SOLIDWORKS is a solid choice for rapid prototyping and 3D printing CAD
March 16, 2020

SOLIDWORKS is a solid choice for rapid prototyping and 3D printing CAD

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with SOLIDWORKS

I first used SOLIDWORKS nearly 20 years ago (!!) while earning my engineering degree, and then later in my engineering consulting work. After a break of a few years, I've returned to using SOLIDWORKS for personal/entrepreneurial use, primarily for 3D printing of custom parts for radio-controlled aircraft.

The highly intuitive, visual UI and seamless backend integration into my 3D printing workflow, meant that alongside my familiarity from my earlier career, it was the obvious choice.
  • Highly visual and intuitive UI--my 10-year-old son can use it to create complex designs!
  • Has very wide integration of CAD to all the other things you'd use CAD for (fluid dynamics, stress testing, CNC, 3D printing).
  • It has very useful presentation modes to be able to present working concepts.
  • Resource hungry (but then you should expect that!)
  • So full-featured that sometimes it's a little confusing
  • Community support is vibrant, but could benefit from more structure.
  • Massive increase in productivity from paper to 3D printed model in a few hours
  • Workflow was painful it's not...time is money!
I chose SOLIDWORKS after trying a few open-source solutions. They were great, however sometimes lacked in a few vital areas, in a way that a commercial, well-funded product shouldn't. Given my previous familiarity and confidence with SOLIDWORKS, I didn't bother looking any further!
Great docs and in-software guidance. Community/online content also good, but would love to see more structure to it!

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In my mind, whilst it's understandably expensive (for the commercial versions), SOLIDWORKS is the leading CAD software on the market. I would recommend it for all engineering students, anyone who wants to be able to quickly prototype an idea and then test it out (whether that is visually or via integration with CFD/stress testing software). This is the real deal.