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Popular 3D CAD Software: SolidWorks

written by: Haresh Khemani • edited by: Lamar Stonecypher • updated: 1/25/2009

SolidWorks is another one of the most popular 3D CAD software. It has special tools and features for mechanical design though it is equally useful for the engineers and designers of all other fields.

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    About SolidWorks

    SolidWorks is another one of the most popular 3D CAD software related to the mechanical field. SolidWorks 3D CAD software was developed in the year 1995 by SolidWorks Corporation, the company founded by Jon Hirschtick in the year 1993. The software was launched with the aim of providing low cost CAD software to the designers in the era when highly expensive software like AutoCAD, Pro/Engineer, I-DEAS etc were already popular. In the year 1997, SolidWorks was acquired by Dassault Systemes, the French company, best known for one of another popular CAD software, CATIA.

    The 3D CAD software SolidWorks has special tools and features for mechanical design though it is equally useful for the engineers and designers of all other fields. In this age most of the companies are making transition from 2D to 3D to take the designing process to the next level. With SolidWorks this transition becomes smooth and easier. As per the company figures, around 800,000 people are using the SolidWorks software.

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    Important Features of SolidWorks

    The features of SolidWorks can be divided into three categories:

    1) MCAD or Mechanical CAD: SolidWorks Software comes with the SWIFT™ (SolidWorks Intelligent Feature Technology) that enables you to concentrate more towards your design instead trying to make the software work for you. It automates a number of processes that consume lots of time. SolidWorks has heads-up user-interface that allows you to easily use and customize visual display thus reducing the time to access various tools, which translates into fast design process. With SolidWorks you can easily edit DWG files made in AutoCAD and convert them into 3D models.

    With SolidWorks you can make 3D models of the parts of the object, visualize the designs clearly, and improve the aesthetics and ergonomics of the product. There are various mechanical design related tools for sheet metal design, weldment design, mold design, assembly modeling, etc.

    2) Design Validation: SolidWorks offers excellent simulation features that help the designers validate the design made by them. The products can be tested in the real-life like situations without actually converting them into the manufactured product, thus saving lots of time and money for the company in testing the actual products. The design validation tools can analyze the dimensions and tolerances, assembly of the parts, mechanisms, welded structures etc without actually producing them.

    3) Workgroup Product Data Management (PDM): This is very useful feature that allows the small group of engineers working on the product design to capture the history of file revision automatically managing the data thus minimizing the errors and duplicating the efforts on the parts of engineers.

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    Reference

    1) SolidWorks

Popular 3D CAD Software.

This is the series of articles that describes most popular CAD software like AutoCAD, CATIA, SolidWorks, Pro/Engineer, and IDEAS.
  1. Popular CAD Software: AutoCAD Software
  2. Popular 3D CAD Software: CATIA
  3. Popular 3D CAD Software: SolidWorks

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