Dartmouth and SolidWorks: from Outrageous Stuff to Commercial Products

Intuitive Software Fosters Rapid Engagement with Engineering Challenges

CONCORD, Mass. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — May 10, 2010 — An excellent education can also be a blast.

That’s a bedrock principle at Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering, where students use SolidWorks® software in a wide range of activities that are always academically serious, and occasionally outrageous.

Take twist carts. These are low-riding vehicles powered by wiggling the hands, feet, and hips and raced throughout the hallways for bragging rights ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Adx3Tu7gzTY). Students design and build them, and every cart must exhibit innovation beyond the current state-of-the-art technology.

“Dartmouth engineering students are already ravenous learners, and we strive to cultivate that passion,” says Assistant Professor Solomon G. Diamond, PhD. “Standardizing on SolidWorks has been a big part of that. Students can produce substantial designs from day one, when the tutorials get them hooked. Then we’re off to the races.”

In addition to designing twist cars, students use SolidWorks in:

  • The traditional Bridge Crushing competition, where teams design scaled-down bridges, then win points on these key metrics: maximum load; minimum deflection at a given load; and best prediction of deflection. ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3_CLxbHXm0&feature=channel)
  • Formula Hybrid, an intercollegiate racing competition featuring scaled-down Formula One-style cars that students design, build, drive, and race. They employ hybrid gas/electric power plants and regenerative brakes, which convert normally wasted energy into electricity. ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-c6Y2kbjuo)
  • Introduction to engineering class, where students tackle design problems, create prototypes, start fictional companies, and present results to a faculty panel in an open, public forum.
  • Weekly problem sets in a Solid Mechanics course, where “if the pencil-and-paper analytical solutions and SolidWorks Simulation software don’t agree,” Diamond says, “students go back and find out what’s wrong. This learning process develops their math skills, mechanical intuition, and builds a foundation for parametric engineering design.”
  • Fabrication, by combining SolidWorks software with technologies like CNC machining and rapid prototyping.
  • Transforming class projects and research into commercial products for entrepreneurial ventures.

Diamond introduced SolidWorks software to Dartmouth in 2008 after using the software himself as a doctoral student at Harvard and research fellow at Massachusetts General. At the hospital, he used SolidWorks to design probes for advanced brain research. This work is now continuing at Dartmouth where he has also used SolidWorks to design a special magnetically shielded room for multimodal brain imaging studies.

“When I came on board, I knew SolidWorks would work well for students. With the short learning curve, we can spend more of our time teaching engineering,” he says. “It’s surprising what you can do with an intuitive tool and an absorbing challenge.”

Dartmouth relies on authorized SolidWorks reseller CADD Edge for ongoing software training, implementation, and support.

About Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp.

Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp., a Dassault Systèmes S.A. subsidiary, is a world leader in 3D solutions that help millions of engineers and designers succeed through innovation. Our products deliver an intuitive experience in product design, simulation, publishing, data management, and environmental impact assessment. For the latest news, information, or an online demonstration, visit our Web site ( www.solidworks.com) or call 1-800-693-9000 (outside of North America, call +1-978-371-5000).

CATIA, DELMIA, ENOVIA, SIMULIA, SolidWorks, and 3D VIA are registered trademarks of Dassault Systèmes or its subsidiaries in the US and/or other countries. Other brand and product names are trademarks of their respective owners. © 2010 Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp.



Contact:

Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp.
Nancy Buchino, 978-318-5262
Email Contact
www.solidworks.com
or
Beaupre & Co. Public Relations
Darby Johnson, 603-559-5809
Email Contact
www.beaupre.com




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