Going from Rhino to Pro/E

So, I have a new client that is going to be great to work with. Great people, great product, amazing manufacturing facility, etc. All is good there. Thing is, for the better part of a decade, I’ve been mostly using Rhino to do all my design creations. It’s just what I know and I know it well. I’ve been fortunate to have taken some classes on Solidworks and see the power of intelligent CAD development. Thing is, the client utilizes Pro/E for everything and in order for me to work with them for any length of time, it’s obvious that I’ll need to purchase a seat and also get pretty proficient with it. Do many of you use Pro/E? How does it compare to Solidworks? Any idea on cost? Am I looking at around $6K?

I know that either Solidworks or Pro/E will be a great investment for the future, but it’s difficult to put down that much money on something I haven’t a clue how to use. Will probably get a training course with Design Engine in Chicago to push things forward. I’m a quick learner but that stuff looks hard to use!

If you have some background in Solidworks you should be able to make the jump fairly quickly.

Pro E sucks - at least from a usability standpoint. The guy who designed one screen never talked to the guy who designed another screen, so common UI elements are almost never in the same spot. But it’s capabilities are still very good, especially if you combine your skills with the flexibility of a surface modeller like Rhino/Alias. Some shapes are still just faster and easier to build in Rhino, but if you get your tolerances setup right pulling geometry back and forth should be easy if you need to. Our primary workflow is Alias->Pro E. Avoids the need to try do the deep sculptural tweaking that Alias is so good at in Pro E, and avoids us having to try to solidify and radius parts in Alias, which it sucks at.

Spend 2 weeks in Chicago with Design Engine and I think it’ll be worth it. So much of Pro E is hidden key clicks or functionality you would never know existed (I used the software for 3 years before discovering some basic UI tricks) and the training helps get that out of the way very quickly.

I don’t know how much the seats cost since Pro E is a component based package, so it could vary wildly depending on the packages you need.