We’ve all had that moment. At some point on our lives, we’ve sat in class, looked at the material, and wondered: “When will I ever use this?” However, I know for a fact that I’ll never ask myself that question while I’m in ITP 308.

ITP 308 is my favorite class I’ve taken at USC thus far. It is a tech elective where I am taught how to use Solidworks, a computer-aided design (CAD) program. In Solidworks, I am able to create and visualize three-dimensional solid parts and use those parts to create assemblies. For example, in one of my homework assignments I created rods, bolts, and latches in order to create a larger, functioning assembly.

Another reason why I love Solidworks is because creating an intricate parts and assemblies is kind of like solving a puzzle, and I love puzzles! To make a part, we are given drawings that depict the dimensions and features of the part.

We must then use the drawings to model the part. It can be tricky! If we create features of the part in the wrong order, the part will be impossible to create. In other words, not only do we need to know which feature to use to create a part, we must also know when to use the feature.

Assemblies are even more fun to create. An assembly combines all the created parts to create a larger part. Assemblies are different from parts because they can rotate, slide, and move around, while parts are motionless. In order to create an assembly, we must mate together features of the parts.

Not only is Solidworks fun to work with, but it will be extremely useful after graduation. Dozens of engineering companies use Solidworks to create parts and assemblies, and I am ahead of the game by already knowing how to navigate the program.

I’m only halfway through this class, and I can’t wait to see what else I can learn about Solidworks.