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Unread 11-21-2017, 05:09 PM
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One CAD to rule them all

Hello CADers of CD! I just have a quick question for all of you... Which CAD program is best? Last year I went through a horrifying experience of designing our robot in Google sketch up. Not ideal.

So what is the best CADing software? Solidworks, Inventor, or Fusion 360? What are the pros and cons?
Please share your opinion!

Thanks!

(By the way if their is a thread about this please post a link)
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Unread 11-21-2017, 05:36 PM
justin.chau justin.chau is offline
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Re: One CAD to rule them all

Robot in Google Sketch Up - I feel bad for you. I personally prefer Solidworks. A lot of CAD programs are very similar, but Solidworks just feels the most intuitive to me. It is probably because I have the most experience in Solidworks though. If your team is mainly Mac based, Fusion 360 is nice because it's cross-platform. Fusion 360 also has pretty good CAM built in. Although HSMworks is very similar for Solidworks and Inventor. However, I think you'll find that Solidworks and Inventor are much more robust than Fusion 360 in terms of feature set. If you do have access to a lot of windows machines, I would go for Solidworks or Inventor.
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Unread 11-21-2017, 05:36 PM
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Re: One CAD to rule them all

I've used all three and prefer Inventor. Though, Solidworks has a much bigger market share.
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Unread 11-21-2017, 05:48 PM
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Re: One CAD to rule them all

Inventor or Solidworks, but Fusion is workable if you can drive either of the others. If you have a group of CADers, Fusion has cloud work built-in.

I feel the pain of Sketchup.
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Unread 11-21-2017, 05:52 PM
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Re: One CAD to rule them all

Quote:
Originally Posted by EricH View Post
Inventor or Solidworks, but Fusion is workable if you can drive either of the others. If you have a group of CADers, Fusion has cloud work built-in.

I feel the pain of Sketchup.
If you chose Solidworks or Inventor, I highly recommend using GrabCAD for version control, especially if you have multiple CADers.
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Unread 11-21-2017, 05:59 PM
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Re: One CAD to rule them all

Still prefer Creo, 8 years after first picking up Pro/E Wildfire... I once had reasons, because I had actually tried recent versions of Solidworks and Inventor, but at this point it's more a matter of being able to do everything I want to do quickly.

If you have mentors that use one, use that. Otherwise, my experience is/was that they're all pretty comparable (at least Solidworks, Inventor, and Creo), and you're better off picking one and just running with it. They all have associated headaches that you'll discover from using them regularly.
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Unread 11-21-2017, 06:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Ginger View Post
Hello CADers of CD! I just have a quick question for all of you... Which CAD program is best? Last year I went through a horrifying experience of designing our robot in Google sketch up. Not ideal.

So what is the best CADing software? Solidworks, Inventor, or Fusion 360? What are the pros and cons?
Please share your opinion!

Thanks!

(By the way if their is a thread about this please post a link)
I'll put in another vote for Creo. I grew up learning 3D parametric CAD with PTC and that's why it's still my favorite. I am much more comfortable in the constrained world of Creo vs. the free form world of Solidworks and Inventor.

If maintaining software is not your thing and you want to run multi-platform, check out OnShape. It's cloud based CAD with Goggle Drive "like" file management.

If you're going to pursue an engineering career, you'll need to know some form of 3D CAD. I like Creo and Solidworks since they are mainstream and professional. As mentioned by others, go with a system your mentors know or a system you know and make it your own.

The most important thing is team unity when it comes to CAD. Having team members concurrently designing in two or more systems is not productive. Standardize. The benefits of one system over another are so minor these days, it's not worth the hassle of trying to integrate it all.

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Unread 11-21-2017, 06:21 PM
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Re: One CAD to rule them all

Quote:
Originally Posted by skottmorris View Post
If maintaining software is not your thing and you want to run multi-platform, check out OnShape. It's cloud based CAD with Goggle Drive "like" file management.
+1
OnShape is awesome for collaboration. It is getting better every month.
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Unread 11-21-2017, 07:02 PM
justin.chau justin.chau is offline
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Re: One CAD to rule them all

Quote:
Originally Posted by skottmorris View Post
I'll put in another vote for Creo. I grew up learning 3D parametric CAD with PTC and that's why it's still my favorite. I am much more comfortable in the constrained world of Creo vs. the free form world of Solidworks and Inventor.
Curious on what you mean by "free form world"? All sketches in Solidworks and Inventor should be fully constrained as well (besides a few exceptions).
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Unread 11-21-2017, 07:11 PM
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Re: One CAD to rule them all

Solidworks with Grabcad all the way. In my opinion it is the most intuitive and easy for students to learn while being very good for FRC purposes. Added bonus is that there are a bunch of seminars and videos from other teams on best practices for Solidworks out there making it easier to hone your skills specifically targeted at FRC.
Last reason I am very pro Solidworks is that many of my graduating students who study engineering at various universities have reported back to me that they work with Solidworks in their first few years in school so they get a leg up on the competition when they get to school which is the greatest plus of all.
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Unread 11-21-2017, 08:16 PM
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Re: One CAD to rule them all

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jchau View Post
Curious on what you mean by "free form world"? All sketches in Solidworks and Inventor should be fully constrained as well (besides a few exceptions).
Have you tried Creo? Itís like SolidWorks, but is WAAAAAYYY more frustrating. Part creation isnít terrible, but making assemblies is horrific, and God bless you if you change your mind or want to do some advanced mates.
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Unread 11-21-2017, 08:27 PM
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Re: One CAD to rule them all

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Hill View Post
Have you tried Creo? Itís like SolidWorks, but is WAAAAAYYY more frustrating. Part creation isnít terrible, but making assemblies is horrific, and God bless you if you change your mind or want to do some advanced mates.
Yeah, youíre blowing that way out of proportion. The learning curve is steep and thereís typically a google or two between wanting to use a constraint and actually using it, but once you learn the constraints IMO stuff for FRC/FTC is pretty sane. Iíll grant you thereís a bit of a steep hill going towards a cliff in getting how it works, but once youíre there it makes plenty of sense.
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Unread 11-21-2017, 08:49 PM
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Re: One CAD to rule them all

We use Siemens NX 11 and recommend it if you can get access to it. We have a mentor who works on programming it for a living.
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Unread 11-21-2017, 08:59 PM
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Re: One CAD to rule them all

Fusion 360 is really awesome. I think SW users tend to overlook it as it's quite different from SW and they believe that because of it's more minimalist interface and low cost that it's been dumbed down. It has all the features a FRC team would want, a great sketching environment, collaboration, multi-platform functionality, cloud based storage and repository control, easy to use CAM enviroment and a ton more. It's also really easy to teach to new students and is a little lighter weight performance wise which is great for running on old school computers or student laptops.
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Unread 11-21-2017, 09:02 PM
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Re: One CAD to rule them all

Quote:
Originally Posted by cadandcookies View Post
Yeah, youíre blowing that way out of proportion. The learning curve is steep and thereís typically a google or two between wanting to use a constraint and actually using it, but once you learn the constraints IMO stuff for FRC/FTC is pretty sane. Iíll grant you thereís a bit of a steep hill going towards a cliff in getting how it works, but once youíre there it makes plenty of sense.
I tried to learn it, TWICE, in two years. I got frustrated at roughly the first tutorial--the first time near the end, the second time I might have made it through a sketch. This was about 10 years ago. I haven't looked back.

OTOH, I can work in either Solidworks or Inventor with a minimum of issues, and Fusion as well (though I'm still getting used to that one). I've tried Sketchup and really don't want to do that again unless I have to (you really can't do precision work to scale in that program).
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