This summer I have been working as an Intern for TECHNIA & Integral Powertrain as a Design Engineer. I’ve recently completed my first year at the University of Portsmouth where I’m currently studying BEng Mechanical Engineering.
Before starting at TECHNIA (formerly Intrinsys), I completed their CATIA V5 Fundamentals Training Course. This was extremely useful, as I only had previous experience using CATIA alongside very basic Autodesk AutoCAD. Naturally, I felt a little nervous jumping straight into the 3DEXPERIENCE software upon my arrival, especially as I had to get to grips with the software pretty quickly.
I didn’t really have a chance to do any research or look through any tutorials so when I opened up the front end of the software it was bit of a shock. After a near hour of searching around graphics user interface (GUI) and asking some of the TECHNIA engineering experts where specific functions were, I quickly began to get the hang of it and realized the principles are very similar to CATIA V5. The hardest part for me about the changeover was simply knowing which buttons come under which tab, where to find them and the general familiarization of the GUI.
I had always used a file based system for CAD where I simply used a “save as” tool, however I had not used any sort of part numbering system and PLM system like what is available in the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. Using the database system for managing the files made logging into a project and narrowing search results a lot easier. The various ways of searching in 3DEXPERIENCE offers more efficient way of finding parts of Assemblies thanks to features such as the explore with Parents and advanced searches.
I had full use of their Helpdesk and support system. This proved to be very useful as the people working within the support team had experience with the software. The Helpdesk easily resolved any issue or difficulty I had, once I emailed them with details of my issue.
I also had access to TECHNIA online e-training website where I found digital files and walk through of their courses. These courses cover all their training syllabus so it was easy for me to find the relevant information. This became my first port of call for assistance, followed by the Helpdesk, if I required further assistance.
After nearly three months of working with the software and having the time to locate the buttons and different workspaces, I find it a lot easier to work within the 3DEXPERIENCE platform than the older CATIA V5. Unlike CATIA V5, the buttons are not able to move around however you are able to expand and label the tabs and icons making it a lot easier to remember where they are. I found this made knowing where the icons are a lot easier, but also a bit more time consuming when performing repetitive tasks that used different tabs. I sometimes found myself spending time clicking between the tabs to locate, and click the different icons I needed. Which seemed to use more effort than I feel was required. I later learned that I could customize my tabs and create my own action pad, where I could store the icons of my most frequently used tools.
Having used the 3DEXPERIENCE platform on real life projects for the entire duration of my internship here, it has certainly become my CAD software of choice. I found the simplicity of the search features and the detailed modeling interface makes for quick and efficient modeling, whether you are using the more advanced surfacing workbench or simply padding out a simple sketch.