I have been looking into a solids modeling system that I could get into relatively low cost and one that will run on a PC. The only one that I have found is Solidworks. I considered 3D-EYE, but I herd from some of you that it dose not have good mechanical drafting capabilities which I need.
I attended a Solidworks presentation last week and received some additional information from the dealer here in town. Here is what I found out. Keep in mind that I am by no means an expert in the field, Question what I say and correct me if I am wrong.
The core of the program is under license from EDS Unigraphics, Parisolids system. I was told it is a four year old UNIX system. The constraint management is done by D-Cubed, an English firm. Solidworks made the point that this is not a completely new system but that is built around proven code. The translators are IGES, DXF, STL and it can write Parisolids. ASCIS, STEP(the IGES replacement?), Katia, CAD-5 and Computer Vision are in the works. No news on a Pro E translator yet.
System requirements are *Win95 or Win NT 3.51 * Pentium, Pentium Pro Or DEC Alpha processors *32 MB RAM Min, 48 or more recommended * Mouse or pointing device * CD-ROM drive.
It is OLE compliant. The demonstrator drew a part, imported a database into the system and manipulated the drawing by changing the linked values in the database. He moved the drawing into Word and made more changes.
Solidworks was promoting the associatively of the system. The ease of use. The Windows graphical interface. The Pro E users that made comments seemed to like these features. The one thing they brought to light was that you can not create a new part in assembly mode. To use existing geometry from one part to create another you either have to copy it and import it (drag and drop) or create multiple parts in a part drawing.
I plan to purchase Solidworks early next week and install it on my Pentium 75 system with 32MB of ram and the Win 95 OS. The minimum Solidworks will run on. Also Solidworks should run 30% faster on Win NT. Solidworks comes with a tutorial. I plan on attending a 3 day training class in late Jan.
The reseller here also caries the Solidworks STL viewer and plans to test the STL output.
As always, comments and criticism are welcome and looked for.
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