How to Learn SolidWorks: The Best Courses and Resources
SolidWorks is the most popular 3D modeling software. Over two million design professionals and engineers use this software globally. But its popularity also extends beyond the professional world. Universities have added SolidWorks as a prerequisite to their mechanical and civil engineering programs. There has never been a better time to learn SolidWorks.
The current job market has embraced the nascent 3D design and modeling industry. Companies like Honeywell, Medtronic, Harris Corporation, and AeroVironment extensively use SolidWorks for their 3D design needs. By learning this software, you can then learn game design to pursue a career in game development, or you could even enter the healthcare, education, or finance industries.
In this article, we bring you an in-depth guide to learning and understanding SolidWorks, including the steps and courses you can take to master the software.
What Is SolidWorks?
SolidWorks is a software application that enables designers to transform a 2D sketch into a 3D solid model. The software uses computer-aided design (CAD) technology to plan, design, and improve 3D modeling.
Invented in 1993 by Jon Hirschtick and released in 1995, SolidWorks has since become one of the most beloved CAD applications on the market. It is preferred by many tech-heavy industries, including robotics, control systems, computers, and mechatronics. These industries have invented several fascinating products using SolidWorks.
The software can be used for both 2D and 3D solutions, although it is more popular for its 3D features. It is used by engineers to collaborate on designs and to build products. Solidworks has helped develop numerous products including design circuit boards, and simulation tools.
To be successful with SolidWorks, you must possess a wide range of soft and hard skills. Since designing is often a collaborative task so you must also have great interpersonal and communication skills. You will also need engineering, sketching, designing, and innovative skills.
A qualification in this 3D modeling software is one of the most marketable skills in the product development industry. You can pursue a career as a 3D animator, 3D graphic designer, or mechanical design engineer. Knowing SolidWorks will improve your chances of getting the best design job out there.
What Jobs Use SolidWorks Skills?
There are numerous design and SolidWorks careers available, just waiting for SolidWorks experts. While you can use your SolidWorks skills to get jobs across many sectors, bear in mind most careers with this software expertise revolve around some of the best tech jobs.
These careers predominantly include product design and engineering. Below are some jobs that use SolidWorks skills.
- Mechanical Design Engineering. As a mechanical design engineer, you are tasked with designing and building tools and sensors for mechanical components. You are expected to have an amalgamation of knowledge of mechanics, physics, and chemistry.
As mentioned most college curriculums include SolidWorks as a mandatory subject in a mechanical engineering degree. This is because SolidWorks is one of the primary applications used in the design process. So, as a mechanical design engineer, you need to master this software.
- Construction Planning. This engineering field extensively uses SolidWorks. Civil engineering planners use this application to build and analyze 3D building models. This helps them scope out any possible threats and vulnerabilities a 2D design might have missed.
As a construction planner, you must know how to use SolidWorks to produce an accurate model of the project. The model is also used as a prototype to present to clients.
- Animation Design. SolidWorks is also used in animation design. The designer uses the application’s animation feature to assemble and design animation. They can use one of the three types of SolidWorks’ animation assembly.
These include rotating parts, assembly explode, and assembly collapse. These features allow you as a designer to visualize the interactions and functions of your animation.
- Architectural Drafter. As an architectural drafter, you are responsible for sketching and designing drawings and blueprints that showcase architecture concepts.
SolidWorks is used to polish and accurately represent the architect’s vision in design. You can use this software to customize designs as the construction progresses.
Steps to Learn SolidWorks
Learning SolidWorks often requires in-depth design, mathematics, and engineering skills. While you can’t specialize in SolidWorks as a major at a university, you won’t have to enroll in an entire separate degree course just to learn this.
There are plenty of short courses and bootcamps available that will help you master this software. You can use our step-by-step guide to start learning SolidWorks.
1. Understand the Basics of SolidWorks
This is the very first step in learning this software. You must first familiarize yourself with the fundamentals of the application. Find out all the necessary skills you need to succeed in the learning process and get those skills.
Watch Youtube tutorials and take free online courses to understand it better. This first step is to help you enter the world of SolidWorks.
2. Purchase the Program
After you have an introductory knowledge of the application, it’s time to purchase it. You can first choose the free trial to further explore the software. Then you can go to the official website to buy the software.
Once you have the software and are a SolidWorks user, read the manual carefully and then install it. Now you can start navigating the platform. Explore the platform to find out as much as you can about it.
3. Enroll in Advanced SolidWorks Courses
Once you have the software and basic working knowledge of it, you are ready for advanced lessons. You should enroll in reputable, hands-on courses to learn this software. There are plenty of courses available.
Choose a course that focuses on your specialized interest areas. You can choose from specializations including sheet metal design, 3D CAD, and data management using SolidWorks tools, and other online training courses.
4. Get Certified
The best kind of learning is one where you receive a certification when you complete the course. When looking at advanced courses you should choose one that offers certification in SolidWorks. You can even choose to enroll in the SolidWorks certification program.
5. Apply for an Internship
Once you are certified and well-practiced you should apply for internship opportunities. Internships will help you understand the application better and enhance your expertise level.
The Best Courses to Learn SolidWorks
There are plenty of SolidWorks training courses that teach you everything about the software in real-time. Below we’ve compiled a list of SolidWorks courses that will teach you essential design and software skills.
This course by GoEngeeriner.com provides an introduction to fundamental SolidWorks concepts. The course consists of hands-on sessions that will teach you how to build 3D models using the software application.
You will learn how to build parametric 3D models for product parts and assembly. You will also learn how to sketch and complete technical drawings of these models. The course covers many topics including design edits, configurations, patterning, shelling, and ribs. It consists of a 14-lesson course plan which is taught by a SolidWorks expert.
This is an excellent course, provided by UC San Diego, on the basic concepts and features of SolidWorks. The course focuses on the program’s interfaces and its 3D modeling applications. It also covers many other topics including assembly mates and technical drawings.
The course also teaches the concepts surrounding finite element and motion analysis. As a student of the course, you can choose a project and build your 3D design using the software.
This is a fantastic course by Lynda.com to help you learn all there is to know about SolidWorks essentials. You can take this course for free by signing up for the site’s free trial option. You will learn about 3D animation, CAD, and product design in the course.
The course will also cover the most updated SolidWorks software programs. You learn everything about manufacturing and modeling using the application.
In this program, you will get in-depth training on SolidWorks. The course is divided into three parts: beginner, intermediate, and expert.
You will start by learning basic modeling, design, and drawing techniques. You will then move onto the multi-body part design, file management, and in-depth sweeps. Then, advanced solid and hybrid modeling and filleting techniques. We highly recommend this course as it is a perfect step-by-step course to help you master the program.
Udemy offers this great introductory course on SolidWorks. You will learn the basics of the application program and how to generate engineering drawings. The course provides an introduction to design and development.
By the end of the course, you will be able to design and assemble using the application. You will also earn a certification at the end of the course.
This course by Lynda focuses on technical drawing. You will learn to create drawings using different programs like the standard, model, and exploded views. You will learn every single component related to sketching on the platform. Including derived drawing views, dimension properties, and adding a smart baseline.
The course covers 2D drawing, CAD, and product designing. Take this course to master your drawing skills.
SolidWorks is used in the video gaming industry, so if you want a career in this industry you should take this course. This course will teach you how to create ergonomic designs in the gaming industry. You will learn how to design a video game controller based on user experience.
This is an amazing free course by Alison on 3D editing using SolidWorks. You will learn the fundamentals of SolidWorks CAD software and you will learn how to use the application to draw, design, and edit 3D engineering projects. You will also learn about the CAE computer-aided engineering applications.
We just had to include another Pluralsight course on this software. In this course, you will learn in-context modeling techniques as well as how to create complex surface models. You will also learn how to use assemblies and sketches to design multi-part models.
The syllabus of this course covers SolidWorks’ basic design, implementation, and modeling aspects. You will learn everything you need to pass the associate certification test. This is a great course for beginners and you can earn a certification upon completion.
Why Learn SolidWorks?
Now that you have a comprehensive understanding of the scope and use of Solidworks, it should be evident why you should learn how to use the software. It is used extensively across many design sectors as well as many other tech sectors. So, if you are interested in engineering design, web design, drafting, or even animation, then learn SolidWorks.
Mega-companies across the globe recognize and appreciate applicants with knowledge of SolidWorks over other design software. So, learn this application program to enhance your resume and stand out in the tech market.