DIY on Memorial Day Weekend 2024

For over 12 years, SOLIDWORKS Edu team has provided the SOLIDWORKS Military Veterans Program (MVP) to US and Canadian Veterans.  We also support Veterans in our Start-up program and manufacturing training organizations like Workshop for Warriors.  MySolidWorks provides free online training to Veterans.  MakebyMe is a free DIY software application for wood working.  The SOLIDWORKS User Group Community and SOLIDWORKS Forum are great places for Veterans to learn more about SOLIDWORKS programs.

Sometimes, you just need to enhance a design for yourself – the 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS for Makers is available for anyone for $48 a year. Anyone can join the Makers Community for free.

This Memorial Day, I find myself honoring the memory of my father and father-in-law, that were veterans. Unfortunately, I fell and fractured my knee, wearing a complete knee immobilizer that is secured through a series of straps from the top of my thigh to just above the ankle – for about 12 more weeks, day, night and even sleeping.

Throughout the years, I have seen Veterans design simple DIY devices to help themselves through injury.  Although I could never understand their pain and their sacrifice, I do know the individual copy of SOLIDWORKS helps many. I also know being forced to remain stationary for weeks makes you think, “How can this device be better?”

As I tried to walk straight – legged today, the weight of the knee immobilizer began to fall, causing pressure on the knee.  Time to debug the problem.  Step1. Tighten the straps.  Overtime and movement, the straps would loosen, again the brace would fall.  Step 2. Support from the waist. I used a tool belt and added straps from the top support to my belt  – but there was too much movement.

Revision 1.  Get a piece of foam from some packing material and painters tape (so I could remove it quickly)  and create a support cuff under the brace.  This worked with some success but with a hot sunny day and slight cuff moment, the skin got red.  Revision 2.  Tomorrow, I will try a gauze lining and some other cotton material to create a new cuff.

Without the ability to sit for long periods of time, it’s difficult to use my big PC with SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD.  I decided to use SOLIDWORKS xDesign on a Tablet to create some sketches that I can use to create patterns for materials to cut out. SOLIDWORKS xDesign is 100% browser based and can be used on Macs, Chromebooks and even older Windows PCs.

I have great “maker” role models with my colleagues to inspire me, R&D engineer and part time fashion designer, Rachael Naoum, 

and engineers, designers and makers,  Sal Lama and Chin Loo Lama in “Our Next Make.”  Sal and Chin Loo take you through amazing DIY projects.

This weekend, celebrate with a veteran, a maker  or your family and friends.

Design 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