How to learn SOLIDWORKS Software?

Article by Rod Mackay updated April 23, 2020


If you are considering buying SOLIDWORKS, are a new SOLIDWORKS user, or just looking to gain new SOLIDWORKS skills then you may be wondering how to learn SOLIDWORKS software and what are the options available? I’ll answer that question in this article and provide you with a few options.

Disclaimer: I work for a SOLIDWORKS Value Added reseller and we provide a variety of SOLIDWORKS training offerings, obviously I am going to talk about those in this article, however I will also talk about where to obtain free SOLIDWORKS training online.



Determining your Learning Style

The right solution for learning SOLIDWORKS generally depends on your learning style. Typically everyone has a style of learning that suits them best, with a learning situation where you are able to retain the most course material and better understand it. Your learning style will fall into one of the following categories:

  1. Live Instructor-led learning: with this style you take in the most information when an instructor shows you how to use SOLIDWORKS and you want to ask questions. This type of learning used to be delivered in a physical classroom, but now-a-days you can gain the same learning experience live online.
  2. On-demand video or book based self-learning: with this style of learning you tend to learn more at your own pace from recorded videos, websites, and books. You might find the classroom style of learning doesn’t suit you and you prefer to find out things on your own.
  3. Blended learning live and on-demand: This third type of learning style is essentially a combination of 1 and 2, where you like to be taught by an instructor, plus gain additional knowledge after the course through video and text-based content.

Live Instructor-Led Learning

As I mentioned in the disclaimer above Javelin provides a variety of instructor led SOLIDWORKS training courses so I’m going to talk about those in this section. Due to the current global pandemic classroom based courses are now delivered online, and to be honest there is not a lot of difference between going to a training facility and taking a training course from home. You still have a live instructor who will show you how to use SOLIDWORKS, and you will still get answers to your questions right away by talking to the instructor over the web. Plus you also receive a professionally written manual with all the instructions.

Learn the Essentials

To learn SOLIDWORKS you want to start with the four day SOLIDWORKS Essentials course. As the name of the course suggests it provides you with the essential knowledge for most SOLIDWORKS applications, during the course you will learn how to:

  • Create parametric sketches
  • Create parts and build assemblies
  • Create and control different versions of your parts with configurations
  • Automate design modification with equations and excel design tables
  • Create drawings of your designs
Gain more specific knowledge

After the essentials course you might not need any additional training! But if there are specialty or industry specific tasks you need to carry out for your job than we have additional courses available:

  • SOLIDWORKS application specific courses: for Surfacing, Sheet Metal, Weldments, Routing, and variety of other applications.
  • SOLIDWORKS Communication Courses: Learn how to communicate product and manufacturing information directly in 3D, bypassing time-consuming 2D processes, and eliminating potential problems
  • SOLIDWORKS PDM Courses: Learn how to use Product Data Management software to share information and collaborate on designs with everyone in your extended design team.
  • SOLIDWORKS Simulation Courses: Learn how to virtually test new ideas, quickly and efficiently evaluate performance, and improve quality
  • SOLIDWORKS PCB and Electrical Courses: Learn how to simplify product design creation with embedded electrical systems including PCBs, power systems, user controls, complex wiring, and harnesses
  • GD&T Courses: Our courses are designed to help understand and interpret the fundamentals of GD&T, ASME Y14.5-2018.
  • Automation Courses: Make your SOLIDWORKS system more efficient and automate common tasks with the API or DriveWorks.


Learning live online from a SOLIDWORKS Reseller

As I mentioned earlier instructor led courses used to be delivered in a classroom with a group of other attendees that were able to ask questions and provided a better learning experience for everyone on the course. Our live online training still delivers that same learning dynamic the only difference is you are not in a room with other people but attending the class over the web. The benefits of learning live online from a SOLIDWORKS reseller are:

  • Training that reduces work day disruption: Live online training is convenient and allows for little disruption to your working day. Live Online Training Courses are 3 or 4 hours per day.
  • Instruction from certified trainers: Certified SOLIDWORKS Instructors pass on their experience and provide best practices and tips.
  • Live access to the instructor: Get help by virtually raising your hand via the online training system, and privately chat with the instructor.
  • It’s hands-on practical training: You get plenty of time to try out the exercises and learn by using your SOLIDWORKS software
  • Certificate when training is completed: Just like our regular classroom based training courses you will receive a certificate when you have completed a course. Allowing you to show that you know how to use SOLIDWORKS!

So there you have it, if your learning style is more suited to instructor led courses from certified instructors rather than self-paced video based courseware then we have the right training for you.

View our training catalog and find the SOLIDWORKS course that you need »

On-demand video based self-learning (Free SOLIDWORKS training)

With reference to the other main learning style, self-paced learning, there are a lot of options available on the market right now from a variety of sellers. If you are considering purchasing SOLIDWORKS or are an existing SOLIDWORKS user then I would recommend My.SolidWorks Video Based learning. Why would you choose My.SolidWorks over the other commercial self-paced options available like LinkedIn Learning?

MySolidWorks eCourses

MySolidWorks eCourses

  1. For starters the training is FREE, and available 24/7 so that will suit people that want to learn at their own pace.
  2. MySolidWorks provides 600+ introductory SOLIDWORKS training videos and if you have SOLIDWORKS Subscription Service then you’ll gain access to hundreds of additional videos.
  3. Learning Paths are available to direct you through various lessons and help you get a complete understanding of the SOLIDWORKS topics.
  4. MySolidWorks eCourses are also available, these complete courses converted from the SOLIDWORKS instructor-led training manuals into self-paced eLearning. These courses employ professional-quality design, guided practice, offline exercises, and highly interactive content. eCourses are not free though, they are part of the MySolidWorks Professional package (US $360).

MySolidWorks is also ideal for blended learning. If you are looking for a source of reference for a feature that you learned during an instructor-led training course or a reminder of how to carry out a task after then you might be able to find a quick video that will give you a reminder of what you were taught (or just check in the manual of course).

Related Links

Certified SOLIDWORKS Services available from Javelin

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Rod Mackay

Rod has been using 3D CAD software for over 25 years and has trained thousands of designers to use their CAD systems more effectively. Rod is the Javelin Webmaster and is based in Ottawa, ON., Canada.