Hello again good folks,
I'm continuing my exploration of Solidworks. As a product design package I'm pretty impressed so far. Have completed my first design, and it went well. Nothing too complicated -a case with various electronics in it and some rubber end caps. Built the front and rear case from one part -using different configurations for the different features (when editing a part as part of an assembly can you automatically edit only one configuration? -I seemed to need to go into the part and supress the feature I'd added in the other configuration all the time). It is with the SLA people now, and I should have some parts in my hand later this week. Once it is approved it will get tooled up for injection moulding -which brings me on to the title of this rather rambling post. Do people use Solidworks for mold design? I have had a quick run through the tutorials, and was not at all impressed. To put this in context I'm a tool designer by profession, and the move into solids is to cope with an increasing amount of product design (to make tools for later on). I have always designed tools with a surface modeler, and find this many times faster than Solidworks looks like it could ever be. From getting an IGES file to the drawings hitting the shop floor is, on average, half a day at the moment for an average part (with a complex3D split line and not too many undercut features). This seems so much easier with surfaces. Even the simple example supplied by Solidworks (the telephone handpiece) slowed my PC down to a crawl -I went to get a cup of tea while it did some functions!! Compared to most of the stuff we see that was an incredibly simple part -it all fell into line of draw, had draft on most of it, and there were no undercuts -I'd kill to see parts like that all the time
I'm not bothered by this, as I only intend to use Solidworks for product design, not tool design. I just wondered how people who did use Solidworks for tool design got on with it (perhaps, having been so negative, I should duck now).