top of page



Solidworks is an engineering focused parametric modeling program. We chose it because of its features and long time stability. Autodesk has other parametric modeling programs like their legacy program Inventor or their new toy Fusion360. Autodesk programs are free to download from their education site for student and I recommend you play with all the software because in the "real world" and in FRC you are probably going to have to work with it all at some point or another. Lets start with terminology then move to shortcut keys, in solidworks getting familiar with the terminology is important because it lets you move away from the slow old workflow to a clean fast and efficient one. Terminology in parametric modeling programs are slightly different due to copywrite or whatever so just keep in mind that the icons are more helpful then the words sometimes. Another thing is that they don't translate the software into many languages so they depend on the symbols to get the message across.

Now that you got some terms we are going to bind the most common terms to the keys under your left hand so you can move your mouse around with the right and input your commands with the left and there is no need to be moving you mouse all around the screen you can keep it where your modeling.

In the GrabCAD folder we have a setup that is great for beginners and setups the keys in this way along with removing the menus. It also removes some dangerous keys that can mess you up and removes the mouse gestures. If you like mouse gestures you can turn them back on if you are good with them great its just faster to use the keys and keep the mouse for other things. Just run the settings wizard while solidworks is closed and it will import your settings and make a backup of the original.

If you mess around with your settings and want to save them to move them from one computer to the other you can run the settings wizard and make an executable with new settings in it.

These lessons are meant to build on one another and the activities are meant to build on the lessons I hope it works out...

Lesson 1: Sketching and Basic Geometry

Activity 1: Shapes

Lesson 2: Shortcuts

Activity 2: LEGOS!

Lesson 3: Circles... oh circles...

Activity 3: Vase

Lesson 4: Lofts and Sweeps (Yes they are different)

Activity 4: Some Crazy S%&T

Lesson 5: Part Configurations

Activity 5: EXCEL TIME!!

Lesson 6: Sheet Metal

Activity 6: Bend me a river

Lesson 7: Surfacing

Activity 7: Spoon

Lesson 8: The Master Modeling Technique

Activity 8: Models and Assemblies Derived from Parts

Recent Posts

See All


INCOMPLETE What is torque What is reduction why does it work Ways to reduce: Planetary gearboxes Custom gearboxes Chain Belt


INCOMPLETE Rolley grabbers- why Touch it own it Wheel choices: FLEX wheels Compliant wheels Stealth wheels Colsons Thin round tube covered with surgical tubing and 3d printed hubs-254,2056 2019 https:


bottom of page