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Sharon Baylay Joins DriveWorks

As a global software development company, we are delighted to welcome experienced senior business leader, Sharon Baylay as Non-Executive Chair. Sharon’s appointment follows investment earlier this year by BGF, the UK’s most active growth capital investor.

We are a fast-growing technology company developing DriveWorks software, a design tool to automate SOLIDWORKS, the worlds leading 3D CAD design platform. An increasingly virtual world has brought further opportunities through 3D Product Visualisation and Configure, Price Quote (CPQ) for Manufacturing.

CEO, Glen Smith said We are delighted to have attracted a Non-Exec of Sharons calibre. Her input into the business is already helping to communicate the benefits of our Design Automation and CPQ capabilities to a wider audience across the manufacturing sector worldwide.

With a 30-year career in the tech sector, backed by extensive commercial and marketing expertise most notably board positions at Microsoft and the BBC Sharon Baylays executive career has been dominated by roles that have helped transform user behaviour through the utilisation and implementation of technology. Sharon has also developed a wide-ranging portfolio career and currently holds several non-executive directorships.

VP, Maria Sarkar added, We are already benefiting from Sharon’s insight and experience and are confident that she will help us accelerate growth and address the significant market demand for automation and 3D product visualisation for manufacturing businesses in an increasingly virtual world.

Sharon has worked with several BGF and other Private Equity-backed companies over the last few years. She is now connecting us with other technology innovators and business leaders. With so many opportunities ahead of us, Sharons experience will also help us to manage our relationship with BGF and target our investment into the right areas of our business and markets to accelerate growth and exceed customer expectations.

Sharon added With BGFs support, we will build on DriveWorks market-leading Design Automation and 3D product visualization position with businesses with SOLIDWORKS across the globe.

Sharon Baylay’s experience spans 30 years in and around technology

About DriveWorks

The fast-growing technology company was co-founded by CEO Glen Smith and VP, Maria Sarkar in 2001 when they launched DriveWorks software as a design tool to automate SOLIDWORKS, the worlds leading 3D CAD design platform. An increasingly virtual world has brought further opportunities through Configure, Price, Quote and 3D Product Visualization.

The firm has been recognized for its achievements with Queens Awards for Innovation and International Trade. It is represented by Value Added Resellers across 51 countries and used by thousands.

My First DriveWorks Solo Project

At the start of my placement at DriveWorks I was tasked with creating a configurator for a custom agricultural silo, using DriveWorks Solo inside SOLIDWORKS.

The main thing I learnt from this project is that research and planning is key. The time I spent researching and drawing out my project at the beginning, made it easy to stay on track and create a clear, easy to use configurator.

Ive summarized what I did and how I did it in this blog post.

Tom

Product Design Placement Student at DriveWorks.

Where to Start

Before getting stuck into my project, I knew it was important to plan out how I would achieve my end goal. This involved research to determine what factors of the silo would need to be configurable.

Of course, I started online by googling custom silo and looked at several websites that showed lots of agricultural equipment. I wanted to get an insight on the use, shapes, functionality, terminology and what people look for when buying a silo.

I discovered there were several features to include when specifying a silo.

These were filler styles, dispenser styles and the overall silo volume requirements – all of which depended on what would be stored in the silo.

Once I knew what features and options I wanted to include in my configurator, it was then important to think about how I would design it, and how I would set it up in SOLIDWORKS.

Modelling for Design Reuse

I had used SOLIDWORKS on my product design course and come across configurations and design tables when using SOLIDWORKS. However, when Id been through my DriveWorks Solo training, Id learnt that using rules to drive the design, and drive the SOLIDWORKS outputs, means you can create something that is scalable and automate the design process.

Thanks to the training, I knew how important it was to model for design reuse and change. Before creating anything in SOLIDWORKS I thought about how DriveWorks would automate the models, to ensure that when I started creating the models, they would easily be driven by DriveWorks.

Having completed the DriveWorks Solo training and knowing the best techniques for driving SOLIDWORKS models efficiently, I could narrow down my design scope so I was able to produce effective, realistic models that could be easily automated with DriveWorks.

Project Plan

Using my gained DriveWorks knowledge, it was logical to split my SOLIDWORKS models into 3 sections, top (filler), mid-section and bottom (dispenser) and then swap the top and bottom in as instances.

To drive the volume of the silo I decided to capture the height of the mid-section and create a rule in DriveWorks using different mathematical formulas to say that at the specified volume chosen, the height of the mid-section would change by X mm.

This chosen method proved a lot easier than trying to drive the volume of the cylindrical sections themselves.

I also created a support structure that would stay constant throughout, to make automation easier.

With all this insight and a plan laid out, I was able to move on to creating the parts in SOLIDWORKS.

Form Navigation

After going through Sheet Metal and Weldment SOLIDWORKS Manuals and working with the more experienced members in our Technical Team, I was able to create a realistic master model and the individual parts that would be driven in and out of the assembly.

I then started planning the flow for the configurator and what I would show on each form.

I started sketching out ideas and began designing the forms using the DriveWorks Solo form designer so that they would be clear, engaging and easy to navigate.

I took inspiration from some of the other sample configurators on the DriveWorks Live website.

Within DriveWorks Solo I then created a start form, central forms for configuring the silo and then a summary and order form to show the details that the user has chosen.

Creating a Clear UI

Less is often more with UI, so by combining checkboxes and pictures and by keeping a consistent layout throughout, I made the user experience more obvious and quicker to click through.

I added small descriptions highlighting available options or showing error messages and these made the configurator more intuitive.

As DriveWorks Solo includes a powerful rules engine (based on excel style syntax), I then linked all the checkboxes and other controls to the relevant captured SOLIDWORKS models using rules.

Finally, I created a mathematical rule to link the volume textbox/slider to the silo mid-section height and used a dropdown linked to a table to drive the silo colour.

Timescale

In addition to this configurator project, I had several other projects I needed to work on during my internship, but I would say that overall it took me 2 months of elapsed time to get from planning the project to the finished goal.

I spent a week planning, 3 weeks creating all the models, 2 weeks creating the DriveWorks project and another 2 weeks enhancing it and finalising it based on testing and feedback.

Download and Try the Silo Project

Im really pleased with the end result and super happy that its now featured on the DriveWorks Solo website for anyone to download and try for themselves whilst Im back at university.

There are many other DriveWorks Solo sample projects on the website too, showing lots of different ways DriveWorks Solo can be set up and used.

I also created a video showing the features of the Agricultural Silo project and you can find many more like it on the DriveWorks YouTube channel.

Try DriveWorks Solo

Download and use DriveWorks Solo free for 30 days with the DriveWorks Solo 30 Day Free Trial.

Available to anyone with SOLIDWORKS.

Welcome to Our Team

Every year we take on placement students across many of our teams. We’ve always valued the importance of investing in new talent and supporting the future of digital, and this year is no different.

Whilst many students have had opportunities taken away from them as a result of Covid-19, our 4 new interns have joined our team and have already made great progress.

Ryan, Abi and Jacob have joined our Technical Team, and Sophie has joined our Sales & Marketing Team.

They’ve been with us for almost a month now and have had a busy but very productive first few weeks completing their Onboarding Training.

So far, they’ve had training about our company, the internal and external tools we use, SOLIDWORKS,DriveWorksXpress and DriveWorks Solo.

All interns have passed their DriveWorksXpress and DriveWorks Solo certifications – well done guys!

This week, the interns are going to be shadowing (digitally!) our Support, Quality Assurance, Development, Systems and Documentation teams. They will also complete a Phone and Written Communications course.

Then they will be moving on to the DriveWorks Pro Essentials, Advanced and Sales Configurator training & certification.

All of the training they have received has come from our team. Everyone at DriveWorks is keen to share their knowledge and help our interns to succeed. Ryan, Abi, Jacob and Sophie have worked as a team to help each other along the way and are already great members of the DriveWorks team.

We look forward to working with them over the next year.

Ryan

Computer Aided Engineering

University of Central Lancashire

Abi

Product Design

University of Leeds

Jacob

Mechanical Engineering

University of Huddersfield

Sophie

Product Design

University of Leeds

Getting to Know Us

Whilst the office doesnt have its usual friendly buzz, the interns have still had plenty of chance to get to know each other, and the rest of the DriveWorks team.

They’ve taken part in lots of Microsoft Teams based quizzes and calls and our weekly digital Show & Tells.

The interns are also living together in our on-site accommodation.

Just before we went into lockdown, we had just finished the new Tech office. The Technical Team didn’t get a chance to move in before we all went to work from home. Most of the DriveWorks team are still working from home, but the interns have taken over our new Tech office and have already claimed the best desks!

Social distancing measures make it a bit more difficult to spend time with other members of the team, but whilst the sun was out we were able to have an outdoor pizza night and chat from 2 meters away.

Welcome to the team Ryan, Abi, Jacob and Sophie!

Get Certified

The DriveWorksXpress and DriveWorks Solo Certifications our interns have completed are available online, and are free of charge to anyone with access to SOLIDWORKS.

Learn more and add an an extra qualification to your CV.

A Great Day of Food, Drinks, Games and Fun

On Saturday we held our annual Summer Party. The DriveWorks team got together with friends and family for great food, homebrewed beer and DIY games!

Over the past few weeks, we have been spending our lunchtimes making our own games and it was great to see them all finished and have fun playing them on Saturday!

We’ve made splat the rat, cornhole, a giant hook and ring and the most ambitious of all, shuffleboard!

We also brewed some more beer, this time we went with some different recipes to the usual Automation IPA.

This year we made Configurator Pale Ale and Same but Different IPA. Both beers went down really well at the party, these are definitely recipes to keep!

Pizza & Ice Cream

Of course it wouldn’t be a DriveWorks party without some great food! This year we were treated to some delicious wood fired pizza from Stonebakers. They braved the rain to fill our Training Room with endless supplies of pizza.

We also had some Cheshire Farm Ice Cream, served from a trike! Oliver and Howie were more than willing to ride the trike around the party, taking ice cream to the people.

Games & Fun

Alongside our usual pool tournaments, this year we had our DIY games to play too!

We made two cornhole sets, a giant ring and hook and splat the rat. The games certainly brought out the competitive sides in all of us and it was great fun playing the games we’ve all been building over the last few weeks!

The most popular game at the party was of course shuffleboard! After initial delays sourcing shuffleboard wax, we built this one in less than a week! What a great achievement to get it finished in time for the party and have so much fun playing it.

We’ll be bringing out the games at DriveWorks World 2020, look out for updates from us for news of the dates and location!

The only thing we couldn’t prepare in advance was the weather, and of course, being in the UK it rained! But we are used to it and some of us came very prepared!

Despite the rain, we had a great day enjoying drinks, food, games and laughs as a team!

Want to be part of our team? We’re hiring!

We’re currently recruiting for a number of vacancies and we’re always on the lookout for talented people to join our team.
Check out our careers page to find out more about joining us!

Pancake Day Fun at DriveWorks

Every year at DriveWorks we celebrate pancake day at lunchtime, flipping, topping and enjoying pancakes together.

Here are some photos from our delicious lunchtime today!

Everyone has a different flipping technique. Some people go for a simple flip…

Then there’s the more adventurous flip…

Others keep it low…

Some people flip so high they lose their pancake…

There’s even a double flip…

And others seem to be completely terrified of pancakes…

When it comes to toppings we’re divided too.

Classic lemon and sugar, indulgent nutella or sweet syrup, we like them all!

Of course Ruby was involved in the pancake day action too, on the lookout for dropped pancakes but unfortunately for her, everybody managed to catch theirs!

She was also super helpful and very happy to help us clean up the mess.

We hope you have a wonderful festive season and we wish you all the best for the new year.

We look forward to seeing you all in 2019 at SOLIDWORKS World and DriveWorks World!

This year our Christmas tree is decorated with the faces of our team members.
Each day we will be taking a look at who’s on the tree and finding out more about how they spend the holidays.

Meet Glen, Maria and Ruby

Glen

2018 is the year that I completed my 100th 5k parkrun. Im not getting any faster, but I do really enjoy running every Saturday morning. I especially enjoy running when its cold and wet.

I have already signed up for a series of 10k runs in the new year, culminating in a half marathon hill race in September.

I am particularly looking forward to DriveWorks World in Chicago in April and look forward to showing off our latest technology. Hopefully I will see you there.

Maria

December is always one of our busiest months and we’ve got lots of extra social activities planned too.

We’ve been challenged to escape from a “locked room”, we’re buying Secret Santa presents for each other, and we’ve got a company “away day” with festive food and an evening of music and dancing.

This year will be Ruby’s first Christmas – she’s already tried to drink the water from underneath the Christmas tree and Im not sure how long the baubles will survive.

Im secretly hoping for snow.

Ruby

I haven’t had a Christmas with my humans before so I’m really excited to see what all the fuss is about.

Earlier in the year we had some fluffy white snow falling from the sky. I loved running around in it, I hope we get some of that again for Christmas.

I’ve already had some fun playing with the Christmas tree and some of my team mates at DriveWorks have bought me some Christmas presents too, apparently I’ve been a good girl this year.

It was my birthday at the beginning of the month and I got some gifts then too!

I’ve had so much fun being part of the DriveWorks team and I can’t wait to have lots more fun and cuddles here in 2019!

Happy Christmas everyone!

This year our Christmas tree is decorated with the faces of our team members.
Each day we will be taking a look at who’s on the tree and finding out more about how they spend the holidays.

Meet Jessica, Lauren and Mark

Jessica

I love Christmas and Im usually the person feeling festive in early October! I have a big family so Christmas time is usually pretty hectic and I have many nieces and a nephew which makes it all very exciting.

We always go to the pantomime on Christmas Eve, this year its Cinderella. The theatre has fake snow falling as you walk through the entrance, its magical and the children love it. Maybe we will be lucky enough to get some real snow this year!

I love the excitement of Christmas Day, we all open our stockings as soon as we wake up but have to wait until after breakfast to open the rest of our gifts. My mum makes us open our presents one by one, starting from youngest to oldest so she can see what we have all received, this means it takes ages to open our presents but its good to make them last!

We like to go for a walk before dinner, especially if there have been new bikes, doll prams or scooters that need to be tested out! Then we spend the rest of the day playing games, eating and drinking.

Lauren

My favourite things about Christmas are the endless amounts of food and drink that get consumed guilt-free and decorating the house.

This year weve managed to get Christmas in every single room of the house (including the bathroom and bunny room!).

I really enjoy buying presents for everyone and usually spend a little bit too much money.

We always make sure all the animals in our families get presents to open too, and those willing to dress up usually get a Christmas outfit.

A highlight from 2018 was a weekend away in Buxton with my closest friends which was full of laughs, food, drink, sightseeing and bike rides.

In 2019 were hoping to do the same but at a different location.

Mark

My favourite day of the year is Christmas Eve. I do a pub crawl with my friends wearing Christmas jumpers. I also love watching Harry Potter on Christmas day!

The holiday period is just a great time for eating, drinking and seeing friends and family.

This year our Christmas tree is decorated with the faces of our team members.
Each day we will be taking a look at who’s on the tree and finding out more about how they spend the holidays.

Meet Millie and Tom

Millie

My favourite thing about Christmas is THE FOOD, the atmosphere it creates, the music and of course, spending time with my loved ones.

Last Christmas I visited Berlin with my boyfriend for the German markets and this year my family and I are heading to Ireland to visit my sister in Cork.

I will then be heading home to the Isle of Man to catch up with my friends and have our annual Christmas dinner together!

In 2018 I finished my placement at DriveWorks and returned to university for my final year. I also treated myself to lots of sunny holidays, my favourite being Croatia!

Im sure 2019 will be another exciting year as I will be graduating after four years at university!! Merry Christmas everyone ?

Tom

This year Im going to be spending Christmas Day at my sister’s new house in Manchester. Shes only been moved in for 3 months, so has been rushing around to get everything homely before the big red guy arrives on the 25th. Im happy about it because it means I dont have to drive 2 and a half hours back home to my mums!

My favourite thing about Christmas is Christmas dinner. Every year my sister gets everyone table presents for us to open at, you guessed it, the dinner table. Last year I got some LEGO, which entertained me for longer than I would like to admit!

This year our Christmas tree is decorated with the faces of our team members.
Each day we will be taking a look at who’s on the tree and finding out more about how they spend the holidays.

Meet Kris, Lucy and Wesley

Kris

My favourite thing about Christmas is seeing my family and friends and watching people open the awesome (and often offensive) presents Ive bought them.

Over the Christmas period, Ill be partaking in a couple of friends Christmas parties and will be wrapping my presents with my 3 favourite Christmas films on in the background (Die Hard, Lethal Weapon and Bad Santa, thanks for asking).

The highlight of the year so far has been taking up squash. I also enjoyed holidays and mini-breaks this year in the Lake District, Leeds and Menorca (or is it/was it Minorca?). I Googled it, I actually went to Mallorca. It was good.

Lucy

In my house Christmas is about spending time with family and friends while enjoying a few glasses of mulled wine by the fire.

On Christmas Eve the tradition is to watch a film (usually Elf or The Grinch) and then head to the pub. Christmas day is a very lazy day so our Christmas Dinner is always in the evening.

One of my highlights from 2018 was graduating from University with a first as well as starting a new job at DriveWorks, just in time for the Christmas party!

In 2019, Im really looking forward to starting new projects at DriveWorks and hopefully fitting in a holiday!

Wesley

My favourite part of the Christmas is the fooood!!! Especially tasty roast turkey with all the trimmings for Christmas dinner.

We have a family tradition of going to the pub just before lunch time for a few beers before coming home and sitting down as a family for the evening meal.

A highlight from this year was going on a track day with a voucher that I got for my birthday. I drove some fast, expensive cars around a racetrack with racing advice and tips from some race car drivers.

This year our Christmas tree is decorated with the faces of our team members.
Each day we will be taking a look at who’s on the tree and finding out more about how they spend the holidays.

Meet Ian and Joel

Ian

My favourite thing about the festive season is spending time with my family.

I love the traditional turkey dinner on Christmas day.

Every Christmas we walk to the local pub for a dinner time drink with the family!

Joel

My favourite part of Christmas is getting the chance to meet up with all of my family and friends who Ive hardly seen over the past year.

Its also a great excuse to overindulge in all things unhealthy. For me, this mainly includes lots of cheese, chocolate and of course beer.

This year I am spending Christmas Day at home for the first time for quite a few years.

This means we will be cooking the Christmas dinner, I am currently awaiting my mum’s orders on what I shall be burning this year!

I am hoping this year Santa will bring me a new pair of headphones and some socks.

I am also very excited for NYE as me and my friends have a tradition of all getting together and having a big party at one of our houses.

This year our Christmas tree is decorated with the faces of our team members.
Each day we will be taking a look at who’s on the tree and finding out more about how they spend the holidays.

Meet Rob, Simon and Thomas

Rob

Its my daughters first Christmas, so Im excited to spend time with my family.

I plan on drinking mulled wine, eating double Christmas dinner (Christmas day and again on boxing day) and eating lots of mince pies!

Simon

I love that people are just nicer and friendlier this time of the year, something I wish we could keep up all year around!

As for traditions, I love all of the typical activities, the lights, the food, the baked goods, and of course mulled wine. YUM.

2018 was the first full calendar year I’ve lived in America, so I can now say I’ve experienced all of the holidays.

It’s been a great year with plenty of new experiences. Now I just hope New England delivers some snow in time for Christmas eve!

My least favourite part of Christmas is running out of Christmas movies to watch on Netflix. C’mon, Netflix! Add some more!

Thomas

My favourite thing about Christmas is food! All the mince pies and cheese will be mine!

Ill be back to France to celebrate Christmas with my family and friends so thats exciting!

The highlight of 2018 was achieving my first half-marathon in 2 hours 10 minutes, which I was quite pleased with.

This year our Christmas tree is decorated with the faces of our team members.
Each day we will be taking a look at who’s on the tree and finding out more about how they spend the holidays.

Meet Callum, Laura and Oliver

Callum

My favourite thing about Christmas is how my whole family comes together for the season.

One by one all my siblings have moved out to start careers/study so Christmas is a great time to catch up on everything thats happened over the year.

Im looking forward to Christmas this year more than ever as weve recently had a new addition to the family wholl be joining us.

Laura

My favourite part about Christmas is spending time with family and enjoying all the festive food.

My Mum always makes her traditional Strawberry Trifle and its amazing.

On Christmas Day, we have a nice relaxed day and end up going for a nice walk.

The highlight of 2018 was my holiday on board the Independence of the Seas.

We travelled around the Mediterranean Sea for two weeks and visited places such as Barcelona, Gibraltar and Nice.

Oliver

This year has been great!

What has made it so great? Well, Ive finished university and started back at DriveWorks!

Over the festive period, Im most looking forward to a friend returning home from Australia. I havent seen her in over a year!

This year our Christmas tree is decorated with the faces of our team members.
Each day we will be taking a look at who’s on the tree and finding out more about how they spend the holidays.

Meet Mike, Ollie and Phil

Mike

This year I will be decorating my house for Christmas for the first time!

I’m going to be finding the most obnoxious flashing lights I can and covering my house in them! I can’t wait!

Ollie

This Year, my Christmas will be completely different.

Ive been with my partner Ffion (Shes Welsh; pronounced Fee-On) for 4 years and this is the first year we are spending the Christmas period together.

We will be at Ffis parents house, eating a turkey that was reared by her best friends dad (hes a farmer).

It is also our first year living together on our own.

My highlight of this past year was graduating from university and beginning my life as a fully grown adult.

The big bonus of this year was being offered a job at DriveWorks.

My Christmas will be filled with rum, cheese, meat and games!

Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and may the food and booze be plentiful!

Phil

Christmas for me is all about catching up with friends and family. Im lucky enough to still be best friends with all the people I went to school with and Christmas is generally the only time we are all back in Carlisle. We always arrange to go for a walk in the Lake District which usually ends in us getting drenched in the rain and this year we are planning a winter cycle ride.

Im mainly looking forward to New Year celebrations this year as my friends and I have hired a big house in the Lake District that sleeps 20 people. We will be having a party to welcome in 2019 and looking forward to the year ahead.

This year Im hoping Santa will replace my old TV with a shiny new one to watch the last season of Game of Thrones on.

This year our Christmas tree is decorated with the faces of our team members.
Each day we will be taking a look at who’s on the tree and finding out more about how they spend the holidays.

Meet Carl, Howie and Lewis

Carl

My favourite part about the festive season is getting to see my extended family. We live all up and down the country and dont get time to see each other often, so Christmas is usually the time we get to spend together. That, and Christmas Dinner of course.

My personal tradition for Christmas is to drink a bottle of Baileys and watch The Muppets: Christmas Carol on Christmas Eve (Which is best Christmas Movie by far, I might add).

My highlight of 2018 was starting work at DriveWorks! I was a little unsure how I would find it before I started, but havent looked back since. Im looking forward to taking what Ive learnt back to university next year, but Im dreading leaving! It already feels like home!

Howie

My favourite part of Christmas is the selection of films to watch on the television! There are so many classics and I do my best to schedule a full day of non-stop films, not forgetting the food! I will be indulging myself in all treats, sweets festive goodies!

Christmas Eve will be spent at my local pub with friends where we catch up ahead of the busy few weeks to follow. I dont really have a Christmas tradition. For the past four years I have worked retail, usually consisting of long days from dark mornings to dark evenings. This year I look forward to being out of the shopping carnage and instead be comfy and cosy at home with friends and family.

Lewis

My family are pretty boring in terms of Christmas traditions other than getting together, playing games, being lazy, and eating a lot (we are especially good at the last two).

I enjoy the cold weather, especially when it snows. I also like eating around the table with family, opening Christmas crackers (where I inevitably employ dirty tactics to win), and watching films together.

I hope to get money from Santa this year so I can build a new computer, but an orange and a handful of nuts will suffice.

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