Getting Acquainted with Solidworks

After watching a quick intro video to Solidworks, I was really impressed with its features. It can do way more than I had anticipated:

– it has a library of standard parts and materials that you can apply to your projects

– orthographic projections can be created instantly from a 3D object

– you can apply movement to parts to see how they will work

– automatic ballooning, bill of materials listings and exploded views is so simple and makes everything we did by hand last semester look like a gigantic waste of time. 

– photo-realistic rendering blows my mind

I’ve understood 3rd angle projections for a while now, but never 1st angle projections. After hearing it explained the exact same way again today, something clicked in my brain that made the difference between the two way easier to understand. 1st angle projections unfold from the back, as if all the sides hinge from behind the front view. In 3rd angle projections, this hinging centres at the front. 

I’ve also noticed some new vocab that I’m sure I’ll be using a lot of down the track:

  • Extrusion
  • Sweep
  • Loft
  • Pattern
  • Surface


After playing with the program, I’m pretty confused by the controls. I’m not used to using a Windows operating system so that doesn’t help. 

I purposefully sat next to the most experienced person in class and he showed me how to change surface materials and backgrounds. 

I was really impressed with the lighting setup and how the reflective materials showed accurate reflections. 

I then had a go at making my own solid shapes from scratch. It was an interesting experience. I can’t wait to be good at it though. 

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