The revolution of technology has altered the way people design stuffs and machines. The advancement of computer aided design (CAD) software gives people a new way to design and create things using computer. More and more powerful computer and electronic gadgets have been produced to follow this trend. Some international primary school has brought in CAD into their course to allow students to have early exposure to CAD and 3D printing. Nowadays, employers are looking for candidates that know how to utilize 3D technology in creating new solution. SOLIDWORKS is one of the profound companies that uses 3D technology to create, simulate, optimize, manufacturing a 3D design. In this session, the focus will be on how to select the best CAD software to suit your needs.
From Engineering.com survey, 230 product development professionals have conveyed their thoughts about the CAD system they have been using and the considerations when choosing new CAD system. The valuable data is published to allow design teams to make decision regarding the future CAD software to purchase. Here are the top five considerations in choosing the right CAD. Let’s see through these criteria one by one.
- a) The application features set fully meets our needs
- b) The total cost of ownership of the application
- c) Ability to easily find answers to common questions throughout community resources
- d) The CAD solution is natively interoperable with other solutions such as simulation
- e) There is an active online support/community
From the survey conducted, users are paying more focus to the practical feature sets that are available to help them to finish their designs before the deadline. Due to the time constraint and the upcoming deadlines, CAD users certainly not going to spend their precious time to outsource for new features. Some firms are focussing on the product they are specialized at without stray off the path a lot. These firms will certainly not be going to explore new features because it’s not part of their core business. For instance, if a CAD user is working in sheet metal enclosure for air cooling system, there’s a certain group of commands in CAD software that they are using daily. Normally, users often don’t have time to explore new functions. Hence, the best way they can do is to select the CAD software that must contains all the features they required on work.
Having a CAD software is not something easy. If a company is decided to install CADs, the overall production cost will increase due to its expensive ownership cost. If purchasing CAD doesn’t fit into company’s budget, it may be off the table. A proper cost evaluation must be done so that the value and ultimate project savings of using such an advanced platform could displace the cost to maintain it. Nowadays, precision machining is used to create a product with greater accuracy. If a CAD software enables a product to be drawn faster and accurate with lower costs, that will be the best software to purchase. The ability to catch problems by using simulation earlier in the design process makes it possible to reduce costs that would have been incurred during physical prototyping and testing.
Sometimes, we may face difficulty to solve designing problems such as how to use certain features to make complicated design. If the software developer has its own community resources with answers to common questions, it will help to reduce the time to crack the issues. The more active the community is, the more resources CAD users can obtain in aiding their works. SOLIDWORKS Community happens to be particularly powerful, given the variety of forums and other sites where users go exchange knowledge and experiences. Though there us a company’s official MySolidWorks community provide its very own trove of resources including forums and eCourses, there are still numerous unofficial forums have sprung up as well. There are tonnes of references about SOLIDWORKS.
More delicate tools are being designed to suit the customer needs. To reduce the cost of production, many companies use simulation for virtual prototyping and testing. This allows users to iterate on designs more before incurring the costs of physical prototyping and testing. The CAD with a built-in package that is interoperable with other solutions is an advantage because it helps to catch problems before it occurs during the real prototype. Uses of simulation is allowing companies to iterate design, make different choices much earlier than having to make choice later based on physical testing. Hence, more cost can be saved up.
Lastly, an active online support/community is a plus point for users. Once again, SOLIDWORKS won the reputation for having the best active online community. The exact number of forums and YouTube Channels dedicated to the usage of software is difficult to pin down, but these resources make it possible for all the users to quickly and easily seek help when necessary. The main question comes back again. Are you choosing the right CAD to utilize?