First post, but not my first time on the boards. I have a situation that I am trying to work out and would love some help from you guys and gals. (sorry for being needy).
I know this topic is sort of beaten to death, but it is a bit complicated, so bare with me. I tried to keep it brief, but if you want the short and sweet question, skip to the bottom bold/underlined but my background info may help clarify some details.
I am newly employed (1 year) at a company as a secondary/assistant designer.
This company is newly interested in adapting 3D modelling in-house for product development.
We currently work with factories in Asia that use 3D cad solutions to run their machines.
Up until this point, the company has been relying on the factories to develop the 3D models from detailed 2D sketches (.psd/.jpeg/.pdf).
This is mostly because it is the way things have been done in this industry for a while, and the older generation has no formal 3D training.
Now I have come along and sparked the interest of adapting 3D cad in-house to gain more control over development, and save time on revisions and miscommunications.
Our goal is to provide Asia with the completed 3D files so that we do not have to rely on them to make what we want; we just develop what we want under the eyes of the designers and product engineers, and send it to them for final review and production.
Our plan is to invest in a 3D CAD solution and a purpose-built work station dedicated to CAD.
For the time being, I will be responsible for doing the 3D work until the process between us and our mould makers in Asia has been tested and proven; then we may hire a full time 3D engineer afterwards to do the cad work so I can move focus back to product design (no sense hiring someone until we know the process works).
The factories/mould makers we are working with currently utilize Rhino as their primary 3D Cad solution.
During my past studies, I learned and became quite proficient in Solidworks.
My proficiency is in Solidworks. So, for that reason, my ideal choice would be to purchase a seat in Solidworks so I can begin clicking right away.
My concern is whether or not the files I produce will be compatible with Rhino when they are sent overseas. If I export files to .iges format or similar, do I have to worry about our mould makers encountering model abnormalities, errors, and broken geometry when they open the .iges files in Rhino? I fear that the CAD operators in Asia are not so much problem solvers as they are good at following the method they have been taught, so if I give them a file and they encounter many file errors, they may not know what to do…
My boss seems keen on purchasing Rhino entirely due to the worries of direct compatibility. They do not want to encounter the issues I have mentioned above, and figure we should just “get what they have” as it seems straight forward to them.
With that said, how difficult would it be for me to pick up Rhino, having only Solidworks as my prior CAD education?
I would be able to put full-time hours into learning how to use the program, but I am worried over how long it may take to become proficient enough to get the development process going.
If Solid-works files are directly compatible in Rhino without error, I don’t see the value in investing the company’s time and money over unnecessary concerns with compatibility… but if compatibility is going to be an issue, then obviously I will have to take on the leaning task to get this process going.
The TL;DNR question:
Asia uses Rhino, I know Solidworks. Can we invest the $ in Solidworks to save time, without fear of compatibility issues when files are shared. OR Should I invest the time into learning Rhino so that we are using the same CAD solution as our Mould makers, and how hard will this transition be/ how long can I expect this to take?