UG vs Solidworks

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Mike,
I use Solidworks to design molds, and Mastercam to cut them. This includes molds for parts with 3D and stepped parting lines. That being said,,, you may wan't to look into some SW training, and/or purchasing an add in like SplitWorks to help you over the rough spots.
I've been using Mastercam for about fifteen years. The CAD side is very different from SW in every aspect. Allot of people get "locked in" to doing things a certain way. When their faced with a problem, they'll revert to the familiar rather than explore other options.
The main problem with SW surfacing (from my perspective) is all the tedious "hoops" you have to jump through just to get a surface to work. Seperate sketches for each element, pierce constraints, the order of the sketches, etc, are very daunting, and totally unnecessary (not to mention stupid). For me though, the benefits of mold design in solids outweighs these irritating things.
I haven't used UG in a couple of years, but the last time I did, the surfacing was far superior to either MC or SW. It's not very user friendly though, lots of clicks and options per feature. So,, I have to ask, If they go back to the comfort of Mastercam, rather than learn Solidworks, what makes you think it'll be any different with UG.
Also remember, You (or management) has to allow "time" for people to learn new things. People will allways take the quickest route when they're under the gun. There is no "magic CAD bullet", you still need to learn how to shoot
Regards
Mark
I work for a pattern shop. We build molds and pattern tooling for the foundry industry. That is our primary job focus. We also do a lot of prototype machining and some production machining. The molds we make are not standard size molds. Everyone is different and unique in some way. The is also true for the patterns we make. There are no 2 sets of tools that are identical. We have used Mastercam for many years because of the surfacing capabilities, and have also used Solidworks for the last few years for mainly assemblies and "simpler" parts. The reason we have not used Solidworks for most or all of our design work is because it has been difficult, and sometimes impossible, to get parting surfaces, and clearances the way we need. Now I will admit, that some of this may be due to user inexperience because we spend more time using Mastercam, but there are just some things that Solidworks seems to have a hard time with. We do not do a lot of part design, but when we do, Solidworks is great. The problem is when we need to take the part, either something we created from print or a imported file from the customer, and make changes to it and build the tooling from it. We seem to use derived parts and cavity features a lot but it seems to take a lot of time. We have not been able to find an effective way to make some types of tooling. Sorry to ramble like that, but here's what I really wanted to ask. First, is there anyone out there that uses Solidworks for this type of work? Can you offer me any help? And finally, many of our customers and competitors us UG. Would UG be a better system for what I need? Does anyone have any suggestions, comments? Thanks a lot for your time!!
Thanks, Mike Lambert
Reply to
MM
We just sat through a UGS NX2 presentation a couple weeks ago. It does look like it has a lot more surfacing options, but the user interface looks Archaic when compared to SWx. The demonstrator seemed like he had to click though a huge number of GUI's to get a simple thing done like a surface fill (or whatever UGS calls it...I cant remember). They are also integrating IDEAS into NX on their next revision so who knows what will happen with the user interface.
Anyway we have the same problems with surfacing as you indicate...it takes a VERY long time to do simple operations (not to mention the file sizes start to bloat after you define the numerous features to make something like a surface trim work properly).
The positive thing is that SWx SAYS they care about us "consumer product" designers and they are working to make things more robust. To their credit they have included curvature continuous control to splines and lofts in 2005 (thank you!). But that does nothing for the nuts and bolts of getting the surfacing tools to work the first time! I HATE when I have to, instead of just knitting and offsetting a surface, I have to knit one portion at a time in the right order to get the stupid surface to offset. Its like being dropped in the middle of a dense jungle with only a machete, after hacking away for hours you come to a huge cliff and then you have to hike back an try another route (only to come to another cliff).
And if they could only keep the file sizes from bloating to half a gig in some cases...sorry now Im ranting, bad me...happy pill time.
Craig
Reply to
Craig
You were looking at the wrong UGS product! You should have taken Solid Edge's surfacing for a test drive. I think you would be pleasantly surprised.
Ken
Reply to
PellaKen
Does that mean you think SolidEdge would be better? Isn't SolidEdge basically a stripped down version of UG? If I can save some money and SolidEdge has a better surfacing package then Solidworks then I would definetly take a look. In a different direction, what about PowerShape. I have heard about it in the past and was told it had good surface abilities. Has anyone used this software?
Thanks, Mike Lambert
Reply to
Mike Lambert
Mark,
Thanks for the advice. I agree with what you are saying. It is hard to juggle speed versus complete solid models. We are a small company and are constantly reminded by upper management that we need to get the job done ASAP. And since our customers are not yet asking for solid models we design the quickest way possible. Which, right now, is Mastercam. We obviously see the need to move towards all solids design, but are having the same problems everyone else has finding the best software for the job. Unigraphics seems like a good fit for design and sales. Believe it or not, we won't be able to get a new CAD software unless our sales guy agrees with it. They say that since a lot of our customers us UG it would also be a great sales tool. Here I thought small companies wouldn't have any politics. Anyway, do you know of any online training or manuals specific to molds, parting lines, offsets, clearances, draft, or taper. I have been at a few of the classes that our local reseller has offered that they said was geared towards what I need. But, they really never covered it, and when I asked the instructor he wasn't sure what I was looking for. A few years ago I was even in St. Louis for a Unigraphics training for this type of design and the instructor there had to think about it for a few days and came up with an option that took so many steps it was hard to imagine it saving me time. And then it would only work on some of the simpler designs. Thanks again for any and all help!
Thanks, Mike Lambert
Reply to
Mike Lambert
you may want to look into
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I hear people have gone to this in order to get the detail your talking about. The good thing is it runs inside SW. I would also dowload the demo and try it or call them. Its worth looking into so you will not have to spend huge money unless necessary. I have never used it so i cannot validate how good it is maybe somebody that reads this has used and can let us all know. Rocko
Reply to
Rocko
Solid Edge is a totally different product than UG. Kind of like saying "Isn't Solid Works just a stripped down version of Catia?". They just happen to be able to use each other's geometry associatively and are on the same kernel.
Ken
integrating
Reply to
PellaKen

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