During week 5, I had the responsibility of supporting James who was on a work experience placement from school – giving him an introduction into SOLIDWORKS. James had never used SOLIDWORKS software before his work experience week at Innova Systems. I provided him with a summary of the layout of the software and the 3 different documents SOLIDWORKS creates (parts, assembly and drawings). His first task set was to research the variety of customers and their products to see the diversity of firms that use SOLIDWORKS. The best way to learn how to use SOLIDWORKS is learning by doing. James went through a number of SOLIDWORKS tutorials to provide a good understanding of the steps that need to be followed when creating a design.
On Wednesday we set him the task to prepare for the CSWA exam, which gave him targeted areas to practice (drawing views, assembling a model and practicing modelling parts) – to prepare he went through the tutorials and the Essentials manual working through examples and some Model mania questions. He managed to pass the exam first time, in time to go home!
The drawing tools exam
In my free time I worked through the Drawings manual. This provides a guide to the various areas including: drawing sheets and views; dimensions; annotations; assembly drawing views; sheet formats and templates; bills of materials and tables. There are many examples to work through as preparation within each section. I also took the practice exam that is available on the SOLIDWORKS website to check I could answer the questions in the allocated time. This was very useful in highlighting areas that I needed to work on.
On Thursday I took the Drawing Tools exam, consisting of twenty questions over 100 minutes. The drawings tools tests knowledge on the tools and functionality in the section rather than the standards. It covers various views and sections, as well as using tables such as bill of materials, editing the table and using notes. The exam was quite tricky – using the relative to model caught me out initially, as this isn’t necessary when the design intent is correct. I managed to pass only getting one question wrong! Lots of practice definitely helps as the exam covers tools which you wouldn’t necessarily need to use every day and these can catch you out when taking the exam.
Next week I’m starting the week with sitting in on one of the training days about sheet metal, whilst preparing for CSWP-SM exam and carrying on answering SOLIDWORKS queries.
Make sure to check back for week 6 of Chloe’s blog here
Chloe’s SOLIDWORKS tip of the week:
SOLIDWORKS 2016 allows fast access to the sheet scale – Unlike older versions, where you would go into the sheet properties to change the scale, you can do the same thing via the status bar! Timesaver!