Originally Posted by 396
I'm an old fucker stuck in my ways running 14, designing automation machinery. For the most part, prints to the shop are my bottom line, and 14 gets it done quickly. My employer is footing the bill to get me Solidworks training. I've done the tutorials, and find it awkward and cumbersome. Any tips for making the 2d/3d transition less painless?
I design automation equipment with Solidworks. It's a painful learning curve, but worth it. Today I was designing an adhesive dispense system for a SCARA robot. For all of the purchased parts (dispense valve, cartridge retainer, all the fittings, tool changer, capacitive sensor, etc) I was able to download 3D models off the vendors' websites and plop them right into the assembly. I was able to check clearances and swing the robot through its full range of motion to check for interference with guarding, etc. It can be very fast.
As far as tips to make it easier, I'm not sure what to say other than keep plugging away. Google is your friend. Any time I get stuck I google the word solidworks + whatever it is I'm trying to accomplish and a solution/tutorial/video always pops up. The Solidworks forum usually has the answer.
For designing parts I like to think in terms of the steps to actually manufacture it. Start with a big block or rod and start carving like you'd do on a mill or lathe. I don't like adding - I like taking away material just like the machinist will. For assemblies I mate features to constrain parts in the same way and same order as I picture myself assembling them.