Teaching and Learning SOLIDWORKS from the Kitchen Table

With school closed due to COVID-19, my husband, David, is transforming his SOLIDWORKS-based courses, labs, and senior design projects to be delivered online to his engineering students at WPI.

Our kitchen has become “command central”  to new instruction delivery methods and answering questions. How do I get my students SOLIDWORKS licenses?  How do students document their work without drawings, a machine shop, or 3DPrinter?  How do I evaluate and prove their work to submit a grade required for graduation?

Many educators and students face similar challenges.  So I wanted to share with you some helpful information about SOLIDWORKS and getting your students through their classes – even when they are home.

I wanted to share answers to questions that many educators might be facing tonight.

How do I get SOLIDWORKS Student Access?

David emailed every student to make certain they had a computer at home.  Next he provided instructions to download the SOLIDWORKS Student Access license for WPI.  For schools on subscription, SOLIDWORKS provides students with their own license for their own computer.

The SOLIDWORKS Student Access serial number differs from your SOLIDWORKS Education Edition serial number.  If you do not know the SOLIDWORKS Student Access serial number, please have your school’s IT manager contact your SOLIDWORKS Education reseller.

How do students’ document their work?

In SOLIDWORKS, there are features that are helpful in an online teaching and learning environment.  The Roll Back bar shows design intent and features/sketches for a part. An animated exploded view shows how an assembly is put together.

File>Pack&Go allows students to combine all parts, assemblies, drawings and Toolbox parts into one zip file.

How do I evaluate and document students’ work?

For ABET, records of students’ work document their understanding of subject matter outcomes. Using SOLIDWORKS drawings.  Feature Properties allows the instructor to understand when, date and time,  the student created the features in the model file.

Over the next few weeks, I will document and share what I learn about teaching and learning from home.

My friend, SOLIDWORKS User Group leader, and FIRST Robotics mentor, Betty Baker shared this tweet with me tonight about Christian Fracassi, Founder CEO of Isinnova, 3DPrinting valves at a Brescia, Italy hospital.

David will be using the Isinnova example in his engineering design class.  Students will conduct research about the challenges in creating medical device equipment such as FDA regulations, material approval, and patent searches.

Thank you to all the educators that continue to teach under difficult circumstances.  We need educators to keep teaching and inspiring our students to solve the problems that the COVID-19 crisis brings.

Be well.  Marie


Marie Planchard

Marie Planchard

Senior Director, Early Engagement, 3DEXPERIENCE Works at Dassault Systemes
Marie Planchard is an education and engineering advocate. As Senior Director of Education & Early Engagement, SOLIDWORKS, she is responsible for global development of content and social outreach for the 3DEXPERIENCE Works products across all levels of learning including educational institutions, Fab Labs, and entrepreneurship.
Marie Planchard