30 Replies Latest reply on May 15, 2015 12:12 PM by Kelvin Lamport

    Alternatives to Solidworks?

    Matt Fritze

      Anyone have experience with other CAD software? Main requirements is stability --I spend too much time dealing with bugs in sw.

        • Re: Alternatives to Solidworks?
          Adrian Velazquez

          Define "bugs"...

          • Re: Alternatives to Solidworks?
            Todd Becker

            What Version you on? Do you upgrade to newest service packs?

            • Re: Alternatives to Solidworks?
              Jeff Holliday

              Have you checked whether your system meets the minimum suggested requirements (graphics, memory, etc)?

              • Re: Alternatives to Solidworks?
                Rolando Garza

                I think we'll need to know what you plan to do with the software.

                If all you plan to do is simple drafting, then DraftSight might be the tool for you.

                Class-A surfaces your thing? Then CATIA might be a good choice for you.

                Just trying to throw together a rough idea? Then maybe TinkerCAD is your bag.


                ....massive capability and price range..........

                • Re: Alternatives to Solidworks?
                  Umberto Zanola

                  It depends on what you are modeling.


                  As a general adivice I would suggest Unigraphics aka Siemens NX is very stable and flexible.

                  SW is based on the same parasolid engine that allows booleans and multibody operations.

                  Keep in mind that it is a high end MCAD so the cost level is different,

                  but solid+drafting and "normal" surfaces (more options than SW anyway) would be not so much and you can deal with very complex shapes.

                  Let alone that assemblies are not so rigid as in sw and drafting is a way faster and flexible.


                  Anyway if you are using a lot of weldments and you make skids and similar steel structures sticking with SW could be ideal.

                  If you are engineering injection molds NX+moldwizard is the way to go


                  Just my 2 cents

                  • Re: Alternatives to Solidworks?
                    Shaodun Lin

                    Hi Matt:


                    Ruler and pencil has no bugs and never crashes.


                    • Re: Alternatives to Solidworks?
                      Alex Holt

                      Oh, I'll get some pop corn and sit back...


                      Are you seriously coming to the SolidWorks forum and asking for alternatives?!

                      • Re: Alternatives to Solidworks?
                        John Stoltzfus

                        Matt -


                        Some days I may feel the same way for about a nano second, then I realize, it could be my ignorance and lack of training in that particular area.


                        You got to figure it out, nothing comes on a silver platter, I know people that have changed jobs and now use SolidEdge and also Inventor after using SW and they say, I wish I could use SW.

                        • Re: Alternatives to Solidworks?
                          Christopher Sudlik

                          Autodesk Inventor is by far the best alternative to solidworks. I've used Solidworks for 3 months continuously while working as well as training before it, and I've been using Inventor since I was a kid and there is simply no comparison.


                          Both pieces of software use parasolid as the basis of their modeling, both have a great deal of function, but Inventor has a far better implimentation. The software is more user friendly, their interpretation engine is far better at figuring out what you want to do and doing it, you get far less errors, far fewer problems than trying to do the same simple tasks in solidworks. Welding works better, Frame-generator in Inventor is superior, even simple extrusions, sweeps, lofts, coils are orders of magnitude easier and contain more features than solidworks. You get all the same precision and strengths but a far better piece of software in almost every way.


                          I'd say the only benefits of solidworks over inventor is in the motion analysis, stress analysis, thermal analysis built into solidworks works better than the autodesk versions. Solidwork's left hand panels are super useful and in depth on everything, which gives greater control over doing things in the moment, but it's options are limited and don't cover the scale of what can be done with Inventor if you know what you are doing.

                            • Re: Alternatives to Solidworks?
                              Adrian Velazquez

                              I'll stay with your closing words!


                              Christopher Sudlik wrote:


                              ... if you know what you are doing.

                              • Re: Alternatives to Solidworks?
                                Kelvin Lamport


                                If you had been using SW since you were a kid, & Inventor only 3 months, your opinion would probably be reversed.

                                  • Re: Alternatives to Solidworks?
                                    Christopher Sudlik

                                    Look I'm not out to make a battle of whose software is better. Somebody asked a question and I responded honestly. Inventor's algorithms for creating solid structures out of sketch inputs are just more powerful and less glitchy than solidworks as a matter of fact. I frequently run into glitches in SW that I know for a fact were fixed as long as 5-6 years ago in Inventor. In terms of actually making complex solid objects, inventor is absolutely superior in that regard.


                                    Solidworks is a powerful tool, and it is quite useful for many of these things. I've grown to like SW, especially as most parts are simple designs that do not require the benefits of Inventor's superior workings to be made, and SW gives us plenty of options and customization relevant to most engineering tasks, something clearly more sparse and difficult to manage in Inventor.


                                    Inventor also has a more intuitive system of views, part rotation, better immediate at your fingertips tools and powerful rapid drafting tools that allow me to work much faster than solidworks. I rectified this by getting a 12 button MMO gaming mouse and programming SW functions to the buttons, but in Inventor due to contextual shortcuts I can bind about 6x as many functions and work orders of magnitude faster with less mouse movement and less keyboard use to achieve far more part, assembly, and drafting creation. Solidworks doesn't allow contextual shortcuts, so I would have to program a half dozen mouse profiles and manually change them whenever I move between different contexts in order to take advantage of them. It is not practical.


                                    Inventor is better at figuring out closed profiles, it is better at stitching sketches and understanding how to create complex features from them, it is more flexible and throws fewer errors even when doing immensely intense tasks. But if I want to set hole and thread conditions or get into complicated drafting features then yes, SW works better for that goal.

                                  • Re: Alternatives to Solidworks?
                                    John Stoltzfus

                                    In the past one of my Co-workers was constantly typing using Inventor.  Understanding what SW can do, with the proper training, is a huge asset, especially with the Custom Properties,  Task Scheduler and the Design Journal, just to mention a few of many awesome tools that SW has to offer..


                                    "using Inventor since a Kid"  LOL

                                      • Re: Alternatives to Solidworks?
                                        Christopher Sudlik

                                        I started using Inventor in 6th grade tech class, version 8. I've used version 9, 10, 11, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 extensively. I'm presently a drafter so I spend about 80% of my time creating, editing, recreating, solid models, assemblies, and drawings, and when I used Inventor it was mostly personal use, school projects, college projects, inventions, concept parts, prototypes, etc. and the drawings required to make them. I've professional training in both sets of software as well as extensive experience in even the faintest corners of both.


                                        Inventor also has custom properties, a task scheduler, and features SW doesn't have like a quality frame generator, welds that actually work, Frame FEA, moldflow, Inventor Studio, better coil, loft, sweeped features, better 3d sketches with more options for constraining things to actual positions, etc.


                                        Since OP mentioned Stability, that is what I started with. SW crashes on me at least 4-10x per day, especially when opening old files, converting form DXF or DWG, when working with broken assemblies I've inherited, when filling in large tables, during a variety of modeling operations that the software handles poorly, such as extrusions of complex profiles, lofts, swept features, or mating complex parts in assemblies that have few flat faces. In those respects, Inventor is more stable. I don't see the reason for the hatred and superiority complex, these are tools we can use to create and do our jobs, not alters at which we worship.