Readers may think CAD insiders are CAD experts. Some actually are. Lynn Allen and David Cohen can both show even veteran CAD users a trick or two. Another example is Ralph Grabowski, who can fill a book (several, actually) about using CAD products. Then there's me. Years of covering the industry from a "higher level" have taken a toll. I wasn't sure I could model even a simple part any more -- the kind I used to assign to one of my first semester students. I used to teach CAD to college students. That seems like such a long time ago.
In an attempt to relive those glory days, I snatched a demo copy of SolidWorks off my shelf. I was going to dive in and get dirty. I felt like the football hero cliché, playing days long over, after years of watching the game from the couch, getting up to play with the kids.
What will follow is a diary of my day to day experiences trying to learn the SolidWorks program. As I will steal time from my day job (the aforementioned "higher level" coverage), I plan on run through the tutorials, do a little self-teaching -- maybe even model something significant. In doing so, I hope not only to rekindle an interest but to get back in touch my readers. For those considering buying an MCAD program, this may actually be useful. And maybe I can even make use out of an expensive -- and long neglected --engineering education.