Wednesday, April 13, 2011

SolidWorks: Learning by Web Surfing

Today I was able to spend some time reading SolidWorks goodies around the internet. I started on a link I had found at the official SolidWorks forums, and found myself following links like stepping stones to more and more interesting and informative tidbits.

I found keyboard shortcuts (those were fun to fiddle with in SW), an engineering forum, and an intriguing e-book found within a large list of recommended mechanical engineering books.

Now I need to go by Gardner's, a local used book store, and see if they have any used drafting textbooks or maybe even a CSWA guide book. I imagine that'll be one I'll have to buy new. But nothing ventured, nothing gained! I will look.

I also modeled up a part that a customer faxed over 2D prints of - it's proprietary so can't be shared - but it was a satisfying diversion. I modeled up the solid part within an hour. That was an excellent exercise as I had to search for various options on the tool bars without the help of a book telling me exactly where to look. I need to add a series of through holes tomorrow ... excited.

Coincidentally, I was moving a large box of discarded junk out of the garage to the trash this evening, making more room for the kids' bicycles, and the bottom fell out of the box. Good thing, because I found I had stored some old correspondence and keepsakes there, plus some of my drafting work from my time at the Art Institute of Seattle. It was visually entertaining work, although not the study field I wanted to pursue. I actually have both the original pencil drawings and a bound blueprint set of interior elevations and reflected ceiling plan that was our final project. I got a B+. I remember being annoyed that I did not get an A.

A few months back, I found some other memories, better preserved fortunately, and so I keep a little stack of special papers bed side. Silly sentimentality. It was so long ago, and yet the more I look at drafting papers and the more I play with SolidWorks, it's starting to feel like it was just yesterday.

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