began to explore different ways in which we could increase our productivity, and after a few tweaks in design procedures, the focus fell on customising the software by way of automation. Automation meant creating script files using an internal BASIC programming language and I was fortunate in the fact that I was already familiar with Commodore 64 BASIC from a few years back, which although syntactically different, was close enough for me to adapt quickly and get up and running. The coming years saw many macros recorded, created and tweaked in order to increase productivity, and during the later stages of development, I created a graphical user interface for them using Microsoft Visual Basic.
Keeping up with technology led me to test drive and investigate several 3D parametric modelers in the early years of the this millennium, and after several rounds of evaluation and report writing, I submitted a CEA request to take delivery of Autodesk Inventor 9 and to enrol on an authorised training program. Attending a 5 day course at an Autodesk Official Training Center helped me realise the advantages of being trained by a qualified expert, and brought home to me the limited scope that in-house training often presents to the new user. Building on this platform I designed and revised workflows for the next 2 years before circumstances led me to take up a position with a competitor, and there began a brief 15 month acquaintance with SolidWorks.
My return to Autodesk Inventor came in the summer of 2007, when my knowledge of the product paved the way for me to become an Application Engineer with an Autodesk Value Added Reseller. Supporting both AutoCAD and Autodesk Inventor, my role consisted mainly of delivering phone support, customer demonstrations, software installation, on-site consultancy and training courses. My time spent as an Application Engineer was invaluable to me, not only because I was able to access training direct from Autodesk, but it also brought me into contact with lots of interesting people and industries. On many occasions during technical support I would find myself analysing and modifying customer files that had been sent in with a problem. Over time this caused me to miss using Inventor in an industrial capacity, and so, in April 2009, I decided to begin trading as RubiTech Design Services.