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Why actively participate in the forums?


I've been participating in the DesignSpark forums for over ten years now. Sometimes I ask myself why I devote as much time as I do to the forums. After I'll, I'm just another user of the DesignSpark tools - I don't work for RS. In the past I've had several reasons / motivations.

For one, I appreciate the software being available at a free level, without restriction on how the end product (designs created with it) are used. This lowers the barrier for small companies or startups to address markets that don't have the volume to support large teams and expensive seats of software. It also encourages STEM and maker efforts. These are things I like. So helping others here when I can is one way to give back for the software being available.

I also appreciate all the engineers who took the time to mentor and share their knowledge with me over the years. Passing knowledge on to others is a good thing to do.

I also learn from the problems and solutions others share here. They may teach me solutions I need on another day. 3D CAD programs are non-trivial to master, especially if they are only part of your design duties. Every bit helps.

Recently, this came full circle. I was trying to extract some geometry embedded within one of my designs to re-use it in another spot. After a bit about how to do it, I turned to the forum here and did a search. I found a post from years ago, by another user with a similar problem. Their post had been answered with a solution that worked for them, and they expressed their gratitude. The solution solved my current problem as well. 

The kicker?  I was the one who had posted the solution years ago. So in the end, I ended up helping myself as well.

-Brad (just another, sometimes easily amused, user)