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VectorWorks vs Solidworks

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Fellow VectorWorks Users,

We have been long time users of VectorWorks and love it. But lately some people in our organize feel Solidworks would be a better solution of us. Yes, there is a big price difference between Vectorworks and Solidworks, but from speaking to Solidworks the price difference can be justified because of the time Solidworks can save in speed and it's feature set and automation.

Does anyone have good knowledge of both Vectorworks & Solidworks and willing to share personal experience on what makes one better or worst than the other?

Any insight is appreciated.

Thanks

Dave

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we build and design tradeshow exhibits. So we use Vectorworks for designing, quoting, assembly drawings, detail drawings. We export to MasterCAM for CNC and export to Artlantis or Cinema4D for rendering.

we have many inhouse written plugin objects and over 1500 symbols. We organize everything via classes and automate many tasks using vectorscript.

We pretty much do everything from design through production with Vectorworks

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There are really only a couple questions you will need to answer:

1) Is your current business model a Success or is it a Failure ?

2) Are you winning or losing clients ?

3) Are your costs in line with your profits ?

4) Is the staff harmonious or harried ?

5) Do you enjoy coming to work and doing what you do best ?

6) Is a quantum change from VW to Solidworks necessary or is it just to make a change for change sake ?

7) Do you trust that NNA will survive into the future and continue to innovate.

8) Who will be expected to pay for the change ?

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Solidworks is truely impressive, but since tradeshow exhibitions is pretty straight forward modeling, I wonder why you would really need that extra muscle?

Also I wonder, why you dont render your presentations in VW? I know its less sofisticated, but I saved gazillions of hours when I went from Studiopro to Renderworks as my rendering platform - hours that now goes into creating tons of textures and image props to make the presentations more appealing and lifelike.

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Christaan,

I would stick with VectorWorks if I were you. We make playground equipment, and took a hard look at SolidWorks, and although very impressive, took a 'risk' with VW. I doubt if I would ever turn back. I seldom have problems finding ways to model different components we manufacturer. Now if I were to design precision machinery that would have video-explosive movies, than maybe I would think differently.

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I use both VW12 and SW almost daily. VW can't come close to SW for solid modeling however SW 2D capabilities are relatively unsophisticated compared to VW. I have created a routine for myself that exploits the strengths of both. At least I think so.

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On 21/4/2006 at 10:19 PM, Christiaan said:

What are you currently using Vectorworks for?

We are using Vectorworks for exhibit designing purpose. It is very amazing experiece to work on Vectorworks.

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Also I wonder, why you dont render your presentations in VW? I know its less sofisticated, but I saved gazillions of hours when I went from Studiopro to Renderworks as my rendering platform

Makes heaps of sense.

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if i were modeling engines, transmissions, and machinery then solid works is the way to go (actually i would get onshape.com)  but anything that has a building, landscape, IKEA flavor to it...i would use VW

the reasons.  please take a look at attached images below.  all done in VW.  i needed to not only model what you see below (not that complicated) but i needed to pull back and show Concrete foundation, steel building, landscape (DTM, trees, cars,)  

also i have been adding text labels or images to all my objects (see the images i have inserted into my Jersey Barrier symbol) this cannot be done in solid works or onshape.

i use  these images and/or texts inserted into the model to help me explain the model to people in a goto meeting.  

 

here is a video showing the value of inserting 2d plane images.  so programs that can't do this are a deal breaker for me

 

 

Aeration_Manifold.png

Jersey Barrier.png

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@fuge  In your case i dont know if the benefits will outweight the big change it will be.

I had a look a Solidworks as well. My work has shift from interior architecture to product design / furniture design.
The interactive way of modeling and ablity to work  with sheet metal is one of the big pro`s you have in solidworks.
In VW allot of times it is not possible to change te size of something  in a model interactively like in SW. Even annotating an arc/circle/radis in VW is hard if not impossible if it is a solid and not a planar object.

If VW could do all this :) :

https://www.solidworks.com/sw/products/3d-cad/solidworks-standard.htm

 

 

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On 4/25/2006 at 5:23 PM, RAM said:

I use both VW12 and SW almost daily. VW can't come close to SW for solid modeling however SW 2D capabilities are relatively unsophisticated compared to VW. I have created a routine for myself that exploits the strengths of both. At least I think so.

 

I am not familiar with Solidworks - and I am sure it is a beast - but VW has come a long way the past 5 years as far as modeling.  The modeling in VW16/17 is almost completely reworked since 12.

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3 hours ago, Bas Vellekoop said:

@fuge  In your case i dont know if the benefits will outweight the big change it will be.

I had a look a Solidworks as well. My work has shift from interior architecture to product design / furniture design.
The interactive way of modeling and ablity to work  with sheet metal is one of the big pro`s you have in solidworks.
In VW allot of times it is not possible to change te size of something  in a model interactively like in SW. Even annotating an arc/circle/radis in VW is hard if not impossible if it is a solid and not a planar object.

If VW could do all this :) :

https://www.solidworks.com/sw/products/3d-cad/solidworks-standard.htm

 

 

@Bas Vellekoopyou may want to take a look at Bricscad, aka B-thing as @zoomercalls it, as a possible alternative for Solidworks. It's direct modeling features put it halfway between AutoCAD and Inventor, has assemblies in the Platinum version and it also has an optional sheet metal module that is said to be very good at unfolding. If you need sheet metal/unfolding it might be an adequate alternative for Solidworks to use alongside VW. They'll also be adding BIM based on the ODA library (Microstation's BIM module was originally developed by them as well many years ago).

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I work in exhibitions (among other areas) and am delighted with the renders I get from VW. 

Recently took over a job that was originally drawn in AutoCad and then rendered by an outside agency using C4D. We ran out of budget for the visualiser so I did them myself in VWX (I'm a project manager, not a designer) and was delighted with what I could achieve. 

Made  it so much easier knocking out visuals from the same file - not having to export first. 

I don't know solid works but VWX works brilliantly for me 

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Hello Everyone,

I work for a company that designs custom tradeshow displays. Typical elements include custom signs, wood cabinetry, metal framework welding, and printed fabrics.

We do much of the manufacturing in our facility, and we also work with local manufacturing vendors.

 

We are using Vectorworks when the designers need the fastest means to create customer designs and revision ideas as quickly as possible.

We are using Solidworks to do the production detail drawings, if / when the design turns into a sold project.

 

There have been passionate  internal discussions to stop drawing and re-drawing in (2) different CAD programs, and to choose only (1) CAD platform to do both creative design and the production engineering drawings.

 

The creative Designers prefer using Vectorworks, as they like to use the multiple layers for options and notations. They also enjoy how fluid the Design process is in Vectorworks, using groupings and mirroring features, etc. without the need for engineering "hard mates" and defining relations.

The Production engineers prefer using Solidworks to create accurate production details, as the "hard mates" assist them in creating accurate component drawings for CNC programming.

At this time, I am of the opinion to use both CAD platforms, as each has it's advantages. But if I had to choose (1), I think it's most important to output creative Designs to the customer as quickly as possible sell our design in a competitive market, so I would choose Vectorworks.

If any of you have ever been involved in a similar scenario decision, I would really appreciate any experience and advice you can share.

Many thanks in advance, and Happy New Year! :)

 

Arden-

 

Edited by Arden

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Vectorworks and artlantis....the quickest and easiest workflow method I have found to produce trade show designs by far.....

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2 hours ago, Phil hunt said:

Vectorworks and artlantis....the quickest and easiest workflow method I have found to produce trade show designs by far.....

Hi Phil,

Do you,( or you and your staff) do both the Designing and engineering detail drawings in the same Vectorworks file, or do the engineers re-draw in a different cad program such as solidworks?

 

Edited by Arden

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All done in vectorworks......use the 3D model to make all my plans and elevations using view ports.......our cnc operator.....will sometimes redraw certain items using the cnc software....when he feels the need......but an exported dwg will usually do the job....HTH

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i have Vectorworks & Onshape (the people who made Solidworks jumped ship to make Onshape) 

 

i use VW to make site stuff & i use Onshape to make fabrication shop drawings

 

one is not better that the other

 

Onshape (Solidworks like) would be terrible at the items that i use VW for 

 

 

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11 hours ago, digitalcarbon said:

i have Vectorworks & Onshape (the people who made Solidworks jumped ship to make Onshape) 

 

i use VW to make site stuff & i use Onshape to make fabrication shop drawings

 

one is not better that the other

 

Onshape (Solidworks like) would be terrible at the items that i use VW for 

 

 

Hi Digitalcarbon,

If you would be so kind, can you please expand a bit further on the advantages you realize in Vectorworks for site Design, and why Onshape (Solidworks) would be such a terrible option for this task?

 

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19 hours ago, Phil hunt said:

All done in vectorworks......use the 3D model to make all my plans and elevations using view ports.......our cnc operator.....will sometimes redraw certain items using the cnc software....when he feels the need......but an exported dwg will usually do the job....HTH

Thank you for sharing your experience Phil.

The Viewports and multiple layers are a nice feature in Vectorworks!

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8 hours ago, Arden said:

expand a bit further

i will try to make a video  but for now think of this...

 

imagine VW w/o layers or classes and all you had to work with is in the Symbol universe

 

so you make a symbol, name it, then go into that symbol and make your part.

(in Onshape you can make a "Symbol" with out anything it it...its just a blank universe)

 

each item you wanted to make you had to make a symbol for that item

 

then if you wanted to combine objects you needed to make more symbols that were strictly to show Assembly 

 

this approach makes sure that everything is organized... you never have undefined floating debris like you can get in VW

 

then to make drawings you just selected a SINGLE symbol & viewport to a sheet

 

if you wanted to see various combinations then you need to make Assembly symbols for EACH  variation then take those symbol assemblies and view port them to a sheet.

 

 

 

However in VW you have Layers and you work with the idea that things stack on top of each other

(a totally foreign concept to Onshape. while they have xyz there is no concept of ground plane or things stack on top of each other) 

 

so in VW you can have common layer then as many different options as you like...then for plans you just turn on or off the layers for that drawing sheet

 

cannot do this in Onshape (which i hear works similar to Solidworks)

 

also keep in mind that i have only been using onshape for a few months so I'm not an expert.

i could build a house with Onshape but a wall would need to be a part & in a "symbol"

 

Edited by digitalcarbon

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3 hours ago, digitalcarbon said:

 

then to make drawings you just selected a SINGLE symbol & viewport to a sheet

 

 

I have wish listed something like this before. It would be incredibly useful if sheet layer viewports could be pointed to look at a symbol within a file instead of just layers (in our case the equivalent to assemblies). For exhibit and theatre work this ability would make the workflow much more fluid. Right now you need to place the symbol on its own layer and look at the layer with the sheet layer viewport. This adds up to a lot of extra layers that aren't really needed.

 

Kevin

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