what is the best software for mechanical design?
Some will say this is relative, but you need to look at three main criteria:
What is being used in your industry?
What feature set do you need? sheet metal? surfacing? mold tools?
What is your budget for software/hardware?
It's not always one tool though. The toolset I prefer is solidworks, spaceclaim, modo and keyshot, with most of my mechanical work being done in SolidWorks. That said, Hardi is correct about Solid Edge and sheet metal. For surfacing, SolidWorks does alright, but you'll have frustrations, where packages like NX, modo and 3ds max are going to provide better results.
I have found SolidEdge Sheet Metal module better than Inventor, Pro/E and SolidWorks with the following reasons:
* It has very powerful way to create sophisticated flat patterns and relate them to variables
* I found Variable table functionality better
* Compared to SolidWorks - Excel integration with SolidEdge was much more suitable. For example I could link all dimensions on a Variable table to one specific Excel spreadsheet. Then you can start playing with macros and sql queries to get dimensions for different orders.
But this is one use-case where I found SolidEdge better than SolidWorks and I believe you can find a lot of different use-cases where SolidWorks is better than SolidEdge or Inventor etc.
My mind and brain and my hands. All of earlier mentioned software is only a tool.
You may have a excelent bunch of installed software but if you have'nt ideas or knowledge all this tools are unworthly. Every professional software need a time to learn and when you teach one it's hard to reorient to another software. When you work a couple years you made a library for yourself with standard parts and desin solutions to easy your everyday tasks.Instead of that it's not a question which is best, question is which software can comunicate best with other software. Artificial inteligence is one way to do it, but fellows what will be happened with us when AI reach a border of our knowledge.
One time I study a smart languages as CLIPS and AI theory and it will come a time when programed AI software can make a decision for a right stuff between offered solutions. Databases get bigger and bigger and posiility to choosing right solution on experience of human beings fo rmachine is very closely.
Since it so easy to get into my anwser is IronCAD.
A short movie.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ATJAz0rhIQ&feature=related
Yearts ago there was a site called midrangecad.com which spelled out just about everything you could know about every cad app on the planet. It was an excel spreadsheet you could download and the public could update. This was the mosy compehensive spreadsheet that broke every feature and detail down the the finest.
Funny thing is that IronCAD always came out on top of the overall rating. However SolidWorks found out about this site and forced its closure. This was one of CAD's worst days, becuase it hurt ALL cad users regardless of what they used by denying an unbiased chart to all the CAD apps.
Anyway, my point is if you need a overall CAD tool that provides fast, accurate and a bunch of integrated options at a reasonable cost, then IronCAD wins.
If Sheet metal is your bread and butter, you need Solid Edge. If plastic injection molded parts is your bread and butter than I would look at Vero, most would say SolidWorks, but do yourself a favor and look at vero too. You will be very surprised.
Jig Design - IronCAD
Civil /Architectural - AutoCAD or Bentley. Since most civil engineernig is still 2D, this answer is temporary until the migrate to 3D in the future.
Bid Modeling - Inovate
just a few, responses. As I get more time, I will post more.
I have been using CAD software since the early 90's. I have used Solidworks, Inventor and a few others. I would reccomend Solidworks for a couple of reasons. The simplicity of Solidworks makes it very good for begineers and the drawing templates are the best. Like all have said, I guess it depends on what it is you are going to be modeling. I design RO systems and UV systems. I use Solidworks for the RO systems since e-drawings is available for free and the production guys can have the model on a screen downstairs and "spin" the model around making it easier to build.
Yes, as say Ali H. If you master one of the software mentioned this is the best for you.
I think Pro/E 5 is very well if you have skills in all the modules, sheetmetal, surface, cabling, piping, mechanica . .. . but actually you can found various software that do the same thing. I have skills in Pro/E 5 an I earn my salary working with this but you can decide for any other.
Inventor and SolidWorks are the best. I suggest SolidWorks for beginners because you hav a lot of tutorials and projects online about it where you can learn every kind of module easily. But, I found there are not many tutorials available for other softwares.
go for Pro/Engineer and if u select Creo(best) for transmission design i.e solid modelling, assembly, mold design, mechanism, sheetmetal. It can take large asemblies and best in data exchange. Better file management system unlike any other software presently.
go for solidworks if you want everything at ease+ surfacing+ rendering.
catia is the best for surfacing and evn solide modelling is too cool.
The best answer i found at
Today is not an era where any industry is relay on Paper-Pencil-Drafter skill in engineering drawing. The market is very fast and so product development cycle is faster too. So must have skilled in computer aided engineering drawing.
I would look at the software that has direct modeling capabilities. You said for "design" and those apps (Spaceclaim, KeyCreator, Creo Direct, Fusion etc.) Make the design process faster than the parametric modelers. With those you can push, pull, drag and manipulate any geometry at any time without worrying about the order it was created or what features will fail if you change something. You can , for example, adjust the width of an assembly with hundreds of parts in just one command. In the parametrics you will either have to change and debug each part one by one or hope that the model was pre-thought out to be changed in that way. I use SolidWorks professionally every day as I am forced to but I find it much slower to make unpredicted changes and do "what if" scenerios where you can just save a model under a different name and play with it during the concept phase. I made a completely new sized machine from an old one in a few days in a direct modeler by just box moving,chopping mirroring etc. I then took the concept into SWX which took much longer.
SWX is undeniably the most popular (the industry alays seems to clump around one system) but that doesn't always mean it is the "best" for what you want to do. Just look around at options.
I'm using Solidworks and I am very happy with it and I would also recommend Solidworks for a couple of reasons. This tool makes it very good for beginners and the templates are the best all have said. I'm sure there must be something better out there. So go for with software if you want everything at ease, surfacing and rendering.
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I've used SW, ProE, & Inventor. I suggest:
1) if you are beginners, or students, or its parts less than 100 pcs, use SW. it's easy to learning, easy to start working, but easy to come out trouble/bugs.
2) if you are PE(professional engineers), and do R&D jobs, or do customise/special design, use ProE, but it's need time to learning. some call-name/Command is not relation to Engineer side, very difficult to understanding.
3) if you are PE or Mechanical students, and do machine design. use Inventor. very smart do shaft, gear, fastener etc. but its structure/frame design so complication.
i have done catia and solidworks also.i will suggest catia for which who want to
build more complicated parts like surfacing component, sheet metal component , etc.because this software is so much vast. u can make any thing in this,but its little bit typical. but for beginners i will suggest solidworks first and then catia.
I have used all three, Pro/E when I was working at a large Defense Systems Corp. But since I have retired have used both SW, and AD Inventor. My preference is AD Inventor over all three, used Pro/E for 18 years. Udes Catia in it's early stages, wasn't impressed then, may be now.
Having said that, does anyone have any ideas how a retired woodworking hobbyist can attain one of these at a relatively inexpensive price. Hate to think of having to go to Turbo Cad etc. Just not the same. Any help would be appreciated
As a general note, the best software for you is the one you can access most easily, provided in your university, cheaper to buy, or perhaps one that has a free/cheap academic version, etc. All CAD/CAM/CAE software are awesome, with a few advantages and disadvantages for/against each other...
for surface and wire frame, CATIA is the best...
for 2D sketching AutoCAD is the best....
for 3D modelling, ProEngineer, SolidWorks are the best.
for simulation and rendering, SolidWorks is very advanced.
for simplicity and user-friendliness and speed of simple 3D design, Autodesk Inventor is the best.
for generally Automotive and Aerospace, CATIA is much better.
TopSolid CADCAM 7 and here are some of the many reasons why:
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