Solidworks or Solid Edge?


I am setting a tiny design company independently and need to get a CAD software license, so wanted to get some opinion on that, especially since these software are so expensive.

So would you recommend Solidworks or Solid Edge? Or something beyond that like Inventor or CREO?

I had solidworks experience before but never tried Solid Edge, but I read good things about the Synchronous technology. Yet it seems Solidworks has a bigger market share by far.

I will be doing product and furniture design. Won't have too much strength analysis to do, but I'll need to do a lot of nice photographic renderings. Does Solidedge has good renderer? Price is also a concern, but I haven't been able to get quotation from Solid Edge yet.

Grateful for your advice. Cheers.

69 Answers

I can'y help you on the rendering as my business does not require it. I can however reflect upon the choices a small company makes. I am a one man shop so you don't get smaller. I also design most of what I build and the rest is of course imports from others primarily Solid Works. Since I was the one who was going to do this I got to choose what was most effective for me and not pick what had largest market share.

I went to two Demo days for SW because they had the most seats biggest market share etc. You have heard this by now I am certain. It never really clicked well with me either time. Then Solid Edge ST1 came out and I went to see a demo. I had allready looked into SE V20 which was a straight parametric modeler like SW still is today. The underlying logic of SE was to me a lot better. When ST came out this was the final decider. That was almost four years ago and the ability to quickly edit my parts for family of parts or just because capricious customers change their minds is key to me. The ability to import files from SW and edit their files quicker than the authors can is of course quite valuable.

I say all that to say this. Take the time to evaluate both and do not be swayed by advocates of either until you know what each has to offer. I still hear from some of my friends flack about how I did not pick SW which has more users more seats yada yada. They get real quite when I take the files they created and import them and work on them quicker.
But then you see I had a choice to pick what was best in my eyes and not what others were using just becuase most of them were for better or worse. You have that choice to so let the capabilities of the software determine the choice and not VAR's posting their opinions or people quoting market share.

Bunkshot I am told is a fine rendering program and all you will need is $495.00.

Larger doesn't mean better. It never did. SW has a larger users base than SE, but SE is a better product. Both use Parasolid as their kernel, but SE has Synchronous Technology, and once you try it, you will not be able to go back. My advice: try both! You can register for a 45 day trial at and you can check what is the best tool for you. SW is a good product, but SE with Synchronous Technology is way above on another level. As for renderings, they both can produce good images, but it's always better to have another piece of software specific for that task (Keyshot or Bunkspeed, for instance). HTH

CAD can be polarizing :-) James, I would just try them both. You can get a 45 day free trial of Solid Edge here:

I'm guessing one of the SolidWorks folks can point to something similar.

Also, you might check out Local Motors ( ). If you are a small company or individual, you may be able to use their subscription service. That could save you a lot of money. SolidWorks doesn't do anything like that but maybe other companies do.

I have been using Solid Edge successfully for over 12 years designing Furniture. You'll find no better 3D CAD software for Furniture Design or any design for that matter.

One thing to keep in mind, is that Solid Edge now has Sync Technology and SW has nothing to compare. And don't be surprised that over the next few years as Dassault focuses mainly on moving SW to their proprietary Kernel, that you won't see anything as exciting as Sync Technology.

Also Solid Edge has a very good tech support right here in the US as well as a great community of power users willing to help. This is especially good for new users.

So don't just listen to the SW folks on this blog....

Here's a quick rendering of a glass table using Solid Edge:


As a 10yr+ yrs Solid Edge user I have nothing but good things to say about Solid Edge! I have worked with Solid Edge in a small "Ma&Pa" company where I was the only user and also in environments with over 100 seats of Solid Edge installed. As a design tooI find Solid Edge to have a very intuitive in workflow. I do not have 1st hand experience in Works but from the other engineers and designers I have worked with I hear that Solid Edge's Drafting and Sheet Metal environments are clear winners compared to the competition. Regarding rendering, I know that Solid Edge ST4 had some specific product enhancements to this environment. I dabble in rendering just to make a "pretty picture" for the boss but not enough to truly give a critique. I know there are other Solid Edge users who do rendering so I'm hoping they will chime in for you. One final thought: Customer support... I want to strongly encourage you to check out recent discussion on Matt Lombard's new blog related to doing business with Solid Edge. I can attest 1st hand that Solid Edge offers 1st class customer support!!! See the comments on Matt's blog here:

Best of luck in your decision; should you choose Solid Edge I look forward to seeing you in the community at large and will gladly do what I can to aid in your transition.
Matt J.


For those who say Solid Edge cannot render and that it is useless see this link.

At this time you should go with Solid Edge. I was a SW user from way back. But due to the issues facing SW and there state of transition they are in, and with SW lack of defining any direction or giving users any idea of what's going on is unacceptable.

Question: Why did SW not produce a timeline and a basic plan for migration as soon as they realized that Synchronous Tech would not be included in the ParaSolid kernel?

I'm sure they were informed many years ago, it's 2012 and as late as Nov 2011 SW spokes people say they will not produce a timeline and they say that they will not have anything to show for a few more years.

SW got caught with their pants down..............., which was bound to happen one day cause they were using someone else's technology and putting their wrapper on it.

Synchronous Technology: The thought was originated 34 years ago. This is a paradigm shift in CAD design. I am a beginner user with ST, however the power of hybrid modeling between Sync and Ordered for surfacing looks like for Industrial Design and sculpted surfaces like it is the way to go!!! As far as sheet metal modeling and machined parts, the Sync method is untouchable with history based methods.

Look for all videos thru all the releases, on youtube for Solid Edge, Solid Edge ST, Solid Edge ST2, Solid Edge ST3, Solid Edge ST4 and believe me the stuff they show is not a canned demo. Which is what everyone use to say about CAD sales demos '(for decades once you got a sales guy out of his canned demo, crash, etc).'

The future is direct modeling, and for a mid-range product, Solid Edge with Sync Tech is years ahead of everyone else.

As far as rendering SE can render anything SW can. SE is much more stable. SE handles large assemblies with ease. The annoying SW crashes while doing relatively nothing are non-existent.

The edge goes to SW in some of their interfaces, they have a lot more 'pretty buttons'; but that should be expected, because SW is an interface company that uses a lot of other peoples stuff and puts it all in a package (they have bought a lot of third party stuff thru the years).

SW speak is that they are releasing SW V6 in the next few years..... OK, so SW V6 V1 in 2014 maybe???? Who really knows???? I don't, know. But I know that if SW V6 V1 is out in 2014, SE ST7 will be out.

Look around the web about the two products, there is a lot of information out there.


They are both great pieces of software. I have used SW for years and just recently have been using Solid Edge. While I like the interface for SW, direct modeling with Solid Edge has made work much faster for me. I think someone mentioned earlier that they were pleased to find Solid Edge could open Solidworks files, I had the same experience, and I actually started doing my Solidworks jobs in Solid Edge to save time (my company was still on Solidworks at the time). I have done rendering in both software packages, and for me it really ended up being about the same.

I do like the Solidworks interface a lot, it feels very minimal and modern, and it lets you maintain a large modeling area. Solid Edge went with the "ribbon" methodology you see in new Microsoft products, and it feels like it takes a little more space. The hot keys were very useful in Solidworks for eliminating static menus that take over your modeling space.

The other thing that I have run into in my experience with both packages, is that when you get into larger models and assemblies, like full car mechanical assemblies, Solidworks has a tendency to "blow up" (the term used in the office) and report conflicts through portions of your tree. We have very capable machines, but sometimes we just have to cut bait and restart everything to get back up to speed.

I was a big Solidworks fan for about 10 years, and I think the latest version looks great and is very capable, but I find that most projects I do, I can do faster with a combination of direct and historical modeling in Solid Edge, and as a result of that method, those files are also easier for somebody else to work on and interpret because you are not always bound to a full historical modeling tree. On the flip side, you can put more constraints on the direct modeling than what I have seen in other programs as well that do direct modeling, but are super free-form about it.

Solid Edge is the better software. Very reliable (no crashes). Strong surfacing. You can use parametric (traditional) and/or ST (synchronous). Better drawing creation. The help documentation and tutorials are the best I've seen in any CAD or CAM software. Not as popular as SW because UGS had weak advertising in the early days. I don't have much experience with rendering though.

I've worked for two companies that actually did usage based comparisons and both picked Solid Edge over SolidWorks. I would recommend actually testing each system against your parts and workflows. It will be time consuming and may cost you a little bit to get the training and to perform the testing, but in the end it will be well worth it to make an informed decision, because making the wrong choice will cost you much more down the road.


Of course Solid Edge because it has a clear future, brilliant developer and support team.
Solid Edge is a great and reliable 3D CAD software with leading technology! Try it!
Solidworks isn't a wrong software, but very instable.

we have both seats in my company although synchronous technology is pretty cool, you will need to change a bit your design habits, since there is no history of the sketches that you create it can be a pain in the ass trying to go back if you don't know how to use it properly. besides synchronous technology won't work with curves or rounded parts, you will have to go back to ordered. In my opinion SW is the way to go. but if you ask the guy next to me, he will say SE. hehehe..

Both SE and SW are tools...maybe little more complex than a hammer or simple`s depend how crafty you are...:)))
I dare not to say SW is useless, not a software, or any other my dear colleagues said `couse i don`t know that...know though, SW was much more in front of SE in early days, huge amount of designers use it, models i saw made by SW are amazing, lot of serious and highly respect companies use it, so it has to be very good respect for that.
Reason i decided to learn SE instead SW (my university default software) is pure engineering line of an equation:
SW is created by Dassault Systèmes which is software Co. SE on other hand owned by UGS one word Siemens which is software Co. manufacturing Co. engineering Co. research Co. electric/electronic Co. etcetc...younameit Co.
On other side of an equation is CAD itself which to be developed must have a designer/engineer proper needs fur fill...
So, mine conclusion was:
Siemens has this production engineers feedback at daily basis and Dassault feedback`s has to be little late (simple communication inside one family or communication between two families)...
SW got aggressive marketing and phenomenal PR, for example you can collide with SW representative in a hallway at any mechanical school or university, which is good for SW because that way students (future engineers and designers) are pretty much committed at stage one :) ...On other side, SE i first time saw at engineer display in an actual working company (not a class room) where all cpu`s and cnc`s got SE...on one monitor you can draw model and look how machine make exactly same model...that story happened again in other manufacturing firm...i was amazed :) till than i only knew SW and only at design office...and made my decision...or...maybe simple i am wrong :)))

Think, conclusion can be similar like choosing between M.United or Arsenal, L.A.Lakers or Sacramento, Nike or Reebok...

Both software's are tools...and very good one :)

All my renderings and animations are done by SE...

Regards Guys :)

I'll weigh in here. I have been a SW user for going on 12 years. I have also used Top Solid, Pro-E, Inventor, and now Solid Edge. Both SE and SW interface in a similar manner. If you know one, you can learn the other quickly. SW is easier to learn and requires fewer inputs to complete any operation. Add up 1000s of mouse click during a day and it matters. SE has synchronous technology (and it is quick) but in my world numbers matter. This is not art class. SW configurations are smarter, simpler to create, but finding the configs within the master file may be difficult. SE Family of Parts actually produces a linked part copy. The SE drafting environment has many great and easy options relative to anything else I have used. SW has MUCH better sheet metal tools, especially if you have actually produced sheet metal parts. Inventor has some great mechanical models imbedded, like designing gears. My biggest gripe with SE, and it is big, is that the Family of Assemblies option is inherently unstable and difficult to work with. File sizes will bloat out of control quickly. Both work miserably over networks, particularly when editing in the context of an assembly. Shame on both Dessault and Siemens for not keeping up with multi-core options.

As mentioned below I've been using Solid Edge for a long time and designing furniture and now with Sync it is really fun and extremely productive.

See the videos below, then ask yourself can SolidWorks or Inventor even come close!

This is Anstead Bouncer Chair I designed a few years back, and we wanted to make a few angles changes to the backrest and seat for the next production run.

quick rendering:

ST4 is "not yet mature enough"

Well look for yourself....
Oh and keep in mind the heavily perforated (patterned) Seat and Backrest. Those are REAL HOLES not some texture or bumpmap.

Backrest Angle changes:

And here's Sync giving me the Seat Angle changes:

Try solidedge and you will know the answer for CAD 3D

Working with both CAD softwares, SW is more intuitive.
It easier to work with and saves more time desining complexed models.
But, for new users it might be more hard to get at first.
SE is a more simple, down to earth software. you can get it quit easily if used any other CAD before, it has a few tab rollers with most of what you need.
I think that SE is a pure engineering soft. while SW can be used also by designers.
I can say from the animations making point of view, if you'll ever need any, SE has a very different approach then SW.
In your case as described, with a strong graphic system, I think SE will be more than enough.

Hi All,

Just wanted to thank you for all the inputs regarding my selection of software. I've done a free trial of Solid Edge, and I think I'll go for ST4. Not that Solidworks is no good, but I like ST4's ability to edit imported files easily, and the price is lower.

My next step is to select a rendering software, which I find the decision hard to make again. I've posted it as a separate question in:
would be great if you can take a look!

Best Regards,

I use solidworks everyday. The question might be better approached by looking at how many paying jobs are requesting solidworks vs solidedge; the answer is simple, solidworks. I am in the 30-45K a year range with my company (that is gross, not net) and I have yet to see a contract job specifically asking for solidedge. So while admittedly solidedge appears to be listening better to their users, do you want a great program that you are always importing files into or do you just want to make money?

i work from 2001-2011 with solidedge and from 2011-now with solidworks designing inox and metal constuctions and machines.
solidworks is 2 levels higher from solidedge, plus dont need extreme system to make your project.
solidworks makes easier more complicate machines.

Dear Mr Lee
I used in the past all the software and i think to be able to expose my opinion.
Solid work and solid edge are similar, the difference is about some functions, difference in assembly status and base-standard.
I used solid edge (i have it) but i bought 2 solidworks licences and i prefere to use thelast: for me it's easyer to use.
About price: 6800€ solidworks professional, 5500/6000 solidedge.
Probably also Inventor is good and is very diffused into technical officies because of autocad was copied free from all.
I don't know the price of Inventor but i suppose it's similar to solidworks.

With every software you can do the same things even if there are different way to achive the goal, the choice depende on customers and the future possibility to work.

I used SW for many years, then switched jobs to where SE was used. I really missed the more intuitive SW, actually I hated SE because of the extra keystrokes needed. But then the unthinkable happened, I had an opportunity to go with a startup company and I got to choose which software to choose. I choose SE because, by that time I was used to it and ... mainly because of the additional flexibility with the drafting environment.

Matt lombard wrote the Bible Solid works and having seen solid edge and the synchronous technology, he began to criticize there very positive. Today he swears only by Solid EDGE! No hesitation, Solid edge is more successful to the everyday life

{​tongue in cheek}​ I bought my first seat of SolidWorks 2005 back in late 2004, and I am currently using SolidWorks 2012 Standard.

In 2009 I saw SolidEdge with Synchronous and have since evaluated it two times and found that because of a minor glitch in the way it handles a *LEFT-HANDED* mouse, it could not satisfy my needs.

So with ~9 years of SolidWorks experience vs 3 days of SolidEdge I would wholeheartedly recommend the Siemens product over the Dassault Systems property, seven days a week and eight on Sunday (which is why you're seeing this).

In all seriousness, the ONLY reason I still use 'Works' is inertia. And the only reason I'm commenting on a thread that is over two years old, is to convey my contempt and disgust for the quality of the product I am still using.

SolidWorks is one of the most "brittle" pieces of software I've ever encountered. Sure it works fine if you don't stress it too hard, but push it just a hairs' width past what it should do effortlessly, and it fails catastrophically! Lost work, corrupt files, and ZERO indication as to what I did wrong to cause it to crash. I wouldn't mind so much if the crashes were just that... but when it crashes often destroys the file I was working on *AND* the many other files that I might have opened during the session.

Anyway, I hope you are happy with the choice you made. :^)

I have used both and I have to say they are very similar products. Personally, I like the synchronous technology. It allows for a much faster design of simple parts. I used to have problems when loading big assemblies in solid works, something that I have not experienced with solid edge. The FEMA tool in solid works has more options than the one solid edge uses. Making and organizing drawings is simpler in solid edge.
In conclusion I suggest you acquire solid edge unless the price of solid works is lower.

I've been working with Solid Edge for 10 years and Solid Works for 2 years.
Everytime i have to go back to SE for any reason, it's a real pain.
Solid Works is superior by far in the following fields:

1) Rendering. In SE You can't reach the decent level of rendering you get with SW, not even if you spend ages working on the same object.
2) Logic. Everyone stating that the products are similar, means that they are similar as far as you are not using SE in a syncronous environment. I am not sure why they wanted to add this way of modeling, because after countless training hours, I still think it's a very fancy thing to show to people, but difficult to keep it under control. Under a practical aspect: useless.
3) Errors. SW allows you to keep errors and conflicts under control in such a way you couldn't dream if using SE.
4) Price. SW costs less does the same in a more efficient way

For what you need, I believe that the cheapest 3D software will be enough. Try solidface for software.
And for the rendering software you can always use keyshot (almost everybody does).

Agree with Branko, go as cheap as possible, almost ANY CAD software will do.
For rendering SolidWorks is as good of an option as Solid Edge, because to have the built-in rendering software you'd have to buy the Premium or the Professional version as I remember, Standard doesn't come with it.

I am up to the same question actually, choosing from SolidEdge, SolidWorks and Inventor. I am doing some trials and going to visit a few demo`s. What do you guys think if you wil design machinery equipment, (like conveyors) sheet metal assembly`s and frame`s. I would like to change components easily in an assembly and draw and change frame`s easily.

For you James, furniture is often drawed by SolidWorks.

Thanks for the tips and if I have made a discision i will upload a few models!

I was deciding for a 3D CAD tool recently. I looked on all the "cheap" tools less than two thousand Euro and on AutoCAD and Inventor.
Than I came to SolidWorks, which is, as Premium Version, in a little higher price range. But the first demonstration done by a SolidWorks professional convinced me completely. He has done things I was working on for weeks with the cheap tools in less than two hours.
The concept of SolidWorks is based on "active metadata" or they call it features. This concept is implemented completely and is from my point of view state of the art and secures future enhancements.
The error messages are mostly very helpful and it delivers very good rendering.
I was able to do great progress with only three days of training (individual consulting, I've bought with the product).
The education string (at least in Germany throught SolidWorks partners) is great and fairly cheap.
My resume, even month after the decission I would make the same decission again.
FYI: I am using SolidWorks Premium and the Simulation Package.

SolidWorks is a good for 3D models and has a good render with which you can make very nice pictures
Sorry for my English

I just got my new workstation today and downloaded Solid Edge for a 45-day free trial. Will make the decision when I get familiarized with it.
Thank you everyone for the valuable feedback!

I started toying around with the SolidEdge trial, and was pleasantly surprised to find that it can open my Solidworks files directly. However, I wasn't able to find much literature on this topic.

What I'd like to know is, will I be able to directly edit the history based parameters of Solidworks files in ST4?
Also, how does this work the other way round? i.e. using Solidworks to open SolidEdge files.


Solidedge is in my opinion more for mechanical engineering ...
Creo Parametric is like solidworks but very complex (hard to learn)...
creo elementes is very easy an fast for modelling -> try the demo > creo elementes express (it´s free) ...
one of the best = solidworks (easy, and very good rendering) -> but price ...

I have used both I like solidworks a lot better because there is so much help for it if you need it. trying to find help for a question on SE you hear crickets.

and the main peeve for me with solid edge is that after spending the thousands of dollars for the program you dont own the friggin software. the second you stop the annual maint fees bam your program stops working.

If I am going to spend thousands on a program it dang better well still work if for whatever reason I stop paying their annual fees.

I worked in furniture design and production. We used an organic 3D Program like 3ds Max for design and render, sometimes with Keyshot for product renders. And Solidworks for technical drawings. As usually the designers invisioned UFO's, and I had to make Airplanes out of them.

Solidworks is not a great renderer. But can be used for that as well.
Max is not of any use for technical drawings, and rendering is a complex task. (Hard learning curve). Solidworks and Solidedge are mostly similar and the differences are not dramatic. The Syncronous Tech while sweet on the eyes is not that much help.

I would recommend Solidworks as you already own it and Keyshot for the renders, while keeping in mind that scene renders (inside building with outside light) are not it's strong point.

I am Solidworks user since 1998,and SolidEdge user since 2000.In 2004 I started to focused 90% on Solidworks,and SolidEdge less.
It is true I never give-up in working with SolidEdge.
You must think at what you need.Good renderings ?
Of course,Solidworks have a better rendering.But is not enough.
For example,I work models in Solidworks and I use for rendering 3DMax.
If I do the work in SolidEdge,I will do the same.
You must understand,that Solidworks and SolidEdge are not for RENDERINGS.Theese programs are dedicated for technology.
Very good export have both,SW and SE.

my recommendation for your company is to use solidworks, this due to its power render.
it achieved enhance your designs and give very good punctuation on the market.

I think the most significant thing is which product best serves your target market. In Denver SWX is the king, ProE and Inventor about equal and SE a tiny fraction. Pick what you'll be able to use the most and will get you the most customers.

I've use SWX, SE, Inventor and ProE. ProE is the hardest to learn and use but may well require the fewest mouse clicks. As packages, SW and Inventor are about equal with each having some features they are strongest at (if you could smash them together into one it would be the best of the four but that will never happen). My experience says SE is better than either of these two but only has one major user in my geographic area.

If it is about building your business, look at your market. There in lies the answer. If you are just addressing new users go with what you like best. If you're targeting an existing user base and large number of local customers look at what they are using and go with that.

dear sir, i am a professional graphics designer i worked on 3ds max solid works solid edge auto cad 3d and Maya and every software is better than others in something
for internal designs and furniture use 3dsmax excellent in this branch
solid-works-solid-edge are for mechanical designs and mechanical analysis they are excellent in this branch
auto-cad is the best at 2d drawings and 3d cad is weak compared to other 3d software
Maya is the same as 3dsmax but it is better than 3dsmax in characters simulations , fluids
at the end all software's can do every thing but every software is( better ,easy to use ,libraries ,plugins,blocks,tutorials ) in something than others

Hi All,

Thanks for all the many responses to my question. Just wanted to give you guys an update on my software issues- as you know I chose Solid Edge in the end and had been using it for the past year or so.

It is a good and powerful software with many nice features: The mouse control is nice- I like the way a lot of work processes can be done quickly with a right click. Sketching is also easier- not as easy to "overdefine", and there's also layers. The "Dynamic Edit" is also a convenient feature- allows you to change dimensions quickly. The synchronous function is smart- I suppose this is the selling point, unfortunately I didn't have a chance to make good use of it. I tend to take comfort in being able to go into the history of the model.

However, maybe it is because I am so used to SW since college days, I find a few things quite annoying with SE:
1. Steep learning curve- while SolidWorks has well labled steps during the workflow that guides a user how to build different features, SE has none of that- you are supposed to "know" how to do it. I had to spend lots of time looking through the user manual to learn how to use some rather basic features.
2. Cross referencing- For top-down design that I always do, In SW it is very easy to reference all sorts of elements from other parts in the assembly. But in SE this is very limited- for example, you can't bring a reference plane from another part, and you need to use special functions like "include" and "interpart copy" in order to cross reference. This is a real pain for me.
3. Modifying History- It is a pain to modify the history of features- okay maybe I still haven't learned the proper way to do so, but every time I try to change the definition of features (e.g. changing profile sketch), it becomes messy and sometimes ended up having to redraw a part from scratch.
4. Extrude- SW has very powerful "extrude" function which I use most often- you can extrude at different angles, from and to different planes, vertex, surfaces bodies etc.... But for SE, you can only extrude perpendicularly; you can extrude "to" a vertex but not "from" (you can only extrude from sketch or from a surface or plane in the active part). This has been particularly frustrating.
5. Community- because the SE user base is so small compared with SW, when I come across a problem, it is often hard to find an answer online. SW has such a large user base that when I come across any problem, I am likely to find on google someone who faced the same problem.

But perhaps I might find the Synchronous feature useful some day.

Anyhow, I just landed a new client and this company uses SW exclusively for all their processes, and I am eventually forced to get a Solidworks license so that we can work on the same files. So now I am back on Solidworks, with a very expensive lesson learnt!


I know parametric modeling is considered the ultimate but when I need to crank out models and drawings fast to keep the many bosses happy, I use AutoCAD 2010 and up - now using 2013. They finally quit bending over backward to make the old board drafters happy with their 2D and have improved the direct modeling capabilities by a HUGE margin. Like any CAD modeling package, you need to learn it well to use it well but it builds on the AutoCAD of old so there was no learning curve for me. For the really complex curves, it has much more extensive mesh and surface tools than it used to as well.

I have also learned how to use Inventor and I can see the potential for quick changes later when everyone comes out of a design meeting and expect a "few quick changes" but in the long run, plain AutoCAD direct modeling has it beat for speed. And now that it has parametric controls that can be placed at will on objects, it takes away much of the advantage that parametric modelers had over it.

What I don't like about Inventor is filling out all the dialog boxes and clicking soft buttons to go from one step to the next. Switching back and forth between sketching and modeling and the drawing sheet. I can do it ALL from Paperspace with viewports in AutoCAD.

Actually I use Solid Edge ST5, but some years ago I designed with Solid Works. I started to work with SE V7, and till SE V18, it was a good CAD, above all when I and we had to design in 2D draft.
Now a day is important to know that we have to produce drafts in bi-dimensional, because only in this way, the product can be producted. We don't project "comics" but part of machines with all dimensions. About your answer I can only tell you that nobody in my region uses Synchronous technology, but designes in traditional way, like we were in SE V20. At least for my limitated knowlwdge. So, my collegues and my friends, are not so happy about Siemens software, also because they have cancelled several good commands. Only one question. Why Siemens has developed the icons in horizontal stripe rather than in vertical? The visible part of the project has been reduced. May be I think we should ask to the Monitor productors (Sony, Samsung and so on) that they do not make TV in 16:9 but in 9:16.
About Solid Works I don't have an up to date idea. You should ask yourself, what I have to design, and only so you will be able to have an answer.

i think you can use solidworks,i just used it for 2 years,Compared with other software, it is more easy,i brought the software in 50000 yuan(chinese money), I think it's not expensive, and suitable for various industries。

best regards.

It's been a while since I've looked into SolidEdge, but back when we were test driving we looked at both SE & SWX. And frankly, I saw very little difference. In fact, they looked like indentical twins, to me.

That said, they're both parametric modelers. So to answer your question... I'd say neither. Go look at a direct modeler (Space Claim,Creo Direct, KeyCreator, IronCAD) . IMHO, any of them are better than any parametric program.

I've been using SolidWorks for 4 years now. I too am a woodworker and have had good luck with multi-part furniture designs. I have the middle 'Professional' level and I pay on average $133 a month (with a credit card, the subscription is annual) The comparable 'Classic' feature set for Solid Edge is like $260 a month.

You want SolidWorks because in the long run, it is a better deal, though the buy-in is steep. You will have to deal with a local reseller and hopefully they will work with you on payment plans, like mine has. Hopefully SolidWorks gets on board with the direct monthly subscription model like Siemens, Adobe and Autodesk have.

All CAD systems have their pros and cons and SolidWorks has an edge on price. Dassault systems has CATIA as their flagship and SolidWorks was, I believe an acquisition. I believe as time progresses, they are moving away from CATIA and will try to evolve SolidWorks into their flagship. They have had a corporate shakeup lately but I think it will evolve into a superior product as they INCREMENTALLY move to a new engine. One thing they have working against them is the huge user base which yells bloody murder when a beloved feature gets reworked or axed. "We fear change"

The renderer with SolidWorks is awesome. It is based on technology from Modo, which is a high-end photo realistic ray-tracing package.

The synchronous technology in Solid Edge is nifty but nothing so revolutionary that it greatly effects the end-product. Basically instead of a linear feature tree, it creates a hierarchical feature tree. This allows for a lot of flexibility as you refine a design over time.

You will run into situations in SolidWorks where you need to start over on a part because of a decision you made early in the design lead you to a dead end. This is something you learn to live with and re-visioning and redesigning components with multiple file versions is a healthy practice. SW 2014 addresses many of these issues, and future versions will refine it further.

I recommend you check out SolidWorks' YouTube channel and Pinterest.

To All Reading This Thread:

I'm going to throw another factor into this “either/or” equation, when it comes to a 3D CAD platform for a small shop. Particularly, since most of the big name CAD companies products can import and export each others files, in one way or another, and their capabilities, for the most part, are pretty much the same, with very finite exceptions. What stands out, then, amongst all these platforms are two major issues: That of customer relations (tech support), and most important of all, cost.

As a thirty-year CAD veteran (I built my first CAD workstation in 1982, from components, back when AutoCAD was still being sold out of a garage-based business) and working as an engineering consultant most of my 50-year career, I have used virtually all of the major CAD platforms, which included both SW and SE, along with several that are no longer around. My work demanded I have my own personal CAD platform and workstation; more for experience and proficiency than anything else. I started, of course, with AutoCAD, and then ultimately migrated to SolidWorks. The biggest factor of all, that nearly broke my financial back, was that of CAD provider attitude, which included software cost, and “fluff vs. meaningful” upgrades.

Today, most of the major brands are selling, initially, for approximately $4K (US) per seat, and some are even charging nearly that for the 'necessary' annual subscription upgrades. That is a huge cash outlay burden for any business, much less a small one, and often that overpriced outlay buys you little if any increased capability. It hasn't been until just recently that there has been any considerable competition in this market. That is until the very capable CAD software called BricsCAD arrived on the scene. BricsCAD is an full-blown AutoCAD clone that has even more features, is fully 3D capable, is customizable, costs less than a fifth of most major brands, and the annual subscription cost is even better, yet. You owe it to yourself to check them out.

As far as proficiency is concerned, it is just a matter of what you get used to; it's completely experience driven. I admit, there are some features of every major CAD program I like better than others, but when it comes to 'bang for the buck', you really can't beat BricsCAD.

solidwork is the best

At the end i've understood the important is to know how to design and above all, how to put correctly the dimensions, when we design. It is so good to see parts of machine in 3D, but we don't forget the bi-dimensional drawings. There are the functional dimensions and the others, less important. The question is: both softwares work, so do the designers use, at least the 50% of the potential softwares?


As you may know, SolidWorks and Solid Edge both use the same modeling kernel (the core engine that does the geometry modeling), as Dassault licenses the Parasolid modeling kernel from Siemens PLM Software. (Dassault as stated* that they will be changing to the same modeling kernel they use in CATIA.

You might be interested in checking out GeoMagic Design (formerly Alibre) if cost is an issue. They have very nice rendering tools, and the interface is very straight forward. As a former SW & SE user, I have found it easier to get things done and easier on the wallet.

I've been using both Solid Works and Solid edge.
In my oppinion Solid Works has more opportunities.(Design, analyse, rendering, but also in general but therfore Solid Works would be more expensive)

I think Solid Works would be sufficient for simple furniture design.
For nice realistic renders though I would deffinetly recommand Solid Works over Solid Edge!! It on you to decide if it worth the price.

Note: I would juist recommand to purchase the software you're Engeneers are most familliar whith!

Thank you all for the advice.

Seems different people have different ideas, but more seem to prefer Solidworks.

I haven't heard of Solidface though- and its website doesn't seem to be working right now. How does it compare with solidworks and solid edge?

Hey we have bunch of SE fans here. Hopefully all the post are not objective lol!

I use the two softwares, but I think that SolidWorks is better, because is more easy to use, the tools, all

easiest & excellent software is solid works. no one can beat it.

Heard of various others that use Autocad for furniture, you might want to look them up.

3d studio max işini görebilir fazlasıyla.

Solidworks is better.Furthermore, AutoCAD is also a good choice and you can import/export to each other.

The vast majority of SE users appear to do so as they've been using it for years - and from what I understand it did used to be better. For me, with under a decade experience of CAD and intensive experience with both packages, I cannot understand why anyone would choose SE.

Each command generally requires multiple confirmations, mouse miles are many multiples more than SW and processing times are huge. The one upside is I've found it to crash less, but given the length of time it takes to perform saves, when it does crash it can be vastly more significant.


solid works

I believe Synchronous Technology is one of the worst things to happen to solid modeling, it's awful. Synchronous Technology is NOT good solid modeling practice, it's messy and unreliable. I work for a company that uses Solid Edge so I have to use it, I would not buy it, I would buy Solidworks, which I used for about five years. Synchronous Technology turns an otherwise clean model into a very messy 3D sketch with a plethora of dimensions all over the place. Instead of a nice feature-based modeling experience with as little as one dimension to constrain a feature, dimensions and live rules are everywhere!! And so messy and difficult to modify if you need to make changes. I have had to scrap ST models because they simply become useless and unchangeable. The "steering wheel" is ridiculous, it cannot be controlled easily, you have to move it around and hope it points in the direction you need, very frustrating. Solid Edge is a bad experience from installation to acquiring a license, and certainly for modeling. Solidworks is so intuitive and easy to use, configurations are so much better than family of parts, it's not even fair to compare. Solidworks has an Excel-based design table too, which makes configurations really easy just using numbers. Trying to figure out why Solid Edge won't install is what led me to this page. I would put Solid Edge at the bottom, well below Solidworks, Catia, even Alibre, I have used each of them.

solid works is the king of drawing programmers

Definitley SolidWorks! You'll find a larger, less expensive talent pool to draw from than SolidEdge.
Forget about CREO or anything Pro-E. The've fallen way behind & are a pain to work with. Their user pool wants big $$ due to the fact it's so combersome to use.

You can do nice renderings in SolidWorks, easy to learn Software.

Get solidworks. Solid edge is useless, from what Ive seen, especially the rendering.