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PTC Onshape Online Training

PTC Onshape delivered the next in a series of comprehensive online training sessions designed for teachers to delve into their cloud based CAD software. The team demystified workflows for laser cutting and 3D printing as well as showcasing live demonstrations to equip teachers with skills and knowledge to integrate it into the classroom. The focus group included Education Programs Manager Mckenzie Brunelle, and Drew Bennett, Manufacturing Expert on the Education team. By offering comprehensive online training sessions, PTC Onshape provided attendees with the tools needed to excel in their classrooms. This session was well attended and provided important demonstrations and networking opportunities among teachers. 

Session Overview

Mckenzie opened the session by introducing herself and Drew, providing a brief background on their roles within the PTC Onshape Education team and outlining the purpose of the training. Drew shared his extensive experience with laser cutting and other manufacturing processes, aiming to provide valuable insights to use in the classroom.

 Key Features and Workflows

Drew began by explaining the fundamentals of laser cutting, covering common materials such as acrylic, plywood, and foam board, and the significance of laser wattage in cutting different material thicknesses. He emphasized understanding material properties and machine capabilities for successful projects.

Drew demonstrated the process of exporting DXF files for laser cutting, showcasing methods like exporting from flat faces or sketches and using drawings. He highlighted the ‘Laser Joint Feature Script’ for creating finger joints between overlapping rectangular prisms, allowing adjustments for allowances, corner overcuts, and other parameters. Examples included a simple box, a hexagonal planter box, and a complex lighthouse model.

Demonstrations and Advanced Techniques

Drew highlighted the potential for use in paper-cutting projects, which involves stacking thin sheets of material to approximate 3D shapes. He demonstrated how to use feature scripts like ‘Pattern Plane’ and ‘Create Slices’ to generate multiple planes and slices, creating intricate designs.

The demonstration of PTC Onshape’s feature scripts and exporting workflows highlighted how teachers can simplify complex tasks and enhance their students’ learning experiences. The session underscored the importance of understanding material properties, machine capabilities, and proper file preparation for successful laser-cutting projects.

More employers are reporting that they can’t candidates with the skills needed in the workforce. Initiatives like this free online CPD are so important to ensure teachers are equipped with the relevant knowledge required in the classroom. This benefits the teachers who can enrich lessons with a new perspective whilst showcasing software commonly used in industry.  

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