Preparing for the SolidWorks Certification exams (version 2)

Certificate on the shelfThere continues to be a lot of interest in getting certified as SolidWorks Expert (CSWE).  Through there are no official accolades that go long with passing the CSWE, the certificate can garner employer and industry recognition of your established skills.  Even as the number of Certified SolidWorks Professional grows (CSWP), the number of those with the higher CSWE certification is still small by comparison.  Right now, there’s just over 1500 CSWEs.  To earn your opportunity to take the CSWE exam, you have to pass the CSWP and also pass four advanced exam modules from a selection including topics like Weldments, Surfacing, FEA, etc.

Applian Way Technologies has a blog with several articles that are brief preparation guides for various exam modules. A Very Swell Idea, Inc has some good advice for taking the modules in their discussion of CSWP Weldment exam. 3D Dimensional Engineer also has a great series on CSWP Preparation.

SolidWorks website itself has great information for each exam, including the core, advanced and the expert exams.

  • CSWA – Certified SolidWorks Associate
  • CSWA – Acedemic – Certified SolidWorks Academic Associate
  • CSWP – Certified SolidWorks Professional
  • CEPA – Certified Enterprise PDM Administrator
  • CSDA – Certified Sustainable Design Associate
  • CSWSA-FEA – Certified SolidWorks Simulation Associate – Finite Element Analysis Advanced Exam
  • CSWSP-FEA – Certified SolidWorks Simulation Professional – Finite Element Analysis Advanced Exam
  • CSWP-Sheet Metal – Certified SolidWorks Professional – Sheet Metal Advanced Exam
  • CSWP-Weldments – Certified SolidWorks Professional – Weldments Advanced Exam
  • CSWP-Surfacing – Certified SolidWorks Professional – Surfacing Advanced Exam
  • CSWP-Mold Tools – Certified SolidWorks Professional – Mold Tools Advanced Exam
  • CSWP-DRWT – Certified SolidWorks Professional – Drawing Tools Advanced Exam
  • CSWE – Certified SolidWorks Expert

Once you’ve earned your certificate, you can exhibit it in a number of ways.  The certificate with a unique code is provided to you in the form of a PDF file, which can be printed out or shown on your mobile device.  You can use your unique code number to allow others to verify your acheivement.  Banner images are also provided so that you can add a certificate badge to your emails or website.  You can also add your certification information to your Linkedin account.  Don’t forget to notify your employer and colleagues.

ADDA’s Annual Technical & Educational Conference

The American Design Drafting Association (ADDA) is hosting its 52nd Annual Technical & Educational Conference in Kansas City, MO on April 12-15, 2011.  ADDA is heavily focused on the professions of drafting, design, and graphics.  ADDA has a certification program for drafters (mechanical and architectural), civil design drafters, design technicians, and digital designers (which include imaging and editing).  Not everyone has heard of ADDA, and that may be intentional.  Olen Parker, Executive Director, states,

It [ADDA] is small, yet sets the stage for many changes within the profession.  We don’t make noise, we don’t promote ourselves, we are the best kept secret in the profession.  ADDA is very involved in the standards and regulations related to our industry.

Best kept secret?  Well, maybe not anymore. 🙂  Parker also mentioned that ADDA made final reviews to ASME Y14.5-2009, and has members that are involved in a number of national committees and organizations.

The conference

This year’s Annual Technical & Educational Conference will have sessions that cover ASME and GD&T fundamentals, CAD and drawing standards, building codes, graphics, etc.  In particular, they will have sessions for CAD and graphic art applications such as PhotoShop, SolidWorks, Pro/E, AutoCAD, Revit, Sketch-Up, Illustrator, and several others.  Other sessions of note will discuss sustainability, BIM, and even workplace ethics. 

I’m also presenting a talk on establishing company CAD procedures at this year’s conference.  Though this presentation will be similar to my breakout session at SolidWorks World 2011, it will be more applicable to the broader audience at the Annual Technical & Educational Conference.

I will write about many aspects of this conference on SolidWorks Legion, including special attention to the quality and depth of several presentations.  I also hope to have a least a couple of interviews.  I also plan to post tweets on hashtag #atec11 during the event.

This will be my first year attending ADDA’s Annual Technical & Educational Conference, though I’ve been looking for an opportunity for several years.  Please note that ADDA is non-profit.  Although ADDA is giving me full conference access (including some meals) at no cost, I am sorta earning my keep by being one of the presenters.  I am personally paying for all other costs associated with my attendance, including airfare and hotel.

If you are interested in the ADDA, their certification process, or the Annual Technical & Educational Conference, please visit their website for further details.