43 Replies Latest reply on Aug 4, 2015 8:42 PM by Bernie Daraz

    Drinking the kool-aid

      OK, I know full well this post might ruffle a few feathers but it's really not meant to do such.

      This is nothing more than an observation on my part over the years.


      I've got numerous years in the CAD field, from CADDS5 to Pro/E to Catia, CADRA, Inventor and Solidworks.

      One thing I've noticed over the years and mainly in the pasrt few years, there really seems to be shall I say, a "wall" up when it comes to dealing with SW people.


      Now hear me out. I'm not making a blanket statement, I'm just saying that in my experience of hiring people who have SW experience or dealing with SW resellers or just SW users, there seems to be this attitude that SW is king and everything else is pure horse hockey. Now, I can easily understand loyalty but this is or should I say, seems to be beyond product loyalty and has become downright hostile at times.


      Personally, I was a huge CADDS5 guy, but we all know what Pro/E did with that package. But I've seen a vast difference between the 2 camps. I've noticed AutoDesk users for the most part tend to welcome or accept comments or suggestions from SW users. I witnessed this first hand at AutoDesk University when a few SW people attempted to "crash" the event. Yet when I was at a SW2009 demo and a user asked if he can see a demo of SW importing Inventor files as advertised, he was met with boos and literally given the bums rush out of the event. He was polite and made a simple request of the presenter and even offered up some files for the demo when the presenter claimed he didn't have any.


      Again, from personal experience....we use both SW and Inventor on site so I have to support both equally But every designer or engineer we've hired on that used SW at their previous job, 90% of them completely fight using Inventor (which is our main CAD software), attempt to force Inventor to work or act like SW and of course, completely blame Inventor for what actually ends up being operator error. I have a few guys that have been using Inventor for over a year now and to this day, they still refuse to use it properly and blame it for everything that goes wrong. Funny thing is, the issues are user specific and not software related, thus it proves it's their process that's wrong. But don't tell them that.


      We've trained them, but they refuse to learn still. I know, we should simply fire them. I wish it was that easy.


      But seriously, what is it? Why does it seem that SW people can not admit that another software might do something better?

      If you were to listen to these people you'd swear SW is the be all, end all of CAD software.


      Here's how I look at it, being from the East coast this makes sense.

      When it comes to sports rivalries you can't beat the Yankees/Red Sox.


      SW users are like Yankee fans....anyone who plays for the Red Sox flat out sucks....unless they become Yankees..ala Johnny Damon, Wade Boggs and if you question that mindset they'll cut your throat.


      Inventor users are like Red Sox fans......they hate the Yankees but they can easily admit that Derek Jeter is a damn good ball player and they'd love to have him join the team.


      Again, this is just what I've seen and it does bother me because I have to deal with these type of people on a daily basis.


      Solidworks and Inventor are mid grade CAD packages, each does something better or worse than the other. We actually wnet as far as to have an outside service compare both side by side based on how we needed a CAD software to work and it was decided Inventor was the better fit for us. I'm sure other places would have a different outcome. So why the hostility? Especially from general users? If your drive a Chevy and your co-worker drives a Ford, are you just as abrasive to him because of such? I would think not. So why when it comes to a tool you use at work?


      OK, I'm stepping down off the soapbox.

        • Re: Drinking the kool-aid
          Tony Cantrell
          I once ask for 5 to 6 different cad systems at one time from management and you can guess the answer. I would use any system that gets the job done. With that said I now use SolidWorks, Autocad, and Helix (I know nobody knows what Helix is-Cadam, Microcadam) and I run a SolidWorks User Group, Teach SolidWorks at Midlands Technical College(Columbia, SC) and work with the STEM project around the state. I don't see what you are stating but I won't say it don't happen, but if you were told that Inventor would do a better job for you than SolidWorks, why are you not using Inventor and hiring Inventor users. Most SolidWorks people are supportive of SolidWorks because of the support that they get back from the people that work for SolidWorks and I can say that from first hand expierence. I hope you find your answer. Good luck.
          • Re: Drinking the kool-aid
            Anna Wood

            I am sure that happens.  Have seen that everywhere along the way in my 30 years transitioning from the drafting board to 2D CAD, to any number of 3D CAD systems.


            There are many people using  "name your favorite CAD software"  that are not able to transition to using another CAD system.  They are one trick ponies who often blame the software, as opposed the user having the problem with a closed mind.  Often times they aren't all that good using their favorite software either.


            I can tell you it is not isolated to SolidWorks users.  Many flavors of CAD operators suffer this syndrome.


            To bad for them, there are things to be learned from all the CAD systems.  They all have their good points and bad points.  Those folks that excel in this business are able to get the most out of any tool they are given to use.  It is a challenge finding those types of folks to be part of your engineering team.





              • Re: Drinking the kool-aid

                Thanks Anna, that's exactly what I'm thinking.

                Being in the Pacific NW, there are few people in the area to choose from that have any Inventor experience. It's mainly a SW area and thus they are the most common type looking for work here.


                But yes, I fully agree with what I've seen written here, that these type of people are "one trick ponies".

                I've also been at this for 30 odd years, started on the board and was first exposed to CAD by way of Applicon (if anyone recalls that). I too relish the chance to learn a new software....being a contractor for most of those 30 yrs caused me to make sure I was "up" on whatever I could to open up more job opportunities.


                And yes, there are in fact people like this on all CAD software and I've seen them too. My point here was that for some odd reason I've been seeing it stepped up a notch when it came to the SW users I've met. I'm not sure why, but I have.


                Actually, I always thought it was kinda funny and frankly rather useless.

                Again, thanks everyone, great answers.


                As far as the Sox and Jeter, sorry, I'm a livelong Sox fan, but I'm a realist too. Jeter is a great SS. He's a Yankee, so he's dirt in my book, but I'm not blind to talent. Now, I'm just looking forward to watching A-Rod swing and miss during the playoffs.

              • Re: Drinking the kool-aid
                Dan Riffell
                I think Anna hit the nail on the head.  In my experience the people that are the most fanatical about anything are those that are the least familiar and the least comfortable with it (one-trick-ponies), regardless of what you are talking about.  People that fully understand modeling generally will have few issues translating from one package to another.  Having said that, I will fully admit that I might tend to drag my feet if management decided to switch tomorrow, but that's mostly because of the hastle of dealing with thousands of legacy files.
                • Re: Drinking the kool-aid
                  Chris Kamery

                  I guess I should try inventor because I am a big Red Sox fan. I actually like trying new pieces of software and learning how one may benefit me over the other. I use both Illustrator and Photoshop which although are very different, have some overlapping tools. Knowing how the tools work will lead me to which one i choose to use. In a multi-CAD environment I am sure the same can be said.


                  Additionally, I will never admit that Jeter is any good nor would ever want him to be a player for the Sox and I know most of Red Sox Nation would say the same. I could go on all day about this, but this is the wrong forum for that.

                    • Re: Drinking the kool-aid
                      Matt McKendrick

                      Yeah, but Inventor still sucks though..


                      Just kidding guys, I couldn't resist.  I've never even used Inventor.


                      I will add this.  Solidworks ain't without its issues, as all of us here well know.

                        • Re: Drinking the kool-aid
                          I came from the Inventor World and used it for 5 yrs. I thought it was great. The job I am on now uses SW. It didn't take long to learn what it was called in IV to what it is called in SW. Which is better? They all have there good and bad points. What ever I am making money on is all that matters. If you work in Design and use CAD you have to be versital. If you aren't you don't get the jobs. They need to learn to adapt and quit whining. Just my 2 cents.
                        • Re: Drinking the kool-aid
                          Chad Schmidt

                          No you don't want to do that.  It takes about a year or two before you realize you made a major mistake in your cad selection.  The Devil is in the detail.

                        • Re: Drinking the kool-aid
                          Todd Bryant
                          I have never met a RedSox fan that would amit to Jeter being a good baseball player, have you ever been to a Redsox game and seen tee shirts they were?  This comments adds nothing useful to the converstaion, I'm just saying.
                          • Re: Drinking the kool-aid
                            Daniel Smith

                            You must be from New York? Or New Yorkachussettes (aka Connecticut)... lol Sorry couldn't resist.

                            A Sox fan would never admit that about Jeter... Also just for the record, Damon's lame, Boggs is a sell out (but had the greatest stach ever), and Clemens is.....


                            Getting that out of the way, I've never used inventor but before we went to SW I had a little experience with Mech Desktop.  We went with SW because at the time it was more user friendly (not necessarily better) for us to transition to 3D. Now 10 years later we still use SW, not because it's better, but because it's what we have and know. I would love to learn another software but for us to transition to another cad program would be counter productive due to lost time learning it, at least for the short term.  Maybe Someday


                            Message was edited by: Daniel Smith I didn't read all the posts when I posted this, oops

                            • Re: Drinking the kool-aid
                              Harry Koulouris

                              ok - ready for this?


                              Go Pirates!

                              • Re: Drinking the kool-aid
                                Chad Schmidt

                                You really came to the wrong place to get support.  I have about 5 years use of Inventor and about 2 years of SolidWorks and Inventor has some serious workflow problems.  It's not that its a bad 3D platform it's just limited in it's capability and flexibility.  The grass is much greener over here!

                                  • Re: Drinking the kool-aid
                                    Phil Marra



                                    I am a life long Cards fan and I live in NY (not the city the state). I was upset with the poor showing in the World Series but I can honestly say I was happy in the end for the Bo-Sox. It wasnt what I wanted to see but it happened and the Cards took it home in 07, and can I say 09?

                                    I love the Redbirds but what honest baseball fan (other that Boston fans) can say they wouldnt want to play for the Yankees once in their life?


                                    I know Im late to this party and off the subject but I just wanted to say "Go Cards in 09"

                                  • Re: Drinking the kool-aid
                                    BOB ROBERTSON

                                    How 'bout them Cowboys?!?!?!?  Sorry, baseball season is about over.


                                    Have used AutoCAD 2D starting from release 2.52 through 2006, but not for 3D.

                                    Have used ProE up through 200i2.  Had 2 classes on a Unix Platform, class was horrible, instructor didn't know how to teach.

                                    Now using SW Pro 2009, started with 2005.  Been to 4 different classes, all great.  Been to one SW World


                                    Each to his own.  I can probably go back to Pro if required but would rather not.


                                    I feel that I have made a step forward each time I moved to a new program.  Brought a lot of useful Pro knowledge with me to SW.


                                    I could make some sarcastic comment here about the statement regarding ACAD users accepting suggestions from SW users, or the comment about SW user errors in Inventor.  Let's just let it go with this: I think there is a bit of anti SW bias like there is some pro SW bias.  Personally I think that SW is far better for it's target customer base than the others.  Perhaps the idea of changing main software program from Inventor to SW should be tossed around.  Also using it 8 to 10 hours a day, 5 or 6 days a week for several YEARS puts a whole new prespective on things.


                                    Bottom Line:  I would rather be VERY GOOD at one program for a particular type of application, than OK in several.  As was posted earlier, it takes time to become really proficient in one program.  Trying to do it in more than one add difficulty to the process.  Also the time spent on multiple learning curves defeats the basic purpose of CAD programs:  Getting a quality product out in as short a time as possible.


                                    Of course YMMV


                                    Have a great day!!

                                      • Re: Drinking the kool-aid
                                        John Jablonski

                                        Each to his own.  I can probably go back to Pro if required but would rather not.

                                        I feel that I have made a step forward each time I moved to a new program.  Brought a lot of useful Pro knowledge with me to SW.


                                        I find that comment rather amusing, considering that someone else on this board was critical of one of my models, essentially saying it appeared I had a lot of ProE baggage based on the way the model was created.


                                        And, what makes it even MORE amusing, is the fact that I -started- with SW (in 3D anyways...naturally used autocad, too). Used it from SW98 thru SW05 (06 maybe?). Then switched to ProE 2001 (which I actually found better and easier to use than SW05/06), upgraded to Wildfire 4 about a year later (even better than 2001) , and am now back on SW2009.


                                        So, to get to my point--back to the kool-aid theme--I feel that, unfortunately, too many SW users would say that ANY knowledge brought from ProE is bad.


                                        And to Anna: Yes. Ponies are bad.






                                        p.s. Go Cards!

                                          • Re: Drinking the kool-aid
                                            BOB ROBERTSON

                                            Well, I was thinking in terms of extrusions, sweeps, lofts, etc., and parametric modeling in general.  For a person without any 3d modeling exterience, getting the whole concept straight in their mind can be a bit tricky.  Had two students in community college that never did get their minds around the concept.  When I went from ProE to SW, all I needed to do was determine what some of the things were called in SW and where they put them.  That's what I brought with me.


                                            What I didn't bring with me, and glad I didn't have to, was Make Datums.  Last I saw of ProE was 2000i^2, so things have definitely changed over the years.  Yes I have had to add some datum planes.  No I have not seen ProE Wildfire,  However, there are a lot of things I had to do in ProE when I was using it that I do not have to do anymore in SW.


                                            Last place of employment had starting using offshore contractors to do modeling.  After looking at their work and doing some inquiries, it was discovered that they were ProE users that had recently purchased SW and had been to training.  Their files were larger and had more features to rebuild than were necessary to get the job dome in SW


                                            Besides the three default datum planes necessary in both programs, they had 15 extra datum planes.  We remodeled the part and only had to add TWO.  This "implies" to me that Make Datums are still a necessity, but I can very well be incorrect on this.  It could very well be that they were not very talented at Pro and my assumption is incorrect.  Maybe they just need more time with SW.


                                            This observation on my part is what prompted me to state that I would rather not go back to ProE.  If offered a job using Pro, sure I would take it.   I would really like to see what ProE looks like now, but the opportunity has not presented itself.  Hope I would not be a complainer, but would rather try to learn it and be proficient with it.


                                            Regarding "Ponies", I can easily understand where that can been a bad thing.


                                            Back to original post:  SW vs Inventor.  All my contacts that have experience with both like SW over Inventor.


                                            ----and the cowboys lost, again......................

                                            Anyone want to trade quarterbacks???

                                        • Re: Drinking the kool-aid
                                          Jason McCrory

                                          It's because SolidWorks' Kool-aid tastes better than Inventor's... 


                                          And (arguably) no sports fans have it as bad as we the Redskins fans...srsly



                                            • Re: Drinking the kool-aid
                                              BOB ROBERTSON

                                              There you go, stirring up the old Cowboys/Redskins thing.


                                              At least we don't have to hide behind pig noses, under cheese wedges, or under cooking pots with TEXAS horns glued on them

                                              • Re: Drinking the kool-aid
                                                David Cook
                                                modeling maybe......but Dassault needs to get their act together with the drawing portion (i.e. WEAK SAUCE) unreliable, inconsistent, buggie
                                                  • Re: Drinking the kool-aid
                                                    BOB ROBERTSON

                                                    Well, I haven't had any problems yet.


                                                    Out of curiosity, what problems have you had?

                                                      • Re: Drinking the kool-aid
                                                        David Cook

                                                        1.)  dimstyles............(we use 2.... Millwork & Metal Fabrication) always swaps to arrow head (they weren't created or saved as such) we use tic marks


                                                        2.) Dimension strings are difficult to re-attach after a model has been altered.  and end point or line will highlight, the string just doesn't stick.


                                                        3.) Needing a MACRO to label a view....!!!???  (C'mon there has to be an easy way to do without running some third party item, or creating a new item for your design library.


                                                        4.)  No known way to overwrite system font symbols (i.e. diameter symbol)  We have a specific font we like to use (and used without issue in autocad, inventor, etc..)


                                                        5.)  Dimensioning to a quandrant (half round, fullround, whatever)  Dim string will snap to quandrant just doesn't stick.  If it does, its after tedious and dilligent effort.  It should just work the first time you attempt, it recognizes the snap point...!!!???


                                                        6.)  Creating a centerline on an obrounds' HEIGHT........?  the width is easy and non-issue.


                                                        7.) Customizing a hole callout for c'bore & c'sink, without the inclusion of the "technical" symbols.  Our guys in the fab shops can't read em, nor understand em.




                                                        to name a few items...............

                                                          • Re: Drinking the kool-aid
                                                            BOB ROBERTSON

                                                            Well. I'll pick #7.  I'll leave the others for other people or for Tech Support at the company you purchased from


                                                            Search your install directory for a file named "calloutformat.txt".  It has all the information used for the hole callouts created by hole wizard.

                                                            Edit the content to suit your requirements in any way you see fit and they will always be the way you want them.


                                                            Here is the callout for a counterbored blind hole:


                                                            [ANSI INCH]
                                                            **       COUNTERBORED HOLES       **
                                                            COUNTERBORE-BLIND=<MOD-DIAM> <hw-diam> <HOLE-DEPTH> <hw-depth>;\
                                                            <HOLE-SPOT><MOD-DIAM> <hw-cbdia> <HOLE-DEPTH> <hw-cbdepth>


                                                            You can replace the "symbol text" with any word(s) you like.  Instructions are at the bottom of the file.


                                                            Now if you want to use a symbol other than provided by SW, I can't help you there.  One college instructor didn't like the word THRU in a clearance hole description, said it wasn't per ANSI standards.  Her computers, her preference, so I edited the file for her and now she's happy.


                                                            Have a good day!

                                                            • Re: Drinking the kool-aid
                                                              Josh Brady



                                                              I'll hit #4 and #5.


                                                              The system symbols (diameter, etc) are not actually text.  They are drawn symbols.  The symbol is defined gemoetrically in the file "gtol.sym", which is a text file.  Instructions for customizing the file can be found at http://www.eng-tips.com/faqs.cfm?fid=1229.  Unfortunately, the symbol definition file location cannot be networked, and the definition is not stored with the document.  That means if you create/modify symbols in this file, you will have to make the same changes to that file on all systems that will open your document.  System symbols that do contain text (centerline symbol, etc) follow the annotation's selected font.


                                                              If you will hold down the "Shift" key while clicking on an arc, the dimension will attach to the arc rather than the center point.

                                                      • Re: Drinking the kool-aid
                                                        Christopher Thompson

                                                        IMO, the best CAD package is the one that brings the most business from clients at the best pay. I was a strong Pro-E advocate until business from Pro-E clients decreased and I realized I could avoid being unemployed by using SW. The availabity of SW clients in my area was higher. I still use Pro-E from time-to-time for an occasional Pro-E client, but I have since dropped PTC maintainance.


                                                        Only if your company is an OEM, should you consider basing your decision to purchase a CAD system on its capabilities alone. I would use / buy any CAD package (Inventor, SolidEdge, UG, Catia, etc.) that would provide the standard of living we have come to expect as engineers or designers. As long as I have SW clients that need my design design services, I will continue to advocate SW. With the offical unemployment rate of almost 1/3 in Detroit, I suspect the city's blind loyality to the auto industry is the major contributing factor. It is good to have loyality to people (friends, family, colleagues), but CAD software is less deserving of our loyality than people are.

                                                          • Re: Drinking the kool-aid


                                                            I ran a side business doing design work when I was on the East Coast and the majority of clients in my area were CADDS5 (showing my age now) and Inventor. CADDS5 went by the wayside when PTC bought them out and I was left with Inventor which was perfect due to my main CADDS5 client changed over to Inventor.


                                                            Again, it just cracks me up that people will have this blind loyalty to a software package...like you're insulting a member of their family if you prefer the other software.


                                                            In this market, you'd think people would be requesting to learn another software thus widening their employment opportunities.

                                                          • Re: Drinking the kool-aid
                                                            David Demaria
                                                            I don't care what application I'm using, as long as it doesnt involve ink and T-squares I'm all for it !
                                                            • Re: Drinking the kool-aid
                                                              Jeff Sparks
                                                              Go Bengals... Go Reds. Here in Cincinnati we use what ever we have. In school I was taught "You can take a bolt out with Vice Grips or with a Socket or with a Box Wrench... either way you have to get it out."
                                                              • Re: Drinking the kool-aid
                                                                John Stoltzfus

                                                                Once in awhile I find a gem on the right side in the forum and I think this one deserves a bump, where are these guys today, still using SW


                                                                PS: St Louis - is rated #1 for the past 10 weeks - go figure

                                                                  • Re: Drinking the kool-aid
                                                                    Mike Price

                                                                    That reminds me.  I started using ProE back in 1998 when computers were slow.  Don't remember a CTRL+Q....


                                                                    Also, as I don't do sports at all, there is nothing a sports fan hates more than one who doesn't support some sports team. 


                                                                    I think if SW were to really lean down with regards to efficiency, allow for intense patterning, force Boolean operations on "zero thickness", etc,, it would rise to the top of all CAD products.

                                                                      • Re: Drinking the kool-aid
                                                                        Bernie Daraz

                                                                        If you ask me they are all pretty good, I have ProE and SW experience. The vast majority of it with SW. SW is my choice of tools, it's just that simple. I had recently contracted with someone who had ProE and Inventor experience, he bad mouthed them all. If something didn't work in SW he said Inventor did such and such better. Give him some time and ProE did something else better. Show him how it's done in SW and he said thanks. Oh and one more thing, Go Mets! I always root for the underdog in sports.