Author Topic: AutoCAD v. Solidworks - Poll  (Read 7681 times)

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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.