Advanced Manufacturing Skills Center

CATIA 3DX Solid Modeling

  • 3 Credits
  • No prerequisite training - This course is designed for the student with little or no experience in CATIA or Computer Aided Design but having a good understanding of computer usage would be very helpful.
  • Required materials: 
    • Windows based computer needed with modern hardware (See below)
    • Webcam and microphone are needed

Course Overview

This course will help students become comfortable with one of the industry's largest CAD package, CATIA Part Design, while using the latest software from Dassault Systems, 3DExperience. The 3DExperience platform is a new way to work within the total manufacturing environment or Product Lifecycle Management as you might hear. The idea is that all of your processes are contained in one immense system spanning fabrication to financial. CATIA and all its workbenches (Part Design, Generative Shape Design, etc.) are all just a piece of this enterprise system. For those of you coming from CATIA V5, it might be helpful to know that while the interface has changed, the look and operation of the actual functions are still mostly the same which makes for a fairly easy learning curve. It may take some time before 3DX is taken up by all teams in aerospace, but migration is happening and as with all software, maintaining relevant skills is an inevitability.

Over the years we've also offered Fusion 360 design courses for those building CNC machines, 3d printers and laser cutters in our other classes. While Fusion 360 is an amazing product and makes perfect sense for the home hobbyist and small business, CATIA is much more applicable to those working in the aerospace fields which is the vast majority of our students. However if you're curious about both, know that we will be looking at Fusion 360 in class as well. Our primary training goal is CATIA but it's always been helpful to show the similarities between CAD packages and to understand that if you know one CAD system it's not too difficult to learn another. As an amazing compliment to the class, students will also have full access to CATIA licensing to use at any time for the duration of the course, yet having said that, Fusion 360 is free and gives everyone a CAD program they can continue to use and learn with past the course completion.

CNC Design Modeling
As a new element to this course, wherever possible our class models will be based around the design of a CNC milling machine. This will involve not only Part Design but also Assembly Design and Surface Design workbenches. Since our recently introduced online version of the Mechanical Automation course trains students on the CNC concepts by building a smaller hobby CNCs rather than the larger, much more elaborate machines built in our previous courses, this new project focus will give students a solid road map to designing their own milling machine exactly to their specification. For those not interested in building CNC machines it will still be a valid training goal to design parts and assemble them using practical application. This will include designing our own models as well as reverse engineering existing parts from company datasheets.

Our instructor, Damian Cianci, is a certified expert in the field and has been developing and teaching CATIA programs since 2005 as well as contract aerospace technical design engineer. He can be reached at


  • Using the new CATIA 3DX interface
  • Recognizing the various design tools
  • Creating 2D profiles in Sketcher
  • Using sketch constraints and analysis
  • Learn to use all the common Part Design tools for solid modeling
  • Lofting techniques
  • Creating slots, shafts, and grooves from profile
  • Mirroring and patterning features
  • Understanding and manipulating the Specification Tree
  • Learning to use parameters, formulas and design tables
  • Creating basic assemblies
  • Using the compass to manipulate structures and parts
  • Boolean operations
  • Basics of surface design
  • Creating surfaces with points, angles, and splines
  • Splitting, trimming, and extrapolating in wireframe

Distance Learning Specifics

You will need a Windows based computer with reasonably decent hardware and video card. Dassault Systemes has a hardware compatibility list but it is by no means the only computers that can run CATIA. Most laptops purchased in the last five or six years over $700 should run the program. Back when we first started teaching CATIA we were able to run it on the average computers of the day, but the new 3DX environment is somewhat nicer looking which is why you'll need something more modern now. If you play current video games without issue you should be fine. What we plan on doing to alleviate any concern is to create a test account that any student that registers can use to try it out and see how they're PC handles the program, giving you time to drop the class if you feel it doesn't perform as it should.

The online structure of class will consist of one hour live video conferencing for lecturing and questions, and then between live class times students will have other objectives to complete somewhat at their leisure. The course times that are listed are the live class times. We understand if you might have to miss a session and can usually work with you, but if you know you can't make a larger portion of the live times, please look for another time slot.

We will have pre-recorded videos for students to watch during off hours. These will compliment the live lectures and give students a learning source they can watch repeatedly. These videos and other important information will be held on a class website.

Currently we will we using Webex as our video conferencing software. You do not need to make an account to join the live sessions. An email will be sent out to all students including the time and dates, web link to the meeting and password. You will need to have a webcam and microphone for this class.

Class Dates and Times

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Contact Damian Cianci at if you have any questions.