SOLIDWORKS in Student Design Competitions

Today student competitions can range from underwater to first reaches of space and everywhere in between.  Students in these events get a chance to work with a fantastic range of technologies.  A team can be made up students involved with disciplines such as mechanical, electrical, electronic, simulation, software development.  Tasks involve activities including logging telemetry data after a test run flight, etc. and performing an FEA run on a structural frame design for a robot or Formula SAE car.

All these new technologies and tasks are creating an ever-increasing treasure trove of critical design data that typically is used to refine the design and the students to the next level of project performance.

2017 RIT Formula-Hybrid Team car returning to the pits after a test run.
The first task is to download the telemetry data to their laptop from the track session.


As the data grows, the challenges grow with safely storing the data in such a way that it can be easily accessed by those on the team that need it.  Additional tasks typically include both managing the data and ensuring the right data is reviewed and approved (if acceptable) by those responsible for final decisions before parts are ordered or made to ensure safety, performance, cost control and other objectives are achieved.

FIRST Robotics FRC league robots are examples of complex electro-mechanical systems designed and built by students that involve electronics, electrical systems, pneumatics, kinematic analysis and lots of engineering.


Various solutions are available to help store, manage, and collaborate using this data.  Most solutions however tend to focus on partial solutions to the overall challenge.  Some are web-based, such as Dropbox,, GrabCAD, and others.  Others enable storage at the school, on team servers, (aka, on premise solutions).  Some of these solutions enable formal management of the work flows associated with the student product design.  Examples include:  managing & approving the mechanical and structural design of the car frame; managing and signoff of customer PCB designs; managing and signoff of all safety systems, and many more.  One of example of a comprehensive solution for storing and managing your data and controlling workflows is SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional.  You can learn more about this industrial-strength data & workflow management tool that is now available to student teams at LINK to PDM Professional.


The SOLIDWORKS EDU Team would like to learn more about your needs for dataflow and workflow management that you use to help ensure the correct versions of parts are designed, tested, and ordered for your Student competition.

Constance Havret

Intern - Academia Programs at SOLIDWORKS
Constance is a student at HEC Lausanne (Switzerland) and a SOLIDWORKS Education intern. She is keen to explore the dynamics of how entrepreneurs and makers are consistently re-shaping the world we live in. Passionate about sailing.