catia vs ?

Little help? I am a ID consultant 20 years in the business, past 6 of which have been managing other designers I am about to make the jump into 3D myself and have looked into several options. I like what I see in Ashlar-Vellums Cobalt and 3ds Catia, both have a hybrid type of approach to the solid and surface model, but I can’t justify the 12K difference. Anyone out there with hands on experience using these, I would like your input.

i haven’t worked with any ashlar products.i use catia right now and i think it’s a very good program if you have a fast, reliable computer. i also prefer solidworks over any other program like inventor, solid edge or pro/e. i used to work with pro/e, it had some surfacing and large assembly advantages at the time compared to solidworks, but right now i think solidworks is better because it’s faster and surfacing has improved a lot. if i want to do really complex surfacing though i prefer catia. its tools for part/assembly design are really good too. the main advantage with catia is that it gives you a lot of options for higher level design which other programs don’t even have.

i think the stealth doesn’t fly so fast. just much more invisibly to detection by radar compared to other fighters in the u.s. arsenal.

you can’t break the sound barrier quietly, which is why we don’t have concordes flying between l.a. and n.y., and that air france and british airways decided not to add that route to their schedules.

I’ve used Cobalt for the past 3 months or so - I was looking for a program that would do a bit of everything without costing too much…

Overall, it does do anything that you (well, I anyway) can think of - NURBS, parametric modelling, a decent rendering module and (the biggie for me) it’s easy to turn any model into a PROPER engineering drawing, complete with, sections, different views and dimensions etc.

There are some bugs now and again, but overall, it’s exactly what I was looking for - a 3d program for designing rather than just a 3d program to make a model of what you already designed - if you see what i mean. It’s easy to go back into part histories and change dimensions etc, and then have all other features update around that change.

If you visit the website, you can request/download a full-featured 2 week demo… http://www.ashlar.com/tour/cobalt.shtml