pros and cons in SolidWorks

You might checkout the Solidworks forums...I've seen a couple of ex-Inventor users there. Probably a managment decision.
Igor Mironenko wrote:

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Thank you, Jason;
There is a forum on Solidworks website. However, it seems to be a problem to download the messages for off-line reading. Can you suggest anything?
Igor.
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Don't think you can.....the forum program they use is not very good.....though I think it's be replaced in the next few weeks.
Igor Mironenko wrote:

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Thanks, I will wait. It would be good to get something similar to autodesk.inventor discussion forum.
Igor.
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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 websites. - Its use doesn't violate any of the major religion's tenets, that I know of.
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 throwing star. - 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.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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 other.
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.
EdT
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