If you’re into computer aided designing, you must have at least heard of Solidworks software. However, that’s not enough. If you’re serious about getting into this field at a professional level, you need to know it in and out.
Plenty of industries prefer using Solidworks for designing and manufacturing their products. These include fashion, automobiles, space & aircraft, healthcare and other consumer & industrial goods. Other than that, entertainment industries use it for creating 3D environments too.
Let’s see why so many companies prefer using this software.
What is Solidworks?
Designed for creating 3D models, Solidworks is a software that is very efficient for CAD and CAE. It was created by Dassault Systemes, mainly for Windows OS. What makes it unique is the fact that it is user-friendly for developing mechatronics systems.
Mechatronics includes robotics, engineering, computers and control systems. It is used for developing products like smart phones, self-driving cars and other advanced products. The role of Solidworks here is to digitally create the model for these products. This not only includes the outer design, but the design of the inner circuits and structures too.
What Do We Use it for?
There are plenty of software for 3D modelling. However, the precision with which you can make the internal structure of a device or machine lies in Solidworks. This is one way the software helps you with plenty of things.
You can use it for the following:
- Designing circuit boards
- 3D modelling of products
- Creating blueprints
- Assessing feasibility
- Device management
- Data automation
- Cloud services
Most manufacturing industries prefer Solidworks these days – be it for consumer goods or industrial goods. This is because apart from designing, the smart software allows you to virtually test the product too. From shoes to spacecraft engines – anything can be designed on Solidworks. This includes the internal structure as well as the outer design.
Basically, you get to make the entire product virtually before you begin with the physical manufacture. That’s exactly how you can do your planning and product data management on the software.
Following are the industries that prefer using Solidworks:
- Aviation & Spacecraft
- 3D Design
- Oil & Gas
- Industrial Goods
MySolidworks – The Official Community for Every Solidworks User
One of the reasons why you’ll love using Solidworks is because the company takes care of its users very well. In order to encourage engineers and designers to make full utilization of the software, it has a personal community where you can get tutorials, connect with fellow designers and users and get technical support.
You can explore a lot of 3D models from the library to get inspiration here. Through the forum, you can connect to designers and companies for business. At the same time, you can also connect to people at a personal level to understand tricks and tips to use the software at its full potential.
The online tutorials available here in the form of videos, e-courses, quizzes and other modules are available free of cost to those who have Solidworks license and subscription – both students and professionals.
How to Get Solidworks?
For any software, you have the option of getting the original one from the official site or downloading from pirated sites to get it for free. However, the former will help you reap several other benefits like being a community member, enjoying free tutorials and updates and many more.
Buy Solidworks from the Official Website
There are plenty of versions of the software that you can opt for. The cost of Solidworks you incur will largely depend on the package you go for. They have designed these packages for different audiences – students, trainers, designers and companies. These include:
Student Edition: This is of course the cheapest version of the software available for only $99. Along with the software, you’ll get a trial version of 3DExperience platform for 1 year where you can learn cloud CAD modelling, collaboration, 3DSculptor and a lot more. This licence is valid for only 1 year. There are similar editions available for tutors too.
Solidworks Research Edition: For engineers and designers into research, there is a separate edition of Solidworks available for you. It falls between the student and commercial edition – one where there are no watermarks, has compatibility with commercial editions yet costs lesser. It will help you develop intellectual property rights and patents as well as publishing your projects freely.
Solidworks Professional: Now that’s the actual commercial version of Solidworks that you need if you’re using it as a professional engineer or 3D artist. The package provides you with all the benefits you need for product development & manufacturing as well as management of product data.
Solidworks Premium: This is the most advanced and thus expensive package of the software. Some of the added features it has include structural & motion analysis, reverse engineering, electric cable functionality, pipe routing functionality and advanced surface flattening capabilities.
Is Solidworks Free Download Available?
If you really don’t want to pay the price for Solidworks, then you can download the software from torrent and other similar means. However, I wouldn’t encourage you to do so for 2 reasons:
Firstly, it is illegal and can put you in trouble if you’re a professional.
Secondly, you’ll be devoid of several benefits that community members receive.
Can You Get Solidworks On Linux and Mac?
Unfortunately, Solidworks neither works on Linux nor on Mac OS. However, if you have a Linux system, you can get other alternatives to Solidworks for CAD such as LibreCAD, QCAD, VariCAD, FreeCAD and many more.
Solidworks Tutorial Programs and Online Courses
Solidworks provides you with several tutorials on its own community portal. On MySolidworks, you can avail several e-courses that include videos, e-books, quizzes and other modules for practical learning. All of this is available free of cost for subscribers and users of the software. Some of the popular lessons and learning paths include:
- Solidworks Electrical
- CSWA Exam Preparation
- CSWP Exam Preparation
- Solidworks Visualize
- Additive Manufacturing
- Solidworks Simulation
- API Fundamentals
- Creating Animations with Solidworks
- Mold Design Using Solidworks
- Surface Modelling
- A Beginner’s Guide to Weldments
- Sheet Metal Tips & Tricks
- Solidworks Assembly Tips & Tricks
However, if you want to opt for a personal Solidworks online course with an actual tutor, check out these options:
This is a basic course provided by Justin Flett, a mechanical engineer specializing in product designing. He is a certified tutor and in this course provides you the most basic training to use the software. If you have no idea about using any CAD software, then this course is perfect for you. You’ll learn to create engineering drawings, use the features for product design & development and how to use solid assemblies.
This is an advanced course that is designed for designers and engineers who want a professional certificate. Tayseer Almattar, the tutor for this course teaches you to use some advanced features of the software, create complicated models and prepare for a professional test for achieving certification. The idea is to become an independent user of the software and be able to learn functions on your own as the software keeps upgrading.
This is another best-selling detailed course led by Tayseer Almattar. However, it is designed for beginners and prepares you for certification. You’ll be learning how to create basic models, sketches, reference planes, assembly and product modifications. Here too, he trains you enough to be able to understand certain advanced functions by yourself in future.
How is Solidworks Better than Other CAD Software?
You know what you can do using this software and you know this isn’t the only CAD software in the market. However, here’s why you should be having a professional certification in this software for the sake of your profession:
- You can create your 2D blueprints and drawings with greater accuracy from the 3D models you create.
- Solidworks has several features that really speed-up your work for 3D designing. This particularly implies designing internal structures of machines and gadgets.
- You can virtually test your products in the advanced versions of this software. This unique feature helps manufacturers save a lot of R&D costs and makes the software popular among them.
- There are different packages available for different types of users based on their needs and budget. The audiences include students, tutors, researchers, start-ups, professionals and companies.
- The company provides free tutorials, a library of 3D models for inspiration and a community where you can connect with fellow software users. This encourages users to make full utilization of all the features of the software.
These features and provisions of the Solidworks software makes your investment totally worth the price. They’re also the reasons why they have millions of users across 80 countries so far, and still increasing their sales. Do you now consider adding the skill set to your CV?