Looking for a good way to learn solidworks

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stragenmitsuko

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I've been using 2D cad for some 25 years now .
Started with autocad for dos R12 , and used it until some years ago when I couldn't get it
to run anymore on a Core i7 machine .
Someone on this forum recomended draftsight , wich was free at that time .
Immediatly loved it , used it for several years .

But now I've got myself a 3D printer , and I think it's time to learn some decent cad in 3D .
So , inspired by many of the beautiful drawings I see on this forum , I want to try and learn solidworks .
A quick google search showed there are tons of videos and downloadable tutorials available .

But I thought I'de just ask : can someone point me in the right direction for a decent tutorial or book or video series ?

Thx

Pat
 

vederstein

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I've been using professional CAD for 25+ years now. I've used Intergraph EMS, Solid Edge, Solidworks, Autodesk Inventory. I've played with Alibre and FreeCAD.

They all have different workflows but in some ways are also similar.

I recommend to just do the early, built in, SW tutorials. Don't mess with the advanced stuff (e.g. lofts, solid sweeps, etc.). If you go through everrything, you learn a bunch of **** that you may or may not use. After the first couple of tutorials (modelling, assembly, drawings). Just stop with the tutorials and start working on a real project. As you find you lack the knowledge for a particular operation, research it then. It's better to know a few workflows really well than a bunch of workflows half assed.

...Ved
 

RM-MN

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I've been learning and using FreeCAD. There are a lot of instructional videos online, some done by the developers themselves, plus lots of information in written form. Unless you need all the functions of Solidworks and are willing to pay the price, look at FreeCAD. All it will cost you is the free download and some time. It is being improved steadily and contains some nice CAM functionality.
 

Brian Rupnow

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If you can get a book on how to work in Solidworks called "Inside Solidworks" 2nd edition by David Murray, ISBN 0-7668-2348-2, it is probably the best book in the world to teach you Solidworks. I have been using Solidworks for 18 years now, and I still refer to that book sometimes. It is just wonderful. It is out of print now, but I'm sure that you can chase down a copy on Amazon.---Brian Rupnow
 

HMEL

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I've been using 2D cad for some 25 years now .
Started with autocad for dos R12 , and used it until some years ago when I couldn't get it
to run anymore on a Core i7 machine .
Someone on this forum recomended draftsight , wich was free at that time .
Immediatly loved it , used it for several years .

But now I've got myself a 3D printer , and I think it's time to learn some decent cad in 3D .
So , inspired by many of the beautiful drawings I see on this forum , I want to try and learn solidworks .
A quick google search showed there are tons of videos and downloadable tutorials available .

But I thought I'de just ask : can someone point me in the right direction for a decent tutorial or book or video series ?

Thx

Pat
There are lots of good books. But I found there is a different thought process when doing 3d with software. Building a 2d drawing relies on three types of views a top, bottom and side view. Software like solid works uses shapes from which the object is cut or carved. All of the hidden lines are automatically done. The trick is picking the faces to work on in the geometry you choose. And once you can manipulate the axis for reference its fairly easy to do. And each face you work on requires a 2d approach. The tools usually give you the depth of cut or extrusion values. You can use videos and books but I went to a local technical college just to learn the ins and outs of using the software efficiently. But I got to tell you I still like doing conceptual stuff in two dimensions. Habit more then anything else.
 

stragenmitsuko

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images.jpg



This one Brian ?

Bought a copy on ebay for a full 6.50$ :)
Can't go wrong there can I .
 

Richard Hed

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There are lots of good books. But I found there is a different thought process when doing 3d with software. Building a 2d drawing relies on three types of views a top, bottom and side view. Software like solid works uses shapes from which the object is cut or carved. All of the hidden lines are automatically done. The trick is picking the faces to work on in the geometry you choose. And once you can manipulate the axis for reference its fairly easy to do. And each face you work on requires a 2d approach. The tools usually give you the depth of cut or extrusion values. You can use videos and books but I went to a local technical college just to learn the ins and outs of using the software efficiently. But I got to tell you I still like doing conceptual stuff in two dimensions. Habit more then anything else.
I use 2D 2-1/2D and 3D. 3D is the absolute easiest to use in MNSHO (my not so humble opinion)
 

Ken I

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A word of caution about Solidworks (parent company Dassault) they have an aggressively litigious business model.

Solidworks Infringement Letter Defense | Vondran Legal

Read the information at the above link - if you have an illegal copy of Solidworks - you will rip your computer off its internet cable and throw it out the nearest high rise building window - its really that scary.
The software will notify home - who you are and what you are up to. If you had read the EULA (end user license agreement) - you did read it of course - you will know that you agreed to this and much much more (see link).
About the time they figure out that you can't live without them they hit you with a threat of a huge lawsuit unless you buy a top of the range suite of everything - including circuit design, flow, stress analysis etc. makes no difference that you don't need it or ever use it - they don't negotiate - only threaten. They will come armed with all the intellectual property you have created, computer MAC address codes you name it - big brother really is watching you.
If you have several packages you will be required to buy that number (plus, plus plus) of "top of the range" suites of everything. At list prices ! You can forget any kind of discount over list. The outcome can be eye-wateringly, business bustingly expensive.
Buy a legitimate copy or avoid them like the plague.
I came to blows with them over student engineers who were encouraged to use pirate copies (nudge, nudge, grin, grin, wink, wink, know what I mean ?) those students then dragged those copies with them to future employers and were digitally stalked for two or three years before Solidworks pounced on the unknowing employer - not the student.
I would love to say more about the ethics of their business model - but I have no wish to tussle with them - ever again.
Personally I avoid litigious suppliers and customers - I see no point in giving either the opportunity to sue me more than once.
If you are using an illegal copy - get rid of it - clear everything out of your registers - even if you intend to buy a legitimate copy - otherwise you will not be able to negotiate for a minimum sized package at discount from list.
If you are on the internet - trust me - they know who you are and where you live - I'm not paranoid - I've been there.
Even if you live in OuterKraplakistan they will find you and set sub-contract lawyers and collecting agents on you who work on a commission basis.
Other than that a great software package.
Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the show ?
 
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cadsculptor

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Hi Pat, Since Solidworks costs so much, it might make sense to start with something free. I like Onshape because it's pretty straightforward and uses a "typical" 3D CAD workflow. Once you get past the lexicon, there's not a huge difference between C systems. (for instance, what some apps call "Extrude", others call "Pad")
Since you already know 2D, the next step is easy - if you are good at visualizing in 3 dimensions. With most (non-CGS) 3D CAD apps, you start with a 2D sketch and then extrude, rotate, or sweep it along a curve to make a solid. Those same operations are used to remove material.
Good Luck, and enjoy the journey!
Paul
 

TSutrina

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I've been learning and using FreeCAD. There are a lot of instructional videos online, some done by the developers themselves, plus lots of information in written form. Unless you need all the functions of Solidworks and are willing to pay the price, look at FreeCAD. All it will cost you is the free download and some time. It is being improved steadily and contains some nice CAM functionality.
I to have been a user of FreeCAD from ~14 you can see my drawing of an Atlas F lathe on GrabCAD library. I agree with what you say. I am using the sheet metal work bench right now. It took a little time to learn how to use it. basically do all the folding and then cut the holes in the faces. I would keep checking the unfold so you do not get interferences. The sketch for hole needs to be made and then attached to the face, two steps. Once on the face actually create the holes. Then they will be attached to the unfolded model.
The tech drawing package is usable. Have not figured out how to put 3D images of an assembly.
Think that you can not have step parts.
The love assembly4 found in 19. It lets you modify parts in the assembly. Had some problem with saving changes to start. I now insure that the part model is saved before closing the saved assembly. Tutor helps get started.
Played with the FEA stress analysis. Ok have not tried CNC. The gear program is good as any other open source I have found.
 

MMER1116

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I've been using 2D cad for some 25 years now .
Started with autocad for dos R12 , and used it until some years ago when I couldn't get it
to run anymore on a Core i7 machine .
Someone on this forum recomended draftsight , wich was free at that time .
Immediatly loved it , used it for several years .

But now I've got myself a 3D printer , and I think it's time to learn some decent cad in 3D .
So , inspired by many of the beautiful drawings I see on this forum , I want to try and learn solidworks .
A quick google search showed there are tons of videos and downloadable tutorials available .

But I thought I'de just ask : can someone point me in the right direction for a decent tutorial or book or video series ?

Thx

Pat
Pat, I bought a Raise3d printer about 3 years ago and had no CAD experience. I am a retired ME and was schooled using a drafting board and pencil. By the time CAD came to our plant, my role was in Engineering Management. I experimented with a number of software packages and finally settled on AutoDesk's Fusion 360. Very complete and easy to learn. As a student or home hobbyist, the software is free. There is a YouTube Instructor named Paul Mchorter and his lessons are under, "Learn Fusion 360 or Die Trying". Check him out. Good Luck.

Mike
 

petertha

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Just on the off chance your local library is like mine - for a very reasonable library card fee, they offer a portal to Lynda.com which has a ton of video learning resources. Not just SW but hundreds of software titles across many fields. I also see F360 there if it is on your maybe list. Lynda portal really is the best bang for buck IMO. One of few examples where my tax dollars are put to good use.

Books are fine too & everyone learns differently. But personally with interactive technical apps, I got a lot of value out of video tutorials. BTW when you are just starting out, its OK to buy texts a few SW versions behind because a) the cost will be lower as students purge b) the fundamentals are the same even as they keep adding features.
 

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L98fiero

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A word of caution about Solidworks (parent company Dassault) they have an aggressively litigious business model.
That kind of business model baffles me. While I don't use pirated software or recommend it, I learned Cad on a purchased copy of Atari ST-CAD, went to a paid copy of TurboCAD and now use a paid for copy of Alibre, doesn't Dassault understand how AutoCAD got to where it is? I recall way back when, when everyone I knew had a pirate copy of AutoCAD, I think it was version 3 or thereabouts and most had a copy of MasterCAM as well and they weren't bothered by either company, lots of threats but little action and both programs became leaders in their fields. As you pointed out, if a company was using the software it was quite a different deal but the good part of their strategy was that there were thousands of people trained on their software that had a definite preference when they got into industry and those people wouldn't have bought the software if they couldn't use a bootleg copy. Same applies to Allen Bradley, give the software and plc's to colleges and you send a partially trained workforce into industry again, with a definite preference for hardware and software.
Not saying it hasn't been or wouldn't be but I've never seen anyone personally being sued using the software non-commercially. Just think of the number of people that would be willing to put out thousands of dollars for their hobby or just to play with, even on this forum I can't imagine the number of people using current, high end software is that big, most I imagine are using old copies they bought when still in industry, bootleg copies or Free/inexpensive ones.
 

Ken I

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Like you say a pretty stupid way to attract customers - must have read "How To Lose Friends And Alienate People !".
I had three student interns, two of whom became employees when they graduated. It turns out they had brought their college licensed software and cracked home use copies with them. Whilst the college only uses and permits legitimate software and "frowned" on the practice of using cracked copies at home - they were nonetheless encouraged to do so.
When I realized what was going on, I offered to buy a full package - but no, they insisted I buy two suites of top end everything at list.
I strongly suspect "list" is at insane prices so they can't be accused of extortion - no one in their right mind pays list.
The electronic "stalking" of students is permitted by the EULA but as far as I'm concerned is ethically dubious.
towelboy.jpg

Fortunately I could afford to lose everything done with SolidWorks as it was almost all student work.
I removed their software and scrapped all IP created with it, including all home computers of my employees.
I then politely declined their generous offer and went out and bought SolidEdge.
Not a success story as business models go.
And because I'm in their database, they still keep sending me their sales & training material ?

“Strange as it seems, no amount of learning can cure stupidity, and higher education positively fortifies it.” – Stephen Vizinczey

Regards, Ken
 
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Richard Hed

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That kind of business model baffles me. While I don't use pirated software or recommend it, I learned Cad on a purchased copy of Atari ST-CAD, went to a paid copy of TurboCAD and now use a paid for copy of Alibre, doesn't Dassault understand how AutoCAD got to where it is? I recall way back when, when everyone I knew had a pirate copy of AutoCAD, I think it was version 3 or thereabouts and most had a copy of MasterCAM as well and they weren't bothered by either company, lots of threats but little action and both programs became leaders in their fields. As you pointed out, if a company was using the software it was quite a different deal but the good part of their strategy was that there were thousands of people trained on their software that had a definite preference when they got into industry and those people wouldn't have bought the software if they couldn't use a bootleg copy. Same applies to Allen Bradley, give the software and plc's to colleges and you send a partially trained workforce into industry again, with a definite preference for hardware and software.
Not saying it hasn't been or wouldn't be but I've never seen anyone personally being sued using the software non-commercially. Just think of the number of people that would be willing to put out thousands of dollars for their hobby or just to play with, even on this forum I can't imagine the number of people using current, high end software is that big, most I imagine are using old copies they bought when still in industry, bootleg copies or Free/inexpensive ones.
That is correct. And for more cynical companies, this is done with complete aforesight and with sharpened vampire teeth.
 

Brian Rupnow

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I love my Solidworks. It is the only 3D package I have ever used. I got really good technical support, and as long as I ponyed up my $1600 or $1800 every year for the newest version, they looked after me cradle to grave. When I started using Solidworks, they would issue you two licenses each year, one to install and use on your home computer and one to install and use on your laptop for use "on site". Sometime in the last five years, unknown to me, they stopped issuing two licenses and only issue one, but it's still the same price as two used to be. The technical support stops when you stop buying a new license/upgrade every year. Solidworks is not "upwardly compatible" so if you don't pay the fee and buy the upgrade every year, then you can no longer do consulting work for other companies who do, because you are unable to open their files. I love the software. The business plan, not so much. I'm happy with my legal 2015 version. It will do me for the rest of this life.---Brian
 

Ken I

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Brian, I would have gone with Solidworks - its a great package - but I simply refused to take being screwed over by their attack dogs.

Regards, Ken
 

HMEL

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I use 2D 2-1/2D and 3D. 3D is the absolute easiest to use in MNSHO (my not so humble opinion)
I agree it can be easier. Its also much more powerful when finite element software is used for heat transfer and structural strength. I also like the interference properties. It is I believe part of a revolution occurring in what I call virtual engineering. One of the more powerful tools for manufacturing and design.

But on the negative side if there is one, each individual part must be designed to fit together and a very good picture of the final product must be had if the system is complex. So for conceptual stuff in which the final product is not clearly defined or its just an idea floating in the head I like the simple 2d stuff to iron out the basic concept. Then I can use 3d to forge it on paper. I am old school is probably the term.

However there is no doubt in my mind you need to know this stuff.
 

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