Real World Solidworks Review
January 24, 2019

Real World Solidworks Review

Floyd Finch | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with SOLIDWORKS

Solidworks is used as our primary design tool for the development of large articulating gangways, powered elevating safety cages, platforms, etc. The parametric capabilities give us a faster design cycle time and more accurate shop floor drawings. Previously, we were using AutoCAD LT and all work was done in 2D with the bill of materials counted by hand & any changes to a single part required a redraw of every instance of that part in a given drawing set.
  • Ease of 3D modeling; in all honesty, no other modeling software is as easy to learn for basic 3D modeling.
  • Once your users learn the basics the program offers extremely advanced parametric capability to design large complex systems & make changes to them quickly.
  • My 2 favorite features are the use of configurations & design tables to customize an initial design to work in different scenarios.
  • Make certain that you implement protection for parts & assemblies you don't want changed when breaking in new users. It's great to be able to quickly change the design of a single part and have every instance of it automatically changed. Just make sure everyone knows how not to do this when you don't want to do it.
  • It will crash occasionally, especially when working with large assemblies, even when in large assembly mode. Save often and set up your autosave to protect your work. This problem is much better than in previous years.
  • The required annual subscription is not something I am fond of on any software.
  • Faster design cycle time.
  • Reduced design & drawing errors on large jobs
  • Unfortunately, not all of our drafters/detailers seem to be able to make the transition to 3D. There's still a lot of .dwg translation that has to be done for them & for the production crew.
Solidworks & Inventor are actually pretty evenly matched in terms of design & modeling capability. I will say in my experience that Solidworks is easier to learn the basics of 3d modeling on but at the advanced level both are very capable pieces of software. Inventor has the advantage of easier native .dwg interoperability so if your company is really set up for AutoCAD it might be worth looking at. Of course, a number of advanced CAM programs can work directly from Solidworks models. If you're not tied to the .dwg as your sole drawing standard then Solidworks might be the way for you to go.
Solidworks is especially suited for the design of moving mechanical assemblies, allowing you to design & test for function. Weldments & sheet metal parts are easy to draw. If you have or need to design multiple variations of the same equipment, weldments or structure without changing your original design it can handle that very well. For actual detail drawings for the shop floor, it works well, but users of AutoCAD will have a bit of learning to do because of the differences in the commands, use of blocks, etc.