Les Compagnons du Tour de France, deeply rooted in tradition, traces its origins to cathedral builders. Over centuries, this revered institution has evolved into a bastion of excellence, where aspiring artisans receive comprehensive training while upholding age-old craftsmanship.
Figure 1. Les Compagnons du Tour de France
The principle of Les Compagnons du Tour de France is simple: young individuals attend classes and undertake several internships in different cities. This allows young people to learn different methods, travel, gain maturity, develop their adaptability, and quickly become more independent. The training format is one of the institution's key features. Young individuals will take 18 to 20 weeks of internships per year, which is significantly more than the 10-week internships in traditional vocational schools.
In Mouchard, the institution is the only school in France within the Compagnons Federation to welcome minors starting at the age of 14. The institution offers a wide range of training programs in various fields, including carpentry, masonry, cabinetmaking, plumbing, roofing, and more, ranging from professional baccalaureate to adult education. Balancing tradition and modernity, the institution aims to pass on traditional craftsmanship while adapting to new technologies.
ZW France's Interview with Les Compagnons du Tour de France
Harold Cavene, a skilled plumber, dedicated trainer at Les Compagnons du Tour de France, and an active member of this institution, recently shared his thoughts and experience in an interview with ZW France.
Who are the young Compagnons?
"There are various profiles, but the typical profile is that of a young person who joins at around 15 years old. They are often disenchanted with traditional schooling, may have experienced academic difficulties, and aspire to work with their hands rather than in an office.
Despite the intensity of the training and internships, young Compagnons generally thrive and complete their training successfully, as they find motivation and excel in their work. This success and motivation can also be attributed to the sense of community that Compagnons value. It is often said that being part of Les Compagnons is like having a second family. The young Compagnons can rely on their peers and the wider community of Les Compagnons du Tour de France."
Figure 2. young Compagnons
What were your needs for CAD software?
"I exclusively work in 2D, especially on schematic diagrams. These are diagrams with symbolic representations of heating elements, such as boilers, heat pumps, hydraulic systems, etc., conveying how the installation functions.
I also work extensively on developing pipes, particularly penetrations called 'piquages', which are penetrations between pipelines. We have specific procedures for penetration cuts. In the past, we did this manually, but today we use CAD. It allows us to produce scaled plans that we can cut and wrap around pipes."
How is your experience with ZWCAD?
"I recently used ZWCAD and conducted an introductory session with young individuals who had never worked with CAD software before. It was very simple and smooth.
I had been using AutoCAD® before, and ZWCAD feels quite similar. ZWCAD seems to be on par with AutoCAD® in terms of capabilities, and in my experience, ZWCAD is even lighter and faster to open!
Acquiring education licenses with ZWCAD is also easier. Education licenses for AutoCAD® are more complex, requiring regular online verification to prevent deactivation."
How has the software met your expectations and needs?
"ZWCAD has met my expectations very well. I had no issues with printing, the print dialog is excellent, and the features are very good. So far, it's a 10/10 for meeting my needs!"
Figure 3. Design with ZWCAD
Would you recommend other schools or training centers to use ZWCAD?
"Yes, absolutely, I highly recommend it!
It's free for us, which is perfect for our students, and in terms of features, it's quite comprehensive. I'm not even sure if we can explore all the features at the level of the professional baccalaureate!
I also noticed that there are plenty of freely accessible videos, which is great because they are regularly updated. I advised my students to visit ZWCAD's webpage and engage in self-learning. With these resources, they should have no trouble going beyond the basics.
We had a minor issue last week, and we were able to quickly find the answer on the ZWFrance forum."
What are your plans with ZWCAD? What courses do you have in mind for ZWCAD?
"For now, I've given them an exercise that covers the basics, with 25 small exercises like moving objects, creating lines of specific lengths and angles, etc. The next step will be to recreate a drawing we've already done on paper, using ZWCAD. Typically, I give them a file to complete first, and then they have to do it from scratch."
A Closing Quote?
"Whoever can do more can do less."
"A simple and effective quote that reflects our mindset. Sometimes students wonder, 'Why do we study all of this in class?' To which we answer, 'Whoever can do more can do less; with this training, you'll always excel!'"
ZWSOFT's Commitment to Supporting Education
ZWSOFT, the developer of ZWCAD, wholeheartedly supports initiatives like ZW France's contribution to educational institutions. By generously providing free ZWCAD education licenses, ZW France amplified the learning opportunities for aspiring artisans at Les Compagnons du Tour de France.
ZWSOFT recognizes the importance of supporting such initiatives and fostering a culture of learning and innovation. Together with its partners, ZWSOFT will continue to empower the next generation with accessible and innovative CAD solutions.
*Note: This article was originally published by ZW France. Click here to read the original version in French.
ZWSOFT aims to provide reliable all-in-one CAx (CAD/CAE/CAM) solutions for architects, engineers, and designers worldwide, and enables them to streamline the complex design workflows at a fair and reasonable price.
Since ZWSOFT’s inception in 1998, our products has been trusted by over 1.4 million customers in more than 90 countries worldwide, including some of the biggest names such as Saint-Gobain, LG, and Ericsson.
About ZW France
ZW France, a valued partner of ZWSOFT, markets computer-aided design software for producing 2D/3D plans in many sectors such as construction, architecture, building, industry, etc. Covering both 2D CAD and industrial parametric 3D CAD, including a BIM product dedicated to architects, project managers and fitters, ZW France meets the expectations of various users - from craftsmen to international groups. Based in the Nantes region, ZW France also provides technical support and training for the software it distributes.
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