Why SOLIDWORKS Training Matters: We Don’t Know What We Don’t Know

Article by Sawyer Gara updated March 27, 2024

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People always say “Hindsight is 20:20” and “If I knew then what I know now” referring to something that could have been easily solved some time ago if they only had the SOLIDWORKS training they had today. I’m sure that everyone reading this has had a situation recently that could have been avoided if only they knew a certain piece of information or a certain “trick of the trade”.

Our greatest weaknesses are the things we are not aware of!

As Designers and Engineers, our greatest weaknesses are the things we are not aware of: those being things we might not know much about or even know they exist.  Whenever an issue arises, the pool of potential solutions is limited by the working knowledge of the system at hand. Especially with something like SOLIDWORKS, there are a million little things that an everyday user may know how to that they’ve picked up over time to increase their modeling efficiency or decrease the amount of errors in the design or manufacturing process. Unfortunately, alongside those little things to speed up the process there are an equal amount of things that could have been even faster, had they been known about.

Typically, these kinds of things are passed around throughout a company as an afterthought or on a “need to know” basis. Hopefully, enough information is passed along that the helpful information isn’t lost at the end of the day. Some information can be easily shared and retained throughout the years for more simple systems in place. However, even some of the most fundamentals pieces of knowledge are long forgotten when that one employee wins the lottery and quits their job the next day.  This stresses the importance of a formalized training process to help cement the fundamental information needed for the companies success.

Let’s look at SOLIDWORKS for example. In this day and age, SOLIDWORKS is taught in countless High Schools and Universities across the globe so there is a good chance that any new employee has a basic understanding of how SOLIDWORKS functions. Moreover, with SOLIDWORKS being one of the most user-friendly CAD packages that even with experience in another system, a new user can pick it up in no time. But in reality we are only scratching the surface of what SOLIDWORKS is capable of in a fully-trained user’s hands. I had been using SOLIDWORKS for 5 years before being hired by TriMech and by sitting through a single SOLIDWORKS Essentials Training Course I had learned more useful tips and tricks than with 4 years in college.

Did you know about…Sketch Relations

That you are able to create Perpendicular and Tangent Relations between sketch entities by selecting only the point where they meet?

Make Tangent with one click

Having all members of the team trained to the same level can ensure that everyone is attacking design problems with the same mindset. If one engineer learned the basics in school 5 years ago they may spend a few hours working on a specific part and the SOLIDWORKS Feature Tree may end up looking like a disaster. On the other hand, if the second engineer has taken full advantage of the Training Passport then in those same few hours may have create the part… alongside 10 others, the relevant assembly, and any associated drawings with time to spare. With that extra time, they could go back to help the first engineer but would spend more time diagnosing what went wrong than it would have taken to rebuild the model from scratch without the first engineer’s involvement. Two people who know SOLIDWORKS with two different levels of training can produce two wildly different results.

Did you know about…Angle Dimensions

That the Biad is a helpful tool to create angle dimensions in sketches to geometry that doesn’t exist?

Sketch Biad

Online and Video Based SOLIDWORKS Training

The real power of training comes from the amount of time saved having to search for answers on the internet and scrubbing through forums, videos, or other related content. While there are some really incredible and up to date online video tutorials, such as SolidProfessor, a lot of the content is out of date, long winded, or even plain not useful. Rather than searching for hours online or waiting for the one coworker with the answer to come back from lunch it makes much more sense to search within your brain and get an instant answer thanks to formal training. By having the training up front, we spend less time spinning our tires coming up with a solution to problem that may be similar to something covered in one of the countless Certified SOLIDWORKS Training Courses. While formal training does have a cost, it is an investment not only into that one employee, but to the entire company that will pay dividends for years to come.

Did you know…selecting while dragging

That there is a difference in what is selected depending on what direction we drag from?

Lasso vs Box Selection

Formal Training from Javelin / TriMech

Formal training for any topic but particularly SOLIDWORKS is extremely important if you want your team to work quickly and efficiently. Having everyone trained to the same level allows for the same design methods that make changes, updates, and repairs to the models seamless regardless on who is working on them. Lastly, being able to save time down stream looking for answers by investing time up front with Formal Training pays dividends for you and your organization.

Did you enjoy the helpful tips sprinkled throughout this article? All of these and more can be learned through one of our many formal training courses and spending time with our Certified SOLIDWORKS Trainers in a formal training environment. Want to learn more about our offerings or how you can enroll in a future training course for our team? Contact us to learn all about how a formal training program can be of benefit to you.

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Sawyer Gara

Sawyer is a SOLIDWORKS certified Elite Application Engineer working out of Bedminster, New Jersey. He received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology and has almost a decade of experience in the SOLIDWORKS and 3DEXPERIENCE Design Ecosystem.