Many drafting software applications are available to manufacturers and their customers, but Solidworks offers an excellent balance of powerful 3D modelling, ease of use, affordability and integrations with design analysis and CNC programming. Seasoned manufacturers work with SolidWorks because it provides them with powerful modeling capabilities, planning capacity and collaborative options.
SolidWorks: Power and Versatility
Although several competing applications can also produce strong 3D models, there are several reasons top manufacturers rely on SolidWorks. First, it is simply more user friendly than other programs in creating the 3D models that are so critical to the planning phase.
It is also a very broad application that performs additional functions not related to 3D modeling. SolidWorks has a lot of add-ons, including powerful CAM software that enables users to generate strong CNC programs. This allows manufacturers to integrate their modeling and CNC programming work into the same family of software. With both programs unified, they can intelligently remove materials and easily transition from the modelling side to programming side.
The program also offers strong finite element analysis, which helps designers with things like stress analysis and weld distortion prediction. If manufacturers choose to use 3D printers to create physical 3D models, SolidWorks can be used to create and export the right type of file for that application.
Continuity and Customer Collaboration
An added benefit is that many major clients and customers also use the program, which enables an enhanced level of collaboration. When both parties use SolidWorks, the manufacturer doesn't have to convert drafts or drawing histories from one extension or software package to another. This continuity reduces the risk of losing critical data, but it also has other benefits.
Generally, when a team converts 3D models from one software package to another, they tend to convert only the final surfaces. When both parties stay within the same software brand, however, they can maintain every feature that was originally created, including:
- Individual drill holes.
- Specific cut surfaces.
- Assembly features, which can then be modified.
Manufacturers rely heavily on drafting software to create 3D models, generate CNC programs and share data with customers. A manufacturer who uses SolidWorks recognizes the importance of its versatility, compatibility, power and ease of use.