Author Topic: AutoCAD v. Solidworks - Poll  (Read 7678 times)

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Dr. After

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AutoCAD v. Solidworks - Poll
« on: January 18, 2007, 03:44:51 PM »
The only reason I am bringing this up iis because our company here has decided to go with Solidworks as they want to start using more 3D.  Now from my understanding, AutoCAD 2007 offers quite a bit of 3D modeling.  Not to mention that our database is about 80% AutoCAD already.  And these two programs aren't exactly best friends when it comes to converting files.  But if you do chose Solidworks over CAD, let me know as to why.  Thanks!
« Last Edit: January 18, 2007, 03:54:01 PM by Dr. After »

Lin-Z

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Re: AutoCAD v. Solidworks
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2007, 03:53:50 PM »
<removing reseller hat - Mine has tassels!>
If you're used to the AutoCAD interface then moving to a different software setup can be hard.  Have you looked into Autodesk Inventor?  It can import DWGs so you don't have to worry about not being able to use your older drawings.

Dr. After

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Re: AutoCAD v. Solidworks
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2007, 03:58:30 PM »
<removing reseller hat - Mine has tassels!>
Have you looked into Autodesk Inventor?

I am not making this decision.  In fact, it was made without consulting all the drafting department.  Not sure who got sold this idea, but if it was who I think it was, it was made by someone who doesn't even know how to utalize Paper Space and hasn't tried 3D in AutoCAD since probably version 14.  Bummer really...  I kinda liked where vanilla CAD was going with 3D with this last release.  They finally added some of my requests for this version, too!  Not to mention I am already using a liceanced copy, but they would rather spend money on new program that I haven't used and didn't like 5 years ago to improve my productivity.  Now, I can keep an open mind which is why I asked as to why anyone would make this choice.

Maverick®

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Re: AutoCAD v. Solidworks
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2007, 04:33:13 PM »
< Mine has tassels!>

*waits for Greg*

Cavediver

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Re: AutoCAD v. Solidworks - Poll
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2007, 04:49:33 PM »
Well, sometimes it's a toss up.
I like SolidWorks for some things, but I generally switch to AutoCAD for the detailing and prints.
What kind of work are you doing?

SDETERS

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Re: AutoCAD v. Solidworks - Poll
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2007, 04:51:29 PM »
I will pipe in with a longer message later.  Autocad is not a 3D modeling package per say.  I know yes you can model 3D in Autocad but nothing like Middle tier 3D modeling packages.  For Example Solidedge and SOlidworks.  Time to tear me up for the above message.    What are you making 3D models of?  How complicated are your parts going to get?  I like Solidworks better for translating files.  You name a 3D file solidworks can read or write to that file.  PRO-E Catia STep IGES Sat  This is what we use SOlidworks more for than anything else.  I will be back later to jot down more information.  This should be an exciting day for you.  

Birdy

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Re: AutoCAD v. Solidworks - Poll
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2007, 05:11:26 PM »
Solid Works no question (vs. vanilla ACAD)
Why?  Easy to learn IMO.  The interface takes getting used to, but once you do, it's nice.
Your VAR and their training will make the difference.  If you have a lousy reseller, well...
It really does depend on what you do though.

(Good points made there, Shane.)

Mark

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Re: AutoCAD v. Solidworks - Poll
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2007, 05:27:48 PM »
... Not sure who got sold this idea ...

That seems to happening a more frequently the past few years. I can just imagine the sales pitch these folks are making. *sigh* ( no offense Lin-Z *grin* )
TheSwamp.org  (serving the CAD community since 2003)

Greg B

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Re: AutoCAD v. Solidworks
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2007, 05:31:53 PM »
< Mine has tassels!>

*waits for Greg*

Well I HAD a clean image going for a couple of posts.

Thanks Mav.

No really.  THANK YOU!

Dr. After

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Re: AutoCAD v. Solidworks - Poll
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2007, 05:46:42 PM »
What kind of work are you doing?

Electrical, mechanical, structural and misc...  We design, detail and do specialty applications for top drives in oil rigs.

SDETERS

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Re: AutoCAD v. Solidworks - Poll
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2007, 05:59:29 PM »
Would you say the parts you design are very complicated? 
Solidworks has so many design tools which aid in design and assembly of all the parts.  Many wizards and easy to use help. 
Do you change your parts often? 

I was so hooked on Autocad until I started to Run our 3D modeling package.  I could probably not design in 2D now because I am so used to modeling. 

Josh Nieman

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Re: AutoCAD v. Solidworks - Poll
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2007, 09:37:38 AM »
Quite a silly question to me.  I'm a user of Autodesk products alone and I'm very happy this way, but you're not talking apples to apples.

You may as well have asked "Revit or Vanilla ACAD?"  of a bunch of archie's.

To rephrase... you are basically asking "Which is better: a Portable Power Saw with 3 adjustable axis angles, adjustable backstop, and a built in board stretcher... or a crosscut hand saw"

Seriously that's what it is...

Solidworks - Parametric
Autocad - Start-over-metric

'nuff said.

Cavediver

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Re: AutoCAD v. Solidworks - Poll
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2007, 12:06:37 PM »
Solidworks - Parametric
Autocad - Start-over-metric

Yeah, but sometimes that whole parametric design thing comes back to haunt you.  Sometimes it takes %50 longer to do the initial component, but you'll save way more than enough time during revisions to make that time expenditure worthwhile.  That's IF you got the design intent correct the first time.  When they come back at you with some goofy request that's way outside the original idea (ie: change this curved counter to straight, or something else that blows the whole plan), then you've wasted time.


Bob

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Re: AutoCAD v. Solidworks - Poll
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2007, 06:02:45 AM »
Horses for courses.

I was really impressed with solidworks sheet metal modeller - that could really save me time - if I made things in sheet metal.

If you design things that are unique every time, I have to agree with Cavediver - you seem to have to do a lot of things upfront with Solidworks.

Maybe I should work smarter and not design from scratch each time.

Who knows....

What I do know is that when our backs were against the wall last year and many jobs were at risk, AutoCAD came through. Talk about designing on the edge.

CADaver

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Re: AutoCAD v. Solidworks - Poll
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2007, 08:59:26 AM »
Autocad is not a 3D modeling package per say.  I know yes you can model 3D in Autocad ...
?? well is it or isn't it?

CADaver

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Re: AutoCAD v. Solidworks - Poll
« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2007, 09:03:32 AM »
What kind of work are you doing?

Electrical, mechanical, structural and misc...  We design, detail and do specialty applications for top drives in oil rigs.
It really depends on the complexity of the assemblies you'l be working on.  If there are a lot of machined parts that must be worked together like the top sheave knuckle, then Solidworks may provide an advantage.  But if you're doing the framing and support carriage for that knuckle, AutoCAD 2007 would be an excellent choice, especially if you're already running AutoCAD.

CADaver

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Re: AutoCAD v. Solidworks - Poll
« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2007, 09:06:20 AM »
To rephrase... you are basically asking "Which is better: a Portable Power Saw with 3 adjustable axis angles, adjustable backstop, and a built in board stretcher... or a crosscut hand saw"

Seriously that's what it is...
C'mon now I've used both, that's just a "little" exaggeration don't you think?

Solidworks - Parametric
Autocad - Start-over-metric
'nuff said.
Not quite, care to elaborate?

Josh Nieman

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Re: AutoCAD v. Solidworks - Poll
« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2007, 09:16:43 AM »
Horses for courses.

I was really impressed with solidworks sheet metal modeller - that could really save me time - if I made things in sheet metal.

If you design things that are unique every time, I have to agree with Cavediver - you seem to have to do a lot of things upfront with Solidworks.


I have limited experience with Solidworks, mine comes primarily from Inventor... and I have to say I'm stumped by the initial setup of a part argument... I found it no more time consuming in Inventor, once I mastered it, than it was in Autocad.  If it took longer, it was only on parts that were more constraint-driven than dimensionally-driven and I had to do the constraint dialog box so much.


Josh Nieman

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Re: AutoCAD v. Solidworks - Poll
« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2007, 09:24:01 AM »
To rephrase... you are basically asking "Which is better: a Portable Power Saw with 3 adjustable axis angles, adjustable backstop, and a built in board stretcher... or a crosscut hand saw"

Seriously that's what it is...
C'mon now I've used both, that's just a "little" exaggeration don't you think?

Yes I do think I am exaggerating a good bit there... but it's just my excitement and admiration of the whole other 'level' of designing and detailing that is available within products like Inventor and Solidworks that makes me overstate things a bit.  I have to admit that my personal preference and bias shines through a bit in my arguments, but the comparison in a more basic way, still fits, as I see it.  Power Saw vs. Hand saw maybe would have been a little more concise.

Solidworks - Parametric
Autocad - Start-over-metric
'nuff said.
Not quite, care to elaborate?

Again, it's a bit of my bias shining through, because obviously you can edit solids in Autocad.  As a structural design/drafter though, I do find myself simply starting over on many different parts of larger structures, finding it takes less time than to modify existing, now-incorrect, components.   It's the idea of autocad having nothing but simple 'dummy' solids, and Solidworks having intelligent parts.  iirc, Solidworks has something to the effect of Inventor's "iparts" for which you can quickly and efficiently tell it "ok, that W24 just got changed to a W36" and it updates, whereas in Autocad, I'd have to remodel the solid (though I have a lsp that makes quick work of it for sure) and replace all instances, then re-cope intersecting members.  I can't put it into exact terms for Solidworks, but I know in Inventor, the members to be coped you would just set to "extrude to next face" or whatever the term is... I'm a little rusty.  That was when the face changes... well then the extrusion changes, therefore automatically updating the copes.

It's things like that, that I meant to allude to in my somewhat over dramatic statements.

Cavediver

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Re: AutoCAD v. Solidworks - Poll
« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2007, 10:28:01 AM »
Solidworks - Parametric
Autocad - Start-over-metric
'nuff said.
Not quite, care to elaborate?
I'll give you 2 samples from the same project.
Two weeks ago, I drew the details for a graphic light box / plasma screen mount.  This whole thing had to be mounted on a curved wall, set off the wall by a couple of inches to allow for "halo" lighting.  With Architectural plans in hand, I started drawing. 
Example #1:  I sent the prints off to the designer for approval, knowing they were going to change.  Sure enough, I had to adjust the size and proportions of the overall item 3 times before they were happy.  With AutoCAD, I would have done simple elevations until they approved everything.  Then I could do the construction documents.  With SolidWorks, I was able to do the entire design and construction package with the wrong dimensions, and was able to to multiple sets of changes in minutes as opposed to an hour or more. 

After a site visit by our project manager, we find that the wall radius on the prints and the real world measurements do not match. 

Example #2:  I now have to change my drawings and CNC layouts.
AutoCAD:  Start over from near scratch.  Granted, it would have been faster and easier the second time.  Certain elements (plasma screen, light fixtures and graphic panels would have remained the same.  Total time guesstimate, 2-3 hours.
SolidWorks:  Changed one number in one part, all items updated and reprinted in less than 15 minutes.

Now I'm not going to sit here and tell you that SW is the best tool on the market, and that AutoCAD is useless to me as a modeling package.  No way, no how.  In fact, if I had to choose just one, it would be AutoCAD.  But...  SW has saved me a lot of time and headache over the years.  The parametric abilities allow me to design and draw projects with intent, not necessarily with hard dimensions.  That can be a huge bonus in my line of work.

Oh, and to be fair, I have more than one story that ends in "Dang, I should have just drawn this in AutoCAD..."

Josh Nieman

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Re: AutoCAD v. Solidworks - Poll
« Reply #20 on: January 22, 2007, 01:39:30 PM »
Solidworks - Parametric
Autocad - Start-over-metric
'nuff said.
Not quite, care to elaborate?
I'll give you 2 samples from the same project. []


Oh, and to be fair, I have more than one story that ends in "Dang, I should have just drawn this in AutoCAD..."

Good examples.  I've been in identical situations. 

As for the last statement, I agree partially.  I only agree because I know I've done it and said it and thought it... but for the life of me I can't remember why.  What situations prompted you to think that?

SDETERS

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Re: AutoCAD v. Solidworks - Poll
« Reply #21 on: January 22, 2007, 02:14:15 PM »
First off I would like to comment to CADaver we been through this with Autocad being a 3D modeler or not.  I know his opinion and I have my own

Software is a tool.  We want to use the best tools for the value that gets the job done period.  Does that mean if my company designs blocks and tubing and or pipes or off the shelf items that I need a high dollar modeling package?  Probably not.  On the other hand if my company designs die castings or highly complicated parts that are continuously changing and need rapid prototypes quickly I would suggest a little bit more expensive modeling package. This way I can export the 3D file out to a rapid prototype company to get my parts made. This way I skip doing 2D drawings.    But in the more expensive 3D modeling packages you can do the easy off the shelf items if need be and complicated parts.  In the cheaper cad package you can do the easy stuff but the hard stuff will take 10 to 20 times longer than the expensive package and soon as this part changes you have to start over again. 

For the people using Autocad for a 3D modeler I have a question
If your rapid prototype house will not accept stl file what type of file do you give them?  I think Autocad is terrible at this.  One can not export step, iges, or parasolid out of Autocad.  The only file one can send is a STL.  This is a tessellated file with many triangles that fit over all the surfaces. 

Thanks

Cavediver

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Re: AutoCAD v. Solidworks - Poll
« Reply #22 on: January 22, 2007, 03:00:59 PM »
Good examples.  I've been in identical situations. 

As for the last statement, I agree partially.  I only agree because I know I've done it and said it and thought it... but for the life of me I can't remember why.  What situations prompted you to think that?

Basing my parametric design on the wrong set of parameters (ie: design intent wound up being different than what I started with).  They changed a curved work counter out for a straight one, and I had used the counter arc for all of my major components.

The one thing I don't like about SolidWorks is the difficulty of "faking it" and/or doing 2D work.  We have to shuffle components around on a floorplan, and then annotate what goes where, what direction the booth points, etc.  Many times we just drop in general outlines, electrical symbols, etc. without needing absolute precision.  SW doesn't like that very much.

CADaver

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Re: AutoCAD v. Solidworks - Poll
« Reply #23 on: January 22, 2007, 06:59:09 PM »
With AutoCAD, I would have done simple elevations until they approved everything.  Then I could do the construction documents.  With SolidWorks, I was able to do the entire design and construction package with the wrong dimensions, and was able to to multiple sets of changes in minutes as opposed to an hour or more.
Your choice, but quite unnecessary 


After a site visit by our project manager, we find that the wall radius on the prints and the real world measurements do not match. 

Example #2:  I now have to change my drawings and CNC layouts.
AutoCAD:  Start over from near scratch.  Granted, it would have been faster and easier the second time.  Certain elements (plasma screen, light fixtures and graphic panels would have remained the same.  Total time guesstimate, 2-3 hours.
two to three hours because a radius changed??  Sorry, but editing solids, especially in R2007 is not that difficult.


Now I'm not going to sit here and tell you that SW is the best tool on the market, and that AutoCAD is useless to me as a modeling package.  No way, no how.  In fact, if I had to choose just one, it would be AutoCAD.  But...  SW has saved me a lot of time and headache over the years.  The parametric abilities allow me to design and draw projects with intent, not necessarily with hard dimensions.  That can be a huge bonus in my line of work.

Oh, and to be fair, I have more than one story that ends in "Dang, I should have just drawn this in AutoCAD..."
Each has a place as I pointed out to Dr. After.  The more complex an assembly, complicated die-casting mutliple machined parts, etc. the better SW performs.  Simple structures or assemblies, especially those that lend themselves to block usage, are faster overall with AutoCAD.

CADaver

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Re: AutoCAD v. Solidworks - Poll
« Reply #24 on: January 22, 2007, 07:10:44 PM »
First off I would like to comment to CADaver we been through this with Autocad being a 3D modeler or not.  I know his opinion and I have my own
do you need to see the png again??

Software is a tool.  We want to use the best tools for the value that gets the job done period. 
So does that mean you've invested thousands of dollars in multiple CAD apckages because aech package is "better" at the thing you need done than the other packages??  Or did you settle on the one that gives you the most bang for the buck??

Does that mean if my company designs blocks and tubing and or pipes or off the shelf items that I need a high dollar modeling package?  Probably not.  On the other hand if my company designs die castings or highly complicated parts that are continuously changing and need rapid prototypes quickly I would suggest a little bit more expensive modeling package.
Which was exactly my answer to the OP.

This way I can export the 3D file out to a rapid prototype company to get my parts made. This way I skip doing 2D drawings.   
That's if you need to do RP.

But in the more expensive 3D modeling packages you can do the easy off the shelf items if need be and complicated parts. 
You've never attempted doing the piping models we do with SW, I take it.  It ain't as easy as you'd think.

In the cheaper cad package you can do the easy stuff but the hard stuff will take 10 to 20 times longer than the expensive package and soon as this part changes you have to start over again. 
Ten to twenty times?? Hyperbole doesn't suit you.  Why do you have to "start over again"?  I've seen that posted a couple of times in this thread and it just ain't so.

If your rapid prototype house...
We don't do rapid prototyping of our structures or piping, so your question doesn't apply to us or, IMMHO, the vast majority of AutoCAD users.    For those that need RP, or those doing major CNC, other software would be a better choice over AutoCAD.

SDETERS

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Re: AutoCAD v. Solidworks - Poll
« Reply #25 on: January 23, 2007, 08:33:12 AM »
We don't do rapid prototyping of our structures or piping, so your question doesn't apply to us or, IMMHO, the vast majority of AutoCAD users.    For those that need RP, or those doing major CNC, other software would be a better choice over AutoCAD.
I agree! 
Quote
do you need to see the png again??
LOL I do not want to see the 3D pipe PNG again.  I get your point
Quote
You've never attempted doing the piping models we do with SW, I take it.  It ain't as easy as you'd think
Not in solidworks but in our 3D package piping is really simple to do and easy to change with parametric modeling.
Quote
Ten to twenty times?? Hyperbole doesn't suit you.  Why do you have to "start over again"?  I've seen that posted a couple of times in this thread and it just ain't so.
To a certain extent start over is so.  In Solidworks when you model something it has a history as I will call it.  So if you need to change something just go into the history change that fillet or extrude dimension and everything tied to that feature moves with it and the part updates to what you want.  I am saying parts with 100 to 500 features on them.  It is not uncommon for me to have 1000 features on one part.  Extrudes fillets lofts variational sweeps revolves and what not.


CADaver

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Re: AutoCAD v. Solidworks - Poll
« Reply #26 on: January 23, 2007, 09:10:50 AM »
Quote
You've never attempted doing the piping models we do with SW, I take it.  It ain't as easy as you'd think
Not in solidworks but in our 3D package piping is really simple to do and easy to change with parametric modeling.
With our 3D piping modeling package it's very easy to change with parametric modeling as well, using AutoCAD... and a little customization.


I am saying parts with 100 to 500 features on them.  It is not uncommon for me to have 1000 features on one part.  Extrudes fillets lofts variational sweeps revolves and what not.
And that goes straight to my comment about the complexity of the model in question and a piece like that, if it were commonplace in your products, would probably require something like SolidWorks.  However, claiming that models requiring much less complexity are somehow less than 3D models, is inaccurate.  While AutoCAD may not suit your 3D modeling needs, it suffices quite well for our 3D modeling needs.

SDETERS

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Re: AutoCAD v. Solidworks - Poll
« Reply #27 on: January 23, 2007, 09:33:54 AM »
I agree




Cavediver

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Re: AutoCAD v. Solidworks - Poll
« Reply #28 on: January 23, 2007, 09:53:47 AM »
Your choice, but quite unnecessary 
Not sure I see how that would be unnecessary.  How could (should?) I approach that differently?


CADaver

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Re: AutoCAD v. Solidworks - Poll
« Reply #29 on: January 23, 2007, 11:58:23 AM »
Your choice, but quite unnecessary 
Not sure I see how that would be unnecessary.  How could (should?) I approach that differently?
Build the model in AutoCAD, no need to do "simple elevations until they approved everything".  Build the model, DVIEW clip the appropriate views, make changes as necessary editing the solids.  It ain't rocket science.

Cavediver

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Re: AutoCAD v. Solidworks - Poll
« Reply #30 on: January 23, 2007, 12:43:48 PM »
Build the model in AutoCAD, no need to do ".simple elevations until they approved everything".  Build the model, DVIEW clip the appropriate views, make changes as necessary editing the solids.  It ain't rocket science.
When the piece changed from 6'x4'6" to 6'9"x4'3" to 6'6"X4', it seems a little excessive to edit everything several times.  Especially when a dozen rectangles (front elevation only) gets them the info that they need.

Note that I'm not trying to be argumentative here, I'm definitely interested if there's a better way.  I'm (unfortunately) self taught, and I didn't realize until recently just how much extra power I could apply with AutoCAD.  I've picked up a lot of great info here, but I'm always in the market for more.

CADaver

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Re: AutoCAD v. Solidworks - Poll
« Reply #31 on: January 24, 2007, 01:03:09 PM »
Build the model in AutoCAD, no need to do ".simple elevations until they approved everything".  Build the model, DVIEW clip the appropriate views, make changes as necessary editing the solids.  It ain't rocket science.
When the piece changed from 6'x4'6" to 6'9"x4'3" to 6'6"X4', it seems a little excessive to edit everything several times.  Especially when a dozen rectangles (front elevation only) gets them the info that they need.
How many times to you edit those rectangles?? If it's 9" longer do you not need to edit the rectangle to indicate that?
I take you are unfamiliar with SOLIDEDIT (prior to R2007)?  With it you select a face and MOVE it 3" or whatever you need, that will "fix" it in ALL views. So to accomplish the changes you've listed requires 4 instances of one command, which seems a LOT less work than redrawing anything, or doing a lot of 2D work before going to 3D.

GROSSMOE

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Re: AutoCAD v. Solidworks - Poll
« Reply #32 on: April 24, 2007, 10:13:46 AM »
Autocad is not a 3D modeling package per say.  I know yes you can model 3D in Autocad ...
?? well is it or isn't it?

I fully believe in the AutoCAD 3D and have used it for many years. I'm now at a new company that does only 2D and they want to move over to 3D but want to consider solidworks and solidedge. We design basic pump and air compressor skid units and I'm not sure which way to go. I have no firsthand knowledge of these programs and know quite well how to manipulate the AutoCAD. We fab our own units with the exception of the occasional base frame when we are too busy or the floor is too full. Is solidworks worth the money and learning curve time to make the change over? Any recommendations? Anyone?

DaveW

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Re: AutoCAD v. Solidworks - Poll
« Reply #33 on: April 24, 2007, 11:00:10 AM »
Like others have said, "It is all what you do".
Modeling buildings, from my stand point, it is a minimum 14 to 1 speed increase over solidworks.
With the addition of third party software the entire structure's cut list is measured in real time, about 1 minute, and everything can go directly to CNC. Solidworks is great program, but certainly not my choice for what I do.

Again, same goes for store fixtures. It all goes directly to CNC without any of the nonsense of parametrics and constraints. This is all possible because ACAD's programming interface is second to none.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2007, 11:08:04 AM by DaveW »

Josh Nieman

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Re: AutoCAD v. Solidworks - Poll
« Reply #34 on: April 24, 2007, 11:07:19 AM »
Again, same goes for store fixtures. It all goes directly to CNC without any of the nonsense of parametrics and constraints. This is all possible because ACAD's programming interface is second to none.

Parametric and Constraints are 'nonesense'?  That's an absurd statement.  Parametric design with constraints only allows for more fluid, efficient, controlled project work flow.  If something changes in my model, I get redlines from the engineer, whatever... revisions to an intelligent parametric, constraint driven, model in software like Solidworks or Inventor will take a FRACTION of the time as it would in vanilla Autocad.  I don't care what kind of customization you have, unless it's as extensive as a Mechanical Dekstop package... then you're not dealing with VANILLA Autocad, IMO... you've simply developed a unique, singular instance of a vertical platform that isn't accessible to anyone else, and shouldn't be considered anyways.

Also, there are just as many addons for Solidworks that allows for seamless CNC machine control code generation, so that shouldn't be an issue.  I will agree though, that Autocad's customizability is awesome.

DaveW

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Re: AutoCAD v. Solidworks - Poll
« Reply #35 on: April 24, 2007, 11:19:21 AM »
Again, same goes for store fixtures. It all goes directly to CNC without any of the nonsense of parametrics and constraints. This is all possible because ACAD's programming interface is second to none.

Parametric and Constraints are 'nonsense'?  That's an absurd statement.  Parametric design with constraints only allows for more fluid, efficient, controlled project work flow.  


I disagree. It all depends on what you do. Parametrics may be great for you, and that is fine, for me they are non-sense and completely, totally, and thoroughly a waste of time. Parametrics were created for a certain "need". Because others who were working with solid raw material, such as wood, stone, glass, etc., needed a way to get a  cut list out and no one had a way, parametrics were used to drive the drawing and create a cut list. Sure it works. You only need to be a wiz at math and have plenty of time.

This picture blow was something I modeled and posted in the ACAD newsgroup. It was a competition between Inventor and MDT I believe. I just happened to see it right after the post. I no longer have the video, as I moved my website hosting, but I did this in stock ACAD in 5 mins and posted a video to prove it. The MDT and Inventor guys responded the next day and they had it done too. I did not even understand the math behind what they did. I am sure glad it is not "required" I had no need to revise this model. Given it's symmetry, I could have just scaled it to change size. Where as the Inventor\MDT guys would change a formula. The time difference between the two, in this case, is negligible.


If something changes in my model, I get redlines from the engineer, whatever... revisions to an intelligent parametric, constraint driven, model in software like Solidworks or Inventor will take a FRACTION of the time as it would in vanilla Autocad.
This can be very true. I will give you that. Certainly if what you do is a good match for Solidworks then this is another valid point. However, because Solidworks is not the best option for me, your comment fails to address the whole story. Although it is "possible" that updating the parametric database may save me some time, as compared to what I do now to update my model, I will still create my model so many time faster then I can with a parametric software that the the difference in updating time is rather trivial. Again, this is for what I do. I tend to do one of a kind assemblies. Minor revisions are no problem. A major revision would still be faster then having to deal with the parametrics again.




I don't care what kind of customization you have, unless it's as extensive as a Mechanical Dekstop package... then you're not dealing with VANILLA Autocad, IMO... you've simply developed a unique, singular instance of a vertical platform that isn't accessible to anyone else, and shouldn't be considered anyways..

There is another way to do this stuff, you are just not aware of it. There is nothing proprietary about the objects you see. They are 100% true ACAD 3D solids. They were created that way and stayed that way the whole time. There is data attached to the objects, as xdata, which is not encrypted, such as material name, part name, part number, that can be retrieved later. Xdata is dxf compliant. Even if the solids are turned into a  dxf this data passes out. It copies when you copy the object, etc. The technology is accessible to anyone.

Solidworks is a great program. There are quite a few things that it is exceptional for and well suited for. Like many ACAD users, I find Autodek's approach to updates, what they add, etc., lacking. I am certainly no lover of the way they manage ACAD and it can really ruin my day or week, or in one case, 3 years of wasted time helping them with MDT. I have had experiences with Solidworks and their users. They also have complaints from time to time about buggy releases and the sort. There is also plenty that I do not know. Such as with MDT not supporting previous MDT assemblies created in earlier versions. This point with MDT was pretty bad. Spend all that time creating a model and then have to do it again and again every time a new MDT came out. I expect and hope that Solidworks was more responsive and understanding of that problem and created the necessary conversion tools to update their assemblies, on release of the new version, without making the customer have to wait. Note that as far as I know Autodesk not only did not have that on release, but never created them ever.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2007, 12:02:24 PM by DaveW »

Josh Nieman

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Re: AutoCAD v. Solidworks - Poll
« Reply #36 on: April 24, 2007, 12:04:20 PM »
I'm not sure you have the total idea of parametric correct.  From what I read of your posts, you seem to think that every dimension, instead of being a simple number, is some massive complex string of formulas which is rather inaccurate.

How much have you used a parametric modeling platform?  I think your opinion would change dramatically if you have used it to any degree of proficiency.

I do small, medium, and rather large structural projects in vanilla Autocad, and have done mechanical assemblies in Inventor and vanilla Autocad 2005-and-older at my last job.

An example of a parametric entry is simply "d1+12" for instance... whereas dimension #1 (represented by the variable d1) has 12 inches (or w/e) added to it to get the answer.

Therefore if d1 is 8, then d2 is 20.

If I have a revision to d1, which makes it 12, then d2 automagically updates to become 24.  Apply this to a large scale, and you begin to understand the power.  There is no need to complicate any entries beyond simple addition/subtraction/multiplication/division... no need to be a whiz with calculus, but some MINOR algebra would be helpful at times.

Each time a parametric dimension updates, it saves you many commands that Autocad would have required you to do... saves on moves, arrays, copies, solidedits (oh god it saves on SO much time wasted using solidedit commands)

Basically you can create the initial model in a manner that gives it some of the intelligence you have regarding design intent.  For instance, say I have a wall that is 8'-0" tall.  There is a partition next to it that has no height requirement, other than being 12" shorter for various reasons.  Well the plate height needed to be modified to 8'-6", let's say.

In Autocad, you would probably: Solidedit, to extrude the main wall 6" higher, then extrude the partition another 6" higher.
In Inventor, you would change the 8' dimension, to 8'-6" and the shorter wall automatically updates to be 7'-6" because you told it to be 12" shorter than the main wall... you didn't tell it to be 7'-6"

Obviously a small example, but I'm sure you can see how that compounds.

Josh Nieman

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Re: AutoCAD v. Solidworks - Poll
« Reply #37 on: April 24, 2007, 12:08:40 PM »
and by the way, those are some pretty nice looking models!  Looks like some fun projects to work on.

DaveW

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Re: AutoCAD v. Solidworks - Poll
« Reply #38 on: April 24, 2007, 12:56:59 PM »
Thanks Josh. They are not all mine.


I advised Autodesk for 3 years on MDT. They created the equation assistant based on their understanding of my needs. From I was told, the equation assistant cost more then they had spent on Inventor to that date. It was released in MDT 6, but never really finished. I was very unhappy about what they created and their final understanding, and the lack thereof, and that it was finished to have a few more little pieces of code that would have made it quite a bit better.

I found that it was faster, for me, to just make/edit every solid one at a time to make a 3D solid model and update it for changes AND measure every solid by hand and type it in excel, then to use any parametric software.

With that said, I have since automated the measuring and the changing of sizes of the assemblies is done with a software that I bought the source code to. It stretches 3D solid model assemblies (multiple 3D solids at the same time). Parts that need to stretch will stretch and parts that need to move will move. No constrains at all.
It is important to note that it was still faster to do it all in stock ACAD from the get go. Just so you know, you mentioned having an app as powerful or more then MDT, that source code I bought crushed MDT in the Detroit area when MDT was released. I have offered to sell it to Autodesk for ACAD, so it would be a stock item for everyone, but they did not seem interested. I would be very happy if ACAD's stock abilities were able to stretch multiple solids at the same time. Also, this code was released before the solidedit commands. I am of the opinion that Autodesk actually copied its functionality or used it as a template, when they created the solidedit commands. Even before I had this code and knew of its existence, I rarely used solidedit. If I need to make a solid bigger it was copy and union. It's six to one and 1/2 dozen to the other. I am pretty fast at doing that. so extruding or moving a face is the same time to me. I am very glad I do not need to do it to 500 2x4's to make a floor 12" taller. :)

I have to get some work done, have a great one.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2007, 01:01:50 PM by DaveW »

Josh Nieman

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Re: AutoCAD v. Solidworks - Poll
« Reply #39 on: April 24, 2007, 01:09:53 PM »
Dang... that software addition you have sounds like it eliminates all the time-bogging problems I have with standard Autocad solid editing!!  That's awesome!  That's EXACTLY what Autocad should have, if it is to become a decent 3d modeling package as it advertises itself to be!

I can see how you would prefer your package to any parametric software out there, now.