My CSWE Journey, Part 2

The summer following my freshman year, I chose to enroll in a senior-level engineering design course, EDSGN 468, to elevate my SOLIDWORKS abilities. Before enrolling in the course, I spoke to the professor handling the course, and he managed to allow me to bypass the prerequisites. I had mentioned that I attained my CSWA, and I wanted to improve my SOLIDWORKS skills. You can learn more about how I attained my CSWA in my last blog.

EDSGN 468 is a course concerning a more in-depth understanding of principles, best practices, and strategies for solid-model representation of engineering designs. At the culmination of the course, students are able to master special techniques for engineering design and analysis with CAD.

I was the only freshman enrolled in this course. I became very motivated to achieve mastery in SOLIDWORKS, and I dedicated numerous hours after class to practice. I knew that being in a class with upperclassmen required me to put in more effort. Being in a class with upper-level students not only heightened my understanding of the real-world as they have completed multiple rotations of internships and co-op, but also I met new students, and I gained an abundance of knowledge.

Amidst my summer semester, one of my favorite projects was the Twin Steam Engine. Our team had to recreate an assembly that was fully constrained and fully functioning from engineering drawings. We split up the components into three groups. Nevertheless, we were tasked to complete the final assembly individually as this would be an evaluation of our ability to create an assembly with design intent by using symmetry and parametric associativity. Below, I have attached a couple of primary components.



Crosshead Container Cover:



Below, I have attached a photo of my completed assembly of the Twin Steam Engine.

Final Assembly 


This project required new features that I had never encountered before, width mates, symmetric mates, limit angles, etc. This project gave me the confidence to achieve my next goal for the year 2019, the CSWP – Mechanical Design.

What is the Certified SOLIDWORKS Professional Exam (CSWP)? According to the SOLIDWORKS Certification Catalog, “A Certified SOLIDWORKS Professional is an individual who has successfully passed our advanced skills examination”. Each CSWP has proven their ability to design and analyze parametric parts and moveable assemblies using a variety of sophisticated features in SOLIDWORKS software. The CSWP certification sets you apart as a person who has surpassed the necessary skills of SOLIDWORKS and who has developed an advanced understanding of the software.

Similarly, according to the SOLIDWORKS Certification Catalog, achieving certification establishes you as a highly competent professional in the use of SOLIDWORKS. For hiring managers, it acts as a valuable assessment to attest to an individual’s competency, thereby reducing the amount of time and energy required to research prospective candidates.

To prepare for this certification, I passed the CSWP Sample Exam located on the Tangix Tester client. My school is using SOLIDWORKS Education Edition, which includes free access to MySolidWorks. Subsequently, I managed to achieve my next milestone before the end of the summer – the Certified SOLIDWORKS Professional Exam (CSWP).


Passing the CSWP, also known as the CSWP Core Exam, alongside four of the five CSWPA exams, is a prerequisite for taking the CSWE Exam to become a Certified SOLIDWORKS Expert. The CSWA is not a prerequisite for the CSWP exam, but from my experience, how well you do on the CSWA is a proper measurement of future success. If you are currently a student, and you would like to stand out in the job market, make sure you take this exam! In my following blog, I will be discussing tips and tricks and my CSWE journey.

Nick Zhang

I am a SOLIDWORKS intern working at the 3DEXPERIENCE Lab in Waltham, Massachusetts. I am a rising senior at The Pennsylvania State University, pursuing a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering. My interests include boxing, swimming, and volleyball.

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