This question is incomplete. As others have pointed out, it depends on what
your use is for the application.
In strictly abtsract terms, the pro's include:
- It is small and lightweight; easy to store and pack.
- It's many icons can be captured via screen shots to be used decorating
- Its use doesn't violate any of the major religion's tenets, that I know
Some of the con's are:
- It has no nutritional value; it is worthless in times of famine.
- The CD could, theoretically, be modified into some kind of lethal Ninja
- It creates CAD models but then leaves CAD chips all over your hard drive,
which then need to be cleaned off with a special CAD chip brush.
This is a frequently asked question. Following, is a slightly
different perspective on selecting CAD Software.
What I have seen over the years is that what ever the latest CAD
technology is, that in the early versions that there are lots of bugs.
And as the software matures, the bugs, file bloat, speed, and generally
the effectiveness of the software improves. Not only do they improve
but the competing packages general approach the capabilities of each
As a conclusion to all of this, the first point is not to purchase a
software package that is less then 10 major versions into their
development. SW and Inventor have both passed this mile stone. With
SW being a couple of years ahead of Inventor. Not that either of them
are perfect but the usability of them are both fairly reasonable now.
I don't know about the version level of ProE. But, just by shipping a
new version does not constitute a "major version", (in my perspective).
I was surprised to hear that one fellow thought so highly about ProE.
Of all the folks that I know from our user group that have had
experience with both ProE and SW I have never heard any feel so
positively about ProE and what little that I have seen from ProE, it
seemed to be still fairly immature, (the latest version).
If you accept that it is true that the functionality of the software
between different packages tends to merge as each package becomes
mature then there are a few things to consider: 1) compatability of
vendors, shops and other resources. 2) Total investment which
includes the purchase cost, the equipment required cost and the
engineering cost to learn the software, (probably the biggest expense).
3) Availability of support and help is also fairly important. If you
have a freind or two that can answer quick questions this can be quite
valuable, reguardless of the package. In my case SW is the winner for
each of these categories. I believe that SW is at least twice as easy
to learn as Inventor and I have never heard anyone brag about how easy
it is to learn ProE, even ProE users.
But, of all of the issues mentioned there is one other that I place
above all the rest. And this is the company behind the product. If
the company does not have an attitude of becomming successful by first
making thier clients successful then over the years it is going to cost
you nothing but time and money and trouble. One of the reasons why I
switched from Invenor to SW was because Autodesk fairly consistently
demonstrated that their bottom line was important and what the users
thougth was not. On the other hand, I have been fairly pleased with
SW's response the their user base. Not that they have listened to
every suggestion but they have been fairly responsive to the user base.
As far as the other cad developer companies, such as ProE it really
makes me nervous that they were selling their software for $40,000 when
SW and Autodesk were in the $5,000 range. ProE has come down
considerably but it took them several years to see the light. I'm not
sure that they see that both the company and the user base must both be
successful for all of us to stay in business.
I can't answer therse questions for others, especially when it comes to
how some company will respect their users but so far I have found SW to
be fairly consistent.
BTW, there are probably three important reasons why some people have
troulbe with SW locking up and not handling very big assemblies: 1)
The wrong drivers, especially the video driver. 2) Operating over a
network which has not been set up properly. 3) Developing models with
bad practices, (one of these being the mixing of mates between parts,
assemblies and sub-assemblies).
Hope this helps.
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