The Advanced Weldments Exam
Hey there, name is George Noble! If you’re here it’s because you understand the value of SOLIDWORKS Certification, but moreso–because you’re ready for some awesome pointers on how to ace your exam.
Now as a reminder, if you pass each Certified SOLIDWORKS Professional Advanced (CSWPA) exam, you qualify to take the Certified SOLIDWORKS Expert exam. For now, we’ll keep the party going with the CSWPA. So far we’ve covered…
…and today Advanced Weldments!
Overview of the Exam
The CSWPA-WD (Certified SOLIDWORKS Professional Advanced Weldments) exam allows you to prove your ability to use the SOLIDWORKS tools for Weldments. The following topics will be covered in the exam:
- Basic and Advanced Weldment Part creation
- Saving profiles to the Weldment profile library
- Weldment corner modification- gaps at corners and segment intersections
- End Caps, Gussets, Weldment part modification, Trim/Extend command
- Cut list folder management (in Weldment Part), and cut list creation (in Weldment Drawing)
- 3D Sketch Creation
Time: 120 minutes
Minimum of 190 points out of 255 points are required to pass
In the following sections, we will cover helpful tips to maximize your efficiency while taking the exam.
Experience Preparing and Taking Exam
SOLIDWORKS offers a sample exam with tips and questions quite similar to ones found on the real exam. Through your MySolidworks account, you can access the CSWPA-Weldments Exam Prep Course which covers a bulk of the topics mentioned above. An additional helpful resource in preparing for the exam is the Sample CSWPA-WD Exam, which can be found here.
A helpful exercise for preparing for the exam is Exercise 9 in Lesson 2 of the Weldments SOLIDWORKS Training Manual. Please reference solidworks.com/trainingfilessolidworks to download the content associated with this book. Sometimes the size and shape of weldments provided within SOLIDWORKS are not what you need. In cases like this, you can create and configure a Custom Profile to be used directly from the Structural Member PropertyManager.
SOLIDWORKS enables you to have multiple configurations of these profiles as well. SOLIDWORKS enables you to have multiple configurations of these profiles as well. You have the ability to have multiple size options of the profiles you created and choose between them in the Structural Member PropertyManager. Right-click the sketch in the DesignTree and select Configure Feature to access the table shown on the right.
For your Weldment Profile Library to be effective, you need to make sure SOLIDWORKS knows where to find these files. The best way to look into this is to go to System Options > File Locations > Show folders for: Weldment Profiles > Add… and click through your files until you have a path to your created profiles. You also need to save your profiles as library parts, and you’ll know when you’ve done so because the sketch in the DesignTree will show a blue “L” on it.
Once everything is done correctly, the PropertyManager will allow you to select the folder, profile and configuration desired for the weldment you are working on. This is very helpful when working with multiple sizes of a member on a complex part.
Learning Goals and Tips
In this next section, I’ll discuss some of the tips that I found most helpful prior to taking the exam.
In the days before I took the exam, I spent time reviewing the training manual mentioned above and working through the lessons/examples it provides. I found this to be the best way to prepare, especially since I did not have any background experience in weldments. I was able to start at the basics and work my way through it, occasionally going back to reinforce topics that did not click in my mind as quickly.
One tip that was useful for me to hear prior to the exam consisted of the Corner Treatment functionality. When you have three or more members converging on one point, they will never automatically merge evenly. Editing the feature of the structural members and clicking on the pink dot at the convergance point will activate the Corner Treatment window. From here, you can change the Trim Order so that the groups merge collectively by giving each group the same order number.