52 Replies Latest reply on Mar 8, 2016 9:49 AM by Ryan McVay

    Stable alternative to Solidworks?

    David Oubre

      I like restarting work as much as the next guy but eventually I need to finish things.  Has anyone used other CAD software that was actually tested and works as advertised?

        • Re: Stable alternative to Solidworks?
          John Stoltzfus

          Assuming that your question or statement means that you don't like SW or you have issues with SW...

           

          All software works as advertised, it's when we do things just a little different and combine those actions with another different method, that is when things start to go wacky..

           

          Most of the (not all), but I'll repeat, most of all issues are user or equipment related.  Most of the user issues are lack of training on what we want to do, or lack of design intent, how to proper use the software etc.... 

           

          So fill in the blanks so we can help, till then there are ????'s

          • Re: Stable alternative to Solidworks?
            Roland Schwarz

            Perhaps share your hardware details (at least for entertainment value).

            • Re: Stable alternative to Solidworks?
              David Oubre

              I just wanted opinions of people that have used other CAD software with better results.

              I realize SW has its disciples monitoring the forums.

              My HW specs:

              Dell T1700    

              Intel I7-4770   

              16GB Ram    

              Nvidia K4000

              250 GB SSD RAID 1

              • Re: Stable alternative to Solidworks?
                Ross Warren

                I'm afraid the days of getting stable and vetted releases of ANY software are long over.  From Solidworks to any Office program, to even the underlying Operating Systems, we are now forever locked in a BETA version hell.  As users there is little we can do about it, except perhaps not jumping to upgrade quite as often once you find a version combination that works well about 90% of the time.  Unless you are willing to fork over $20K or more for Catia  or Pro-E (or whatever they are calling it now), you aren't likely to get much better results - and even then, places like Boeing stay locked on old versions for the reasons I mentioned above.  Good luck.  Keep your drivers updated to the latest, don't willy-nilly allow Windows to do unnecessary updates, and pray.

                 


                The problem too is that there are nearly an infinite number of hardware variations so not all can be tested or vetted to work well.  This makes it extremely aggravating when you encounter bugs that are not repeatable on the VAR's computers.  Oh well.  Like the Chinese curse says, "May you live in interesting times..."

                • Re: Stable alternative to Solidworks?
                  Roland Schwarz

                  At my last job, I worked side-by-side with another engineer who had identical hardware (purchased on same day from same vendor). He was plagued by hangs and crashes; I was not. We got new computers, and within a month of breaking-in it was the same story, my setup was markedly more stable.

                   

                  I never figured out what the difference was.

                    • Re: Stable alternative to Solidworks?
                      Frank Van Der Steen

                      I had the same experience, only I was the one having the problems, colleagues did not experience any problems, or not that much.

                      Some of us are cursed. Using SW (whatever version), i experience crashes without any warning (just pop-ed away).

                      I can compare to NX and Creo, which crashes once every month or so, compared that to at least once a day with SW.

                      Working with 3DCAD for over 20 years, i think i know what i am talking about.

                      Those who preach for their own church, just dont know there is more on the other side, or just lucky.

                       

                      I must say, I'm still using SW for quick and easy projects, but when going complex, SW is NOT the way to go.

                      By complex I mean (big assy's of freeform shapes).

                       

                      Although SW15 sp05 seems much more stable, SW16 is NOT, just installed the SP01 we'll see.

                       

                      I think SW is very dependent on hardware and drivers (also form third party), in combination with big assy's it is definitely UNSTABLE.

                    • Re: Stable alternative to Solidworks?
                      Mike Pogue

                      I think it's like driving, or even walking around traffic. After a years of doing it, you subconsciously develop the instincts to stay out of trouble. You stop thinking about it. On the other hand, children, or new drivers, are constantly making mistakes and getting into danger despite good faith efforts to follow all of the instructions they've been taught.

                       

                      Rarely do I see SolidWorks crashes, whereas I saw them daily or better in the first five years of this century. Put it down to whatever you want.

                        • Re: Stable alternative to Solidworks?
                          Tal Akermanis

                          Been a SW user for more than 15 years... the stability is getting worse. Open and shut case. Same high end hardware in use over a number of years.

                          It has gone from the odd crash to some times two or three a day since 2013. Sorry but my confidence in SW is declining rapidly

                            • Re: Stable alternative to Solidworks?
                              Gerald Watts

                              Time for some new high end hardware?

                                • Re: Stable alternative to Solidworks?
                                  Tal Akermanis

                                  Nope not at all in the cards. Box runs everything else flawlessly. 16 gig of DDR3-1866 ram, i7 3770K CPU @ 4.2 Ghz, SSD, Win7x64 pro OS, 2 gig Nvidia GPU.

                                  I spoke a long time certified MS developer who suggested that it is time for DSS to stop using kids for program development who use non standard APIs and other programming short cuts to create "neat" code and adhere to "standards". That way we need not fear security updates or are we to forego such trivia as security for the benefit of DSS programmers.

                                  Even running SW in administrator mode so it has elevated rights does not stop it from crapping out randomly on the simplest operations at times.

                                  Easy for DSS to blame hardware and Microsoft updates. Sorry I don't buy that Kool-aide once a release has gone past SP-2 updates especially when my E-Cad, graphics and video editing programs run without randomly crashing. These programs are every bit as demanding as SW so by elimination the ball rests primarily with DSS programmers.

                                   

                                  Don't get me wrong, I love the program and use it daily having moved up from Pro-E many years ago when Pro-E ran in a non Windows shell.

                                  • Re: Stable alternative to Solidworks?
                                    Ross Warren

                                    Not so sure.  Hardware development has seemed to slow the last few years.  I mean we are still running i7 or Xeon processors and while graphics cards have gotten better with more bang for the buck, I don't see much difference between most 3 year old systems and the latest ones.  Unless you are talking about using multiple processors to power through rendering and such, I don't think there is much of a speed increase in newer hardware.   I hope Intel can prove me wrong - and soon.  Most development lately has been to decrease power consumption and heat (not bad things), but those have nothing to do with raw speed.  Then you have the issue of having rushed to market drivers on newer hardware that can cause instability issues and crashes, so to me it isn't worth living on the bleeding edge.  Give me 2 year old hardware and a stable, predictable release on an operating system that doesn't get in the way.  Is that too much to ask?

                                  • Re: Stable alternative to Solidworks?
                                    Adrian Velazquez

                                    Been an Admin for 8 years... all I can say is 90% of issues with SW are GPU Driver related.... and 90% of users don't know what a GPU Driver is (or atleast care to updated)...

                                      • Re: Stable alternative to Solidworks?
                                        Ross Warren

                                        I can't believe that 90% of users don't run Solidworks Rx and grab the latest certified graphics card drivers.  Now, at home I grabbed the LATEST driver from Nvidia.  I have had no problems but if I do, I'll download the latest certified one. Anyone wanting to use Photo360 would obviously pop for a "real" non-gaming, Open GL supported card.  In fact, I find most CAD users are very knowledgeable about PCs and the operating systems.  Why?  Because too often they end up being their own tech support.  The IT department only cares about infrastructure.  The VAR only cares that you keep your subscription going (and hopefully you don't bother them too much in the process with issues they can't or don't know how to fix). In fairness to them, though, when the problem is the poorly written software, there isn't much they CAN do. I agree with Martin Filion.  How about fixing all known bugs before rushing out some "cool" new features that some poorly paid programmer kid thought of, and implemented in a non-standard, easy to break or cause issues methodology?

                                          • Re: Stable alternative to Solidworks?
                                            Adrian Velazquez

                                            That is my honest experience, in most small operations yes it's understandable that end-users take care of issues themselves and run RX, but in environments with 20+ users very few are the CAD-troubleshooting kind.

                                             

                                            Don't get me wrong i'm not trying to justify SWs instability. It is definitely the biggest issue of the product, and 2015 it's been a nightmare, I just wanted to share that some of the issues are fixable. Also before we just complain about the interface, please not that the change will in fact reduce issues with Graphics, since a lot of them where caused by the outdated interface.

                                    • Re: Stable alternative to Solidworks?
                                      Chris Berry

                                      The most stable CAD package I've used has to be Siemens NX, but by God is it awful to use, the draughting side is laughable & feels like it belongs in the early 90s.

                                      Autodesk Inventor is very comparable with SW, however they do seem keen to make as stable releases as possible & crashes are more dependent on hardware issues rather than software.

                                      SW needs to concentrate on stability to win back customer trust, after the shambolic & shocking stability of 2015 they need to sort thing out.

                                        • Re: Stable alternative to Solidworks?
                                          Ryan McVay

                                          @Chris-

                                          I've used Pro/e and Creo, NX, Solid Edge and SolidWorks (refuse to capitalize the name) have to agree NX has been the most stable software I've used hands down. I've also supported NX, Solid Edge and SolidWorks for small, medium, large and global organizations and can say those NX and SE times were the best of times. NX Drafting is very powerful but the latest releases that required the UI to be updated (sound familiar) was not being accepted. This went so far that Product Manager held a special webinar to address all the complaints on the forum. In the end, the UI was functional and the users were not taking advantage/understanding how the old process in the old UI worked with the new. It was a relearning issue. Once that session was held, most of the users saw the power and accepted the changes. Chris, what version where you using?

                                           

                                          SolidWorks has been my bane for some time now. The software this is the most finicky (based on drivers and mouse clicking) and the SW/DS doesn't appear to want to tackle some of the core bugs in the software that we all have to work around. Just saying that reminds me of most of the response from my VAR. "The work around is...."

                                            • Re: Stable alternative to Solidworks?
                                              Chris Berry

                                              @ Ryan -

                                              I used NX7.5 & 8. I honestly found NX so hard to work with & difficult to achieve results; I'm not saying NX isnt powerful & can do great things, I'm saying its one of the least friendly CAD packages to use. One of my biggest bug bears is layers - you don't need layers in modern CAD packages, they are a throwback to the 90s when they had a purpose due to software limitations; but what makes things 100 time worse is the fact the layers of a part can be different for an assembly which in turn can be different in a drawing. (eg. Part1 can be on Layer10 in the part, Layer20 in the assembly & Layer30 in the drawing) which makes it almost impossible to work with someone else's assemblies/data if a lot of layers have been used.

                                                • Re: Stable alternative to Solidworks?
                                                  Ryan McVay

                                                  @Chris-

                                                  Wow, yes I would 100% agree that working on assy and part that use lots of layers is very 90's and would make working with NX very difficult! My question would be "Why would you or others use layers in NX that way?" That's a HUGE mistake. The software takes care of the visibility of objects types for you! The only place that users might still be using layers is in Drafting to separate titleblocks, from notes, from change revision symbols.

                                                  If you were attempting to use layers in assemblies to control visibility then someone is using the system incorrectly. Assemblies use "reference sets" and groups in conjunction with blank/unblank (hide/show) to control visibility. If you aren't using reference sets then you aren't using assemblies correctly- at all! When you work in-context (true in-context not like the SW in-context) you work directly on features and the entities you need either pop up show when you work on them- select a feature and choose between the parameters or sketch. If you choose the sketch then the sketch displays and then shuts off when you exit the sketcher. Now, if someone is way old-schooling and putting each sketch on a separate layer in the piece part instead of letting the software control the display then yes you will have visibility issues at the assembly level using in-context editing in the assy. Hence you use reference sets! That's is why they are critical to successful use of assemblies- not mention they control the amount of data (partial loading) that is opened when opening an assembly. You also need to understand the difference between hide/show and layers visible/invisible.

                                                  Anyway, all this is my helpdesk instincts kicking in!

                                                    • Re: Stable alternative to Solidworks?
                                                      Umberto Zanola

                                                      Former NX user (v17-nx7.5)

                                                      Layers are old legacy, but they help a lot to keep the model clean (e.g. a layer for junk surface, a layer for the "official" body , one for  datums).

                                                      Reference set are not mandatory, in fact we designed molds without using them at all. It a matter of company workflow.

                                                      More possibilities is better than less IMHO, but in NX you have to be in control not the software.

                                                       

                                                      Hide/show in SW is a pain and in simulation is more painful!

                                                • Re: Stable alternative to Solidworks?
                                                  Michael Devillier

                                                  AutoCAD was by far the most stable CAD application I ever used. Mostly used 2D capability, but also some 3D modeling.  Designed with it daily, for 16 years, and never had to install a service pack.  Never knew what "corrupted model", or "corrupted drawing file" was about until saturation into the world of other vendors 3D CAD applications.

                                                  I will say that AutoCAD Rel. 13 (what a coincidence) was the only release I identified "bugs" in functionality that we could notice in our daily work.

                                                • Re: Stable alternative to Solidworks?
                                                  Martin Filion

                                                  I folks,

                                                   

                                                  I'm using Solidworks since release 2010 and each release is getting worst year after year ... no matter which computer or windows version used, this is the crappiest software I've ever used "for work" but I'm still using it because our licence is still valid but I'm searching for alternatives too because I'm loosing arround 2-4 hours each week just in redoing stuff because of bugs or using workarrounds to avoid known bugs.  Some of them are there since release 2012.  And this is without mentionning all the RX that I've done that takes time too and seem to give nothing because the bugs are still there 4 years later.

                                                   

                                                  Just this week I've spent arround 15 hours of my work time just to try to get the SP 0.1 to 2016 and even with the help of my VAR I've been unable to install it on any machine at work or on my portable computer ... and they keep telling me that my computers or windows are problematics ... so all my computers are craps ??? funny !!!!  Before we bought Solidworks we've asked our VAR "what computer should we buy" and we do exactly what they want us to do and installed the windows they want us to install ... and they keep telling me "the problem is your computer or your windows" ... I'm trying all my best not to call them (VAR) when I have problems; It's just a waste of time because the problem is 90% of the time comming from SW so they don't have any power over it and they are opening a case ... this i can do alone, no need to pay for a subscription for that kind of help.

                                                   

                                                  So here's my advices for the sales department of Solidworks if they want to stay on the grid:

                                                  1) Stop releasing new feature, I won't try them anyway the basics are already buggy so what will be the new stuff ... imagine!

                                                  2) Stop changing the colors, it's anoying

                                                  3) Stop changing the icons, it's useless

                                                  4) Fix what is actually in place and call it "SOLIDWORKS - Working edition"

                                                   

                                                  What do I care about :

                                                   

                                                  1) not loosing time at work to fix your software

                                                  2) working instead of debuggin your products ... we are not BETA tester

                                                  3) working with a software that IS "Professionnal Software"

                                                   

                                                  With so much bug as 2015 has, this should be released as a Freeware because if I do the calculation of the money we throw in the trash to make it work and in debugging time with my VAR, this is more than the price of our licences; so in fact, they should had paid us to use it.

                                                   

                                                  The only thing that keeps me from jumping to another software is my subscription that is ending in june so WAKE UP.

                                                  • Re: Stable alternative to Solidworks?
                                                    Chris Saller

                                                    Have a demo of various CAD packages. See which one works for you.

                                                    For those that think every SW release is the worst release, hire a better IT person or SW admin, and maybe work on some training.

                                                      • Re: Stable alternative to Solidworks?
                                                        Martin Filion

                                                        Chris you are so right !  A lot of problems are coming from misconfigurations and bad modeling techniques.  But I must disagree on one thing.  I'm an IT, and I do train myself but, the problem from my perspective is, when critical issues are still there since many years and they are keep pushing the user through walkarround instead of fixing their software don't you think that is abnormal ?

                                                        • Re: Stable alternative to Solidworks?
                                                          Ross Warren

                                                          I agree with you to a point, but users often get caught between the VAR and the IT department and get screwed.  No amount of Solidworks skills can save you from a bad set up. I would say about 75% of our issues with Solidworks (any late version) are network related.  The IT guys know how to service people running Word and Excel, they don't have a clue of the requirements for running CAD software and running it well - and they don't really want to invest the time to learn because it isn't their bread and butter.  The VAR may come in and try to help, but when even the IT department doesn't have a map of the network and are making guesses as to the routing of traffic, users end up getting stuck in slow lanes and performance suffers greatly. And the users end up oftentimes blaming EPDM or Solidworks for either bad performance or doing flaky things. 

                                                           

                                                          I'm not sure of what a fix would be for this in any way that management would want to pay for it such as buying Solidworks, as a complete infrastructure, including all the necessary IT servers, cables, set up, installation, and including real honest to goodness, VAR vetted workstations instead of trying to get by with "gaming PCs" and maybe changing out the video card.

                                                           

                                                          It can often be a mess, and progress can be very slow. I've been working on Solidworks with EPDM here for three years, and only now, is our IT department getting a clue about it, and the only reason is that we are expanding the building, so they are looking at setting up a new infrastructure.

                                                            • Re: Stable alternative to Solidworks?
                                                              Michael Devillier

                                                              Ross....I would agree with your post.

                                                              I joined a company that had been using Solidworks....CAD Vault and licensing installation stored on the server....individual installations at each designer workstation.  The server, with all CAD intellectual property, had originally been shipped from another division in Canada.  The design work was being transferred from Canada to the United States (design jobs coming BACK into the country - wow).

                                                              Anyway, at least one or two subsequent releases had been installed, and the latest had been problematic...think it was the 2013 release.  Settings issues.....identical workstations suffering poorer performance than others, PDM check-in issues, etc.  IT was not involved....installations had been done by a designer, who was a long time Solidworks user, and "certified CSWP".

                                                              Having a background in Applications Engineering, I championed IT getting more involved in the Solidworks installation & configuration process, and started passing installation and setup information to them.  When we, myself and IT, thoroughly examined the server...besides the main installation, there were also remnants of 2 earlier Solidworks release installations on the server.  IT had already budgeted a new server, so the decision was made that only the CAD intellectual property would be put to the new server and a clean 2014 installation be set up to the new server, thus ditching the other mish-mash setup / installations.

                                                              This was done, with Release 2014, and I can say we've not had any major IT / SW related issues since.  The prior noticed issues were nonexistent.  Release 2015 was later updated to the server and same result - no major IT / SW related issues.

                                                              Does SolidWorks still "crash" sometimes - yes it does, but this does not constitute hours of lost man-hours every week as some are stating here.

                                                          • Re: Stable alternative to Solidworks?
                                                            Greg Hynd

                                                            Solidworks 2016 is stable. 10+ hours use a day using a combination of techniques. As far as I can remember I have had 3 crashes, all related to a macro that we were adapting and some code went funny.

                                                            • Re: Stable alternative to Solidworks?
                                                              Doug Seibel

                                                              If you ever come across perfectly stable software, running on a perfectly stable operating system, on a perfectly stable workstation, that works just like it was boasted to work...the user is probably a unicorn and you are probably asleep and dreaming...

                                                                • Re: Stable alternative to Solidworks?
                                                                  Glenn Schroeder

                                                                  Doug Seibel wrote:

                                                                   

                                                                  If you ever come across perfectly stable software, running on a perfectly stable operating system, on a perfectly stable workstation, connected to a perfect network, that works just like it was boasted to work...the user is probably a unicorn and you are probably asleep and dreaming...

                                                                  You left out something.  I fixed it.

                                                                • Re: Stable alternative to Solidworks?
                                                                  Chris Saller

                                                                  I took admin away from IT, I do it all myself. They have no clue about installing SW and don't want to be blamed when it goes wrong. When it's time for updates, I get the key to the server.

                                                                  • Re: Stable alternative to Solidworks?
                                                                    Dave Jacob

                                                                    Stability is out there in my opinion.  Don't ease up on SW.  I run SW, Creo (ProE), and NX from the same box and often concurrently.  SW is the only one that crashes on me and my assemblies are more complex on the others.  HOWEVER, there are massive issues with the work flows, tool sets and the number of work arounds with the other tools.  I prefer SW by a wide margin for everything I do.   We just need to keep pressing SW until they level up. 

                                                                      • Re: Stable alternative to Solidworks?
                                                                        Ryan McVay

                                                                        I would have to agree with Dave Jacob that Creo wouldn't necessarily get you anything better. That software is still going through the implementation stages of integrating CoCreate within the aging Pro/E system- this is moving from a history-based CAD to a hybrid CAD environment. PTC has reasons for all their instability. Does SW?

                                                                         

                                                                        Look for more stable software solutions like NX or Solid Edge. Recently Jim Brown, from Tech-Clarity authored his take on the strategies of the big software companies. His remark for Siemens was "..delivering on promises, investing in products and integration. Typical Siemens PLM." Nothing fancy from them just providing stable solutions to customer needs.

                                                                          • Re: Stable alternative to Solidworks?
                                                                            Dave Jacob

                                                                            Haven't used solid edge. But I'd agree about NX.  I know it crashes because some of the guys I work with have experienced it.  But I don't ever recall it happening to me so I consider their stability in that regard excellent.  They also have really decent graphics and a tool set for dealing with orphan parts that is best in class from what I can tell.  But other things are abominable on it.  Their assembly constraints, for instance, go bad for reasons that are often not clear and are often so difficult to repair that we find it's much easier to just delete them and recreate them.  Their tool sets are often clunky as well.  Check out their sweep tools or complex curves if you get the chance.  But the main criticism I have is from observation that my client, who has an install base in the 100's and has been using the code for 10 years does not have a single designer or engineer that I would consider to be a super user.   In general, people learn what works and don't explore beyond that bag of tricks because it's not easy.   But the most important thing for me is that I can develop new products or modify existing products much faster in Solidworks even when I'm more current on the other packages.

                                                                              • Re: Stable alternative to Solidworks?
                                                                                Ryan McVay

                                                                                Dave Jacob I think we are always more proficient and confident on the first system we learn on. Everything else is built off of those experiences. Me, I bang my head against the keyboard most times when I want to work with SW. I can't believe the design workflows- they don't make sense to me. I've got  25+ years of UG/NX in my head. To me SW has way to many clicks to get things done- and I shouldn't have to generate a ton of shortcuts to get things done- adjust the UI to allow me to get things done.

                                                                                 

                                                                                Point in case: these new options that show up when I select geometry. I think this is a good start (a lot like NX in that regards and about 15 years behind) but there really needs to be a lot more intelligence built into the functions that SW suggests. If I pick a hole I don't want to hide the entire body or open the drawing file for a hole or change the display or scene?? Get my point..limit my options to edit hole, edit sketch, add datum axis, edit pattern if part of pattern, etc.. something that is "hole" related- intelligence.

                                                                                Yes NX has it's issues. The conics menu was the one that always scared me! Yes complex curves are exactly that complex curves. If you need a high level of control you need many options to control. But therein resides the power and some of the key reasons you invest in a more mature, robust and stable system. ;-)

                                                                                 

                                                                                I would have to agree that you won't find very many super users of NX. Mainly because the software suite is so expansive and large. With that tool set you have many different ways to create your data and the hard part, to me, is deciding which process will provide me with the best benefits for my design process. Have you ever looked at the Progressive Die package! Holy cow...what a great product but it's complex because you start with your formed part and build your entire progressive die from the parent shape and can the run the animation to ensure that you don't have any collisions along the entire die!

                                                                                 

                                                                                I also won't disagree about the Assembly mating conditions. I've even been through the transition of the old constraint solver to the new constraint solver. To be honest I haven't seen any tool that really provides a decent visual tool for assembly constraint identification/mapping. But I will say that having a sound mating condition practices is the golden egg in any CAD system. Build a constraint system that is flat as possible is the best method I've found and I've worked on assemblies that are easily several 10K assemblies unique parts- sometimes that didn't include the hardware (nuts, bolts, washers, etc.).

                                                                                 

                                                                                Thanks for sharing.

                                                                                  • Re: Stable alternative to Solidworks?
                                                                                    Dave Jacob

                                                                                    That's a fair point Ryan.  I had about 10 years of Ideas by SDRC before we switched to NX.  It was supposed to be a blend of UG and Ideas but it wasn't.  It was UG.  I started SW about 1 year ahead of NX so it did have a head start.  I haven't seen their progressive die design tool as we design end items only but I'm not surprised they have something solid there.  I think a lot of their roots are in manufacturing as evidenced by their prior WCS which made sense from a CAM perspective but could be baffling at times from the design side.

                                                                                    It sounds like we have differences in preference on mouse options.  I like to have more instead of less options presented when I click on a feature as I find it helps me to learn where things are located.  But then, like you, I like to heavily customize my options.  It does sound like you are pretty well versed in this area with NX.  Do you know if there is a way when setting up commands in the tool>customize window to use the command finder or another search utility to find the command you are looking for.  I wander through menus looking for the commands I want and it just takes a lot of time sometimes when the command obscure.  Also, do you know if there is a way to customize the mouse gestures?  Sorry for NX questions on a SW board.

                                                                                    • Re: Stable alternative to Solidworks?
                                                                                      Michael Devillier

                                                                                      " I would have to agree that you won't find very many super users of NX. Mainly because the software suite is so expansive and large. With that tool set you have many different ways to create your data and the hard part, to me, is deciding which process will provide me with the best benefits for my design process. Have you ever looked at the Progressive Die package! Holy cow...what a great product but it's complex because you start with your formed part and build your entire progressive die from the parent shape and can the run the animation to ensure that you don't have any collisions along the entire die! "

                                                                                       

                                                                                      It is the same for CATIA.  I could always tell the person who was bull shi**ing about their CATIA experience and abilities.  That is the person who says, "I know ALL about CATIA".

                                                                                       

                                                                                      CATIA is so complex and huge, from capability, workbenches configurations, and the implementation perspective.  It is possible to be a top expert in major portions of the application, regarding certain industries....but never met anyone who could in truth demonstrate they knew "ALL" of CATIA.

                                                                                        • Re: Stable alternative to Solidworks?
                                                                                          Ryan McVay

                                                                                          Michael Devillier I totally agree. There is a reason that NX, CATIA and to some degree CREO are all considered high-end CAD products. It the suite of integrated modules from conceptual design, thru CAM, thru CMM inspection, thru maintenance and repair and then tying that all together with a PLM system and document management.

                                                                                          Mid-range products truly only provide the core CAD functionality (geometry authoring tool) and a bit of data management. They rely on 3rd party partners to fill the gaps of what a small organization may need for design tools. Integration with other systems isn't a priority because you want to keep your customers using your core CAD tool.

                                                                                • Re: Stable alternative to Solidworks?
                                                                                  Michael Dondelewski

                                                                                  Inventor Pro  delivers what it touts.

                                                                                  It is a better software Solidworks will ever be.

                                                                                  It takes some time to learn Inventor but rewards are great.

                                                                                  I am using both because of client demands my vote is for Inventor.