Starting your Monday by catching up on industry news can be a great way to encourage inspiration and innovation all week long. By starting two-way conversations with fellow designers and SOLIDWORKS professionals worldwide, you can begin to expand your network, share experiences, and learn helpful tips and tricks you’d never find within the confines of your office.
While we’ve worked hard to stock the Fisher Unitech blog with up-to-date SOLIDWORKS news, regularly synthesizing diverse viewpoints from across the web can help make you a more global designer. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of informative, entertaining, or just downright underrated CAD forums, SOLIDWORKS blogs, and design Twitter accounts—for the betterment of workweek productivity everywhere. So which online community is right for you?
Top SOLIDWORKS Blogs
The most obvious entry on this list, the official SOLIDWORKS blog, is nevertheless a valuable resource for frequent software updates, release announcements, exciting global partnerships, and noteworthy SOLIDWORKS applications.
Better yet, the core SOLIDWORKS Blog is just one of the provider’s several compelling CAD content sources. The site’s Teacher Blog encourages multigenerational SOLIDWORKS education, the Tech Blog is stocked with informed design tips, the Community Blog highlights design events and impassioned users in action, and 7 International Blogs [K1] provide a global context for worldly work inspiration.
When you want your SOLIDWORKS news to come with a little more facetious character, SolidSmack will gladly smack you with 3D design and 3D printing articles that are on-point and occasionally offbeat. With reviews, interviews, a robust forum, and a chance to submit your own insightful tips, this site’s a great place to start voicing your own unique SOLIDWORKS experiences.
Don’t let the URL deceive you. Deepak Gupta has been providing a treasure trove of SOLIDWORKS tips, tricks, problem solutions, and announcements for 8 years now. A 7-year strong certified SOLIDWORKS user and product developer, Gupta has a self-inspired passion for SOLIDWORKS software, and that genuineness shows throughout his helpful guides for 3D designers.
Top 3D CAD Websites
Interdisciplinary communication is key for informed work—why else would open offices become so popular? With Engineers Rule, your morning reading can be just as diverse, as the site’s visual SOLIDWORKS tutorials are just a click away from similar CAM, PDM, engineering, and concept design feeds. Becoming a CAD subject matter expert is one thing, but becoming a true “renaissance designer” is an impressive achievement all its own.
When quantity and share-ability of 3D printing news is your top priority, 3D Printing Industry can’t be beat. With multiple posts a day and a dedicated team of authors, journalists, teachers, and more, this site should be your go-to for punctual posts worth pushing to LinkedIn.
Perhaps this one is not the best site to start your day with: Design World Online’s deep knowledge hubs cover an equally wide array of subjects—from bearings and motion controls to mechatronics and robotics—and are addictive enough to keep you reading until noon. Regardless, keep them in mind when your project requires subject matter specificity or could benefit from a particularly niche tech tip.
3D CAD World may be just as good of a CAD news resource as any other site on this list, but it’s their dedicated and in-depth forums that earn it a place here. [K2] With 11 different CAD communities, there’s a sub-forum here for any specialized designer to make a name for him or herself. From questions and answers to global networking, your industry outreach path should include a stop here.
Top CAD Twitter Accounts
Though he’s a co-founder of DEVELOP3D, a product lifecycle technology magazine and blog, Al Dean’s personal Twitter includes refreshingly human commentary on the 3D technology industries’ latest happenings and newest software features. Whenever you need a break from “company speak,” turn to his first-hand [K3] pictures, gifs, and retweets.
When it comes to meeting fellow designers and SOLIDWORKS professionals, there’s no better way to dive in headfirst than with a SOLIDWORKS User Group. If you need proof, look no further than Richard Doyle’s Twitter feed, as he shares inside looks at the top names, events, and accomplishments of SOLIDWORKS user groups across the country. His site gives an even better idea of how joining a SOLIDWORKS User Group can kick-start your productivity.
Finding Morning Motivation for Designers
By checking these blogs, forums, and accounts weekly (or even daily, if you can manage it), you can keep your CAD career connected with a wide community of likeminded professionals. Not only can your day-to-day processes be optimized through outsider tips and automations, but your professional fulfillment will also skyrocket when you realize that CAD content creation doesn’t have to be a one-way street.
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About the Author
Stacey Clement is the VP of marketing at Fisher Unitech. She researches and writes about the latest business trends and technologies impacting manufacturers. Stacey is passionate about helping manufacturing companies with the best solutions and tools in 3D CAD, product development, additive manufacturing, and subtractive manufacturing. Stacey has worked in high tech marketing since 2001, and when not working you can find her enjoying the outdoors with her family. You can follow her on Twitter @StaceySClement.