What is SolidWorks?
Figure 1: SolidWorks Logo
SolidWorks is a 3D CAD (Computer Aided Design) and a CAE (Computer Aided Engineering) Software that is published by the European software company “Dassault Systèmes”. Solidworks runs only on Microsoft Windows. The first version of SolidWorks called SolidWorks 95 was released in November 1995 and the latest Version of the Software called SolidWorks 2019 was released in October 9, 2018. According to the weekly newspaper Sheffield Telegraph SolidWorks is the world’s most popular CAD software in the world. DS Solidworks Corp has sold over 3.5 million licenses of SolidWorks worldwide this includes individuals as well as large corporations. Products that compete with SolidWorks include PTC Creo Elements/Pro, Solid Edge, NX Siemens and Autodesk Inventor.
Workshops of SolidWorks:
Figure 2: Workshops of SolidWorks
SolidWorks has a wide range of Workshops that can be used and purchased. This includes:
- SOLIDWORKS Basic: the basic form of SolidWorks allows the user to Design 3D Models, Create Drafts and assemble Machines.
- Surfacing: Surfacing allows the engineers and users to design Plastic Products which is extremely important.
- Sheet Metal: the workshop Sheet Metal is one of the most important Workshops and Features in SolidWorks, it allows the engineers to design special Purpose machines and equipment tools.
- Simulation: Simulation allows engineers to simulate the way the machine or structure would behave if it was built in real life.
Industries that use SolidWorks:
Figure 3: Industries that use SolidWorks
SolidWorks is used in various different fields and domains such as:
- Mechatronics and robotics: a lot of engineering firms and groups use SolidWorks in order to design robotic arms and other mechatronic systems such as drones due to the efficiency and flexibly that SolidWorks offers.
- Construction: SolidWorks allows the engineers and users to perform Finite Element Analysis on mechanical structures such as stairs, houses, buildings…
- Industrial Equipment: many companies and factories all over the world use SolidWorks in order to design Industrial equipment and special purpose machines using various different Workshops that SolidWorks has to offer such as sheet metal, Surfacing, Simulation…
- Energy Field: Thanks to the CFD Workshop (Computational Fluids Dynamics) Engineers use SolidWorks in the energy field.
Advantages and Disadvantages of SolidWorks:
Benefits of Using SolidWorks:
There are plenty of reasons why SolidWorks is one of the most useful and successful software of all time and the most used CAD Software. Here are some advantages and pros for using SolidWorks:
- SolidWorks can be used for various different purposes such as Educational reasons, professional usage or simply for personal activities.
- SolidWorks has a wide range of Workshops and different features such as Weldment, Sheet metal, Surfacing, Rendering…
- SolidWorks is known for having a great support and customer service.
- Various different industries and companies use SolidWorks, from factories to electrical designers, Mechatronic Firms…
- The company Dassualt Systems offers a one-time free license for SolidWorks which can be extremely beneficial to both small companies as well as larger ones.
- SolidWorks is considered by many to be user friendly and easy to learn especially that DS SolidWorks Corp offers training and educational videos.
- Each newer version of SolidWorks improve thus making the Software constantly changing for the better.
Drawbacks of Using SolidWorks:
Even though SolidWorks is a great CAD Software and admired by thousands of users, it does have its own share of drawbacks and disadvantages such as:
- SolidWorks is only available for Microsoft Windows, which means that a lot of users that use Linux and MACs cannot use SolidWorks.
- Even though Dassualt Systems offers a one-time fee License, it can be a problem for some, most likely companies and corporations can afford it, others such as individuals and small companies may struggle to do so.
- It is true that SolidWorks is used for a huge range of activities and Industries, it is not common to find Automobile Companies and Aerospace Engineers use SolidWorks.
- Even though SolidWorks works and runs on Windows it is recommended that one should not run it on Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 matter of fact the newer versions of SolidWorks will only be Available for Windows 10 and Windows 7.
In conclusion SolidWorks is a great CAD and CAE Software that is admired and used by thousands of engineers and students all over the world making it the most used CAD Software in the world, however before one purchase the license, first it is important and vital to know the purpose and field of which the software is going to be used.