Have we ever compared the 3 major mid range CAD packages (ProE, SW, Inventor) as yet with regards to their set of parametric tools?
There is another discussion in AD Inventor Users Group about automated design and product configurators ETO/iLogic. We used iLogic & and Excel spreadsheet and developed a fairly complex configurator. See more here..
But we realised that due to the complexity of our models and our business objectives we have to look further and evaluate other set of tools (CAD & automated configurator options) that might do better than iLogic & excel.
So we started evaluating Creo and Solidworks with DriveWorks as alternatives in close collaboration with software vendors. (we will deploy the system globally in different locations around the world).
As far as I can see, Creo is by far is superior with its set of parametric tools (Relations, MapKeys, Pro/Program, True Top Down Design with master skeletons/multi level controllable skeletons) over the others. Creo seems to have an unrivalled set of tools due to their integrity and its all within Creo CAD. It needs some programming to drive it and to link it to our front end program, but the configurator is in Creo CAD using these tools. Even the part numbering is suggested to be generated using the ‘Relations’ tool within Creo CAD picking up the unique part properties.
Whereas Inventor needs ETO and SW needs DriveWorks Pro to cater for these functions. The parametric integrity of the built in CAD tools in Inv & SW are nowhere near to Creo’s. (Inventor has iLogic & Excel & iParts, SW has Design table & DW Express).
DriveWorks Pro for example controls each component individually, there is no parametric link (top down design kind) between the components. It is very user friendly and Excl based, not much programming is needed. In theory it does everything you need: generates new iterations of your template assy, allocates part numbers, create drawings and cost too.
The drawback might be that it uses a master ‘All in one’ assy and suppresses/deletes the unwanted components. So DW cannot generate new components and geometry. Only get rid of some that are not needed. This applies to the drawings as well, e.g. you put all dimensions on your template and it will delete the ones not needed.
It would not create painted part for you but create a phantom or normal part for paint. So the paint is on your BOM this way and can be costed.
Huhh, all this for one go... would be interested what you think...
You might ask why all this trouble, go for ETO as we have Inventor. Well we use SolidWorks too at other factories so that we have to fairly evaluate all options and come to a common parametric platform globally.