Getting the Most out of a SOLIDWORKS Certification

    Nathan Sneller by Nathan Sneller on December 6, 2018

    SOLIDWORKS CertificationI am a firm believer in the value of certifications. I am also unquestionably convinced that a SOLIDWORKS certification makes it easier to convince someone that you are more qualified than a non-certified competitor. What am I getting at? I’m an engineer licensed by the state of Michigan, and even though Michigan doesn’t require a license for an engineer working under an industrial exemption, it gives the assurance that I at least met the minimum requirements of the State of Michigan for obtaining a PE license.

    Having a PE license and being a Certified SOLIDWORKS Expert made getting hired much easier than it would have been without those qualifications. So if you’re a recent college grad, looking for a first job, or looking for a career change, you likely won’t have much experience. A SOLIDWORKS certification can make all the difference - here’s why.

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      Learn SOLIDWORKS with a Customized SOLIDWORKS Course Guide

      Rodney Harper by Rodney Harper on July 16, 2018

      Learn SOLIDWORKSSOLIDWORKS training has long been seen as a cost-effective way to strengthen an individual or team’s skills in SOLIDWORKS without placing the time burden of training on more experienced employees. Online SOLIDWORKS courses, in particular, have become popular for offering flexible, expert-led SOLIDWORKS training to users of all levels.

      Of course, the SOLIDWORKS courses you choose depend on your job title, duties, and ultimate goals for training. Whether you’re new to SOLIDWORKS and looking to pick up the basics or a seasoned user who needs to brush up on a new functionality, digging through the extensive SOLIDWORKS course catalog can be overwhelming if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for. To help solve this problem, SOLIDWORKS has developed customized SOLIDWORKS course guides that you can easily find with our Education Roadmap.

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        10 Tips for Success: SOLIDWORKS Certification Exams

        Madison Bryce by Madison Bryce on July 13, 2018

        SOLIDWORKS CertificationA SOLIDWORKS certification is the difference between saying you’ve worked with the software and proof of your expertise. I recently completed the process of becoming a Certified SOLIDWORKS Associate (CSWA) and a Certified SOLIDWORKS Professional (CSWP). In this blog, I will be discussing what the SOLIDWORKS CSWA and CSWP exams are all about if you are ready to take them, and ten tips from someone who just successfully went through the process.

        The CSWA certification is proof of your cutting-edge SOLIDWORKS skills that businesses seek out and reward. It is recommended to have taken a SOLIDWORKS Tutorials course as well as a SOLIDWORKS Essentials course before attempting the exam. The CSWA is a single section, three-hour online SOLIDWORKS exam based on part creation and modification from basic to advanced as well as some pretty standard assembly.

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          How to Get Free SOLIDWORKS Certification Exams for Subscription Customers

          Angelle Erickson by Angelle Erickson on June 18, 2018

          SOLIDWORKS Certification ExamCompleting a SOLIDWORKS Certification Exam and obtaining a Professional SOLIDWORKS Certification is a great achievement. Not only does it shine proudly on your resume, but it also shows employers, decision makers, and fellow team members your level of skill and knowledge of the software. Companies often have certain strategies and standards set as a business to help stay ahead of the competition and having a reliable, knowledgeable, and certified staff is appealing to potential customers.

          Did you know that if you have an active subscription with SOLIDWORKS you can take a free SOLIDWORKS Certification Exam? SOLIDWORKS offers a variety of different exams each focusing in a different area of the entire portfolio. Keep reading to find out what SOLIDWORKS certification exams are available and how to start testing your skills.

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            SOLIDWORKS Online Training: Here’s What to Expect

            Madison Bryce by Madison Bryce on June 5, 2018

            SOLIDWORKS Essentials TrainingBefore enrolling as an engineering student at the University of Michigan, I had used CAD software for several years. During that time I’ve experienced formal classroom settings, informal settings, as well as learning the software by simply clicking around until I found a solution. Even though I eventually accomplished what I was trying to do, this method was time-consuming and didn’t always yield the most effective solution.

            I recently had the opportunity expand my skills by taking a take a two-week SOLIDWORKS online training class called SOLIDWORKS Essentials. The experience I’ve had in the past with online learning involved recorded lectures, online classes, and tutorials so when I logged in the first day of the course, I expected a similar experience. Instead, I was introduced to a whole new way of learning.

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              Online SOLIDWORKS Courses: Worth the Investment?

              Rodney Harper by Rodney Harper on March 23, 2018

              online SOLIDWORKS coursesWith more than three million users worldwide, SOLIDWORKS products are some of the most widely recognized 3D software tools on the market. Creating designs on everything from supersonic aircraft to exoskeletons, SOLIDWORKS users are leveraging the software to drive innovation in almost every industry — and with it, a growing demand for skilled SOLIDWORKS professionals.

              The SOLIDWORKS Certification Exams were developed to address this demand, as well as help employers benchmark SOLIDWORKS competency. Passing a SOLIDWORKS exam has become a useful way to gauge an individual’s SOLIDWORKS knowledge, and some companies have even begun offering SOLIDWORKS training to take the onus of certification preparation off of time-strapped team leads. But is SOLIDWORKS training really worth it?

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                Ask a SOLIDWORKS Expert feat. Tom Starks: Do I Need SOLIDWORKS Training?

                Angelle Erickson by Angelle Erickson on February 1, 2018

                Ask a SOLIDWORKS ExpertPop quiz: What level user should a person be to consider SOLIDWORKS training? New user? Experienced user? Expert? The answer is all of the above. It doesn’t matter what level of experience you have using SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD software; training is always a good option. Not only does SOLIDWORKS training help keep your skill set fresh, but gaining certifications can place you above the bar amongst your peers and help you gain recognition within your organization.

                At Fisher Unitech we offer SOLIDWORKS training three ways: Online (offered throughout the entire United States), onsite, and in-classroom. We offer over 40 different SOLIDWORKS online classes and 12 SOLIDWORKS certification tests to meet your needs. Most importantly, all of our classes are taught by a live instructor. One of those instructors is Tom Starks. Keep reading to learn more about Tom and his role in the SOLIDWORKS education experience.

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                  Online SOLIDWORKS Training: Your Source for Success

                  Johnna Insana by Johnna Insana on August 10, 2017

                  Online-SOLIDWORKS-Training-Your-Source-for-SuccessHere at Fisher Unitech, we want to make sure our customers are exposed to the best SOLIDWORKS training. We also strive to make sure training is as convenient as possible to fit everyone’s style and needs. What you may not know is that we offer online training to more than just our Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and New England customers. SOLIDWORKS online training classes can be taken by anyone anywhere in the United States.

                  Don’t own SOLIDWORKS software yet? That’s okay, too; we can set you up with everything you need to learn SOLIDWORKS, boost your skillset, and add to your résumé. Keep reading to find out more about SOLIDWORKS training and how to get started.

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                    Meet our Experts: Rachael Buhl - Senior Application Engineer Instructor

                    Angelle Erickson by Angelle Erickson on June 20, 2017

                    Power of Our People Training ExpertsRachael Buhl is a Senior Application Engineer Instructor at Fisher Unitech and is based out of our office in Cincinnati, Ohio. Rachael has been passionately instructing students on SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD software for three years to help users sharpen their skills and gain their certifications.

                    Rachael is a Certified SOLIDWORKS Expert, with certifications in Mechanical Design and Composer. She has been a SOLIDWORKS user since 2011. Keep reading to learn more about Rachael and what got her interested in SOLIDWORKS.

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                      3 Ways to Get the Best SOLIDWORKS Training

                      Angelle Erickson by Angelle Erickson on May 31, 2017

                      3-Ways-To-Get-The-Best-SOLIDWORKS-Training-1Are you comfortable working in your SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD software tools? Have you ever stumbled across a challenge that you wish you could have solved on your own but instead had to pass to someone else? Even if you just want to sharpen your skills, it’s never too late to consider SOLIDWORKS training.

                      SOLIDWORKS training allows users to become more comfortable on a daily basis to manipulate and create designs. Being able to confidently overcome challenges independently means completing a project and getting a product to market faster. Worried that you can’t fit training into your schedule? It’s easier and more convenient than you may think. Keep reading to learn three different ways to get the best SOLIDWORKS training that will work for you.

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                        Meet our Experts: Rodney Harper - Technical Training Manager

                        Angelle Erickson by Angelle Erickson on May 30, 2017

                        Power of Our People TrainingMeet Rodney Harper! Rodney has been our technical training manager here at Fisher Unitech since 2008 and is based out of our office in Troy, Michigan. With over 13 years of experience working with SOLIDWORKS, Rodney wants to guarantee that his students get the best training experience available.

                        SOLIDWORKS training is offered in class, on site, or online to meet your needs. Rodney manages a team of skilled trainers and training administrators committed to making your learning experience the best it can be.

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                          Ramp Up Your Work Performance with SOLIDWORKS Training

                          Michelle Orleski by Michelle Orleski on April 28, 2017

                          Ramp-Up-Your-Work-Performance-with-SOLIDWORKS-Training-1Are you being efficient or proficient in your workplace? It’s not simply a matter that one is better than the other, but it is important to assess which quality you possess and whether or not you and your employer are happy with your style of performance.

                          In this blog, you’ll learn how to understand your qualities and work ethic from a slightly different perspective, one that your employer may see. You’ll also learn how to determine how to tell the difference between being proficient and being efficient and the ways to enhance your workplace performance.

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                            Starting off with SOLIDWORKS Surfacing

                            Rachael Buhl by Rachael Buhl on April 3, 2017

                            Surface modeling in SOLIDWORKS can often be intimidating to new users, so I’m here to put your worries aside. Once there is a decent foundation in solid modeling, many aspects of surface modeling will be easy to migrate to because the same tools are used in both processes. For example, in solid modeling, users may do an Extrude, whereas in surfacing users would do an Extrude Surface. The Property Managers for these two like tools are also very similar.

                            In this blog, I’m going to start from the beginning and start with the basics.

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                              9 Reasons to Get SOLIDWORKS Training

                              Rodney Harper by Rodney Harper on March 17, 2017

                              If you or your company recently made an investment in SOLIDWORKS, then you’re probably already reaping the many benefits and capabilities that SOLIDWORKS has to offer. But there’s more to just owning SOLIDWORKS. Learn how you can get the best out of your software and expand your business by getting the proper SOLIDWORKS training and certifications.

                              9-reasons-to-get-SOLIDWORKS-Training-1We offer over ten SOLIDWORKS certification programs that allow you to get the best out of your software. Use our Education Roadmap to guarantee you’re going down the right path for your educational needs.

                              Training allows users to explore the areas of the software to prepare a team to work intelligently with speed and to be flexible in design for decision changes. We’ve got nine reasons why training at Fisher Unitech can change your SOLIDWORKS experience.

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                                Your Training Starts Here: Saying Goodbye to SOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM

                                Tom Starks by Tom Starks on March 8, 2017

                                There was a time when people were comfortable with Microsoft Windows for workgroups, then Windows NT came along and they had to relearn how to use the new Windows platform. The same thing happened with Windows 7 when Windows 10 came along.

                                With the retirement of SOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM drawing near, now is the time to start the migration over to either SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard or SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional. Learning a new platform doesn’t have to be a challenge, but the earlier you start with proper training, the further ahead you’ll be.

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                                • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, CAD, SOLIDWORKS TRAINING

                                  New Year’s Resolution: Learn New SOLIDWORKS Skills

                                  Rachael Buhl by Rachael Buhl on December 14, 2016

                                  Before the new year begins, take a moment to consider what you want to accomplish professionally in 2017. Whether it’s a promotion, or just having more interesting and self-rewarding projects in your current role, learning new SOLIDWORKS skills could help get you there.  

                                  Yet often the thought of taking training is followed with the worry of taking time out of the office. You’re not alone, like anyone with a new year’s resolution can tell you, it’s easy to make excuses that hold you back.

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                                  • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS TRAINING

                                    Congratulations to Adam Graham - the Winner of the 3D Mouse Giveaway! YOU could be next!

                                    Rachael Hughes by Rachael Hughes on October 1, 2015

                                    Congratulations to Adam Graham!

                                    This quarter, Adam Graham from Accutemp Products (Fort Wayne, IN) took the Advanced Part Modeling Course online with Fisher Unitech.  He filled out the survey at the end of the course, and now he is a proud new owner of the SpacePilot Pro from 3Dconnexion!


                                    Space Pilot
                                    How can YOU get in on the next drawing?
                                    -Take the survey at the end of the course
                                    -You're entered to win a 3Dconnexion 3D mouse!
                                    -Every course you take this quarter, fill out the survey for an entry!
                                    This quarter (Oct-Dec), we are giving away:

                                    The 3Dconnexion SpaceMouse Pro Wireless - a $339 value!

                                    3D Mouse


                                    Learn more about 3D mice on our website, check out the product guide, and follow the 3Dconnexion link on our page for more info: up for a Fisher Unitech training class here:

                                    • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS TRAINING

                                      Optimize your SOLIDWORKS Training After the Class is Complete

                                      Rodney Harper by Rodney Harper on January 30, 2015
                                      Let's look at a few scenarios where you have taken a SOLIDWORKS training course and now you head back to your work.Scenario 1: You have taken training and your company is still in the middle of implementing SOLIDWORKS, or they are not ready to use SOLIDWORKS in production just yet.

                                      Scenario 2: Your company is expecting you to be a SOLIDWORKS expert but they haven't given you any practice time.

                                      Scenario 3: You took a class for exploratory reasons to further the capabilities of your company. However, you don't feel comfortable taking on that new work without feeling more at ease with your new skills. On top of that, your normal work schedule does not allow for practice time.

                                      What does this all add up to? Your training is being wasted the longer you wait to apply it. To be a SOLIDWORKS expert, it takes time and usage of the software; part of it is just seeing all the possibilities that you can take SOLIDWORKS and apply it to make your business and work more efficient. So how do you counter this and get down the path to really maximizing your training? The answer to that is a Home Use License, or HUL.

                                      A Home Use License (HUL) is a standalone license that allows you to install SOLIDWORKS at your home on top of the license at your work. Each individual license at your work is eligible to have a corresponding home installation.

                                      I have a Standalone license at work; how do I go about getting it?

                                      1. Go to


                                      SOLIDWORKS Training

                                      2. Create a SOLIDWORKS login (Note: you will need to know your license number. Inside SOLIDWORKS, go to the Help pull-down menu, then About SOLIDWORKS.


                                      SOLIDWORKS Training

                                      3. Using your serial number combined with your email, you can create a SOLIDWORKS login. Once inside, go to Downloads and Updates.


                                      SOLIDWORKS Training

                                      4. From here you will see a screen that lets you pull your download of SOLIDWORKS to your personal computer.

                                      Note: You cannot use these installed SOLIDWORKS versions at the same time. It is illegal to purchase a single license and use it at the same time as though you own two seats. The idea is to let you work from home or practice from home.

                                      I have a Network license at work, how do go about getting a HUL if I don't have a laptop to take home?

                                      1. Contact your reseller (that's us!). They will help you get a HUL standalone license number for use at home.

                                      2. Once you have this, follow steps 1-4 above for a standalone license.

                                      Once you have this all done: GET CRACKIN'!

                                      Get on SOLIDWORKS and practice, practice, practice. Try using SOLIDWORKS for around the house design on top of what you do at work. You will discover processes and commands you haven't seen yet; before you know it, you will be very comfortable with your normal work duties along with being a more well-rounded SOLIDWORKS user. If you have questions on this, shoot me an email at

                                      Have a great design day!

                                    • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS TRAINING

                                      SolidWorks Essentials Training: Making Sure You're Ready to Learn

                                      Rodney Harper by Rodney Harper on October 22, 2013
                                      So you're learning SolidWorks for the first time. Maybe you're looking to brush up on new versions or were self-taught and filling in some gaps. Here are some things that you can do to make your first experience learning SolidWorks with a class taught by FISHER/UNITECH an amazing one.Do some tutorials before you get to the first SolidWorks Essentials class. Specifically, these four tutorials:

                                      1. Introduction to SolidWorks
                                      2. Lesson 1: Parts
                                      3. Lesson 2: Assemblies
                                      4. Lesson 3: Drawings
                                      These will give you a great foundation for your first time in class. To find these, open your copy of SolidWorks, go to the Help pulldown menu, and choose SolidWorks Tutorials.
                                      If you are taking classes in-house at one of our training facilities, make sure your coworkers know you will be out. It is a four-day course with a one-hour lunch break in the middle. It is difficult to stay focused if you constantly receive emails and texts for work-related items! Focus on your training and it will pay off immensely in your SolidWorks abilities.

                                      If you are taking classes online, make sure you find a quiet place to hide while you listen to the training. Classes are usually scheduled for 2 hours but often do not take every minute of that time. Use that time to work on your exercises. You need to make sure, especially for an Essentials class, that you take the time to do the exercises. Do your best to complete each chapter's homework. It may be a lot of work, but every instructor at FISHER/UNITECH wants you to succeed in learning SolidWorks.

                                      Finally, ask a lot of questions. Questions prompt others to join in on the conversations to discuss work-related issues that only improve your experience with training. There is nothing better than real-world scenarios to apply what you are learning in the textbook to your daily tasks.
                                      Have a great day, and I hope to see you in an Essentials class!

                                    • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS TRAINING

                                      Online versus in-class instruction, pros and cons

                                      Rodney Harper by Rodney Harper on July 30, 2012

                                      Whether you need to start with the basics of SolidWorks or need specialized instruction in advanced functions, Fisher/Unitech's 3DU program offers a wide variety of classes and options for learning. We offer a traditional classroom experience at any of our 14 offices, online training for remote learning from anywhere you happen to be, and even a mobile lab that can come to your location, complete with a professor, to teach you on-site. One of our fantastic online instructors wanted to break down the primary differences between online and in-person instruction and explain the pros and cons of each.

                                      My primary responsibility at Fisher/Unitech is online training.  I am writing this blog today because I believe that many people don't know how our online instruction works.  Let's look at comparisons between the two and help you decide which type of training is right for you.

                                      In-class - 8:30am to 4:30pm with an hour lunch.  This translates into about 7 hours of training for the day.  Keep in mind this includes time for exercises in between chapters.

                                      Online - One day of in-house instructions usually translates into three days of online instructions.  The time per day varies a bit by class, but most classes run during one or more of these times:  9am-11am, 9am-11:30am, or 2pm to 4pm.  We have also started offering evening classes that run 6pm-8:30pm.

                                      For instance:  CAD110 SolidWorks Essentials
                                      In-Classroom: 4 Days @ 7 hours each
                                      Online: 8 Sessions @ 2.5 hours each

                                      METHOD OF INSTRUCTION
                                      In-class - Cover a chapter, then do the exercises.  Repeat as you move through the book. You may cover one to three chapters in the morning and then the same for the afternoon.  Due to time constraints, as chapters progress and exercises become harder, you may not be able to get through all of them.  You can ask questions of your instructor as he/she teaches the chapter and during the exercises.  In most instances you will watch the instructor for the chapter lessons and then attempt the exercises at the end.
                                      Online - Cover two chapters for each session.  You will watch the instructor for the chapter lessons and then leave the meeting to initially try the exercises on your own.  Fortunately, you have plenty of time to fit in the exercises between class sessions.  You can ask questions of your instructor as he/she teaches the chapter.  You can also call or email the instructor after the class session has ended.  He or she can call or email you back with answers to your questions, and can also meet online at the classroom site again to work it out in real-time. If you are having a problem on your machine, we can look at it with our support software and assist you remotely.  Classes are recorded, you can review them for up to two months at any time.
                                      More Pros and Cons

                                      In class -


                                      • Classes are completed more quickly
                                      • No work distractions (unless you leave your phone on)
                                      • Face to face instruction


                                      • Travel and potentially lodging if you can't commute to one of our offices every day
                                      • Time out of the office
                                      • Long sessions
                                      Online -


                                      • Comfort from anywhere: office if you need to still be available for work, home, backyard, during travel... anywhere with a high-speed internet connection will do
                                      • Minimal work-time intrusion
                                      • Recorded class sessions available for review


                                      • Not face to face in person (though it can be "face to face" online with videoconferencing tools)
                                      • Takes a little more time for instructor response to questions
                                      While everyone learns in different ways, I believe the methods by which we deliver our online training puts it on equal (if not better, in my humble opinion) footing with in-class instruction.  I believe the fact that you get so much more time for exercises and questions between sessions far outweighs the lack of visibly seeing an instructor and having them physically assist you if you have questions or problems, since we can still do this online with our meeting software.
                                      If you have any more questions about our online training, please email us at
                                      Rod Harper
                                      Application Engineer Instructor  

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