Wildfire users that used to use SoliWorks

First off, my intent here is to gather opinions of past SW to Wildfire converts. I'm not saying one software is better than the other. I'd just like to hear comments on peoples experiences.

I've been a SolidWorks user for about 6 years and REALLY know the software well. I have an opportunity to work for a company that is using Pro-E Wildfire. I'm really interested in the job but one of the things holding me back is not knowing Wildfire. I have a demo of Wildfire 2 and have been going through tutorials for about a week. I have to say that compared to SW Wildfire just seems so non user friendly. I thought this was just a factor of being new to the software but the more I use it the more I find it's not a comfortable interface (for me anyway). I hate to say I wouldn't take the position based on my demo experience with Wildfire but I'm also don't want to go to work everyday with a love-hate relationship with the software (which is what I'm developing, more hate than love) So I would like to hear comments from others who have made the switch. How long did it take to get comfortable with the software? Are you sorry you made the switch? Are you glad you made the switch? Anything you can tell me about your experience would be helpful.

Thanks in advance.

Reply to
Rob Rodriguez
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My two cents worth:

It probably wouldn't qualify as being as "friendly" in most peoples' opinion, though the delta converges and switches if you were pushing SW to the ragged edge. It's mostly mindset. Learn the software, appreciate it for what it does to your liking and, well, the software hasn't yet been made that will please all the people all the time. I'm in a different boat, in that I purchased the software, so maybe that has something to do with the mindset. I switched from Inventor and it took about a month before I was comfortable enough that I felt no regrets, had no desire to start a project in IV instead of Pro.

If you were pleased as punch with SW, you'll probably be a hard convert, but if you found it lacking you might come to like working with Pro/E.

Do you have access to the PTC knowledge base? There is a slew of tutorial type "how to" articles that will help negotiate the learning curve. (Perhaps you can get a reseller to burn a bunch to CD?)

Reply to
Jeff Howard

What will you be using WF for?

I'm a WF user who has then dabled with SW and I agree the front end is easier to use [my student would love.......at first]. But its like anything else, once you've used it in anger for a couple of months the front end differences are insignificant. WF is a more powerful and versatile modeller.

If you are modelling nothing more than simple blocky fabricated/engineered parts then it will probably always be quicker and easier in SW. You don't have to push the boundaries or the form very far to appreciate the superior modelling capabilities of WF - you'll get there with SW, but you'll probably get there quicker and closer to your design intent with WF.

I think SW is an excellent piece of software, and in alot of ways it would make my job [teaching CAD/CAM] alot easier. But my first experience with it was a reasonable simple from which I had achieved very qickly with a variable section sweep on WF - I struggled with SW. I think it was a far test because I like SW.

If you going for better job/pay/conditions then the differences [particularly with WF2] are not significant.

There was an extensive comparison article by Mark Biasotti which I thought was very good - can't find the link to it now.


Reply to
Sean Kerslake

I would be using WF for modeling cast iron and sheetmetal parts. Also for the cnc end of the pattern making (for the cast parts) and for mold making of other types of parts. I agree SW does have issues when it comes to complex shapes. I've achieved very nice challenging shapes with SW but at times it could be very fustrating. I haven't had enough experience with WF to try complex shapes and surfacing yet. Thanks for your input.


Reply to
Rob Rodriguez

That's been my opinion, too. If I can do it in SW, it is probably more pleasant to do so. But I can do more in Pro. That could just be a function of my outdated SW knowledge.

I used SW 96~2000 and then went to a company using Pro/E 2000i2. I looked at it as an opportunity to extend my toolset. It's valuable to be able to work in either, especially if you do contract work as I do now.

WF goes a long way towards approaching SW usability, IMO. If you think it's unpleasant to learn, just try a previous version! It did take me a while to become comfortable working in Pro, and there are still some things that make me miss SW. For the most part, though, I think you get used to whatever package you need to use so that you can get the job done.

I wouldn't turn down a good opportunity based on the CAD system, as long as it's one that is capable and that won't lead you down a dead end career-wise. Pro/E and SW are both widely used and will likely continue to be, as will UG, Catia, and some others. Jobs requiring only AutoCAD experience are another story.

I would be more interested to learn how they are using their system--do they have a PDM or at least a file management scheme, do they have and follow modeling guidelines, do they use top-down design (skeletons in Pro)--as a way to understand what kind of company they are.

- Wallace

Reply to
Wallace White

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