Hey all,

Looking to upgrade my software, as mine seems as though it is somewhat outdated (after reading through the updates and features that are always discussed on here).  Dollar for dollar what is the best product that can be purchased right now?

Thanks for the help!

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If your looking for a mechanical application, I like Solidworks. In my opinion Solidworks is more "user-friendly" than products like Autodesk Inventor or ProE. If it's too pricey for your budget, try Alibre...... but it is just my opinion.
Thanks Dale, appreciate the help and opinions. Solidworks sounds like a good option, and as long as it's worth the money, I don't mind spending on it. Where am I going to find the cheapest prices?

Dale Mackey said:
If your looking for a mechanical application, I like Solidworks. In my opinion Solidworks is more "user-friendly" than products like Autodesk Inventor or ProE. If it's too pricey for your budget, try Alibre...... but it is just my opinion.
I think their all about the same, just need to find the nearest dealer in your area. Go to www.solidworks.com and click on the "HOW TO PURCHASE tab. About the only breaks offered is maybe a buy one seat and get an additional seat at a discount price but I would sure ask your local dealer about special deals.
Also, they have 3 optional packages, go here http://www.solidworks.com/sw/mechanical-design-software-matrix.htm to see all 3. I use the mid-range or "professional" pkg and am very happy with it. There are some good vids on Youtube on SW2010 also.
Check out PRO-E, Wildfire.
I agree with the consensus, Solidworks. That said, be prepared to recreate all your parts. Unless your part is a really simple 2D shape, extruded, you will likely be better of NOT using the import options. When you recreate the part is Sworks, you will have way more modification options than with the import. Please note that this is my personal opinion. Recreating your old parts is also a quick way to gain fluency with the new tools.
From the looks of it it seems that Solidworks is the way to go. I am looking for a great variety of options and it seems that this is the best option for me. Jim, I'll take your word for it and let everyone know how things go.
What do you intend to do with your cad software?
Well I work for McGraw-Hill and I'm just testing out new products for inclusion in our directory.
I asked because what you are trying to do with the software should be the big driver in software selection. I do machine design and find KeyCreator to be great, easy to use, explicit 3D CAD software (with some parametric editing capabilities). I do not need PLM or many of the features that come with the larger design packages. I know of some companies that design in both KeyCreator and Solidworks. KeyCreator gives them modeling speed, ease of use, and a strong translation package. Solidworks gives them stress analysis, PLM and the data structure required by larger companies. So again, it's all about your situation. What you select; KeyCreator, Solid Edge, Solidworks, Catia, Autocad or some other software package depends on many factors. You really have to know yourself to select the “right” design package.

Robert Arthurs said:
Well I work for McGraw-Hill and I'm just testing out new products for inclusion in our directory.
"From the looks of it it seems that Solidworks is the way to go."

Yikes, that's not exactly a firm foundation for deciding how to spend thousands of dollars.

I worked in the CAD industry for over 20 years and used everything from Computervision Cadds, MCS Anvil 5000, PTC Pro Engineer, Solidworks and A'Desk Inventor, and a slew of FEM and CNC packages. I currently use Inventor on a daily basis. Each has it's own strengths and weaknesses. IMO, based mostly on mechanical design and virtual prototyping, Inventor has an edge of Solidworks, and Pro E has the stiffest learning curve in the history of computer applications.

You need to try them out under controlled conditions to see which one best suits your design needs, level of expertise, depth of use, and whether you will use it under casual or professional conditions.

Solidworks and Autodesk Inventor seem to be very common.

I agree that Solidworks is best choice for 3D CAD design. Its Solidworks Professional and Solidworks Premium have advanced design and modeling features.

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