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BillH
07-27-2006, 11:48 PM
Oh man, I LOVE this program!!! It is like every erector set, every lego set, and everything else in the world combined into a limitless giant sand box of AWSOMENESS!
Really, I downloade the MIT intro pdf to it and I am already doing things I could only dream about doing few days ago. It's like I can test out what ever I machine before I machine it!
Yeh, I FOUND my cad program, woohooo.
Oh yeh, I also welded today with my uncles mig, fun fun fun.

stuntrunt
07-28-2006, 07:02 AM
You'll really love it when you start adding on the databases for fasteners, standard sheetmetal components , etc. ...
The e-drawings thingy is wonderful as well. especially if you're not working on a project alone.
Are you going to use it for cnc machining? If yes, What CAM will you use?

pgp001
07-28-2006, 08:06 AM
I get to play with it all day every day.

Sorry ignore that.
What I should have said was my company has insisted that I use it to carry out my everyday job as a design engineer.

I'm still like a kid with a new toy though !!

Phil

Wirecutter
07-28-2006, 10:23 AM
Bill -
What version are you working with?

I'm curious about this one, since I've used AutoCad and it's a bit of a hassle sometimes, and SolidWorks gets good reviews. Dare I ask what the limitations are for the student version? It seems to be a pretty pricey package - what kind of $$ would be required to get going with a basic 3D drawing setup? Thanks.

-Mark

Evan
07-28-2006, 11:36 AM
Dare I ask what the limitations are for the student version?

It appears the most significant limitation is this:


Twenty-four (24) month term-of-use license

http://www.solidworks.com/pages/products/edu/studenteditionsoftware.html

winchman
07-28-2006, 01:33 PM
" I downloaded the MIT intro pdf ..."

Where/how do you do that?
Roger

Wirecutter
07-28-2006, 03:16 PM
It appears the most significant limitation is this:



http://www.solidworks.com/pages/products/edu/studenteditionsoftware.html
Uh, that's not bad at all. Consider how often you're supposed to upgrade the latest version of Windoze or micro$oft orifice, and how much it costs.(Not that it makes me happy to be nagged about upgrading every couple of years.)

If that were the only limitation, I will have no problem buying a new $125 "student edition" every 24 months. I'm sure I'm not alone in this regard, and that's why I suspect there are more onerous limitations as well.

-Mark

Peter N
07-28-2006, 03:39 PM
Thats a very good price, depending of course on how function limited it is.

I pay £1250+ in the UK for annual maintenance on Solidworks Office Professional, and I'm trying to decide whether to cary on with this and upgrade from 2006 to 2007.

My biggest gripe is the lack of backwards file compatibility.

Peter

lazlo
07-28-2006, 07:18 PM
Oh man, I LOVE this program!!! It is like every erector set, every lego set, and everything else in the world combined into a limitless giant sand box of AWSOMENESS!

How the heck can you afford it? It runs $3,995 for a single seat license, with a mandatory subscription service of $1295/year.

In order to purchase the student license, you have to be actively enrolled in an acredited educational institution (many community colleges won't qualify, according to the contract on SolidWorks' web page).

I've been using Alibre (the enhanced version for the first 100,000 early enrollees) and it's pretty good, but it doesn't compare to SolidWorks. Then again, I can be pretty forgiving for a $4,000 difference :)

I also have, and hate, TurboCAD 9/10.

mochinist
07-28-2006, 08:28 PM
How the heck can you afford it? It runs $3,995 for a single seat license, with a mandatory subscription service of $1295/year.

In order to purchase the student license, you have to be actively enrolled in an acredited educational institution (many community colleges won't qualify, according to the contract on SolidWorks' web page).

I've been using Alibre (the enhanced version for the first 100,000 early enrollees) and it's pretty good, but it doesn't compare to SolidWorks. Then again, I can be pretty forgiving for a $4,000 difference :)

I also have, and hate, TurboCAD 9/10.haha solid works can be had for free if you are so inclined to search it out, I'm not saying billh did that though:D

BillH
07-28-2006, 08:59 PM
Student edition :)
As for CNC, You know that is the ultimate goal after I'm completely done with school, have my own house and workshop and can dump money into toys.

For the CAM end of things, since I am a major fan of LINUX it would be EMC, what the sherline stuff uses. As for converting the G-code, i'll worry about that when the time comes, lol.
Im running version 2006. Sorry for the late reply, I couldnt get onto the server for most of the day.
As for the MIT intro pdf(It contains the built in tutorials of 2006 but much more detailed and meant for 2001 but works just fine with 2006)
You can get it here http://pergatory.mit.edu/2.007/software_tools/SolidWorks/SolidWorks_Tutorial.pdf

nheng
07-28-2006, 11:45 PM
Aside from being illegal and unethical (certainly for commercial purposes), many of todays software packages phone home ... or have a broadband pipeline, passing either statistical, license or other information.

Qualifying as a student isn't that big of a deal, especially if your course load is heading you toward status as a future customer :)

I use SolidEdge at work and we also have SolidWorks. Both have similar capabilities. Both are extremely habit forming when it comes to having parts appear before your eyes and then having 2D or 3D fab prints just about fall out of them.

One of them used to have a $495 lite version a few years back and I was sad to see it go. There are home licenses now which work out nicely if you need a home seat to catch up on your day work or whatever comes along ;)

bobw53
07-28-2006, 11:45 PM
I've looked at Solidworks and Solidedge. I've only really used Solidworks, and done a webcast of Solidedge. Guess where Solidworks gets their engine/kernal from? Solidedge is almost the same thing and it is a heck of lot cheaper.

I was talking to one of the corporate solidege people and she told me "we prefer you buy Solidedge, but if you buy solidworks we get paid anyways".

I'm not saying one is better than the other, but solidedge was less than half the price and no mandatory maintainance/service agreement.

nheng
07-28-2006, 11:54 PM
I believe that our seats of SolidEdge are in the $4k to $6k range each and thought SolidWorks was about the same but I could be wrong on that. SolidEdge annual maintenance is something like $1600 (not sure if this was total or per seat). The SolidEdge gets used heavily while the SolidWorks is maintained for sustaining work only. The SolidEdge seems to get the job done more easily and has a powerful resource manager (revision control, drawing tracking, etc.).

BillH
07-29-2006, 12:08 AM
If I ran a software company that did CAD programs, I would make my full featured cad program completely free to all students and hobbyists and charge the piss out of the buisness licenses.
What would happen is that everyone in school would learn my program because of the cost and employers would have an easy time finding workers who know it and wouldn't think twice to adapt my program and the rest is history. Ofcourse my program would really have to be the cats meow, so far I think solid works is.
Nheng, yes, programs do phone home but only if you let them thru the firewall.
Im going to set a drop all rule on the linux firewall for outgoing connections and only allow my linux box access to the net. Not because of any legal reasons but because Im sick of all the damn spy ware on windows. Linux is nice since it uses file ownership, no viruses spreading to other files. I want to preserve this computer only for cad/photoshop and my games.

John Stevenson
07-29-2006, 02:38 AM
If I ran a software company that did CAD programs, I would make my full featured cad program completely free to all students and hobbyists and charge the piss out of the buisness licenses.
What would happen is that everyone in school would learn my program because of the cost and employers would have an easy time finding workers who know it and wouldn't think twice to adapt my program and the rest is history.

That's what happened with Autodesk and Autocad.
They removed the dongle in the US knowing full well it would get ripped of.
So what, most of the people ripping it off weren't going to buy a copy anyway so they lost no money.
What did happen and history proves this, is that it got more exposure and more people trained on it to put it number one.

It wasn't a better program, just better marketing.

At the point that Bill's at now is a very important one because of the learning curve.
Once you get hooked on a program you are locked into it.
Later on if you aren't happy with the way the program is going making a change to another program is hard because of having to replicate the learning curve and the legacy drawings you have.

For the home user cost is a big issue and the support issues can be expensive, $1200 to $1600 per year whether you use support or not isn't funny.
Some programs charge support some don't.

There are many programs out there doing roughly the same job. Solid Works, Solid Edge, Alibre, Ashlar Vellum and a few more all in the same ball park..

One that is interesting is one called Cadmax.
http://www.cadmax.com/

Now on offer at $295 with no yearly support.
This and Alibre are well worth looking at, they lack some features of the bigger boys but they also lack the same price tags.

.

pgp001
07-29-2006, 05:02 AM
John

As far as I know the dongle is going to be dropped with SW 2007, the licence agreement will cover use of the software by an employee at work, and they can also have it installed at home to practice on.

I assume the software will need some sort of online activation for each installation.

Phil

Scatterplot
07-29-2006, 06:00 AM
So what is the difference in SolidEdge and SolidWorks? My school is currently using SolidEdge, although just barely (don't get me started on my gripes on the CAD stuff...). Am I missing anything?

John Stevenson
07-29-2006, 06:55 AM
Sorry I can't comment on the differences as I don't use either in anger but I gather they are slight and at a more advanced level.
I believe one difference is the way fillets are merged into surfaces and the way CAM packages interpret them.

I have an old copy of Solid Edge V11 I think and the free Origin program but never used Solid Works.

My son drives Solid Edge V18, latest issue, everyday designing heat exchangers but he's never used solid Works either.

.

Zuesdawg
07-29-2006, 01:42 PM
I use solidworks. I really enjoy being able to build something virtually and sharing ideas with others before wasting scrap. Great to play around with once you get your interchangeable part library together. Beats watching TV :D Heres what happens when you get bored with SW and have an old Suzy motor laying around
http://www.chopperweb.net/gallery/data/533/796motor_CW.jpg

lazlo
07-29-2006, 01:49 PM
Qualifying as a student isn't that big of a deal, especially if your course load is heading you toward status as a future customer :)

It is if you have a full-time job and can't afford the time to attend an accredited Community College class every 2 years to get a discount on SolidWorks.

By the way, is it legal, according to the terms of the Solidworks license, to use it at home?

Peter N
07-29-2006, 02:19 PM
By the way, is it legal, according to the terms of the Solidworks license, to use it at home?

Yes it is, and they actually state this in the (printed) terms of use that come with it. But only if you are the sole or main user of the software.
I use mine for business (www.onepoint6.co.uk) and then take the dongle home to use it. If you have multiple licenses you can 'borrow' a license for a limited period, for instance to install and use it on a laptop as well.

Peter

mayfieldtm
07-29-2006, 03:03 PM
I’m worried...

I've just been informed that I will need to learn SolidEdge for work and they will need me to come up to speed sooner than later.

AutoCAD will no longer be supported or allowed.

Any comments on the Learning Curve for SolidEdge for a person with extensive AutoCAD experience?

In design work, I rely heavily on the tools in AutoCAD such as the 'Snap-To' tools and Offset and Fillit and Extend and Trim and and and.
Does the 2D portion of SolidEdge have these same type capabilities?

Tom M.

BillH
07-29-2006, 03:34 PM
I’m worried...

I've just been informed that I will need to learn SolidEdge for work and they will need me to come up to speed sooner than later.

AutoCAD will no longer be supported or allowed.

Any comments on the Learning Curve for SolidEdge for a person with extensive AutoCAD experience?

In design work, I rely heavily on the tools in AutoCAD such as the 'Snap-To' tools and Offset and Fillit and Extend and Trim and and and.
Does the 2D portion of SolidEdge have these same type capabilities?

Tom M.
Solid Works has a built in tutorial just for people migrating from auto cad.

pgp001
07-29-2006, 06:41 PM
Once you learn how to use 3D cad (and it won't take as long as you think) you will soon realise just how much Autocad has been holding you back, I was an Autocad user for many years and recently have had to learn Solidworks, it's like a breath of fresh air, you will love it.

Dont worry about trying to emulate things you used to do in Autocad, it will not help you at all in 3D, the final drawings pretty much look after themselves once your models and assemblies are done correctly.

I have our system set up with standard company drawing borders and templates, and within about a dozen mouse clicks I can have a detailed drawing ready to issue to production.
I was a bit worried when I first found out I was going on the 3D course, but if they told me I had to go back to Autocrap now, I would be looking for a change of employer so I could stay on 3D.

Phil

nheng
07-29-2006, 10:09 PM
Mayfieldtm, Remember where everything is that you need in Autocad? Now just forget it for SolidEdge ;) My Autocad experience goes back to R13 and only a light user at that. Moving to SolidEdge was an experience as things were not where I hoped they would be. Knowing what tasks I wanted to perform, the SE tutorials started to bring things together. In a few days I had a few parts produced but have to say it was more like a month before I felt more at ease with it.

Stick with 512MB of ram as minimum, 1GB preferrable.

The functions you mention are simple and not that different from AutoCad. All of the snaps are there and automatically activate a small icon (end of segment, center of segment, quadrants, tangents, etc.). Trimming and extending is also simple.

One thing that drove me nuts is that across 3 or 4 SE revisions, I think they changed all the tool icons 3 times. What a PITA but like anything, it only takes a short time to relocate your tools :)

Dropping out 2D drawings is pretty easy and the drawing tracker makes sure that your 2D and solid model match. On the solid model, you can place specific constraints on features or their locations or allow constraints based on the way you built it using snaps.

Assemblies are pretty cool. You drag the part intended as the base part onto the assembly from a vertical file bar. You can then add whatever parts make up the assembly and have total control over the constraints which place them or you can wing it (not recommended). The constraints for a bolt, for instance, might be coaxial constraint with the mating bore, surface mating between the bottom of the bolt head and the mating part surface.

You'll be fine ... and even better off because you're not using something that was nursed over the years all the way from DOS. I first bought Autocad at version 2.0 and although it's come a long way, others have come farther ... and to be fair I think the later versions of Autodesk Inventor would have to be included here. I've heard good things about that package but have neither used it nor even seen it in action.

Den

BillH
07-29-2006, 11:35 PM
WHOLY COW, The sheetmetal tools are AWSOME!!!!! k factors, bend allownances, mitered cuts, you make the part folded then solidworks will unfold it and you can spit out 2d drawings like NOTHING!!!!!!

I just made a plastic mold too!!!! IT even does analysis to see if your drafts are set right!!! Ok, I didnt try out the analysis part but I see it there in the program!
Hahaha, I have yet to play with weldments or 3d sketching, 3d sketching is next!

lazlo
07-30-2006, 11:07 AM
Yes it is, and they actually state this in the (printed) terms of use that come with it. But only if you are the sole or main user of the software.
I use mine for business and then take the dongle home to use it.

Ah, I didn't know Solidworks used a dongle -- that's why they're lenient about home use.

I work at a major microprocessor company, and we have site licenses (i.e., no dongles) for all the Cadence/Synopsis/Mentor tools, but their licenses specifically preclude home use of the CAD software. Similarly, we have site licenses for all the Microsoft software, but we're not allowed to bring copies home. In fact, its an instant termination offense in both cases.

Jpfalt
08-06-2006, 12:39 AM
The US version of SolidWorks doesn't use a dongle. It's just the furriners that have to use it.

I started with Autocad back with version 2.17 in 1985 and used it up through version 2001. Then I switched to SolidWorks 2003 and haven't looked back since. The biggest difference I see is that AutoCad started as a 2D drafting program which was extended by extrusions, rotations and sweeps to become a 3D program. I always had a heck of a time with twitchy fillets that should go, but just wouldn't.

Solidworks started asa 3D modeller which was extended into generating 2D drawing representations. I love it, but up through 2006, SP4.1, the fillets are still a bit twitchy.

I have also tried SolidEdge and Alibre. Both are very similar to SolidWorks, but with fewer built in bells and whistles. Both are catching up with SolidWorks.

My biggest problem with SolidWorks is the enforced updating to the latest version. At present, if you run 2006, you cannot send a 3D Model or a drawing to someone running 2005 unless you send it as an IGES, parasolid or DXF file. Supposedly SolidWorks will allow some limited saves to older versions, but it's not clear when they will do it.