Starting in March 2020 we closed all of our in-house training at CATI due to the pandemic. Then starting in June, we started opening our in-house SOLIDWORKS classes. This meant we had to accommodate social distancing requirements and personal protection protocols (PPP). CATI has made adjustments to all of our offices and today I will show you how we in the Albuquerque office have changed our classroom layout and training process to make these accommodations now and for future classes, using SOLIDWORKS.
First, to determine the best way to move our workstations around for these changes I had to model the room, with doors, partitions, furniture and equipment for the classroom. I will be showing you some of the techniques I used in SOLIDWORKS. To model the classroom, I started with the tape measure to record width and length, doorway positions and sizes.
This is the result:
The side walls are shown transparent so I can see where the workstations and students will be positioned. Next, I modeled a single workstation to use for student and instructor. I already had models for the computer, monitor, keyboard and mouse from this blog: Custom Packaging Design. I was able to download the chair from 3D Content Central, the human came from the SOLIDWORKS Forum, then I measured and modeled the table.
So, to use the sub-assembly inside the classroom I wanted to use a technique called “Asset Publisher”, introduced in SOLIDWORKS 2017 (Yea They’re Attractive, They’re MAGNETIC Mates! – Part 1) It allows automatic placement and mating when the file is dragged into the assembly. There is some setup required for the assembly and the inserted sub-assemblies.
First, I created an assembly using the classroom, then I used Tools – Asset Publisher to create the ground plane for the classroom.
Next, I used the same tool to create the Ground Plane and Connectors for the workstation sub-assembly.
Each connector represents a place where the sub-assembly can create magnetic mates to other sub-assemblies. I placed the first workstation into the assembly and used regular mates to position it the same as the original classroom setup. With the asset publisher setting the ground plane the orientation of the workstation is always correct.
Inserting the additional workstations will be very fast using the asset publisher to create the magnetic mates.
With the first two student positions in place the linear assembly pattern will finish the rest. This the original classroom layout with a capacity of ten students.
Here you can see the spacing from workstation to workstation is more than 6 feet, but side to side is only 48 inches.
The easiest thing to do was to remove the workstations from every other position. This would allow us to have a maximum of 5 students in each class. I did this by creating a “desk only” configuration in the sub-assembly and set it for every other student position.
This worked for our first class because the distance was well within the PPP requirements, since each student was over 6 feet apart.
As the class went on there was a problem, because each time the instructor needed to help a student they would need to put on a mask then stand in front of the students monitor 6 feet away and only watch or give direction, without the ability to touch or control the workstation.
I got this idea that if we used the extra monitors from the unused workstations then we could set up dual monitors at each student workstation, have them join an online meeting which would allow the instructor to view or control their applications remotely and eliminate the need for the projector screen at the front . All that was needed was to create yet another workstation configuration and add the second monitor.
With the extra monitors at each station the next class was much more effective.
To wrap this up I’d like to show you what we’re going to do in the future now that I’ve got the tools to optimize the spacing in the classroom. This new layout will allow us to have a maximum of 8 student positions and still satisfies the social distancing requirements.
I hope you enjoyed this article. If you have questions please call CATI at 888-308-2284, or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to sign up for our in-house or virtual SOLIDWORKS training, just follow this link to our CATI training page.
Application Engineer, Software Support
Computer Aided Technology, Inc.