My friend Scott is teaching a new SOLIDWORKS-based course at a local university. I wanted to share my answers to his questions with you and add some valuable resources for the new instructor or a seasoned educator.
What is SOLIDWORKS?
SOLIDWORKS is the leading 3D product design software used by companies throughout the world. With 500,000+ designers and engineers certified in our tools, knowing SOLIDWORKS is a key job skill set for graduates. Learning SOLIDWORKS in school provides an understanding of engineering and geometric mathematical competencies. In the SOLIDWORKS Education Edition, we provide computer aided design (CAD), simulation, documentation, manufacturing, and visualization tools for university, college, technical institutions, high schools and middle schools.
These 10 Tips for Teaching SOLIDWORKS concentrate on SOLIDWORKS Desktop for Windows. There will be additional blog posts on SOLIDWORKS Simulation (FEA/CFD) and 3DEXPERIENCE (cloud) platform later this month.
1. Free SOLIDWORKS Student Access – Home Use Licensing
Qualified schools on subscription are provided SOLIDWORKS Student Access Home Use 12month Licensing for free. Your value added reseller or school’s IT professional provides a serial number for your students to download SOLIDWORKS to their own computers. Students can work on class assignments, projects, and prepare for certifications and job interviews. Your competitive student teams, SAE, Shell-Eco, FIRST and more, can apply for SOLIDWORKS Student sponsorship too.
2. Academic Certification & SolidWorks Practice Problems
SOLIDWORKS Academic Certification program allows qualified schools on subscription to provide our certification exams to their students in a proctored setting. We have over 14 certification exams in engineering graphics competencies, sustainability, additive manufacturing, drawings, simulation and more. Questions are random, based on 1000’s of values, and grading is automatic. Certificates with unique numbers are given to successful students and employers can confirm certifications through our 3DEXPERIENCE Certification Center and LinkedIn. These are the same exams given in industry. Give your students an exam for life-long learning.
To help prepare for certification and promote engineering graphics standards, we have prepared SOLIDWORKS Practice Problems too.
3. Fundamentals of 3D Design and Simulation pdf and SOLIDWORKS Electrical
Fundamentals of 3D Design and Simulation, 400 page ebook, provides basic lessons of SOLIDWORKS and SOLIDWORKS Simulation including user interface, sketching basics, features, assemblies, drawings and introduction to simulation. Fundamentals of SOLIDWORKS Electrical features 2D schematic and 3D routing of electrical components. These ebooks are available through your value added reseller for you and your students,
4. My SolidWorks – Lessons and Learning Paths
MySolidWorks is filled with lessons and learning paths. A guest account has access to introductory lessons. Educators and students can use their SOLIDWORKS Student Home Use serial number to access 100’s of lessons and learning paths including introduction, certification preparation, sheet metal, weldments, assemblies, manufacturing, electrical, visualize, simulation and composer.
5. SOLIDWORKS Tutorials
From the Help menu, F1, or ? in the upper right hand corner, inside of SOLIDWORKS, select Tutorials. When I first started teaching at Mass Bay College, my new students worked through Lesson 1 – Parts, Lesson 2 – Assemblies and Lesson 3 – Drawings. In one lab period, students got a basic understanding of SOLIDWORKS and CAD. Quick feedback and accomplishment made my students feel great.
6. Welcome to SOLIDWORKS – Short .pdf Tutorial
The Welcome dialog box, Learn option, provides access to “On my PC” a samples folder that contains parts and assemblies. One short .pdf is called “Introducing SOLIDWORKS”, also available directly from the Help menu. This 100 page document quickly takes students through the design process, parts, assemblies and drawings – with a exercises. The sample folder provides some great models to explore and use in your classes.
7. 3DEXPERIENCE Academic Community and SolidWorks User Group Network (SWUGN) Communities
SOLIDWORKS has many online communities. Any educator of a Dassault Systemes software can be part of the 3DEXPERIENCE Academic Community, to find resources and ask questions. The community is private. You can request to join at go.3ds.com/academiccommunity. You need to create a 3DEXPERIENCE ID.
The SolidWorks User Group Network are independent user groups throughout the world. They share a common love for SOLIDWORKS and welcome educators and students to their meetings.
8. Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) Projects
SOLIDWORKS is used across STEM programs. Educators have used SOLIDWORKS to develop great projects for classroom and competitions.
One of my favorite sites is CudaCountry, that features balsa wood bridges, solar cars, rockets, and more. All with design-build outcomes.
For computer science students, SOLIDWORKS has a easy to understand API with tutorials that allow students to learn how to program with geometric outcomes. They are performed with SOLIDWORKS C#, VB.NET, or VBA macro recorder.
We also have project data sets for Formula SAE, Balsa Bridge, Balsa Race Car and more.
9. Help & Quick Tips
From the upper right hand corner of the menu bar, SOLIDWORKS provides access to help from the ? icon or F1 key. In the Help menu, access the Tutorials, User Forum (Community support), and Introducing SW .pdf.
When you are in a FeatureManager, the Help icon, ?, is relevant to the command. SOLIDWORKS also provides short animation tool tips on a feature to show students how to create and modify geometry.
10. Academic Integrity
Educators have challenges. We ask you provide our SOLIDWORKS certification exams to your students in a proctored setting. We also provide a tool inside of SOLIDWORKS to determine the user name, creation date and modified date of a particular feature.
We thank all educators for using our tools in the classroom and look forward in hearing from you through our SOLIDWORKS Education Facebook, SOLIDWORKS Edu Instagram, SolidWorks User Group or 3DEXPERIENCE EDU Academic Community,
Design well. Marie