Value of training options for SolidWorks

For me, SolidWorks was a fairly easy application to learn.  In fact, I am self-taught for the most part.  I learned it progressively over a couple of months because it was necessary for my jobs and I had to do it.  That was over a decade ago.  These days, that may not be an acceptable option.  Users often need to hit the ground running.   Not every situation is the same.  Even still, I’ve created a new poll to get the opinions of others.  Imagine you have a new hirer at your company for a position that required the use of SolidWorks, but they don’t have experience with the software.  How would you handle that?

What is the best way to learn SolidWorks for new users just starting a new job?

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Author: fcsuper

As a drafter, mechanical designer and CAD engineer, I've been in the mechanical design field since 1991. For the first 8 years of my career, I was an AutoCAD professional. I utilized AutoLISP and many other AutoCAD customization features to streamline drafting activities for 6+ drafters and designers. I authored several custom functions, one of which was published in the March 1997 issue of Cadalyst Magazine. Since 1998, I've been used SolidWorks non-stop. I've worked to utilize the SolidWorks' user environment to simplify drafting and design activities for 20+ engineers. I've created this website to provide current information about SolidWorks from a variety of contributors. More recently, I am now employed by Dassault Systemes as SOLIDWORKS Sr. Product Definition Manager to improve drawing, annotation and MBD related areas.

7 thoughts on “Value of training options for SolidWorks”

  1. I was lucky to have learned SW similarly to you, on a job where it was not required but helpful if I could run it and there were a few people around willing to mentor. That is probably the better way to really learn it, but coming into a new job where it is required to know the software and take off, the VAR is going to get a new hire to a point of usefulness quicker.

  2. On the job is the best for a single position as everyone has there own way of doing things. That being said I think it’s important to get a new take on things once in a while to maintain “best practices”. The work arounds and approach to some tasks can be horrific and usually these are things inherited from a mentor. I think a combination of the two (VAR and in house Mentor), or ongoing training, yield the best results but for a purely “getting up to speed” point of view a knowledgeable mentor is the best approach.

  3. We actually had that situation last year. New hire, no SolidWorks but had CADkey experience and a touch of ProE. His first week with us he went to a VAR training class of SolidWorks Essentials. I insisted upon that with management.

    I was too busy to have to teach him, at work, the basics to get started in SolidWorks. If I am training or one of our other guys is training we aren’t getting our work done. It is a small engineering group without any extra bandwidth.

    VAR training for the one week, for a quick hit concentrated course. That was supplimented with continued training at the community college and on the job training in house.



  4. Was a machinist for 15 years. Self-learned DrafixCAD 10 years ago. Almost immediately, self-learned SolidEdge when employer went from 2D to 3D. Self-learned Unigraphics a year later when they bought a seat. After a year, changed jobs to administer UG for 8 users that were transitioning from AutoCAD. Took VAR training with users. 2 years later, dumbed down to SolidWorks to match other location that was going from AutoCad to SW. Took VAR training because company scheduled it.
    Not bad for a farm boy with only a highschool education.

  5. I would recommend using a VAR then using a mentor. I would still expect some nasty models to be built.
    Seen far too many “bad” models built by people with years of experience.
    I learned 3D similarly to you but I was also lucky enough to be enlightened by someone who’s opinion I respect very much about building models. He taught me some very good tips for making models better.
    I’m especially not impressed by the “advanced” classes offered by SWX & PTC.

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