25 Replies Latest reply on Jul 19, 2013 4:03 PM by Anna Wood

    Solidworks puts me in a foul mood.

    Steven Smith

      I don't think I have ever seen a program crash as much as I have with SW 2013. Its's an absolute disgrace.

      I've using the program from Sw 2008 it just seems to have went into a downward sprial. Bugs, fixes graphics issues and randon crashes. i thought the software was supposed to get better, not worse.


      Several years ago I worked with a company that used Inventor, hardly ever had a problem, now I've been back for 1.5 years using SW and it's really starting to P*$% me off.

      Why don't they try releasing a solid, stable release.


      It's no wonder Matt Lombard moved over to using SolidEdge.

        • Re: Solidworks puts me in a foul mood.
          Jason Pietka

          I've been using SW2013 since maybe last NOV every day.  No issues, no crashes, no problems

          • Re: Solidworks puts me in a foul mood.
            Hadleigh Murad

            I get the occasional crash, but like everything, its not designed to be crash-proof, nothing is, if solidworks isn't working out, why not use solid edge then not worry anymore?

            • Re: Solidworks puts me in a foul mood.
              John Burrill

              Grass is always greener, man.  I've worked with Inventor in a production environment.  It crashes as frequently as SolidWorks.  I've also crashed Pro-E, AutoCAD and Microstatoin.  CAD stands for Control+ALT+Delete: it's the reality of software on the leading edge.

              But even Matt would tell you SolidWorks shouldn't be crashing all of the time if it's propertly configured and supported with good hardware.

              So do you want to make an Rx of your system specs and trouble-shoot your crashes or just unload greivances?

              • Re: Solidworks puts me in a foul mood.
                Glenn Schroeder

                Speaking of Matt, here is one of his articles that may help:  http://www.dezignstuff.com/blog/?p=261.


                Edit:  And I don't believe he moved to SE because of SW crashing.

                • Re: Solidworks puts me in a foul mood.
                  Joe Kuzich

                  Your not alone by any means.  I'm almost 2 years into SW and it still frustrates me beyond words.  I say almost 2 years but its not with SW everyday.  I do a project in SW and all the little "issues" I run into cause me to fall behind in my work load.  So I then do the next several projects in AutoCAD to get caught back up and a bit ahead so I can try another SW project. 


                  SW is a pretty darn cool program with a lot of potential, but it SO finicky.  I've before related it to woman in the fact that I often get blank error messages, crashes, lock ups or REALLY long waits for it to respond again.  Then I get to figure out what I did wrong to put her in this mood.  Inevitably, I did do something wrong.  We both know it but only she knows what it was.  So, I try to figure it out.  More often than not, I fail to know her better and repeat my mistake.  Unlike woman, who often see our intentions are are least good and reasonable, SW is a heartless witch.  I swear she laughs at our frustration. 


                  And this is not meant(in any way) to be an insult or derogatory to women.  I love women, I just don't understand them.  When I think I do, I am quickly reminded that I don't.  That is part of what makes them so darn attractive, and yet frustrating.


                  Anyway back to SW.  The better I get at figuring out what order I am supposed to do thing, where things go in the tree, how big the file is etc., the better SW performs for me and fewer crashes I get.  I just need to keep learning how to work better with SW.  Some of these guys/girls on this forum only crash a couple times a year!  They are also the ones that are often helping those like me, they REALLY know what they are doing with the software.  That makes all the difference.

                  • Re: Solidworks puts me in a foul mood.
                    Ian Seaborne

                    I've been using SW for close to 12 years now and I have to say I feel the opposite. 2013 seems to have improved the basics and touch wood found it very stable.  I should iimagine that some of your models and assemblies are old / have developed over time and in doing so have loads of little conflicts.  A colluege of mine had a terrible assembly for crashing, it was close to unworkable, so I bite the bullet and deleted all mates and refferences and put the 3000 component part assembly back together. Worked perfectly ever since. Its the contridictions we put into our models that make things crash.

                      • Re: Solidworks puts me in a foul mood.
                        Jerry Brian

                        I found Symantic anti virus was blocking SW functions, even though it was listed as an OK program.

                        Now I use Microsoft security. SW started working far better.


                        So your computer crates an event log, look in it and see what is happening. Try SW RX too.

                        • Re: Solidworks puts me in a foul mood.
                          Hadleigh Murad

                          Amen to that!


                          Isn't it a famous quote: "Bad workmanship always blame their tools?"


                          if anything i think we can learn from other experience users, such as Ian, who have used the software a very long time (well its an extra decade on me) if anything we should listen more, whine less and be grateful for the help we receive and the advice given.



                            • Re: Solidworks puts me in a foul mood.
                              Peter De Vlieger

                              I beg to disagree.


                              It's the changes, documented and undocumented that SW puts in that cause contradictions in models which causes  crashes.

                              What worked yester year may not work today and what works today may not work tomorrow. Or to put it differently : The work-arounds of today may be unneeded tomorrow but the only way to make it stable the day after.


                              There for I find it cheap to blame it on the user. I could just as well state that if you don't experience crashes then you aren't really making any serious assemblies. Sounds insulting doesn't it, well so does blaming the user off hand.


                              The fact is that there is so much that could go wrong even if the user does everything right and there's nobody that is able to solve it if it isn't something extremely obvious. Could be the graphics card, the computer, hardware malfunction, conflict with other software, a corrupted version of .NET/Solidworks/Windows, a register entry that points the wrong way and any kind of combination of all above.


                              Ahh....where's the time that programmers produced fulproof as well as foolproof programs?

                              I guess it has disappered together with real programming, instead you get .Net monkeys who produce 5MB code when they could have done it in less then 0.3MB if they had programmed it from scratch.


                              This doesn't mean that SW is worse then others because the others have just the same problems and issues, if not more so, and the programmers are of the same generation.


                              For al those that are so quick to lay the blame at the user anwser me this : how come that even in 2013 SP3 you can still bring the size of an PRT down from 300MB to 12MB by just re-saving it with a new name and forcing it to clean up display states that you didn't want nor created in the first place. Especially considering that the 12MB version is stable but the 300MB isn't. Can you imagine what it does to an assembly when you then have 8 instances of that part?


                              If you think I'm quick to blame programmers then let me point out that anything that is bloated will automatically lead to problems.

                              SW 2010 SP3 : 5.21 GB (1.357 files in 201 folders)

                              SW 2013 SP3 : 6.22 GB (1.968 files in 227 folders)

                              1 GB of code added in barely 3 years, keeping in mind this is compressed before actual installing, doesn't bode well for the future. I got a sneaky feeling that it wil hit 10GB before 2020 but I do so hope I'm wrong.


                              I'm grateful for any help and advice I recieve no matter if it's from SW directly or my VAR or collegues or forum members.

                              I for one however will 'whine' loud and profusely as much as is needed because what is whining to some is voicing righteous complaints to those of us that want this software to get better. The powers that be might not enjoy it but they know that if they improve the product that there wil be less complaints whereas those that keep complimenting on the Emporers new clothes will still be there no matter what.


                              When SolidWorks works as it should, it's glorious but when it doesn't there are days that I for one would happily rip a throat with my own teeth.


                              Of course : "Your mileage may vary"



                              PS: SW 2013 SP0 (as most SP0 versions) was very prone to crashing whereas SP3 seems to be decently stable.

                                • Re: Solidworks puts me in a foul mood.
                                  Ian Seaborne

                                  I don't know if I agree or disagree.


                                  Yes SW changes, (we want SW to develop), and yes changes can cause contraditions. So a bit of good house keeping on our part wouldn't go a miss.


                                  Serious assemblies? Don't want to turn this into a pissing contest but the sub assembly I have up has 4868 unique part documents with 9 sub assmblies 6 of which are flexible. The top level which this goes into has 5 other similar assemblies. We're not playing with solidwork. I'm just tierd of listing to (some) of my design engineer moan about SW crash when if you look into it experience is lacking and often a bit of patience.


                                  But yes completely agree with the code heavy element. I do think that programmer are relying on our pocks to keep our hardware upto date.


                                  Don't get me wrong when I'm doing FEA with SW then there are are times I want to cry but more often then not its probably down to my lack of knowlegde, even if I think its the programmers lack of knowledge in stress calculation.


                                  But who cares I'm just a few hours away from the beer garden in a lovely warm summer. And the minute I sit back at my PC tomorrow morning, everything with work and fall into place with fresh eyes.

                                  • Re: Solidworks puts me in a foul mood.
                                    Jason Capriotti

                                    Peter, The file size reduction when doing a "Save as" is working as designed. The Save as purges the solid bodies from all but the active configuration. Activating each configuration and then saving will increase the file size as a solid body is created and stored in the file for that configuration. If you were to save out each configuration as a separate file and add together their sizes, you should see a similar if not greater total size. It's a trade off, bigger file for faster loading in the assembly as they dont have to be rebuilt on the fly as the assembly loads.


                                    As for the size of the SolidWorks program itself, I don't believe there is any program out there that is being actively developed that is smaller than previous versions unless they aren't doing much to it. They are adding code to add functionality or make existing functionality more functional. In some cases you can rewrite code to make it smaller but more often you are adding code to handle more cases. Comparing the Excel.exe files, the file grew 2mb between 2007 and 2010, and that doesn't include extra files in the Office folder.


                                    SolidWorks also has added other products such as Routing, Circuitworks, and Electrical which often have libraries of parts that may balloon the total file size.

                                      • Re: Solidworks puts me in a foul mood.
                                        Peter De Vlieger



                                        The point is however that it isn't about the Configs but about display states.

                                        To make it perfectly clear : I had a part that had 2 configs, each with their own display state. That part was now in excess of 300MB. By removing display states, not removing the configurations, it shrank down to less then 4% of the original. Even if I then do a rebuilt of the two congifs and put back the overall appearance on both configs then it still stays smaller then 4%. Even now after lots of rebuilds and a few alterations on both configs it is still smaller then 4%. Even if I would save the two configs as two seperate files then the sum of the two would still not be 300MB.

                                        So your explanation to justify it is totally off the mark.


                                        Using an Office product as comparison to negate the bloat is highly amusing if one knows anything about programming.

                                        You want to see what is possible with a 64KB executeable ?

                                        Look at : http://www.instantfundas.com/2012/04/amazing-64kb-demos-at-revision-party.html

                                        Now if an amateur can do that in less then 64KB wouldn't you think a big team of pro's should be able to do a whole lot better?


                                        Excel grew with 2MB in 3 years whereas SW grew with 1GB. Now although true that SW is a totally different program but none the less the program install code grew with 20%. Did the features grow by 20%? Or to put it differently, that adding features makes a program bigger is indeed logical but have there really been so many actual features added in 3 years time to warrant an increase of the install files by 1GB?


                                        I use Routing myself, it's the main reason why we use SolidWorks. I can tell you first hand that as far as I can tell the library has hardly changed since we started using it back in 2009.


                                        I for one think that they could do better and with less resources if they would built it completely themselves instead of relying on all kinds of MS products. It won't ever happen because it would be such a gigantic undertaking that it would mean a huge investment in time and money to do so.

                                          • Re: Solidworks puts me in a foul mood.
                                            Jason Capriotti

                                            Well not knowing your exact situation I had made some assumptions based on my past experience. In my experience, additional display states don't add much to the file size, configurations do. Display states simply change the appearance or hidden state of the existing solid bodies where as configuration save another set of solid bodies. I just tried adding 5 additional display states to an assembly, changes a few of the display properies in each then saved and file size didn't change.


                                            You could be affected by SPR 684768 "File size of part documents with configurations is unexpectedly large (100-1000+ MB) due to corrupt display state data". this is listed as a 2013 problem and fixed in 2013 SP3.


                                            The 64kb programs are impressive....they are procedurally generating graphics on the fly instead of storing images in the file. While impressive, I imagine this is incredibly time consuming compared to simply creating images and storing them in the file. I imagine you'd never get your product to market or it would take you years in which no one will care if your executable is small, only if it works. Disk space is cheap, you ahve to spend your resources where it matters.


                                            Well, I only compared the Excel executable......not all of the files in the Office program files folder because depending on the options chosen when installing, you will will get more or less files. So its difficult to get a fair comparison. But just comparing the "sldworks.exe" files in 2012 to 2014, the file size barely grew (2261kb to 2299kb). You would have to look at the folder as a whole and compare indivdual files and that's difficult for the same reasons....depends on which products you selected when installing. I tried comparing the 2012 folder size I have to the  2014 folder size....2012 was 3.55gb (10,379 files) while 2014 was 3.83gb (11,034 files). However, I don't remember what I actually selected when installing 2014.



                                            I do agree about some of the MS baggage, I'd like to see them go a little more OS neutral....especially regarding the Excel design table. I guess using the MS libraries is faster since you don't have to code it yourself.....just like the shader libraries they use from nvidia.....some libraries from Catia, the contraint solvers and other stuff from UG NX,etc. Quicker to market....but less control over what you get.

                                            • Re: Solidworks puts me in a foul mood.
                                              Maciej Misiak

                                              I have tried removing display states from the part. 800MB part grew to over 1.1GB. Rebuilds can take over 10 minutes easy. I have noticed the size today trying to send the model to a vendor. The part has two arrays 4 elements each, one mirror, all together ~20 features. No problems for months on XP machine in 2011, 2012 with 3 GB RAM. Switched to W7 and 2013 and 14GB can be chewed up with processor load ~1%. Not to say your idea is no good, but there is something really, really weird with the 2013. It can stop the windows task manager and choke up the blue waiting ring. Funny thing is, task manager says the SW takes only 5GB of 14 in use, but when I stop it form the task manager suddenly only 1GB is use. I hope one day I will like the SW again. Now I am watching it grow to over 2GB.... SW is saving it. and it failed to save.

                                                • Re: Solidworks puts me in a foul mood.
                                                  Anna Wood



                                                  This is the type of thing you should be getting to your SolidWorks reseller.  Maybe they can troubleshoot and if not hopefully send it to SolidWorks to see what is happening in the file.





                                                    • Re: Solidworks puts me in a foul mood.
                                                      Maciej Misiak

                                                      It was worth quite a bit. I finally called them and Peter was mostly right. The only difference was I removed display states one by one, which did not help, in fact the file got even bigger, tech support used 'remove all display states' and then 'purge redundant' for good measure. The file shrunk to 34MB from 888MB initially and 2GB at times. Then instead of 'Save' he adviced to use 'Save As' as it is supposed to save only the active configuration (5 total in my case). This did not help, but 'Save as copy' gave me 9MB. 'Save as copy' is fine when sending to vendor. And uncheck 'Save Teaaelation...' in Document properties' under 'Image Quality'. Other settings unchecked or pulled all the way down. 9MB is still big for my taste, but SW is much faster now, normal anyway, so it will have to do.

                                        • Re: Solidworks puts me in a foul mood.
                                          Roland Schwarz

                                          Stupid Jeep!  Always gets stuck in the mud.  My neighbor has a Honda Civic, and that thing never gets stuck on paved roads.  Gotta get me one of those.

                                          • Re: Solidworks puts me in a foul mood.
                                            Andy Sanders

                                            The biggest thing we ever did to reduce crashes in SW was to move to Win7  64 bit hardware/software & lots of ram.