My Online Training Experience Learning the SOLIDWORKS Essentials

Article by Adam Ferrer, last updated on February 2, 2018

SOLIDWORKS Essentials Course

Whether you are learning SOLIDWORKS for your job, need a refresher on using the software, or you’ve never used any type of 3D software before, there is a course offered that you can benefit from. Javelin offers a variety of SOLIDWORKS training courses both in-class and live online. In my case I took the SOLIDWORKS Essentials course. Before I get into my experience with the training, I’ll give a little background of my 3D application knowledge.

I am a third year Engineering student who has taken a couple classes touching on the basics of 3D modelling trying software from different vendors. I wouldn’t consider myself completely new going into the course because I’m familiar with the interface and basic functions for creating parts, drawings, assemblies and motion studies. Although I have used the software before there are techniques I don’t know, and skills I know that can be improved.

Taking a Course LIVE Online

There are a few steps that need to be taken before starting the actual course. The entire process is very organised and easy to get started from the get-go. After enrolling, the training manual and headphone set were shipped to my location, and I received a confirmation and reminder email, as well as detailed information and links to required files for the training.

After unboxing the headphones and the manual, the installation of the online training platform takes less than 5 minutes and is very easy to use. After downloading a couple file sets from the SOLIDWORKS website (used to accompany the pre-made case studies and exercises in the manual for training) you’re all set.

Online SOLIDWORKS Essentials Training Setup

Online Training Setup

My learning experience

The online training environment is engaging. My class size was about 6 people ranging from experienced users to users that had zero experience with 3D design software. It is easy to communicate with others and the instructor within your session.

There are a few ways you can ask questions:

  1. You can always speak to instructor directly through the provided headset
  2. There is a “raise hand” function to gain the attention of the instructor
  3. Finally there is a chat window where you can enter a question for the instructor

In many cases online courses can turn people off because they’ve had poor experiences with them before it’s either they had a poor platform for communication or had a poor instructor. This is NOT the case with my experience with Javelin! The instructors knew exactly what they were talking about, could answer any questions we asked and could troubleshoot the part you made, show you where the error was and how to fix it/ avoid it. They are extremely knowledgeable and really care about their course. They also offer support and help after the course for if you have questions or need help with SOLIDWORKS.

Training Manual is provided

The course content is all in the manual provided, specific case studies are done together with the instructor and practice exercises are carried out individually. Time is allotted for you to complete the exercises individually but you can ask the instructor any questions during this time if you run into a situation where you need help or have any questions in general. If you have issues with your model that can’t be solved on your own you can give the instructor control over your mouse and screen and the instructor can troubleshoot and teach you on your own model.

Getting the work done

Having the time to complete exercises individually is extremely helpful because you can ask as many questions as you want without disrupting the flow of the lesson. One of the difficulties of the course is keeping up with the instructor during a case study. Following along with their screen while creating the same part on your screen is hard, especially if you’re only using one monitor. You will have to flip back and forth you might miss an important step and then you’re playing catch-up for a bit.

I highly recommend reading through the lesson content in the manual before each lesson that way you have an idea of each step and can follow along smoothly. After my first day I decided to go with two monitors which made it much more convenient, if you don’t have access to a second monitor you’ll just have to be more proficient with jumping back and forth.

In summary

The SOLIDWORKS Essentials course is great because it can be beneficial to people with no CAD experience, experienced users from other CAD systems and experienced users with SOLIDWORKS. This course teaches you how to create parts, build assemblies, create drawings of your designs, automate design modification using excel and equations, etc.

For me I was able to follow along and complete all the lessons and exercises. I did a few on my own time and more than once because I wanted to grasp everything thoroughly (plus I really enjoy it). With caring and knowledgeable instructors, high quality and thorough course content, a comprehensive manual with step-by-step instructions, plenty of exercises, and an engaging atmosphere, the Javelin Online Live Training experience is something I believe is well worth doing.

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Adam Ferrer

Adam Ferrer is a student at McMaster University taking the Bachelor of Technology Automotive and Vehicle Engineering Technology degree program. He is currently on an 8 month work term with Javelin.

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