Building a Solid Understanding of Solidworks

Back when I was a sophomore I remember searching the Harvard course list with the keyword “computer aided design,” and only seeing ES51 show up. I was very interested in taking a class that would teach me 3D rendering skills, but there was no course that would just give me a basic understanding of Solidworks. I am so glad that ES22 has allowed me to learn this skill without having to dedicate an entire semester to it. In reflecting on this learning experience, I actually found the software itself to be pretty intuitive. I enjoyed how the pen curriculum built skills on top of one another, starting from 2D shapes, moving towards 3D extrusions, and finally learning more detailed features. The main struggle I had during this challenge was actually in reading the instructions for creating the pen. I found myself spending a lot of time trying to figure out what the directions were telling me to do, and felt that the figures could have better matched the text. Overall though, it was a very positive experience. Specifically, I enjoyed the moment after drawing all the shapes of clicking the revolve button and seeing my creation actually match that of the instructions. It is such a small action, but such a delightful one. I hope to be able to use this skill in future projects and am excited to see my pen printed in the physical world!!

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