Best Start-Up Practices for SOLIDWORKS Newbies

You were ecstatic when the company approved the purchase of SOLIDWORKS and training for your staff. In no time, you had the software, the manpower and the skills. Then, one day, you realized your team wasn’t delivering as expected. You were in hot water. You didn’t know what hit you.

Sound familiar?

That usually happens when you start out with SOLIDWORKS without a proper checklist of things you should have or do. Now, we could not blame you. That checklist isn’t in the manual, we admit. Yeah, we provide the software and the training materials you need, but there are a whole lot of things besides that affect your productivity using SolidWorks.

We will attempt to list some of the key aspects here. But before that, please remember that each company is different in terms of industry, company size, expertise, etc. You’d have to decide for yourself how much each of these affect your operations.

1. What is the extent of your integration with other units of the company and/or with your client?

Review the 3D CAD work flow in your company operations. Identify clearly what information and resources you need and what outcomes are expected from you. Then identify clearly the process in between, including the decision points.

Be clear about your work flow!

With that work flow at hand, mark clearly where SOLIDWORKS would be needed and by whom, which brings us to the next item in our list.

6a00d83451706569e2017c38aa462b970b-800wi2. Who will be empowered?

List down the names and positions of people who will get involved in the 3D CAD process – from the draftsman, to the engineer all the way to the management. Then make sure each one has direct access to the following:

– Tutorials and Knowledge Base
– Training
– User Support
– Discussion Forums for SolidWorks users and administrators
– Local user groups
– Books, Magazines and Newsletters

Do not forget to empower your administrator!

Most importantly, do not forget to empower your administrator. He or she will be besieged with questions by all the users in the team, particularly in the beginning. Make sure he or she is up to it.

3. Who will be responsible for specific segments of the work flow?

This is where you need to decide the starting point of your process. Would the initial design come from the management? or should it come from the engineers? How does the design flow either way and who’s responsible for each step in the work flow? Will there be templates to be used?

As you see, while SSOLIDWORKS is a great product, it works best under a well-designed project management software that guides the actions of everyone. Make sure you factor in learning curves of people in the beginning to manage expectations well.


6a00d83451706569e2017c31f560e4970b-pi4. Who will be made accountable for the quality implementation of each segment?

This is where the rubber hits the road. Being responsible is one thing. Being accountable is another. The person who is accountable is expected to make sure things happen as scheduled and in the desired quality. Most likely, this task would fall on the project manager.

The Project Manager must brief each person in the team about the expectations due him or her, the tools he/she needs to use as well as access to the support sites or materials.

The list above is by no means exhaustive. But they can certainly help you manage results and expectations from your team well. After all, the points above require their participation and sense of ownership.

Want to see how SOLIDWORKS can help you win new business and get to market faster? Request an in-person SOLIDWORKS demo today.

Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp. offers complete 3D software tools that let you create, simulate, publish, and manage your data. SolidWorks products are easy to learn and use, and work together to help you design products better, faster, and more cost-effectively. The SolidWorks focus on ease-of-use allows more engineers, designers and other technology professionals than ever before to take advantage of 3D in bringing their designs to life.