Several types of online documentation are available to help SolidWorks learners along their path. A great place to start is with the SolidWorks Resources tab of the Task Pane (on the right side of the screen). This is the first tab in the list with the Home icon. The Getting Started section of the SolidWorks Resources tab is shown in Figure 1.8.
FIGURE 1.8 Getting Started on the SolidWorks Resources tab of the Task Manager
Following the link in the Help menu to the Online Tutorials leads you to a list of tutorials on subjects from sheet metal to macros, in parts assemblies, and drawings. These tutorials are certainly worth your time, and will build your skills and knowledge of basic functionality. This SolidWorks Bible distinguishes itself by going into far more detail and depth about each function, adding information such as best practice, performance considerations, and cautionary data, and acting as a thorough desk reference. The purpose of this book is not really to duplicate all of the resources for beginners, but to take the information into far more depth and detail, and answer the “why” questions instead of just the “how” questions.
With every release, SolidWorks publishes a What’s New document to help you keep up to speed with the changes. This is typically a PDF file with accompanying example files. If you have missed a version or two, reading through the What’s New files can help get you back on track. Again, don’t expect a lot of detail or interface screen shots, but it should at least introduce the basic changes.
Moving from AutoCAD
In the Help menu is a selection called Moving from AutoCAD. This is intended to help transitioning users acclimate to their new surroundings. Terminology is a big part of the equation when making this switch, and figures prominently in the Moving from AutoCAD help file.
Likely the most helpful tools in Moving from AutoCAD are the Approach to Modeling and Imported AutoCAD Data sections. This information is useful whether you are coming to SolidWorks from AutoCAD or another CAD package.