From Solidworks to ProE


As a intermedite to advanced solidworks user I want to know if ProE is similar and easy to learn as both are parmetric software. I start work with a new company that uses proE and Rhino, so should I be taking more time to learn Rhino?


You should probably learn both. Pro/E is different and a little more complicated than SW, but its interface has become more like SW over the last few years (under the name Wildfire) In the old Por/E, the sketch was integral to the feature, but now it is more like SW. You have to start a feature and then define the sketch inside it, kinda like you do in SW. But you can access the sketch later to, say, use it again.

I like the sketcher in SW better than Intent Manager in Pro/E (I donlt seem to fight with SW in sketch as much as I do In Pro). I sometime turn Intent Manager off.

To be honest, the longer I use SW, the more I like it for basic modeling. However, for advanced surfacing where you have a lot of control, there’s nothing like Pro. You can use Rhino for general form development, but I normally recreaste the geometry inside Pro/E so that I can control it better when I have to adjsut things later (which you alwyas have to do).

Rhino’s good for fast form development and renderings (using Flamingo), Pro/E is for all of your piece-part and assembly designs.

Allow a few weeks at least to lean Wildfire (Pro/E’s new name). They should have at least version 2.0 of Wildfire. If not, I would worry. The earlier version of WF isn’t really ready for prime time and Pro/E 2001 is really out of date now.

Good luck.


Thanks w

I’ll test it out and see how it goes. I’m sure I’m not the only one here that thinks this but there really needs to be a ‘standard’ program to use for industrial designers. There are just too many programs out there that require years of attention to properly learn and use. hopefully they’ll all just jell into one

Many people like the sketcher in solidworks better until they get good at intent manager in Pro/E. Then like all things hindsight is 20 20 vision. I find it hard to believe solidworks has not got an intent manager, but that too is in hindsite.

When Pro/E came out with intent manager in it’s version 20 circa 1998, It took me over a year to see the light.

Solidworks and no intent manager is irritatingly and teribly slow. But then again most designers don’t fully constrain solid geometry in Solidworks anyway and in that case it does not really matter.

To truly prove form in solidworks or Pro/E you have to take strategic advantage of the parametric constraints. Otherwise you should just be lazy and use Rhino.

If anyone is interested I will try to dig up some videos made a couple years ago to demonstrate proving form using a parametric constraint modeler.


I agree that intent manager has some features that make constructing a sketch fast and semi-intuitive - like symmetry and similar features. But this comes in handy for basicly simple features. However, for more complicated constructions (I’m a big advocate of using contruction lines to drive relations - I know, old school), I still find myself disabling intent manager when it thinks that it’s trying to do me favor and snap to things I don’t want it to snap to. Then I have to spend time disabling the contraints. It’s almost like it’s doing “too good of a job” trying to constrain everything… I do like a contrained sketch, but the way I need it contrained to preserve design intent, which is not always what ProE is expecting.

By contrast, SolidWorks could do with a few more automatic constraint features in its sketcher. But it does have some. But unfortunately, I have even gone to extent of creating start parts that have a basic symmetrical extruded block so I don’t have to establish symmetry on everything in the first feature (if that’s what it calls for). Clearly there should be a little more automatic control where in Pro’s case, there may be too much.

I’d like to see your videos, though.


that’s the right idea, warren…set yourself up with a few different part templates in SW that already include the first few features you like to start with (symmetric cube, on-origin cylinder, etc…). tho, my part templates stop short of the features and tend to only contain the pre-constrained sketches. of course, every sketch thereafter must be manually defined and constrained. ever used toolbox for that sort of thing?

don’t wish for all the programs to “gel” into one… then you’ll get even MORE expensive software, with more bugs, with fewer patches, fixes, updates, and less tech support.

there may be a high learning curve, but at least there is software that runs on a relatively cheap hardware platform that is available to buy and use.

in 1990, there wasn’t any option to buy a PC and off-the-shelf software that could do anything even close to what we’re able to do now… which is what led me to waste years of my life doing graphic design before finally getting back into ID much later.

be thankful for what you have! sayeth the old guy.