Coleman had a few students with some experience using other CAD software and they were understandably hesitant to try Solid Edge, which was completely new to most of them—just as engineers might be. The concept of CAD is straightforward, but if you are accustomed to certain keystrokes or the placement of features, it can be a nightmare to switch to a different software.
“If you’re experienced with one 3D modeling software… you’re accustomed to where things are,” says Coleman.
Learning CAD for the first time is no small task, either. Many students at the freshman level are more accustomed to using their smartphone than a computer. Navigating something as complex as CAD at the high school level can be a challenge with new terminology, new concepts and a vast array of functions.
“Every one of those that switched to Solid Edge from something else, without fail, have said, ‘I now realize why you wanted to switch. This is so much better than what I was using before.’ Now they’re all about Solid Edge and what it has to offer them,” says Coleman.
He also saw students who were brand-new to CAD pick up Solid Edge without a hitch.
He had one student design their team’s solar car in just three weeks, even though he was using Solid Edge for the first time. “He had no experience, zilch. In three weeks, he designed the car to such a degree that he won the Siemens Award for our division the first year we entered the competition.”
Now, thanks to its intuitive nature, Coleman’s students use Solid Edge in every aspect of engineering throughout all their classes, as well as on the solar car project every year.