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ProEngineer Instructional Tips

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ProEngineer Instructional Tips

I'm one of the co-founders of FIRST@MIchigan Engineering Zone - a collaborative facility where 12 Detroit Public high school FRC teams built and tested their robots last year. This season we intend to have FIRST@MEZ teams use ProEngineer to design their robots. I'm looking for tips and advice on how to best use PTC and other materials to train our teams in the use of ProEngineer. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

PS- I'd be happy to share info about the MEZ - what it is, how it was established, accomplishments, etc.

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Re: ProEngineer Instructional Tips

PTC workshops are certainly the right way to get started! After writing several training courses as part of my normal job as well as for mentoring FIRST teams, I have to say that I'm really impressed with PTC's curriculum.

I'm working on a new model for training local teams. Since I'm about the only one doing Pro/Engineer training for local teams, I have to be more efficient.

I currently have one student that holds CAD training sessions over the summer using the PTC curriculum. They spend a couple hours a week going over the curriculum as well as setting up new CAD team members. The goal is to have a CAD leader for each school who will run the training. I support those training sessions answering any questions as well as providing additional training for those who are more advanced.

1. As far as supplemental training, I've always found that the best training is to start doing real work and have a good support network for questions. Often I will challenge students by asking them to do things like edit references to move a feature to a different location. If it's a part that moves, I'll have them create a mechanism that moves the way it should.

2. I try to make sure new students start off with instructor-led courses, at least several initial hours. It's too easy for them to get frustrated at the beginning and quit.

3. I've been fortunate in having some really talented students and I don't think I've really had much problem with visualization...except when it comes to sketching. I usually have students do some 3-D sketching for practice. It's really a necessary part of design and they need to know how to communicate with their teammates without running to Pro/E.

4. Ratio of students to teacher/mentors related to success is a difficult one. I've had groups of 20 where maybe 5 students really participated. I've had groups of 6 where 5 students participated. Almost every season, I end up with 3-5 students who design the robot in Pro/E.

Perhaps the #1 thing I've learned is that the training really has to be more than an hour to be effective. I would prefer to do an 4 or 8 hour training and then perhaps meet weekly to answer questions.

Finally...thankyou for your questions! I am really hopeful that the entire group interacts, comparing notes and learning from each other. If you have more questions, please ask. Please share your experiences as well.

Thanks and look forward to hearing from you again.

Josh

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8 REPLIES 8
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Re: ProEngineer Instructional Tips

Hi Ken,

FIRST@MEZ sounds awesome! I would love to hear more about it! Would love to see pictures of the facility, information about how funding was obtained, etc.

With that many teams, I would be talking to PTC as soon as possible. See the FIRST Mentors group for contact information, or go to http://ptc.com/go/frc. As far as CAD goes, I would find a CAD lead for each team and have them put together a group of those students that are most interested and have them download software and get a ProjectLink project started. They should be proficient in Pro/Engineer long before the actual competition starts.

Please feel free to start a discussion in the FIRST mentors group, there are plenty of others besides me who have experience and I'd really like to share as much information as possible...I pick up new tips all the time!

Thanks and hope to hear from you soon.

Josh

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Re: ProEngineer Instructional Tips

Josh - Thanks for your response. We have had termendous support from PTC and have 8 stations loaded with Pro Engineer and have started a pilot training program based on the PTC Hands on Workshop earlier this summer. I'll try to be a little more specific about my questions:

1. Are teams using the PTC Hands on Workshop material as the basis for training? Have they found any other training material to supplement it?

2. Are teams training students in a instructor/student lecture format or are students using the material on their own in a self-directed format?

3. Some of our students have difficultly visualizing parts and relating the phsyical characteristics of a part to a drawing - for example, relating dimensions on a drawing to the actual size of a part. Have mentors found a way to help students make this connection?

4. What ratio of students to teacher/mentors is needed to have a successful training session?

Thanks for your help!

Ken

Highlighted

Re: ProEngineer Instructional Tips

PTC workshops are certainly the right way to get started! After writing several training courses as part of my normal job as well as for mentoring FIRST teams, I have to say that I'm really impressed with PTC's curriculum.

I'm working on a new model for training local teams. Since I'm about the only one doing Pro/Engineer training for local teams, I have to be more efficient.

I currently have one student that holds CAD training sessions over the summer using the PTC curriculum. They spend a couple hours a week going over the curriculum as well as setting up new CAD team members. The goal is to have a CAD leader for each school who will run the training. I support those training sessions answering any questions as well as providing additional training for those who are more advanced.

1. As far as supplemental training, I've always found that the best training is to start doing real work and have a good support network for questions. Often I will challenge students by asking them to do things like edit references to move a feature to a different location. If it's a part that moves, I'll have them create a mechanism that moves the way it should.

2. I try to make sure new students start off with instructor-led courses, at least several initial hours. It's too easy for them to get frustrated at the beginning and quit.

3. I've been fortunate in having some really talented students and I don't think I've really had much problem with visualization...except when it comes to sketching. I usually have students do some 3-D sketching for practice. It's really a necessary part of design and they need to know how to communicate with their teammates without running to Pro/E.

4. Ratio of students to teacher/mentors related to success is a difficult one. I've had groups of 20 where maybe 5 students really participated. I've had groups of 6 where 5 students participated. Almost every season, I end up with 3-5 students who design the robot in Pro/E.

Perhaps the #1 thing I've learned is that the training really has to be more than an hour to be effective. I would prefer to do an 4 or 8 hour training and then perhaps meet weekly to answer questions.

Finally...thankyou for your questions! I am really hopeful that the entire group interacts, comparing notes and learning from each other. If you have more questions, please ask. Please share your experiences as well.

Thanks and look forward to hearing from you again.

Josh

View solution in original post

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Re: ProEngineer Instructional Tips

Josh -

Thanks for response. Just one more thing - we have students using a split display with Hands on Workshop on one side of the screen and ProE on the other. I'm thinking that having the a hard copy of the Hands on Workshop manual maybe a little more convienent - I know it would be for me. Do you use the manual?

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Re: ProEngineer Instructional Tips

Ken,

I can ship you a few manuals to keep in the center to use as a resource. Please send me an e-mail where to send these.

Also, we plan to have another workshop at Andover High School in Bloomfield Hills in the October/early November timeframe. I would encourage you to send your teams there. It will either be an all day hands-on-workshop, or potentially a 2 day workshop. I am trying to see if anyone is local that could stop by the MEZ Zone this Fall to give some tips and tricks. Unfortunately, we don't have a lot of local Application Engineers in the Detroit area, but I will look into this further.

Will be in touch soon...

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Re: ProEngineer Instructional Tips

Sheila -

Thanks for the info. We will plan to attend the workshop at Andover and, until then, will keep plugging along with our training at the MEZ. It would be great if you could send us a few copies of the new "Hands on Workshop" manual to me at:

Michigan Engineering Zone

Suite 100 Orchestra Place

3663 Woodward

Detroit, MI 48201

We are saving up our questions regarding ProE and Windchill for the PTC expert. If a onsite visit cannot be arranged, some sort of webcast could work.

Thanks again for your support.

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Re: ProEngineer Instructional Tips

Hi Ken,

Thank you for your questions.

PTC has hosted a number of resources for FIRST teams. We have tried to make it easy for students and teachers to find and utilize these resources. For your convenience, you can find them posted on the FIRST Getting Started Page - www.ptc.com/go/firstgettingstarted.

I recommend bookmarking this page, as it will be the source for any new materail we create.

Some items you might be interested in will be the links to he hands-on workshop material and models. However, you might want to look at the robotics curriculum. In addition, we have added a number of webinar videos replays under Training and Support for FIRST Teams section on the page.

For additional training resources I would recommend that your students register for a PTC U account - http://first.ptculms.com. Once registered, they can login and click the online courses from the left hand menu. There you will be able to choose the desired course....from modeling, assembly, detailing, mechanism, etc.

To help get started, I would recommend having your students start with the Hands-on workshop courseware. This guide will take the students through the fundamentals first....understanding how to work within Pro/E - interface, spin/pan/zoom, etc.

As for ratio on students and teachers to be trained...that really depends on who will be designing the robot. I tend to see 4-5 team members using Pro/E.

If you have any further question, feel free to email me at -.

Regards,

Mark Fischer

Director, PTC Education

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Re: ProEngineer Instructional Tips

Wow, Sheila beat me to a response...that's awesome!

Printed manuals are almost a requirement if the student has a single monitor. Flipping from Pro/E to the manual and back is annoying with a single monitor.

I have two big monitors at work and will have the manual on one and Pro/E on the other. This works well for me, but there are still many that like the printed manual for taking notes even when dual monitors are available.

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