SolidWorks Launches The CAD Academy for Students

15 Oct, 2007

A partnership of industry software companies, the program aims to inspire a new generation of engineers and architects throughout North America.

SolidWorks has partnered with various other industry software providers to launch The CAD Academy, a secondary and postsecondary pre-engineering and prearchitectural program designed to inspire a new generation of engineers and architects.

The CAD Academy aims to help middle- and high-school students throughout North America explore technology-oriented career paths through real-world projects that deepen understanding of science, engineering, architecture, and mathematics. The program's software suite includes the following:

  • SolidWorks Education Edition, 3D CAD software for product design and mechanical engineering

  • Graphisoft Archicad, a building information modeling (BIM) software program for architectural modeling

  • Google SketchUp Pro

  • A+ CAD, a proprietary software product from The CAD Academy that uses the AutoCAD user interface, commands, applications, and compatibility

  • Discovery Channel multimedia content, including excerpts from Extreme Engineering

"The CAD Academy is designed for school districts that need to increase opportunities for all students to apply math and science in relevant and compelling ways," said Marie Planchard, SolidWorks director of worldwide education markets. "It's a desperate need, as documented in Rising Above the Gathering Storm and other studies showing that we in North America have a lot of ground to make up to sustain our competitiveness."

The CAD Academy software suite also comes with curriculum resources that are approved by the American Design Drafting Association (ADDA). According to SolidWorks, the suite and related resources cover architectural, mechanical engineering, and civil engineering design and are structured to support both new and experienced instructors, even if they've already developed their own curriculum.

The mechanical engineering curriculum uses the text titled Engineering Drawing and Design, as well as electronic resources that provide lesson plans, syllabi, PowerPoint presentations, a computerized test bank, drawing files, and animations. The material covers basic analysis principles for use with SolidWorks' COSMOS analysis software (included with the SolidWorks Education Edition). Students will emerge from the program prepared to take the Certified SolidWorks Associate (CSWA) exam, demonstrating industry-standard competencies in design and engineering principles, SolidWorks reports.