Considering solidworks - need advice

Discussion in 'Software' started by workboat, Jan 18, 2010.

  1. workboat
    Joined: Jul 2007
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    workboat Junior Member

    Hello all,
    I'm hoping to get some advice from the solidworks gurus around here. I'm considering moving to solidworks to help with our data/drawing management needs. If anyone could share their experience in a real world workflow in solidworks with pro's and con's, that would be great.

    The firm I work for designs tugs , OSVs and some barges and currently I'm the only person able to model using rhino. Mostly they all are hard chine ships.

    A problem we have is the time it takes for us to create 2D drawings from the model, not to mention the possibility for errors. Correct me if I'm wrong but I think solidworks can take care of this for us?

    I haven't noticed and nesting add-ons, are there any good ones out or would I need to get a nesting program too? Currently using Rhinonest and looking to get away from it.

    I have only found 1 add-on for shipping, Shipworks. I see that its more geared toward europian ship design. Anyone have experience with that?

    Thank you for your time.
     
  2. guzzis3
    Joined: Nov 2009
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    guzzis3 Senior Member

    I don't design boats, I do general mechanical modelling all day long on NX.

    Personally if I were looking for a general package I'd buy solidedge. Half the price of solidworks, functionally equivalent and intuitive and efficient to use.

    To answer your question regarding drawings, once your frames and templates are set up views from your model are drag and drop. The drawing engine in both solidworks and solidedge integrate perfectly with the model and of course update views with model changes.

    In NX it takes me longer to produce a 2D drawing from a model than it does the model often, but this is because you have to attend to the bureaucracy, adding titles, dates, materials lists etc. Much of this can be automated IF your system accomodates it, for us it takes longer to automate each new project than it does typing it all by hand. The views and dimensioning etc is trivial. SW and SE both work much as NX does.

    Hope that is some help.
     
  3. danielUA
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    danielUA Junior Member

    I have been designing/working in SolidWorks for almost a year now and one of the benifits is that it is really easy to get started with. It's very intuitive and every day modeling works like a charm.

    On the bad side I am having alot of problems with time and more specifically when it comes to big assemblies. What I have seen on the Internet SW is supposed to be quite fast compared to the competitors when it comes to "computational speed" but this is a big problem for me.
    Making GA drawings which refer to the entire model is taking alot of time, on the good side as someone mentioned if changes are made in the SW model the changes are also made in the drawing.

    Our top assembly consist of about 1000 sub assemblies
    2000 components with a total of around 4000 bodies just to give you an idea of the size.

    We are currently looking to find out what is causing the big time problems and if it wouldnt have been for this I absolutly recommend it.
     
  4. workboat
    Joined: Jul 2007
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    workboat Junior Member

    danielUA, thank you for your input. I'm sure you know about the lightweight feature, that doesn't help? Maybe you need a 64bit OS with more memory? I too would be working with very large assemblies so I can understand what you mean.
     
  5. Joe Petrich
    Joined: Jun 2008
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    Joe Petrich Designer

    Solidworks now imports Rhino files quite well. We have given Rhino files to vendors who use Solidworks with no problems lately. Since you are a Rhino user this might be advantageous to you.
     
  6. danielUA
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    danielUA Junior Member

    Hello. I am aware of the lightweight options. They make the assemblies a bit faster but new problems occur when you do alot of work in the assemblies, for example when you cut through different parts. The parts which are in lightweight doesnt always get cut or sometimes a part of it gets cut but not everything you wanted. That is its generally "buggy"

    We recently changed to new machines with 8gig of ram and 64bit OS. It is running alot better but not perfecet. Today we had a guy from the solidworks support checking through everything and we discovered that the new SolidWorks 2010 solved most of our problems. Just as an example when doing animations in 2009 we had alot of problems with mirrors and patterens, all of these problemes are fixied in SW 2010 along with the generel speed is higher.

    Another thing to take into consideration is how big your assemblies are, that is how many unique parts youve got. As long as the amount of unique parts are low it works really nice, even tho you might have thousands of copies of these parts. But when you start working with alot of unique parts with multple bodies (400+ bodies in one part) you start feeling the limitations.
    Just to clarify it would go faster with better hardware but there is a limit of how much money you want to put in to hardware considering what you "get back" in speed.

    I would appreciate to hear from other SW users, especially you guys who deal with alot of assemblies and parts. What do you think about the performance?
     
  7. aleutka29
    Joined: Aug 2008
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    aleutka29 Junior Member

    MultiSurf and SolidWorks

    Daniel,

    MultiSurf is a great way to turn SolidWorks into a very capable marine design program. MultiSurf offers full integration with SolidWorks.
     
  8. danielUA
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    danielUA Junior Member

    Thank you for the response.
    We actually use Multisurf to create the hull but the problems with SolidWorks is mainly when the size of the complete model (hull structure - furnishing - bulkheads, machiner etc.) is large.
     
  9. valber
    Joined: Feb 2006
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    valber Naval Architect

    Unfortunately SolidWorks 64 bit integration is not supported. :mad:
     
  10. DavidJ
    Joined: Jun 2004
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    DavidJ Senior Member

    We used solidworks for a few big projects and in the words of the modelers "never again". It can't handle the big assemblies. Cutting sections through large models was difficult if not impossible.

    It is a great program but it isn't made for objects as large as ships. Also while it does make 2d drawings the amount of cleanup required to produce proper naval architecture drawings is immense.

    Whether solidworks is right for you really depends what you want to do with it. I would not in good conscience recommend it for ship design unless you were designing very simple boats.

    We switched to Catia because it could handle the large models we were creating. We do a lot of custom joinery so Catia was seen as the one program that could do a complete vessel. Structure, piping, mechanical, interior, etc. Shipconstructor would work just as well if not better for commercial ship building.

    Have we had headaches switching to Catia? Yes. Are there some advantages to Solidworks? Yes. Would we switch back? No way!
     
  11. danielUA
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    danielUA Junior Member

    David, which version of SW did you use?
    Ive seen tests between 2008 and 2009 which show that it was a great improvment of speed in 2009. Despite this 2009 was too slow for us, Ive just yesterday installed 2010 together with the support guy and everything is alot faster. I can not yet say if it is fast enough and what will happen when the model size is doubled or even more...

    Is Catia handling big assemblies/models better? Ive used Catia but just for mechanical components and comparing with SW on these tasks I can honestly say that SolidWorks is better in the sense that it is easier and more intuitive.

    I am looking to find the optimum modeling tool for handeling complete ships. The problem with ShipConstructor is that it is developed for monohulls built in different metals. Our company is focusing on developing and building ships in composite materials.
     
  12. workboat
    Joined: Jul 2007
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    workboat Junior Member

    Thanks for all the input guys, let’s keep it going. What about nesting?

    I too am looking for that optimum modeling tool. What drove me away from ShipConstructor was the bugs and lack of automatic drawing generation and not as intuitive as i was hoping.
     
  13. DavidJ
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    DavidJ Senior Member

    I have not used Shipconstructor but friends who use it tell me it is excellent. I was under the impression that it did have automatic drawing generation.

    We used solidworks 2007 extensively. We did upgrade to 2008 but saw little improvement in the aspects that we had trouble with. By then we had already started to switch over to Catia.

    There is no doubt about it. Solidworks is easier to use than Catia. It is easier to learn and it is much more intuitive. It also has a few nice features that are missing from Catia. However, when it comes to the ability to manipulate large models and make large drawings there is no comparison.
     
  14. guzzis3
    Joined: Nov 2009
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    guzzis3 Senior Member

    Catia ia a whole other price point though.

    Even NX is much cheaper than catia from what I've seen here, and NX of course will handle big models. How fast and how seemless is another matter and can only be determined with specific problems and experiments.

    As I said solid edge has been out of fashion for some years now, but the recent version (V21 ?) really impressed me. Figuring out how to do stuff was brainless, really obvious and more so than any other modelling package I've used. It seems to be really light weight, I put my trial copy on my basic laptop, 1.7 gig celeron and 500 megs of ram, seemed to clunk along fine with the small files I was playing with. They are currently making a big deal out of the synconous technology, which allows editing of unparametised objects, and thus good interoperability, but personally I think it's not that important. It does other stuff I really like though, stuff that allows for nice workflows and less aggravation.

    If you can afford nx or catia by all means have a good look at them. Lots of power, but you pay for it.

    For goodness sake don't waste your time on inventor. It's the pits...
     

  15. formsys
    Joined: May 2007
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    formsys formsys

    ShipConstructor does have automated drawing creation. It automatically generates assembly, nest, profile, arrangement and spool drawings as well as plate developments. For the tugs, OSVs and barges you are working with, these outputs should be what you want. SolidWorks is a good 3D mechanical engineering modeller but doesnt have any shipbuilding specific outputs that I know of.
    If you were working on composite vessels that would be a different story as the required production outputs there are different. I think in composite boats is more where the SolidWorks and Catia tools might be more used.
     
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