View Full Version : Solidworks question

02-13-2011, 10:46 AM
I have just completed the 4 day training class on Solidworks 11. It was a good class led by a good instructor. Does anybody have any suggestions about a method for follow up training and practice? There are some pretty good tutorials on YouTube. I do know that the secret to proficiency with this kind of thing is practice.

Peter N
02-13-2011, 10:59 AM
Randolph, by far the best way to learn and experiment is to take a fully dimensioned 2D drawing of a reasonably complex part or assembly, and then work at converting that into a 3D model.
Doing it this way - particularly if it is a part you may be familiar with - is a lot more relevant & allows it to 'sink in' a lot better than many of the tutorials that are out there.

If you're stuck for drawings I'd be happy to e-mail you some interesting ones to work on, although these would all be dimensioned in metric.


02-13-2011, 11:03 AM
What Peter said, also just grab random objects around the house/office, and model them.

02-13-2011, 11:08 AM
Just design something something from scratch, since you are on this forum I'll assume you like machining, so, design an engine. Then run Von Misses FEA simulation on the crank arm and opitmize it. I am sure you would make some people very happy posting dimensioned drawings and 3D models and simulation results. Designing from scratch provides the challange, books are fine but for me, the information goes in one side and out the other, having to apply it makes it stick. I just love SolidWorks and just added SolidCam for the CAM side and it has taken us several levels higher in productivity and design.

02-13-2011, 12:11 PM
I really good thing to do is work on your CSWA certification. There is a real good training book out there. Its prompts you to do just what everyone else says. Model Model Model. The book has over a hundred example. There are some mistake in it. ;-(
They are mostly at the end.
Practice makes perfect.

Black Forest
02-13-2011, 12:54 PM
Practice makes perfect.[/QUOTE]

That is not true at all. If you practice wrong you just get perfect at doing it wrong.

Perfect practice makes perfect. It makes no sense at all to practice something wrong. One needs to know how to do it correctly and practice that!

brian Rupnow
02-13-2011, 02:57 PM
Go ye forth and buy "Inside Solidworks" 2nd edition by David Murray. isbn #0-7668-2348-2 I have been a Solidworks user for 11 years now, and still occasionaly refer to that book. Try "chapters" book store.

02-13-2011, 03:37 PM
I did what Peter suggested, I took 2d drawings of steam locomotives and made them 3d.

Peter N
02-13-2011, 03:38 PM
There's nothing like practice to make you understand it though.

I've also been using it for 11 years but I'm entirely self taught, never had an hours training in my life, but just using it teaches you so much more, as you have to 'learn' the way around problems and issues.

These are just a few of the commercial designs I've done which have all made it into successful product, apart from the carburettor, which was just modelled for fun.






02-13-2011, 04:37 PM
The trick to learning a 3d modeling package isnt in creating many models, its in creating a few extremely complicated models and combining them into an assembly and varying components to create interferences. Fixing assemblies that have interference issues at the end will teach you to model things correctly, as well as how each feature is interdependent on others. I did this professionally in college, but the models that I learned the most from were my own engine projects. There are some very interesting ones on youtube.

If your software has a FEA analysis feature, do not rely on it until you have had several classes on the subject and can understand the matrix math involved. FEA is one of the most screwed up analyses ever performed bc it seems simple, but is done wrong 99% of the time IMO.

Nice models Peter. They make me wish I still had access to the Offy head model I created in college (left it there).

02-13-2011, 05:10 PM
All the above is good advice. Model Model Model!

But I would add the following: The training class goes through about 1/1,000,000 of all the actual commands and techniques, so go through some of the tutorials in the package itself, experiment with sheet metal, parametrics, and all those wonderful extras they pack in there.

I found I had the most difficulty making 2d prints from my models at first. Solidworks would belt out automatic drawings all day long, but I always treated them as a starting point for a proper drawing. Learning to redimension and fix up took some time.

When I was correcting drawings, 99% of the errors were from when the engineers just relied on the automatic features.

02-13-2011, 06:17 PM
Thanks for all the good answers. It must be true that at least one of the secrets to learning is to know where to ask the proper questions.