solidworks 20007 surfacing tools!!!

wow. soldiworks is really catching up to alias and rhino…and it’s still %100 parametric. i’'m stoked for this next release…

wondering when it will come out…

It looks pretty promising, I wonder if anybody else can weigh in, if they have used it at all. Also that 3D scanner by NextEngine for $2500.00 USD looks pretty promising too, maybe Solidworks is finally catching up to Wildfire as far as surfacing.

I am for one excited to see the potential for competition between the two brothers. curvature and even on 3dcurve. hummm

Okay – I am impressed. Been struggling with the crappy interface on Pro/E for months now, justifying to myself by thinking “yeah, but I get boundary surfaces and conics…” So now that SW has a similar level of surface control, what exactly is the argument in favor of Pro/E?

Actually, I’d really love to hear the other side of it – any die hard Pro/E folks out there with some killer features to point out?

I will contact Solidworks in the morning and get my hands on that new solidworks tool. Exptect a review in a few weeks.

Meanwhile, if anyone has any specific questions about wf2.0, Pro/SURFACE or ISDX and can answer them. especially as related to ID’ers working with manufactured products.

hitch - I can talk for 20 hours about the differences between Alias - Wildfire - Solidworks surfacing. What specific points would you like covered?

How about proving form in Wildfire 2.0 (3.0 is now out) as related to creating 3d digital deliverables?

20 hours might be a bit much, but a paragraph or two would be helpful.

My interest is primarily due to my own situation – I was trained and initially worked in SW, then moved over to Pro/E for a new job. The interface, by comparison, is absolutely abyssmal. In my experience only AutoCAD surpasses it for sheer non-intuitiveness.

The payoff is meant to be superior surfacing capability and better curve control, and I believe that. It looks, however, that much of that advantage goes away with the 2007 release. So I guess the question would be, is it still worth the headache and the money?

Oh wait, I take that back. We had to use a piece of FEM software in Eng school called Mentat that even the PhD’s couldn’t figure out…

THAT was worse than AutoCAD.

I don’t believe Pro/E Costs more than 1000 bucks more than solidworks. apple for apple it is the same. Have not looked at the 2007 version of Solidworks yet.

I found that most major manufactures in the states and china utilize Pro/ENGINEER. It is harder for me to make a list of manufactures that utilize Solidworks. Me? I just want to use the latest and greatest and like you I make it a point to know both tools. I try to do both without complaining. Solidworks and Pro/E have more in common that they have differences.

I will never forget the first time I had to eject a disk from a MAC … I learned that I had to drag it to the garbage to make the ejection occur. The experience is not that awkward. Although the I wish I could influence (and get paid to do so) the interface of various software packages w/ Pro/E as the top of my list, I think the comparison difference of Rhino vs Alias is far greater than the interface difference of Solidworks vs Pro/E.

AutoCAD is still used anyplace? I prefer powwerpoint.

I am currently evaluating Solidworks 2007 and Pro/E Wildfire 3.0. We will continue to use Rhino some but would like to add a parametric solids modeler with good surfacing capabilities.

Do the new surfacing features in Solidworks 2007 mean that it can produce the same quality of surfaces as Wildfire 3.0 with ISDX? There seems to be a number of downsides to Wildfire (UI complexity, learning curve, and cost) and I want to be sure that the surfacing abilities are worth the extra effort before I commit.

Can someone please provide some comments regarding the advantages of PRO/E and the surfacing capabilities of the program when compared to Solidworks 2007?

(UI complexity, learning curve, and cost)

Unless you are listening to sales people, Wildfire has solved the issues with wildfire 1.0 thru 3.0…

What irritates me about SolidWorks is that you can’t just grab a square curve and drag it larger with your mouse. (so the solid geometry updates with) Most users don’t know what they are missing until they see otherwise.

wildfire still drives mee crazy…maybe they should start back with the basics and design it for humans not machines…just look at the options/config menu…crazy!

yea… There are even config settings that are not documented. There are a lot of config settings. Double that if you could .dtl settings for drawings.

I do like how you can manipulate a curve using the curve manipulator (a little like Alias Studio) in Soldiworks. We should build a pro and cons list for Solidworks and Pro/E

I really have to get back to work here.

Can Pro/Engineer Wildfire 3.0 maintain C2 continuity between adjacent surfaces under more conditions than SolidWorks 2007?

From the Solidworks website:

SolidWorks 2007 has made significant advances in surfacing tools required for the complex shapes in product design.

Product design requires smooth transitions and blending between the designs; this is known as curvature continuity or C2. There is a new C2 Freeform feature that lets users select a surface or model face and push and pull it dynamically. This allows users to quickly and easily define complex surface features. A new Boundary Surface lets users create two direction surfaces with multiple control cross-sections that maintain C2 in all directions to existing model faces. Finally, the Fill Surface or N-Sided Patch now has a C2 boundary condition. C2 is everywhere in SolidWorks 2007!

My personal experience: there is absolutely no comparison between the two as far as UI and learning curve are concerned. Solidworks is far, far easier to learn and navigate.

Anyone used the NextEngine Desktop 3D scanner yet?

I’m interested to find out how it performs.


The one area in which I believe Pro/E really shines above Solidworks is in multi-user collaboration. Use of Intralink and utilization of the Top-Down design methodolgy in the Advanced Assembly Package is HUGELY valuable to a program that has multiple bodies/disciplines working together.

For example, working on a mobile phone. We used Pro/E and had 5 or 6 designers/engineers all working on the same program in two offices. We had one designer that was in charge of maintaining the skeleton for the top down design while the others checked out the subsequent parts through intralink. Each designer had their part to manage. As long as the manager of the Skeleton does their job well, timelines can be significantly reduced through this methodology.

If you are talking about a single person, working at a workstation managing the whole design process. I would think that parity is being achieved between SW and Pro/e. I believe it is in the more complex assembly features where Pro/e really shines.

I bought one in Dec. I used it for 1.5 projects so far. I’m still working on the second one.

It’s hard for me to review this. It worked well and paid for itself with the one project I did but I haven’t used it since.

The resolution has a lot to do with how well you align the scans. It takes a 3d picture so you have to align each picture. It’s kind of a pain but manageable.

There are two sizes macro and wide. The macro is the size of a soda can and the the wide is the size of a shoe box. My project was just bigger than the soda can so I had to take several scans and align them. The wide resolution isn’t that good. .015 and the scan is fuzzy.

The software I use (concepts unlimited) read the STL file scanstudio put out and I was able to take sections to generate lofting curves. I am interested to try SolidWorks integrated software for reading and interpreting scans. It looks really amazing. But then again when you see a demo it alway looks amazing.

I can e-mail screen shots of my project if anyone is interested.

Also, I could provide 3d scans for anyone and output STL files for $250- $1000 per scan.

For the project I used it for I had to do scan 4 parts and the last time I had something scanned by a service bureau it cost $1200. So the 2,700 seemed like a good deal.

good point ip_, our design group moved to pro/e with ISDX so we could seemlessly work on projects with engineering.

have you tried windchill (projectlink and pdmlink) ? its PTC’s uber project management tool which makes intralink look silly. its great.


Not having done a lot of really intensive multi-user collaboration in either program, I will take your word for it that Pro/E does this well. By comparison, have you had any experience with PDMWorks ( How do they compare?

Haven’t tried windchill. My partner is a Pro/e guru (geek?). I will ask him about it when I talk to him next.

As for PDM works. I have read about it. And like most things I find with SolidWorks, it does MOST of what is needed. Hits 80% - 90% of the market. Its that last 10% - 20% where Pro/e’s power is realized.

That said, I haven’t worked intensively with SW/PDM Works to be able to evaluate it.

I am tarnished by the fact that I worked with SW back in the beginning (i.e. SW '98). I loved it at the time, but then switched to Pro/e. The interface was ugly, no doubt, but back then the power difference between the two programs was very noticeable. I am not sure what it was about SW back in the earlier days, but you could spot a product that was designed by SW a mile away. There was something about the program that produced the same blocky looking, rolling ball radius products. I think its lack of power in the surfacing and radiusing capabilities is what put me off.

I now have a license for both. I need to do a decent surfacing job with SW to evaluate it better. But I have to say that 2007 is looks to be very promising.