MySolidWorks for Students—Honing Your Skills Before You Hit the Field
Kyle Maxey posted on February 09, 2017 |

It almost goes without saying, but modern engineering relies on computer-aided design (CAD) software for almost every aspect of product design. CAD is indispensable for engineer that are researching  a product's underlay technology,  beginning the product ideation process, creating ergonomic surfaces, testing a design's tensile strength with finite element analysis (FEA) or readying a design for manufacturing with embedded CAM or 3D printing tools. So, it's a bit perplexing to discover that CAD isn’t always taught in middle school and high school, or in university engineering programs.

Although there has been an uptick in CAD education since education policy makers have been hammering on the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) deficits that continue to plague many U.S. schools, CAD education isn’t as widespread as it could be. However, some CAD companies are making a push to improve their educational outreach. One of those companies is Dassault Systèmes with their SOLIDWORKS Education Program.

MySolidWorks for Students enables students to learn SOLIDWORKS software with educators and the opportunity for certificates. (image courtesy of SOLIDWORKS.)
MySolidWorks for Students enables students to learn SOLIDWORKS software with educators and the opportunity for certificates. (image courtesy of SOLIDWORKS.)

Back in May 2016, Dassault Systèmes announced its MySolidWorks for Students program. MySolidWorks for Students is an effort to connect students and educators with the tools and instructional materials that can transform young, creative individuals into designers.

Since its launch, the MySolidWorks program has expanded rapidly and, according to Dassault's director of Education & Early Engagement, Marie Planchard, “SOLIDWORKS is used in 32,000 schools, from top researchers in the world at the universities, in college engineering design classrooms, and in high schools and middle schools to promote STEM education. With the help of dedicated educators, our academic certification program has created over 100,000 Certified SOLIDWORKS Associates(CSWAs) and provided students with job-ready skills to our commercial customers.”

What Do You Get with MySolidWorks for Students?

For an initiative to be as successful as the MySolidWorks for Students program, students and educators must be given tools that make learning CAD accessible to student at all levels, whether that be high school or college.

To meet that challenge, Marie Planchard's team has assembled a number of features, including more than 320 product tutorial videos, CSWA prep classes and, of course, an Educational edition of the SOLIDWORKS suite. Lest you think that the Education version of SOLIDWORKS is a watered-down package, Planchard also mentioned that “In SOLIDWORKS Education, we provide a full suite of applications—SOLIDWORKS Premium, Simulation Premium, Electrical, Plastics, MBD, Visualize, Flow Simulations, Composer.” In truth, the only limits to the SOLIDWORKS Education suite is that files are watermarked; otherwise, the software is no different than what an engineer would use in the real world.

Who's Eligible for MySolidWorks for Students?

Any student, or military personnel or veteran is eligible to sign up for the MySolidWorks for Students program, provided they have a valid student or military ID. For military personnel, the cost of a license is $20.

Aside from being able to buy a license of your own, Dassault Systèmes also works with schools to provide SOLIDWORKS Education Edition licenses to students for free.

Finally, STEM teams can apply for sponsorship with Dassault Systèmes and receive SOLIDWORKS licenses for free. In fact, Dassault Systèmes currently sponsors over 3,000 student teams engaging in STEM challenges.

How Do You Sign Up for MySolidWorks for Students?

To sign up for MySolidWorks for Students, log on to the MySolidWorks for Students page and create an account. Once you are on the SOLIDWORKS online account creation page, select the option “I am not a SOLIDWORKS customer or I do not have a SOLIDWORKS Serial #". After you enter your email address and click Next, you’ll receive a confirmation email. Follow the link you receive in that email confirmation to activate your account, and then log into MySolidWorks to register your serial number.

Once you've completed those steps, you can download your Education or Student Edition of SOLIDWORKS and begin designing.

Why is MySolidWorks for Students Important?

Armed with a strong understanding of CAD tools, young engineers—whether they're in high school or college—can enter the workforce or bootstrap their own businesses with the knowledge that they're prepared for the ins and outs associated with design. CAD tools are indispensable in today's design environment, and knowing how to manipulate design software to create efficient designs places a young engineer's mind and imagination in the sphere of real-world engineering where critical design decisions have to be made. The more young engineers are able to wrap their minds around these concepts, the stronger they'll be when they set foot into their first jobs.

What's more, having powerful design tools at one's fingertips gives precocious young thinkers the ability to reinvent the world around them. In the coming decade, we're likely to see an explosion in design as tools like 3D printers, scanners and cloud computing become more accessible to students and families. With these technologies in their pockets, young engineers will begin to create wonderful things, and behind all of those designs will be a CAD tool that helped to bring their imaginations to life.

To learn more about SOLIDWORKS education programs, follow this link. If you are a researcher looking for access to SOLIDWORKS, click here.

SOLIDWORKS has sponsored this post. It has provided no editorial input. For more information, go to www.solidworks.com.


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