HELP, purchasing new software.

I have a hard decision to make. I own a small product design firm which for the first four years utilized Mac’s for our 3D rendering, models and CAD. I am now switching the firm over to PC’s and will be purchasing new software, this is were I run into the problem. Which program do I go with? I am leaning towards Solid Works or ProE? not sure! any help would be appreciated.

Well i think the best solution is:

Rhino 3d (Surface Modelling)
SolidWorks (Modelling)
Cinema 4d (Rendering)

I think that those programms are the best in the market area in this moment…Are not expensive but realy great!

Well i think the best solution is:

Rhino 3d (Surface Modelling)
SolidWorks (Modelling)
Cinema 4d (Rendering)

This is a good setup, however we ran into the problem of that some clients required PRO-E CAD as the final deliverable.

We use Rhino, Solidworks for only jobs that require us to. Everything else is completed in pro-e wildfire. We have purchased inaddition to foundation the advanced photorender, Style (ISDX), and Advanced Surfacing moduals. Makes Pro a not more usefull that SW, and easier to control curve and surface tangency. After one year of using we can create in pro what we used to use rhino for, but now it is parametric.

Pro also created much cleaner stl and iges files…did some work in an rp vendor and direct rhino stl and iges were swiss cheesed all the time. Even is solidworks could open them fine. Solidworks stl and iges were better but only about half were buildable the first time the clients sent them…Solidworks dosn’t automatically optimize the cord height, and if you forget to set it to the lowest setting the file is normally usless.

My suggestions are as follows
Solidworks 2004 (with photoworks)
Pro-E Wildfire with all the surfacing and rendering moduals
Pro-Concept get the trial
(I am using it and it lets you sketch like alias sketchbook, and then “Pull” the 3d shape out like you are modeling clay. This includes the advanced photorendering. Rendering quality is good, no alias or 3d max…but it does the trick. Most clients would rather have a model in hand that a time consumming photorendering with the light and enviromental effects. Those are for winning awards, not selling products.)

sorry about the spelling, I have no idea what is going on with this computer, my e-mails do the same thing…letters switching.

Makes Pro a not more usefull that SW

Makes Pro a lot more usefull than SW

Even is solidworks

Even If SolidWorks

well you get the point.

Pro/E Wildfire costs $4-5k. includes advanced surfacing. add $2k for ISDX surfacing. Pro is tough to learn but i like. Maya Complete is $2k. nice program. i upgraded to Unlimited since i’m into filmmaking. Unlimited has 5 and 7-degree surfacing. dont know about Complete now. no drafting in either. but nice for concepts. you can have Maya on a Mac or PC.

Rhino is good. StudioTools is popular. only $3k. Solidworks is okay. not sure what it costs. $3-4k?. Cinema 4d is okay but not common so can’t share files. get the demos. best way to make decisions.

Thank you for all your suggestions!

The only problem at this point is that I do not have the resources to buy more than one program license. I need to get the one program that gives me the best bang for my buck.

deliver toolable files? Pro/E imo. if not forget both and buy Rhino.

let this be the last ever discussion on which 3D softwre to use…calling the CORE77 Adim make this a sticky post so it stays at the top of the board.

my 2p, go with solidworks, quick and effective

example of SW’s GI (Gobal Illumination - powered by mental ray, which was used in Fight Club and Gladiator)

Top view of my design, modeled and rendered i SW 2004

So, does everyone agree? I should make SolidWorks my company’s primary 3D software?

no. but decision is yours. do your homework. simple picture is just a simple picture. i have Mental Ray. i do not use it for product renderings. GI is overkill imo. on complex shelled stuff too slow for me.

some things to consider: export ability, customer’s CAD system, Chinese vendors CAD systems, surfacing capability (including upgradeability), level of rendering required, bang-for-buck.

get the demos. make an informed decision. not one based on one picture.

As much as I hate to say so being a Solidworks user, apparently proE has the upper hand at this point (not by much mind you). I base that on a report by Mark Biascusco on He is the CAD directer at IDEO. To be fair it is the $4000 ISDX add-on that makes it more useful for ID. I trust his opinion because Mark was also a key speaker at Solidworks World 2003. Solidworks is a lot cheaper and I have been able to model 80-95% of my model intent.
Solidworks is not a Class A surfacer so if you are going to be doing anything close to automotive stuff it is not your choice. Photoworks 2 for SWX is not full Mental Ray- but it is still a powerful too. Also, the surfacing tools have been getting incrementally better ( emember that ISDX is an add-on) with each release and SWX seems to be responsive to user needs. I foresee that SWX might be the ID choice in a release or 2.

$2k for ISDX II. not $4k. Pro/E advanced surface modeling in Pro/E 2001 ISDX is now in basic Pro/Wildfire Foundation package. the Style part of ISDX is now ISDX II. Style is ID friendly part.

what does SolidWorks cost now?

Do some research and communicate with the engineers you do business with. Find out what the most common and accepted medium is and choose the one that provides the benefits that you seek. If they both perform similar tasks but one is more cost effective you may be able to compromise. I personally am not a user of either but i know that they are both very common.

What about NX3 (will be released this week) and it´s ID/Styling-module “Shape Studio”.


Pro/E with ISDX II, and maybe also Pro/E advanced rendering-module to make it a more fair comparison.

I´m fairly familiar with the capabilities of ISDX II, had a two week instructed training.

NX3, the new program from UGS that brings Unigrapic and IDEAS together, I have had only a short introduction.

Seem to me that NX3 with Shape Studio is more powerfull (ability to a more automated way to achieve surface continuity, and also higher degree), more (much more) expensive, and Shape Studio more integrated (the steps perfomred to making a shape will show in the history three as features compared with ISDX II there the hole shape will be represented by a singel feature, both with there advantage or?

What´s your opinions/experience about those programs, programs that I think will play a very important role in the nerest future of ID. Because the trend I see, is that CAID programs as Alias Studio Tools (or Auto studio), ICEM surfe, (Rhino3D) etc. is losing land fore those CAD-CAID-solutions that makes the collaboration in the designproject more efficient resulting in lowered cost and a preserved design intent.

Also opinion about the programs differences in when the qeometry must be fully constraind, here NX3 offer a more “creative” approach, and it´s importance for the iterative process of ID would be of great interest .

$15000 for the Shape Studio module thats on top of the vanilla UGis expensive definitely for larger enterprise. ISDX may be a cheaper alternative.

ISDX II cost 6.700 us dollar + 6.700 us dollar for ProE (foundation advantage)

translated from the swedish price tag.

I am also looking for a new CAD program. My background is Rhino and ProE. I have been looking for one program that mixes these two programs together and just finished an online demo with Think 3. It seems to let you play with surfaces quiet well (like Rhino) but has parametric abilities (like ProE). I don’t care about rendering as I can do that in other programs (like Eovia). And it costs $4,500 a year (which is in my budget)

Has anyone actually used Think 3 and what are your thoughts?

You cannot compare Swedish price converted to US with American prices. American software sold in Europe is much more expensive then in other countries.

Shape Studio more integrated (the steps perfomred to making a shape will show in the history three as features compared with ISDX II there the hole shape will be represented by a singel feature

nice. dont like that about the Style feature in Pro.

NSX sounds expensive. havent paid attention. but curious.