I've used it on a couple of projects, and it is brilliant! the price is high but IMO worth every penny.
Just finished the training today. It is just an amazing piece of software!!! I'm very excited.
What you have to realize about this product, is that it is not intended for use by the same user as SolidWorks. Rather, it is geared toward the technical documentation, training manual, and sales portion of a company. The product works very well with SolidWorks, but will also work with other 3D CAD programs. As far as the pricing goes, SolidWorks Corp. has actually lowered the price. However, to compare it to the price of SolidWorks is not fair seeing as how it is used for an entirely different purpose. There is not another software out there that can do ALL of the things that Composer can, but even the commonly used programs that accomplish halfway comparable results are pricier than CAD packages. This is a groundbreaking product that can incredibly increase productivity and take documentation of any company's products into the next era of technical publication.
Hmm. I've heard that before and I don't buy it, sorry. What most users I come across are after is a robust economical way of producing printed technical documentation, or rather pdf content. 3D VIA Composer has lots of bells and whistles but is less than perfect for this task. In terms of cost, the people who do this kind of work ARE SolidWorks users or graphic designers using 3D data supplied by customers. Graphic designers are just not used to paying CAD prices - the entire Adobe Creative Suite can be purchased for less than a seat of SolidWorks for example.
3D VIA Composer will remain a very niche product unless somebody at Dassault finally "gets" it and realises that with a little bit of extra work they can turn it into the premier technical documentation tool for CATIA and SolidWorks users. If they did this and bundled it with SW Professional, and offered it for sale as an add on to Creative Suite for say £800 it would sell.
If you are in the business of producing technical documentation there are better tools, or rather, more cost effective and rounded tools. Deep Exploration CAD v6 for one. Quadrispace another. Even Corel's Technical Documentation suite. I'm also interested to see what Autodesk are doing with their new documentation software.
How many Solidworks users in companies churn out assembly and servicing documentation straight from SolidWorks? A LOT!
There IS a demand for tools like 3D VIA, Arbortext, etc but at the prices they are sold at they will always remain niche or for big company use only.
I think we are going to have to agree to differ. I have been using 3DVia for about 2 weeks now, and it has already replaced Solid Works as my tool of choice. Keep in mind, I am not making 2D images whatsoever, but rather creating rich content to deploy digitally to the shop floor to reduce training overhead, and improve quality, while anticipating the product will change over the next few years.
The simulation has allowed us to quickly visualize the material flow to the specific work stations, and anticipate fixturing requirements in an amazingly short time. We plan to roughly integrate human forms into the models which should give us a better initial task distribution up front, and reduce the amount of balance out we will need to do once the line launches. Not bad for a 2 week project.
I can visually restructure station work on the fly in a design review style meeting. I would like to see you do that in a CAD program.
Could you do it all with SolidWorks? Well… maybe, but in my12 years of experiece, I wouldn’t have taken that on. My down time alone waiting for the mathematics to resolve itself would have easily justified the cost of the tool.
I’m off to training tomorrow. I may actually be dangerous by next week.
I am a long time SolidWorks user, and I am quite impressed with what it looks like it is going to do for us in terms of creating standard work instructions.
In our case, we are looking to take the “Document” out of “Documentation” by generating interactive content that we can use directly on the shop floor. If it reduces training costs and increases quality like we think it will, it will be well worth the purchase price.
The advanced animation capabilities with Composer alone is worth the cost of the software much less the fact that it works seemlessly with SolidWorks. Try the product before you join a post and bash a product you have never used.
Brian, I have tried the product, several times. First time when it was Seemage, next when it was £9000, finally when it was reduced on "offer". I am not disputing the capabilities - though for printed technical documentation it has some gapping holes. I am disputing the price tag and the fact that for what a lot of users need it for it is over specced. I work extensively with many companies using SolidWorks and CATIA and there is an assumption that they will shell out for this kind of functionality. They do not. they want systems that will produce quality printed/pdf documents. They do not want or need animated assembly. Think IKEA - when you buy a product that needs assembly you do not want to have to log onto a website to find out how to assemble it. A simple clear set of instructions is needed. No matter what software vendors say, this is the mass market for technical documentation.
If you look to the start of this thread you will see I commented - try it, use it, does it work for you and if you can justify the cost, great. That is not bashing in my book.
If 3D VIA Composer were bundled with SolidWorks I would probably either upgrade to that package, or use it if I already had it. At the moment it doesn't do what I (and many others) need and the price is too much to stomach for a smaller business unless they have very specific needs.
I will say one thing. Many people who create technical documentation buy lower cost CAD systems just for the purposes of using 3D data. Apps like Deep Exploration offer a lot and have excellent 2D only export capabilites to Adobe illustrator - for example the DE .ai export (with thick n thin lines) places Solidworks components in an assembly on different Illustrator layers -fantastic!
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