Re: "Budget" Cad prodgrams

December 11th, 2017, 8:05 pm

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louis leblanc
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On a small budget, I think it boils down to Rhino and Fusion 360. OnShape is in the running but last I checked it was quite a bit behind Fusion.

If you could tell us a bit more about what your company makes, it may help us to steer you in the right direction. The reality is that I wouldn't consider any of those two options as viable in the long term as your main CAD for most businesses. I think you need to consider how you'll transition out of that CAD software once you outgrow it.

Think of how long you'll need to maintain parts. If you're a company that's building a "system" where you plan on heavily reusing parts between product. Think Ikea or Lego, where a lot of the products are reusing a lot of common parts, don't even consider an introductory CAD. Cut you losses and get into something like Solidworks, Inventor, Creo... You'll be kicking yourself in the pants when you need to transition a lot of parts to a new package. No matter what the sales guys will tell you, it won't be seamless.

Other than some odd exceptions, I wouldn't consider Rhino as your main CAD. It's a great tool but I always see it as a Swiss army knife. It does a few things well but it doesn't work as an overall long term solution. You can hack together a workflow to make just about anything with it. But it'll always remain exactly that, a hack. It's an explicit modeler so you're directly modeling the surfaces. That makes it very quick a creating mockups. It also means that if you want to change say a fillet radius you're basically stuck starting from scratch or several steps back. The quick mockup, possibility to create complex surfacing (difficult to learn mind you), Grasshopper computational design, ability to open just about any CAD file and fix things make it a great asset but it doesn't make sense as your primary CAD beyond early design phases and in a few very specific cases.

Fusion 360 on the other hand, is built a bit more like the standard mechanical CAD packages. It's missing some features and the cloud aspect can be a PITA. But it has some nice sculpting features and has most of the basic features you'd expect at this point. I've used it to build a few parts and it gets the job done.

Re: "Budget" Cad prodgrams

December 12th, 2017, 8:59 am

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Cyberdemon
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mas wrote:Anyone else see the huge opportunity for a CAD program that is similar to Solidworks but has 20% of the functionality? I just feel that the first program that does this will have everyone jump ship.
I think you could easily make the case that Fusion 360 has >20% of the SW functionality. The reason people don't jump ship is the industry has aligned it's market share pretty tightly on a few key players. If this 2016 survey is to be believed, SW represents the biggest chunk of that:

Image

Now I would argue that since that represents the entire CAD market you get a lot of players that are not ID software packages (3DS Max, Vectorworks) and you'd be left with SW as #1 and probably ProE/Creo as #2, mainly because they integrate better with ID surfacing workflows better than most of the others, but perhaps Inventor has a higher take rate these days then it did 10 years ago.

At the end of the day you want to build your company around tools and workflows that are easily accessible in the industry. My background is almost all in Alias and you don't see a whole lot of those job req's these days outside of the automotive space.

Re: "Budget" Cad prodgrams

December 12th, 2017, 11:38 am

MK19
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louis leblanc wrote: Other than some odd exceptions, I wouldn't consider Rhino as your main CAD. It's a great tool but I always see it as a Swiss army knife. It does a few things well but it doesn't work as an overall long term solution. You can hack together a workflow to make just about anything with it. But it'll always remain exactly that, a hack.
This is my observation also. It's nice to play with but trying to use it as a primary CAD package for any serious design company is silly.

Re: "Budget" Cad prodgrams

December 12th, 2017, 5:50 pm

somekind
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Look no further than Onshape. Unless you're getting into real fancy surfacing, this does most of what you want, and you can use it from almost any PC anywhere. $1200/year for a seat of a professional license, and all your work is inherently backed up in the cloud.

I've logged ~8000+ hours in Creo/Wildfire, ~2000 hours in Solidworks.

Re: "Budget" Cad prodgrams

December 14th, 2017, 2:11 pm

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Thanks for the help everyone! I definitely get the point in investing a little more upfront in Solidworks but even the basic license is USD 8000 here in Scandinavia :( I downloaded Fusion 360 to try it out and I think I could get everything done in it although I did get quite a few bugs when doing fillets, draft angles and other dress up features :(

Re: "Budget" Cad prodgrams

December 15th, 2017, 12:01 am

cadjunkie
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SoSo wrote:Thanks for the help everyone! I definitely get the point in investing a little more upfront in Solidworks but even the basic license is USD 8000 here in Scandinavia :( I downloaded Fusion 360 to try it out and I think I could get everything done in it although I did get quite a few bugs when doing fillets, draft angles and other dress up features :(
Something seems off about that conversion. If the base version of Solidworks is $4k USD and the exchange rate is 1 US Dollar equals
0.85 Euro that pricing seems off.

Re: "Budget" Cad prodgrams

December 15th, 2017, 2:37 am

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cadjunkie wrote:
SoSo wrote:Thanks for the help everyone! I definitely get the point in investing a little more upfront in Solidworks but even the basic license is USD 8000 here in Scandinavia :( I downloaded Fusion 360 to try it out and I think I could get everything done in it although I did get quite a few bugs when doing fillets, draft angles and other dress up features :(
Something seems off about that conversion. If the base version of Solidworks is $4k USD and the exchange rate is 1 US Dollar equals
0.85 Euro that pricing seems off.
Hi,
Well, the Solidworks Standard licence isn't USD 4k here, I was quoted 65 000 SEK (Swedish krona) when I looked into it at the end of november. The exchange rate then put it at 7850 dollars which I rounded of to 8k dollars :(

I was quite surprised as I also heard the 3995 USD figure before but, yeah, the price is higher here.

Re: "Budget" Cad prodgrams

December 15th, 2017, 4:03 am

MK19
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In the UK SolidWorks is £4800 for the base license plus £1200 for a year of maintenance/updates. £6000 straight up is $8058.
America gets everything cheaper than the rest of the world.

Re: "Budget" Cad prodgrams

December 15th, 2017, 12:56 pm

Mrog
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SoSo wrote:Thanks for the help everyone! I definitely get the point in investing a little more upfront in Solidworks but even the basic license is USD 8000 here in Scandinavia :( I downloaded Fusion 360 to try it out and I think I could get everything done in it although I did get quite a few bugs when doing fillets, draft angles and other dress up features :(
Again, try Inventor, it is way more stable than Fusion, has more features than fusion, costs only a third of a Solidworks licence and is also the second most used CAD-Software according to Cyberdemons chart. I honestly don't know why Inventor has such a bad standing with designers. It even has T-splines integrated (very similar to Fusion), something Solidworks simply doesn't offer out of the box.

Re: "Budget" Cad prodgrams

December 15th, 2017, 1:27 pm

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Cyberdemon
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Mrog wrote:
SoSo wrote:Thanks for the help everyone! I definitely get the point in investing a little more upfront in Solidworks but even the basic license is USD 8000 here in Scandinavia :( I downloaded Fusion 360 to try it out and I think I could get everything done in it although I did get quite a few bugs when doing fillets, draft angles and other dress up features :(
Again, try Inventor, it is way more stable than Fusion, has more features than fusion, costs only a third of a Solidworks licence and is also the second most used CAD-Software according to Cyberdemons chart. I honestly don't know why Inventor has such a bad standing with designers. It even has T-splines integrated (very similar to Fusion), something Solidworks simply doesn't offer out of the box.
In my experience I have never come across a position or studio that was using Inventor for ID work. I know many mechanical, industrial and civil engineers who use it, plenty of my car buddies use it for quickly knocking out brackets and other parts they need to CNC, but no one I know uses it for actual typical ID concept development and surfacing work.

I suspect I am not alone. A Coroflot search for industrial designer yields 95 jobs right now. Solidworks turns up 59 results, Rhino turns up 21, Creo/ProE and Alias turn up 6 each. Inventor turns up zero.

Similarly a Glassdoor search for "Industrial Designer Solidworks" turns up 88 results. "Industrial Designer Inventor" turns up zero.

Re: "Budget" Cad prodgrams

December 15th, 2017, 1:40 pm

Mrog
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Yeah, that is what I am wondering about? Why is that? It is not that it is wildly different compared to Solidworks. What does Solidworks qualify as a tool for industrial designers? T-Splines is definitely a plus for Inventor. It is just so odd that people rave about Fusion but never mention Inventor. Fusion is a carbon copy of Inventor in many aspects, heck it even uses the same icons and as far as I can tell the same 3D Engine.
So still, if you look for a specifically cheap tool to establish in your company that can also be used for serious engineering work I don't see how Inventor wouldn't fill that gap. And if you know how to use Solidworks you can literally learn Inventor in a day.

Re: "Budget" Cad prodgrams

December 15th, 2017, 1:57 pm

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Mrog wrote:Yeah, that is what I am wondering about? Why is that? It is not that it is wildly different compared to Solidworks. What does Solidworks qualify as a tool for industrial designers? T-Splines is definitely a plus for Inventor. It is just so odd that people rave about Fusion but never mention Inventor. Fusion is a carbon copy of Inventor in many aspects, heck it even uses the same icons and as far as I can tell the same 3D Engine.
So still, if you look for a specifically cheap tool to establish in your company that can also be used for serious engineering work I don't see how Inventor wouldn't fill that gap. And if you know how to use Solidworks you can literally learn Inventor in a day.
I think if anything it just has to do more with legacy. Solidworks and Rhino have both been established ID tools since I was in college in the early 2000's. It's what a large number of employers ask for, it's what the majority of schools teach, etc. At that time, Inventor was horrible. Even if it's added and assimilated a lot of cool new features over the years, I don't think it had the base in any ID programs at the time.

Fusion had a better foothold because they targeted it very early at educational programs. "Learn Fusion for free!" "See how easy fusion is!" so even though you don't see a lot of industry adoption, you see a lot of students who knew how to use it and that will help it get adopted quicker.

The "Big" tools like Pro E, Alias, Catia, NX - those all have a lower market share but they've been in the game for even longer, so big commercial players who've been doing this forever still keep those as part of their legacy tool chain and that effects the whole supply chain. You won't go to Asia and see factories who are using Fusion on the day to day, you'll see SW and Pro E.

Re: "Budget" Cad prodgrams

December 16th, 2017, 1:01 pm

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louis leblanc
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Interesting thoughts on Inventor. My workplace was Rhino only until we recently brought Inventor in. Rhino was just too lacking in design for manufacturing and never mind actually supporting our in house manufacturing. With that said, our work is much closer to architectural steel construction than classic industrial design. Right now our projects seem to be going towards massive assemblies of 10+k parts where most of the parts aren't complex at all.

It's been a while since I've used Solidworks and never delved very deep into its surfacing capabilities. Inventor has a lot to offer in terms of surfacing. It feels like the program actually understands curvature continuity at a pretty deep level and allows you to apply curvature continuity as a constraint but goes a bit further than Solidworks by applying it to features. For example, you can create a loft between two existing surfaces and force curvature continuity between the existing surfaces and adjust the blend. Very similar to Rhino's blendsrf. Of course, T-spline is really nice for creating freeform shapes.

With that said, I find parts of the Inventor UI to be annoying and possibly shows Autodesk's roots in the construction industry where parts are very simple. For example, constraints in sketches quickly get out of hand as the only way to interact with them is through the little icons on your sketch. You can't click on a piece of geometry and get it's existing relations. Constraining assembly have similar issues as you select geometry and the program chooses the constraint for you... not necessarily what you wanted.

I don't see any reason why Inventor couldn't be used in a design setting. Of course, most of your talent will be used to Solidworks so there would be a bit of adaptation required. You'd also loose out on the capability to send your full parametric CAD model to outside people involved in a project. The price is pretty great though. The design collection is also good value by including Nastran FEA, HSM CAM, 3ds max, Fusion 360 and AutoCAD if you have use for any of those.

As for Fusion 360 outshining Inventor. I think it comes from how it managed expectations. People don't want to hear about Inventor. It was second tier software for a long time and even now I wouldn't rate it above other mechanical CAD packages. It's also easy for people that use CAD in a professional setting to download the free licence of Fusion 360 for a side project at home. At least that's what I did. I had a little project and gave Fusion 360 a shot and was blown away but what I was getting, essentially for free.

With that said, it's hard to really understand what's Autodesk's strategy with Fusion 360 and Inventor. I don't see them developing both products in parallel. Fusion 360 is starting to have really neat features that aren't yet in Inventor but Fusion isn't mature enough to have the boring stuff you need day to day down pat. Also, the cloud infrastructure is far from being a selling point in its current form.

Re: "Budget" Cad prodgrams

December 17th, 2017, 8:43 am

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Inventor has benefits like built in T-Splines that is true. I hate two things majorly about it personally, holding shift to orbit is one and the sketch relations and mates are horrific also.
Just goes to show that no one package is perfect and there is so much that they could take from one another to get better. I'd love command line in SolidWorks for one, and mates in Rhino for another.
SolidWorks remains the safest choice though.

Re: "Budget" Cad prodgrams

January 15th, 2018, 6:11 am

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The "Big" tools like Pro E, Alias, Catia, NX - those all have a lower market share but they've been in the game for even longer, so big commercial players who've been doing this forever still keep those as part of their legacy tool chain and that effects the whole supply chain. You won't go to Asia and see factories who are using Fusion on the day to day, you'll see SW and Pro E.
We have tried building products and vehicles in Rhino and didn't like it because of the lack of a proper feature tree.
We prefer to already in the concept phase already have a surfacing model that will evolve to the manufacture-ready files.

Alias does have a good mix of history-based vs. ' freeform' modeling so has grown into a great CAD package.
And don't be turned off if the majority of designers use Solidworks, you will only have a favorable position if you want to work at the big companies that do use Alias or Catia.

Does anyone have any experience with both Solidworks/Catia and Alias? Will there be a large learning curve if you decide to step to Alias?
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