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New EAA Member Benefit: Free SolidWorks

By Cory Puuri, EAA Membership Development Manager, Lifetime 1108982

September 2016 - If you haven’t heard the news, yet, SolidWorks is now available to EAA members as a free member benefit.

Recently announced at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, the EAA Maker Edition of SolidWorks provides EAAers the ability to create fully detailed parts, assemblies, and drawings; sheet metal patterns; and welded assemblies. It includes wizards to check for interference, you can perform basic stress and flow analysis.

What’s in it for EAA Chapters?

Your chapter can embrace this new benefit and use it to support your member’s design and build projects.

SolidWorks can also be a powerful tool for recruiting new members to your chapter. Online forums around the internet from 3D Printing Central to Maker Spaces have read the news and are posting comments like: “SolidWorks for $40 (the cost of an EAA membership)? Sign me up!!!”

Here are some tactics you can use to recruit such members:

  • Exhibit at a Maker Faire—EAA is working on support tools to help your chapter with this. Please contact the chapters office in the fall to find out more.
  • Conduct SolidWorks Outreach Activities—Visit your local Maker Space, technical college, high school, etc. and post invites to chapter events in which you’ll be conducting building or design activities. Get new people involved with your chapter!
  • Offer SolidWorks Training Seminars—You may not have enough computers to conduct a workshop, but consider hosting a training seminar, and/or invite trainees to bring their laptop computers. You may even want to look up your local SolidWorks Reseller and invite them to participate. If your space is big enough, invite companies that offer related products and services (e.g., hobby stores, service providers from the SolidWorks Manufacturing Network) to exhibit at your event (could be a fundraiser!).
  • Network with SolidWorks User Groups—EAA has included a link on the SolidWorks Resource Center where you can look-up SolidWorks User Groups. Reach out to their contacts and offer to host their events, or invite them to conduct training sessions for your chapter members.
  • Add an Activity Station at Your Young Eagles Rally—You’re probably already using model aircraft flying and building, pedal planes, etc. to entertain the kids while they wait for their flight. Consider adding a display for parents that explains the value of EAA membership and include a SolidWorks demo video or a computer running SolidWorks attached to a 3D printer.

Widespread Popularity

Cirrus, Sonex, and Zenith are among the many aircraft designers using SolidWorks. Zenith has provided a model of its 750 Cruzer for download by EAA members on the EAA Forums. Members can import the sample model into SolidWorks and play “what-if” making modifications to the design.

The EAA Maker Edition license does not include technical support services available with the commercial version; however, EAA members will receive guest membership to MySolidWorks, which includes introductory lessons, access to the SolidWorks Manufacturing Network, SolidWorks Forums and millions of components.

EAA has also recruited nearly two dozen SolidWorks Support Volunteers to answer questions on the EAA Forums.

SolidWorks Student Design Kit—EAA Maker Edition is for personal and educational purposes, but EAA members who desire to commercialize their designs can work with GSC to convert their SolidWorks license.

No matter how you leverage this new member benefit, please let us know how it went by posting a story and pictures in the SolidWorks section on the EAA Forums.

And if you have a particularly cool story to share, please send it to Cory Puuri so he can share it with other members!

For more information, please visit www.EAA.org/SolidWorks.

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