Wednesday, April 20, 2011

SolidWorks: Integrated Tutorials

Wow, sheepish moment today. Was reading a newsletter from our SolidWorks retailer (aka our "VAR") - yesterday I joined two free webinars sponsored by them but due to work busy-ness was only able to focus on the presentations about 5% of the time - and a prerequisite for one of their training classes is to go through tutorials 1-3 inside the program's help file. At first I was doubtful, figuring this would be something added only to the newer versions, but in the hopes I could be wrong, I went seeking ... and I found.

Sure enough, "Tutorials" is right there on the menu under "Help." /facepalm Quite happily I dove in.

The first thing I found, just in the first lesson, was that these tutorials work backwards compared to my library book. You choose the intended end (an extrusion), and then choose your sketch tools and plane.

Directed to make an extrusion via the extruded boss/base tool, and then define it using the rectangle sketch tool, I created a square, and then repeated the same steps to create a circular extrusion (Extrude2) on the surface of Extrude1.

To my amazement, I was able to create this part (below) in about 15 minutes.

It was part of the very first lesson, a mini-lesson really, called the "Thirty Minute Lesson" designed for true newbies to SolidWorks. I took more time than required with the drawing, changing the font size and arrowhead styles to my own preferences, and moving the views around on the page.

The off-center section line bothers me, but the afternoon got a bit crazy and I did not have time to come back to it. However, these integrated tutorials are promising to be a nice bit of educational material to go through. I had seen mention of "the tutorials" in passing on the SW forums, but I just passed it off as meaning website tutorials. Well ... it's good to be wrong sometimes.

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