Learning Solidworks as a first step to “any model, any scale, any time”!

February 2013

I am very optimistic about the state of the model-building industry. I think more people are interested in building models than ever before. However, I also think the traditional model, with all its parts in a box, is going the way of the dinosaur. In today’s completely connected world, modellers tend to view a kit as just a starting point. Whether they dream of building the model better than what is suggested or rebuilding the model bigger or smaller, there is always something interesting to do with a model that can make the construction a unique experience.

I firmly believe that the digital representation of every part of a model should be available for download to anyone who cares to pay for it. Some people may want to use the file to make a working model, in steel, for instance, while others may want to make a larger version for some other kind of study.

Of course, one would immediately think of the intellectual property value of the digital design of a part and that is a whole, new, field for lawyers to get their hands on. I have no interest in working this out myself. My aim here is to actually start building parts that are deemed in the public domain, or for which I have received approval from the owner of the intellectual property.

My first step is to decide which 3D CAD program would be the most universal and the one that would allow me to build the largest number of parts in the least amount of time. I chose Solidworks and I’ve almost finished taking my first course at CEGEP St-Laurent in Montreal.

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