As my Onshape colleague Alex Arevalo notes, whenever you gather a bunch of passionate mechanical engineers and product designers in a room, the conversations are fantastic. Innovation and creativity, of course, span across industries and it can be inspiring to hear firsthand how colleagues are overcoming challenges and exploring new technologies and processes.

That kind of contagious energy in the room just can’t be duplicated in online forums or through social media. Sometimes it’s easy to forget what genuine eye contact feels like outside of a video conference call.

PTC Onshape User Groups are now forming across North America. They are a casual way to improve your design skills, network with industry peers, learn best practices from innovative companies and just enjoy some food and drink with new friends.

Hosting a user group is a smart way for your company to get its name and products in front of potential new partners or recruits – or to float new ideas in front of like-minded professionals. At the recent Toronto meeting, for example, user group members had a chance to check out KitchenMate’s Smart Cooker devices that use conduction and steam to cook pre-prepared nutritious meals perfectly.

KitchenMate’s Smart Cookers automatically control the temperature, humidity and duration to perfectly cook pre-packaged nutritious meals stored in the office fridge.

In the spirit of infusing some new faces into PTC Onshape User Groups in 2020, here’s a quick introduction to some of the group leaders, what they like to do when they’re not immersed in CAD, and their top pizza picks...

Boston

Group Leader: Ty Tremblay

Occupation: Lead Applications Engineer at Realtime Robotics

Favorite Non-CAD Activities: Mentors high school robotics teams, and founder of the RoboSports Network, a media channel that covers robotics competitions with NFL-style commentary, instant replay and analysis.

Group Meeting Place: Rotating venues. “It can take an hour to get across Boston by public transportation, so we’ll move the meetings around to spread out the inconvenience.”

Contact Info: ty.tremblay(at)gmail(dot)com

Top Pizza Pick: Regina Pizzeria

Chicago

Group Leader: Drew Marschner

Occupation: Senior Mechanical Engineer at Impossible Objects

Favorite Non-CAD Activities: Lifting weights, reading sci-fi/fantasy novels.

Group Meeting Place: mHUB Chicago

Contact Info: andrew.marschner(at)gmail(dot)com

Top Pizza Pick: Pequod’s Pizza – Chicago’s Best Deep Dish Pizza

Dallas

Group Leader: Chris McCormack

Occupation: Technical Trainer at PTC University

Favorite Non-CAD Activities: Playing online Dungeons and Dragons, watching owls in his backyard.

Group Meeting Place: Rotating venues

Contact Info: ChrisMacCormack(at)outlook(dot)com

Top Pizza Pick: Double Dave’s Pizzaworks in Denton, TX

Denver

Group Leader: Jeffrey Rowe

Occupation: Editor/Author/Podcaster.

Favorite Non-CAD Activity: Drinking single malt scotch while playing banjo.

Group Meeting Place: 3D Printing Store, Englewood, CO

Contact Info: 719jrowe(at)gmail(at)com

Top Pizza Pick: Blue Pan Pizza (Detroit style)

Philadelphia

Group Leader: Marcus Bernstein

Occupation: Product design student at Drexel University

Favorite Non-CAD Activity: Playing classic video games (Pokemon and Madden) from my childhood.

Group Meeting Place: Drexel University

Contact Info: marcusbernstein(at)gmail(dot)com

Top Pizza Pick: Ed’s Buffalo Wings and Pizza

Salt Lake City

Group Leader: Chad Clarke

Occupation: Senior Designer at Edwards Lifesciences

Favorite Non-CAD Activities: Quad camping and ice hockey

Group Meeting Place: Edwards Lifesciences

Contact Info: chad_clarke(at)edwards(dot)com

Top Pizza Pick: The Pie Pizzeria

San Diego

Group Leader: Bill Campbell

Occupation: Mechanical Engineer at Dexcom

Favorite Non-CAD Activity: Riding his motorcycle on far away roads and feeling like he’s traveling through “heaven.”

Group Meeting Place: Rotating venues

Contact Info: billc(at)rustyshed(dot)com

Top Pizza Pick: Meadows Deli Market in Escondido

San Francisco

Group Leader: Bill Schnoebelen

Occupation: President of Circuit Case Engineering

Favorite Non-CAD Activities: Walking dogs and riding motorcycles.

Group Meeting Place: To Be Determined

Contact Info: bill(at)circuitcase(dot)com

Top Pizza Pick: Fox and Lion Bread Company

Seattle

Group Leader: David Parker

Occupation: Sr. Technical Designer at Dillon Works

Favorite Non-CAD Activity: Grows orchids.

Group Meeting Place: SnoCo Makerspace

Contact Info: seattleoug(at)gmail(dot)com

Top Pizza Pick: Brooklyn Bros. Pizzeria in Everett

Silicon Valley

Group Leader: Sean Blanchard

Occupation: Mechanical Engineer at Applied Materials

Favorite Non-CAD Activity: Enjoys watching video game experts play Madden and wrestling games on YouTube.

Group Meeting Place: Hacker Dojo in Santa Clara

Contact Info: sv.onshape.ug(at)gmail(dot)com

Top Pizza Pick: Mountain Mike’s Pizza

Toronto

Anthony-Marino-Toronto-Onshape-User-Group

Group Leader: Anthony Marino

Occupation: Director of Hardware Development at KitchenMate

Favorite Non-CAD Activity: Makes his own sourdough bread and pizza dough.

Group Meeting Place: KitchenMate and rotating venues

Contact Info: anthony(at)kitchenmate(dot)com

Top Pizza Pick: Maker Pizza Avenue

**

New PTC Onshape User Groups will be forming in other cities in 2020. Don’t see your community listed here? Get in touch with liaison Richard Doyle at usergroups@onshape.com to explore the possibility of launching your own User Group!