If you’re a SOLIDWORKS user, do you know where you can go to learn more about the software? Get answers to your questions about SOLIDWORKS? Connect with other users? Or get help if something goes wrong?
If you’re not a SOLIDWORKS user, do you know where you can go to discover more about the software? Or to try it out? Or to connect with a reseller?
As it turns out, all of these questions have the same answer: MySolidWorks.
Accessible from the URL MySolidWorks.com, MySolidWorks is much more than a website, according to Andreas Kulik, director of Product Portfolio & Business Development for SOLIDWORKS under its parent company Dassault Systèmes.
“For our users, it has become the hub to stream SOLIDWORKS, learn more, get answers, prepare for certification, and much more,” he said. “It is well integrated with our SOLIDWORKS desktop products to make it easier for our users to discover content and stay connected with the SOLIDWORKS community.”
MySolidWorks Is for Anyone
One of the best features of MySolidWorks is the online product trial—a full version of SOLIDWORKS Professional that current or prospective users can run for free—streamed through their browser. The only requirement is that users have a SOLIDWORKS account, a barrier that takes all of 20 seconds to overcome.
Once prospective users sign up for an account, they can access the browser-based SOLIDWORKS trial for a total of two hours over two days. During this trial period, they can discover and evaluate SOLIDWORKS as much as they’d like to get a feel for whether it’s the right solution for them. If two hours isn’t enough time for prospective users to make this determination, they can extend the trial for an additional two hours. And if that’s still not enough time, prospective users have the option of contacting a reseller and getting seven days of unimpeded access to the software.
For current SOLIDWORKS users, the trial provides an opportunity to evaluate other SOLIDWORKS products and the latest version of the software.
The trial provides a great way for users to experience SOLIDWORKS firsthand without the hassle of downloading software or requesting reseller demos. As Kulik puts it: “The idea is to remove barriers for individuals and companies looking to experience the best CAD solution on the market.”
I tested out the online trial for an hour or so, running through one of the integrated SOLIDWORKS tutorials, and the experience met all my expectations. I did occasionally have to refresh MySolidWorks when it failed to bring up the trial version of the software, but this minor problem might have been caused by a spotty Internet connection on my end. According to Kulik, user satisfaction levels with the browser trial are quite high overall. That said, the issue of potential browser instability leads him to believe that “there will always be a case for desktop CAD.”
MySolidWorks for SOLIDWORKS Users
Billed as “Your place for all things SOLIDWORKS,” MySolidWorks is exactly that, with a variety of services designed for current and prospective users alike. There’s SOLIDWORKS news; access to millions of CAD models; extensive educational materials, learning paths, and SOLIDWORKS eCourses; active user forums; access to documentation and technical support; a global manufacturing network; reseller content; and the browser-based SOLIDWORKS product trial for both SOLIDWORKS users and CAD beginners to test-drive the software, without having to download and install it.
There are four versions of MySolidWorks:
- MySolidWorks—which is the entry version that’s free for anyone who creates a SOLIDWORKS account
- MySolidWorks for Students—which offers access to additional training content and more,and is available to anyone with a student license of SOLIDWORKS
- MySolidWorks Standard—which provides training content, access to the Knowledge base, and Software Performance Reports (SPRs), and is free for users who have an active SOLIDWORKS subscription
- MySolidWorks Professional—which is available on a subscription basis for $360 per year per user and unlocks over 1,000 product tutorials, SOLIDWORKS certification prep courses, and much more
Here’s a breakdown of the differences between the four versions of MySolidWorks:
You may have noticed that the SOLIDWORKS eCourses are not specifically included with any of the MySolidWorks offerings. Rather, these courses are available for purchase from your SOLIDWORKS reseller.“eCourses are interactive online training courses that include everything from the SOLIDWORKS instructor-led training manual in a self-paced eLearning format. They’re a great way to get the content out to users.”There are currently 13 eCourses available, ranging in length from 5 hours (“SOLIDWORKS File Management”) to 19.5 hours (“SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation”).
Your Place for All Things SOLIDWORKS
Since the introduction of MySolidWorks, the reception from SOLIDWORKS users has been very positive. Take it from Dan Herzberg, project engineer at Jenike & Johanson, Inc.
“I’ve been using MySolidWorks since the very beginning, when it was launched in 2013 or so,” Herzberg said.“Back then, there was so much SOLIDWORKS information spread across so many platforms—tech blogs, user blogs, user forum posts, YouTube videos, Knowledge Base solutions—it was tedious to find answers to my specific problems. MySolidWorks compiles all that information in one place, so a simple search almost always gets me the answer I’m looking for, which is still one of the greatest features of MySolidWorks.”
A simple search on MySolidWorks.com. (Image courtesy of SOLIDWORKS.)
And the platform only continues to improve, according to Herzberg. “Since then, SOLIDWORKS has added new features like file storage, links to manufacturers, and online product tutorial videos for almost any topic you can think of. I’ll sometimes use these videos to get introduced to a tool I’ve never used before, or just brush up on my skills during downtime.”
Whether you’re a seasoned SOLIDWORKS pro or a CAD novice trying to decide which software to buy, MySolidWorks has something to offer you. MySolidWorks is an ambitious project helping users be more productive by connecting them with relevant SOLIDWORKS content and services—anytime, anywhere, and on any device.
In that respect, MySolidWorks really does live up to its promise: it’s your place for all things SOLIDWORKS.
About the Author
Michael Alba is a lead contributor of the IoT section for ENGINEERING.com. Michael has a degree in engineering physics from the University of Alberta. He has also conducted research in wireless beamforming and Doppler radar.