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View Full Version : Who uses what cad program?



rebel
01-13-2011, 08:59 PM
My QCAD crashed and I need help to get a new program.
So I thought we could talk about pluses and minuses of CAD programs.
And to help me pick my next CAD program, LOL.

DresnerRobotics
01-13-2011, 09:08 PM
Autodesk Inventor all the way here. It does everything I need and more. If you're a student (or have access to a .edu email address) it's free.

elios
01-13-2011, 09:09 PM
I use solidworks free student 150 day license. My father set up the main distributor down in Australasia so I just keep asking for new ones :)

It is an awesome program, recently invested in a commerical license too.

[edit] Tybs, no. just no. autodesk = bad

rebel
01-13-2011, 09:15 PM
Tyb how do I get that as a student, I am, and I heard that is the best.
Do you think it is?

lnxfergy
01-13-2011, 09:19 PM
Tyb how do I get that as a student, I am, and I heard that is the best.
Do you think it is?

http://students.autodesk.com/

I'm also an Inventor user -- although I don't dare start a debate over which is "best" -- a lot of it depends on personal preference (kinda like programming languages). Either Inventor or Solidworks will get the job done. Note though, that full 3d parametric modeling is a big step up from QCad, and there is a bit of a learning curve (although there is a whole set of tutorials in Inventor, I'm sure SolidWorks has the same).

-Fergs

rebel
01-13-2011, 09:23 PM
OK, do not mean to do this, but which one is easier.
And can either convert from one type of file to another?

DresnerRobotics
01-13-2011, 09:33 PM
I use solidworks free student 150 day license. My father set up the main distributor down in Australasia so I just keep asking for new ones :)

It is an awesome program, recently invested in a commerical license too.

[edit] Tybs, no. just no. autodesk = bad

Actually I have a full license to Solidworks and am rather proficient in it as well (I used to do server management for a company that used both, and was given developer licenses to each). Anyone who has at least a modest amount of modeling experience knows they're both solid programs, neither is 'bad'. I just simply prefer to work with Autodesk, they're both very similar in function though.

Care to provide an educated explanation as to why you prefer one over the other? Or is this simply fanboy bias?

Quantum
01-13-2011, 09:37 PM
Pro E, Solidworks, MasterCam, & Autodesk. For the most part they can convert into each other but requires a few steps. Its a problem if the versions don't match up. That is the case usually. If your a student go the Autodesk route Solidworks would be ideal my opinion. You can always up convert from a dxf/dwg file. My choice is solidworks then autodesk. I use autodesk to create files for my cnc mill.

lnxfergy
01-13-2011, 09:37 PM
OK, do not mean to do this, but which one is easier.
And can either convert from one type of file to another?

You can often convert between different CAD programs, but the models often become "dumb blocks" as you lose the parametric aspects.

-Fergs

Quantum
01-13-2011, 09:43 PM
"Dumb blocks" is dead on you can look at them but you cant change them.

Edit: I would say larger assemblies are difficult to work with but ex: a file from autocad a 2d file can be converted into solidworks and made into 3d form within a few sec. I prefer these two.

elaughlin
01-13-2011, 09:44 PM
I love Autodesk Inventor so far. I had no CAD experience before, and now live on Autodesk for at least a few hours a day. I got it free for a year with a student license. And just used the tutorials and figuring a little on my own. Never used solidworks, but I did try Alibre, and it was just difficult to use and not consumer friendly I feel. I would definitely suggest Autodesk to anyone.

elios
01-13-2011, 10:10 PM
Having used inventor and solidworks, I feel that solidworks is more user friendly, and that often there's more than one way to do something. Just my 2c.

airuno2l
01-14-2011, 02:51 PM
I've used probably 7 or 8 CAD programs, my favorite ones are Solidworks, Solid Edge, and Alibre Design in that order. Alibre Design is really cheap, and can do just about anything you would ever need (for hobby stuff). But if price doesn't matter, Solidworks just can't be beat in my opinion. I will definitely advise against ProE because usability is extremely lacking, and Google Skecthup, because it lacks very important features.

I'm a professional mechanical engineer and about 20% of my work is using a CAD program (Solidworks)

DresnerRobotics
01-14-2011, 03:36 PM
The design classes I took in college were based around ProE, and I agree entirely. Even from an Inventor/Solidworks background it was horrible to try to pick up, if anything my previous experience with those made it stand out as harder to use.

tician
01-15-2011, 10:44 PM
Count mine as yet another voice against ProE. Very annoying user interface especially when you want to make a change more than a few steps back in the object's creation. I have encountered way too many warnings, errors and deleted models to ever use it again unless absolutely necessary.

Not a CAM/CAD program, but Algor/FEMPRO is another program to avoid if you're into FEM/FEA. Again, pretty bad user interface and too many crashes during exams while trying to export images of analysis results.

Xevel
01-15-2011, 11:54 PM
I use CATIA V5 from times to times to design some robot parts.
I haven't really had the occasion to try other CAD software, so I can't give any user experience comparison...

It's a behemoth, yet as long as you stick to the basic functionalities (part design, assemblies, and maybe Kinematics and Finite-Element Analysis) it's quite easy to use.

The STL Rapid Prototyping tool outputs nice optimized meshs for 3D printing, eliminating any need for further processing before use.

I have no idea how much it costs, but i'm pretty sure it ain't cheap :/

iamscottym
02-11-2011, 08:49 AM
I have used ProE, Solidworks, Inventor and NX(Unigraphics). I greatly prefer NX. It makes it very easy to link dimensions and draw parameters in from an outside program. FEA is wonderful in NX and generating toolpaths is second only to MasterCAM. Of course its about 4x more expensive than Solidworks. The full license is something like $20,000.

jdolecki
02-11-2011, 08:35 PM
Try IronCad.

Easy to use and does 3d

Amp
02-12-2011, 02:27 AM
I use Alibre Design, I find it good now I have got the hang of. I purchaced as it was the best affordable CAD package I found, £100 compared to £1000-£3000 a year.

billyzelsnack
02-12-2011, 10:41 AM
I would say the latest version of Alibre is finally "usable." However the company is so incredibly sketchy. They are constantly changing what is included in their product as well as their price point. The also seem to regularly piss off the companies they license components of their software from. For instance I no longer have the FEA that is supposed to be included in my Expert version while Alibre scrambles to come up with an alternative. Guess what they told me to do? Go use the 30 day trial version of Algor Design Check in the mean time. Which is funny because that's what I supposedly bought with my Expert packge. Same thing happened with the photo realistic renderer about 6 months back. Oh. One other thing.

sarendt
02-14-2011, 12:13 AM
I'm going with solidworks mostly as it is what is used at my job, though I don't have access to it at work, that might change as I show that I am capable of using it. I'm working through the tutorials currently.