Note: We are not affiliated with Solidworks in any way other than a user of their product. We just wanted to share our experiences, with the hopes to help others.
When CAD Design Company was first started, we needed to decide on a CAD program. We decided to use Solidworks for a number of reasons. It has a great user interface, it has a large user base, and it has a lot of included functionality right out of the box. Read on to learn more.
The Solidworks User Interface
Solidworks has developed a very user-friendly interface that helps new users get up to speed quickly and advanced users to work efficiently. Menus are easy to navigate with the more frequently used commands only a right click, or space bar click away. Menus can always be customized to help increase speed and efficiency. Solidworks makes it easy to comprehend complex parts and large assemblies by changing component visibility; hide, show, isolate, and transparency commands are quick and easy to use. Another powerful capability is the RealView graphics option. This allows the designer to toggle on realistic highlights and reflections. This is very important when surface modeling to for a quick look at surface quality and continuity.
The Solidworks Community
Before purchasing Solidworks, we spoke with a lot of small to medium sized design firms to see what CAD Software they were using. We found that the vast majority of them were using Solidworks as their primary CAD tool. This is what drove our decision to purchase and use Solidworks.
Proof of this large community base can be found with quick Google search. Searching for a technical issue brings up several forums of Solidworks professionals, always eager to help and show support, share best practices, and tips and tricks.
Solidworks Out-of-the-Box Functionality
Another great thing about Solidworks is it’s out of the box functionality. It has robust surface modeling capabilities. As stated on the Solidworks website; “Along with part, assembly, and 2D drawing functionality, specialized tools are included for sheet metal, weldments, surfacing, molds, product configuration, design analysis, DFM and CAM.” We’ve found that many of the features mentioned above cost extra when using other CAD software. It also has an excellent user interface makes it easy to navigate part views, commands, visibility and a lot more. It imports and exports a LOT of different file types and it plays nice with other software (in our case Keyshot).
Solidworks Technical Support
We purchase the annual subscription (maintenance) plan of Solidworks. This provides free upgrades to the software. This is important because we need to operate on the same version as our clients. Some are using the most recent version of Solidworks, while others may be a couple versions back. The subscription plan allows us to use any version of the software, so we are always able to stay in sync with out clients. The subscription service also includes technical support. The support comes from our local VAR (value added re-seller), in this case GoEngineer. In the times that we’ve needed to use this service, we’ve found them to be very responsive and have always responded the same day.
In summary, we are very pleased with our purchase of Solidworks. It has impressive out-of-the-box functionality, a very large user base, and excellent customer support. Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if we can help answer any of your questions about Solidworks, or if you have a product you would like to discuss.