Getting started with CAD

If you are interested in doing some CAD (computer aided design) at home, then you can download SolidWorks student edition. You will need a relatively up to date computer and the desire to dive into this.  The attachments should help you get started with the download and working through the tutorials.  We have a team license that is good through the end of 2015.  This software is for the team’s personal computers and not for school computers.  Please give this serial number out to team members only.


Here are some reasons to get started with SolidWorks CAD:

1. Its fun

2. To make better robot designs

3. To utilize hundreds of standard parts already modeled for you and ready to be mated into assemblies:

◦                     FTC/FRC at Solidworks

◦                     FIRST CAD Library

◦                     AndyMark (lots of First-Specific items)

◦                     McMaster Carr (everything)

◦                     Bimba (pneumatics)

◦                     Igus (cables, bearings, etc.

4. To make parts for 3D printing

5. To make parts for numerically controlled (NC) machines (or routers)

6. It looks good on your college app.

7. It helps generate the robot Bill of Material (BOM)

8. It looks good on your resume

The SolidWorks tutorials are easy to follow and you should be able to easily start learning it on your own.  However, students Luke and Hank, and mentors Jeff and Steve are familiar with SW and can answer questions.

-Hank OBrien

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