5 Replies Latest reply on Feb 3, 2015 10:01 AM by Peter De Vlieger

    Quick rant

    Andrew Dvorak

      Sorry, but I am so p...d! off. I keep coming upon issues where Solidworks keeps failing, and my 30 years with Pro/E did not.


      I'm on a deadline and working tonight and I hate even spending the time to do this. I had a part in an assembly that was assembled with a plane to a plane. The user had created the plane offset from a side surface. When the user  changed the location of some holes that should have been centered on the assembly he did not change the offset. I modified the part so that the plane was defined through the axes of the holes. BAM! Major failure of assembly constraints with no idea, no information on why. The axes of the holes I changed the plane to go through were parallel with the surface the plane had originally been defined from. Even flipping the plane orientation did not correct the issue.


      I keep encountering stuff like this that drives me crazy. I have many examples:

      1) Sheetmetal conversion features - sometimes you just have to start with a solid part and convert to sheetmetal. But I have had major issues with changing the underlying boss feature and BAM! features and/or dimensions that follow the conversion suddenly lose all references, even though I have not changed the geometry where surfaces, edges or vertices have changed. It must be that with modifyiing the underlying feature Solidworks re-solves and renames all the references that were created, even though no references have really changed. I never had an issue with Pro/E except when surfaces, edges or vertices dis-appeared. I do find that if I change dimension values in small increments it sometimes works, but who wants to do that.


      2)Cross sections in drawings - I have major blowups in Solidworks when a cross-section cut cuts a feature that would create a line or a point. Never had a problem in Pro/E. In Solidworks I get messages that invalid geometry would be created. In Pro/E I get the cross-section.


      3) The issue I first mentioned - parallel axes and surface. Move the plane definition from one to the other and BAM!

                               (Sorry about the BAM!, but the owner of our company keeps telling me about his ideas and BAM!, Simple! Done!. If only Solidworks was BAM! Simple! Done! then I'd be home free.)


      4) This way of Solidworks not caring about the order of assembly - in Pro/E I got very used to assemble and solve constraints in order. With Solidworks they say you can assemble helter-skelter. But can you? Even though I try very carefully to follow my Pro/E experience with Solidworks (one component followed by its location info) I find down the road one additional constraint and BAM! No information on really why the assembly is failing.


      5) OK, since I'm on a rant, why do pop-up toolbars keep popping up on top of what you are trying to edit. Can't they keep their focus so they know what you are editing?


      6) Select other - I have revision symbols, view captions and views all in close proximity. So I use Select Other, select the underlying item and then what? Whatever Solidworks wants. A very experienced user told me to move the other stuff out of the way before I could deal with what's beneath. With Pro/E, RMB, RMB until the item is highlighted and then do with it what you want.


      7) Import - When I converted from Pro/E to Solidworks I did major STEP export /imports from Pro/E to Solidworks and checked them into the EPDM database. I am still correcting this information because all radiused and cylindrical surfaces came in as splines - hardly useful for assembly purposes - and this was on the recommendation of my VAR and several internet resources. Other CAD importers of the same Pro/E step files imported the cylindrical surfaces properly. Why did Solidworks cause me so much work to correct this data?


      Look, I am stuck with Solidworks and I am really trying very hard to make it work. It has some really nice things going for it graphically (except I'm comparing it to Pro/Engineer Wildfire 2.0 which I really like) and I keep finding things that really frustrate and limit me 10 years after the software I was used to was released. So why doesn't Solidworks have the stability, capability ease of use, and exactness that a software 10 years ago had?


      As Sean Connery stated in the Untouchables, "so endith the lesson" or me in 2015,  "So endith the rant"..

        • Re: Quick rant
          John Stoltzfus



          Some day's I feel your pain -


          Use a Sketch Part as the main component to which you make all changes and that will help eliminate most of the "New" insert parts in an assembly - Use that part in all your sub-assemblies as the first or top component in your feature manager tree


          Get more training

          • Re: Quick rant
            Timothy Taby

            Generally when I have issue with Solidworks it's due to how the model/assembly is put together.  Assembling something to a plane that is not one of the fixed planes (Front, Top, or right) can sometimeslead you into trouble.  Most likely what happened in the case you are explaining is that when you redefined the plane to be thru the centers of the holes it made to many constraints on the plane, most likely because whomever put it in originalally did it in a way that added automatic constraints.  Solidworks makes all kind of automatic constraints on geometry that if your not paying attention can drive you insane.  Take inserting a simple line, if you know you want it anything other then horizontal or vertical then you had better sketch it at a good step angle. so it don't automatically go horz or vert.

            • Re: Quick rant
              Peter De Vlieger

              I understand you all to well.


              My experiences has lead me to discover that once in awhile (at least once a season) it is entirely possible to

              - correct an over defined sketch to a fully defined one by adding a mate

              - correct an under defined sketch to a fully defined one by removing a mate

              - be able to remove all and every dimension and mate to a sketch and still have it over defined

              - to have something perpendicular to a standard plane, parallel to an other standard plane and still not being able to have 90° angle between two straight lines on a plane parallel to the standard plane

              -have different things happen even if one does the same thing in the same model, that has no references or mates outside the model, on a different day

              -having something going corrupt because of no discernible reason

              -having a plane seemingly flip around although nothing has changed, proof of that being that once one flips it and flips it again that the plane and model is perfectly okay

              -having a configuration of a part (no outside links) that doesn't update until one goes in edit mode in that particular configuration.


              and that's just of the top of my head


              When it works, it's great but when it acts up it can make me want to hurl my computer through the window.

              • Re: Quick rant
                Andrew Dvorak



                New day, new results. What started my rant was a whole bunch of constraint errors when I redefined a plane. I didn't correct it last night, but I came in with a positive outlook and BAM! Fixed.


                How? The same way I tried last night, by redefining the plane normal. Why it worked today and not last night I couldn't say. Same computer, as I was remoted to my work computer. Maybe it sensed my positive outlook. Maybe that session of SW had a twist in it that a clean start removed.


                All I can say is that I am happier now.

                  • Re: Quick rant
                    Peter De Vlieger



                    to qoute from my earlier post

                    -have different things happen even if one does the same thing in the same model ...on a different day

                    It's all fine if the different thing being positive but just today I had a different thing happen that really messed things up and even after a complete reboot of the system it won't re-adjust itself.


                    Enjoy the positive outcome.


                    Have a nice one.