What software for 3D/2D development & engineering?

Our company is setting up internal productdevelopment (before everything was done external) and we`re on the look out for a good 3D modeller with excellent 2D-technical drawing capabilities.

I am familiar with Solidworks and have had a 2005 demonstration, which was pretty good. Some new modelling features, and reasonable 2d capabilities. There is a downside; its pretty expensive. Therefore Im looking for some more budget-friendly alternatives.

Im thinking about AutoCad/inventor, solidedge or Think3. Does anyone know if these programs offer the same functionality and know the pricing of these packages? Autocad/inventor is less capable in the field of surfacemodelling (I think, but Im not really experienced with it). Think3 is suposed to be OK to work with, but I haven`t seen it yet.

For an indication: SW2005 is about 6500 euro; I know autocad 2005 costs about 4500 euro per license.


might also look over solidThinking. seems to get mentioned by folks in EU a fair amount. not used it but maybe someone else has.

RHINO… not as GREAT for technical drawing… but you can use ACAD for that.
and hey… it’s free to try. you wont lose anything.

You might also look into Alibre. It’s quite capable and functional for about $1000.

I suggest you check Ashlar Vellum Cobalt 6.2, a complete product design and 3D modeling software. It is considered as comparable in every respect to solidworks with all its features plus additional surfacing and rendering capability. regarding pricing, i’m not sure exactly how much, but almost $4000.
go thru www.ashlar.com and test a trial run.
And the most compelling point is, it has a Mac version!

hmmm think3 is waaaay more expensive than Solidworks in the long run. What kind of products are you designingand who are the clients? That determines a lot of what would suit you.

a lot of progs like ProE and Solidworks DO give you a whole lot of bang for the buck. After Solidworks, non history based progs seems so slow. Cobalt is also fairly expensive as inithin states