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Surfacing in SW vs Pro

jeffsampson
1-Newbie

Surfacing in SW vs Pro

There is a movement afoot at this company to replace Pro with SolidWorks. I am the only one who really does any surfacing around here, so I need to make sure that I'm not going to get screwed by this change if it goes through. I heard years ago that SW could not do complex surfacing, but I've seen stuff out there that would lead me to believe that this has changed more recently. I have very little experience with SW and that is only on rudimentary shapes.

Can anyone give me a comparison on the current surfacing capabilities of SW vs Pro. Is there anything it cannot do (or does poorly or is much more difficult)? Sweeps, Blends, Helical sweep, Boundary blends, Variable section sweeps? Trajpar capabilities, surface tangency and continuous curvature control?

Please limit this comparison to capabilities and not opinions or SW bashing 🙂

Thanks,

Jeff

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11 REPLIES 11

Are you currently using ISDX? This is the biggy, although SW has caught up with ProE in it's core surfacing functionality, it still has nothing to touch ISDX.

As long as you understand fundamental surfacing theory you shouldn't have a problem, just the annoyance of time spent learning a new interface and modification of strategies to suit the SW tools.

Also consider all the rumours about them doing a Creo - do you want to learn a new package only to have them replace it with a complete new interface in a couple of years?

If you go that way get a copy of Matt Lombard's SW surfacing book.

Sean

Hi Jeff
What about Creo and new capabilities <u>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hTHM9QNc2Y</u>

With comparison SW and Pro/E, you can look at basic functionality on my youtube site <u>www.youtube.com/user/74Radovan</u>

Radovan

Jeff,

Can you elaborate more on the motivation to switch? What is SW offering, head and shoulders above,that PTC does not?

Knowing the pain of moving from one system to another, I hold fast to the notion that there has to be a profound advantage to justify the move.

Just curious...

Motivation to switch is fuzzy, but mostly driven by a couple of people who have switched to SW and see a great time savings, especially on FEA. The claims are that the FEA is 50% of the time that Mechanica is (setup, running analysis, etc). They also claim 20-50% time savings on modeling, espeically when condsidering 'failure mode' in Pro and having to fix everything vs SW where you can leave it hanging. (Don't get me wrong, these are good engineers, not slackers). So it seems the time factor is the biggest justification. As most modeling around here is basic extruded, rectangular or tube shapes, there's not a lot of need for high-end Pro features (except for my surfacing work). Time factor for drawings for our drafters will have to be considered as well.

They're also looking at moving from Intralink and investigating other options to Windchill. They would like to have ALL of our Doc Control on one system (Word, Excel, pdf'sas well as dwgs and models).

BTW: I do not have ISDX. I learned surfacing long before that came along and have never been at a place that had it to know what I've been missing.

You didn't state which version, but it doesn't sound like your on WF5. The core modelling environment has significant improvements - Resolve environment has gone and you can "leave it hanging", dynamic edit is a nice touch, just general little touches which made the work flow better.

ISDX benefits aren't primarily about extra functionality, speed and flexibility of build is the biggest plus - no more sketches (with no G2), no more datum points, no more curve thru' points, trimming is a breeze- although dynamic edit did eleviate alot of this clunkiness. But....your lads won't like the drawing interface. Considering the (deserved for a change) bad response it got,it would be criminal if they don'tsort it out in Creo,

Sean

My experience with SW in general is that while you may achieve faster
results the first time you model something, you will spend more time
changing it as you refine the design from concept through production.
References aren't nearly as stable in SW as they are in Pro/E and the
model will fail as you try to make changes.



I can build very robust and complex geometry in Pro/E and then iterate
it over and over very quickly.  In SW I spend more time fixing broken
stuff.  Every change means something fails that frankly shouldn't.  I've
had models where I built one part one way, made a change somewhere else
and that are then fails.  I have to build it a different way entirely
because it simple won't work now.  Then I change the model again, and I
have to rebuild that area back to the way it was.  Yeah, I can 'leave it
hanging' but many times that simply means those features, and their
children are gone, suppressed.  Your model regens 'successfully', but
half of it is not there.  Also, I find resolving failed features in SW
very cumbersome.



Is it just me and my inexperience with SW? Likely a bit, but I hear a
lot of complaints around the office from more experienced users about
the same thing, especially in surfacing.



My thought would be if you're the type of folks that get it right the
first time most of the time, go ahead with SW.  If you're like the rest
of us who work their way through several variations on the way to the
best one, I'd stick with Pro/E.  😄



Doug Schaefer
--
Doug Schaefer | Experienced Mechanical Design Engineer
LinkedIn
wfalco
14-Alexandrite
(To:jeffsampson)


Yup. Pro/E makes you face the music. SWX allows for sloppy housekeeping.
Key issue. Dealing with your own mess is one thing....but inheriting
someone else's!!!!

I purposely waited to see other's opinions before chiming back in. I am glad I did because I have the same complaint about SW model integrity...better yet...robustness. We had this same type of "let it hang" mentality and methodology with SDRC way back when. Models simplyfell apart and had to be addressed at some point..usually late in the game.It's simply pay me now or pay me later like Wayne said. You will not get out unscathed whether you deal with Pro upfront or SW on the back end. In my opinion, SW has a freaky kernal bug...they know it...but you will not hear about it.

Also, I'm with Doug...if you make nuts and bolts, go for it. And...I guessyour biggest question to answer is will simple surfacing suffice for your needs. Again, if that is the case, jump in. Personally, I will take Pro over SW everyday...all day. The cost and trainingfor Windchill is a bitter pill, I agree. SW does a better job of allowing "other" methods for data management. However, Windchill is pretty powerful stuff and likes all things Pro/E plus others.

I would shout fromthe rooftops for a full internal inquiry. Don't let "20% faster modeling" or "30% faster FEA" be the deciding factor. That is allsubjective without true benchmark...head to head comparison data. Data is more and more homogenous today and getting more so. Get the most complete package possible.

Let us know how it shakes out.

If you are going to compare, you best look at WF 5.0 first, this is entirely different than previous versions, especially with model failures and overall usability.

We went through the same struggles here, but after some training for the surfacing guys (Thanks Design Engine!), we never questioned the move from Pro/E to SW again.

http://www.appianwaytech.com/blog/2010/07/05/surface-modeling/298

<h2>Solidworks 2010 vs. Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 5.0 Shootout (Chicago 06/30/2010) ...</h2><h2></h2>


In Reply to Jeff Sampson:

There is a movement afoot at this company to replace Pro with SolidWorks. I am the only one who really does any surfacing around here, so I need to make sure that I'm not going to get screwed by this change if it goes through. I heard years ago that SW could not do complex surfacing, but I've seen stuff out there that would lead me to believe that this has changed more recently. I have very little experience with SW and that is only on rudimentary shapes.

Can anyone give me a comparison on the current surfacing capabilities of SW vs Pro. Is there anything it cannot do (or does poorly or is much more difficult)? Sweeps, Blends, Helical sweep, Boundary blends, Variable section sweeps? Trajpar capabilities, surface tangency and continuous curvature control?

Please limit this comparison to capabilities and not opinions or SW bashing 🙂

Thanks,

Jeff

You can get G2 in Pro/E sketch by using the 'equality' constraint.

In Reply to Sean Kerslake:

You didn't state which version, but it doesn't sound like your on WF5. The core modelling environment has significant improvements - Resolve environment has gone and you can "leave it hanging", dynamic edit is a nice touch, just general little touches which made the work flow better.

ISDX benefits aren't primarily about extra functionality, speed and flexibility of build is the biggest plus - no more sketches (with no G2), no more datum points, no more curve thru' points, trimming is a breeze- although dynamic edit did eleviate alot of this clunkiness. But....your lads won't like the drawing interface. Considering the (deserved for a change) bad response it got,it would be criminal if they don'tsort it out in Creo,

Sean

Hi Jeff,

I was on the SolidWorks team with Bart during the shootout, and have written a follow-up article to the event:

Bart is a hard core Pro-E user, so he is not likely to overstate SW surfacing capabilities as he currently teaches more Pro-E surfacing classes than SW surfacing classes.

Before using SolidWorks, I had started on Pro-E as well. My suggestion is to take a Pro-E model that is typical of the surfacing modeling you do, and have the model recreated in SolidWorks for comparison. Some of the SolidWorks surfacing tools will be different as SW does not have the Variable Section Sweep (VSS) or the ability to create conics (w/ rho value). However, SW has a few surfacing tools, such as the "fill" surface, not found in Pro-E (Pro-E's fill tool is similar to SW's planar surface tool), and it does not require purchasing and additional add-in, such as ISDX, as it is part of the core package. The boundary tool in SW allows C2 along edges in both direction 1 & 2, and the fill tool allows C2 on all contract edges if the surfaces are well constructed.

On the downside, when saving a SW file with surfacing, it is almost twice the size of a Pro-E file (example: Pro-E file 1 MB --> SW file 2MB). However, the housekeeping is better in SW as construction surfaces can be removed by using a "delete" body tool, and SW has solid & surface body folders that make it easier to locate individual surface & solid bodies in the model / feature tree.

I would suggest waiting until Creo is available and test Creo and get a pricing of the different Creo packages. In the meantime, have a Pro-E part remodeled in SW and compare it feature by feature to the Pro-E model. You could even request a 30 day license from your local SW VAR.

Regards,

Chris Thompson, CSWP

Appian Way Technologies LLC

Powell, Ohio 43065

www.appianwaytech.com

(614) 595-3751


SW Premium 2010

Pro-E WF 3.0 (including ISDX)


In Reply to Jeff Sampson:

There is a movement afoot at this company to replace Pro with SolidWorks. I am the only one who really does any surfacing around here, so I need to make sure that I'm not going to get screwed by this change if it goes through. I heard years ago that SW could not do complex surfacing, but I've seen stuff out there that would lead me to believe that this has changed more recently. I have very little experience with SW and that is only on rudimentary shapes.

Can anyone give me a comparison on the current surfacing capabilities of SW vs Pro. Is there anything it cannot do (or does poorly or is much more difficult)? Sweeps, Blends, Helical sweep, Boundary blends, Variable section sweeps? Trajpar capabilities, surface tangency and continuous curvature control?

Please limit this comparison to capabilities and not opinions or SW bashing 🙂

Thanks,

Jeff
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