View Full Version : Discussion solidworks

Devin Lamb
09-21-2011, 9:45 PM
Any one using solidworks for wood design and prototyping?

Dan Hintz
09-22-2011, 7:40 AM
Probably not too many... that's an expensive tool to use for generic woodworking, and there are a number of tools out there that fill some of the niche markets (like cabinet making software). If someone is using SW, it's likely because they already have a seat in house due to other work.

Devin Lamb
09-22-2011, 12:22 PM
Yeah I kinda figured. I have access to a seat and have been playing with it a bit. Its some pretty amazing software. I was hoping somebody might have some pointers for setting it up for wood use. I'm not sure if I will pursue using it for my designs or not, but it has some definite advantages for the type of stuff I'm designing.

Thomas Bank
09-22-2011, 7:42 PM
The real benefit to SolidWorks is not so much that it is 3D modeling, but what you can do with the 3D model once you create it as far as simulation and analysis. With wood, you're really not going to be getting into all of that - calculating out the forces and stresses and all on a wood object the way you would in metal or composites. So I agree with Dan that the SW users using it for wood projects are likely the users using it predominantly for other things but when faced with a woodworking project use what they know.

Paul Grothouse
10-07-2011, 9:37 PM
We use Solidworks for furniture design, it is awesome. A standard seat costs less than AutoCad. It is very powerful but it is a commitment to learn and use. Once one get through it, it will change your life. It is particulary powerful if you have a CNC with a software like MasterCam. I can't even explain how much better and more accurate my furniture designs are since I starting using it.

I finally made the switch about 2 years ago, I have been an AutoCAD user since 1992 and still have a current seat.

People may say it's expensive, but if you have $100k in shop equipment you need clean designs to feed to the shop. Don't be shortsighted with your software decisions. There is a reason, most large companies use 3D modeling software.

Jay Rasmussen
10-07-2011, 10:04 PM
I use SW for most of my designs. I think it works great for wood working.

Leo Voisine
10-19-2011, 8:18 PM
I use Solidworks at work for metal cutting industry. As a result, we are allowed a home install on the same license, legally.

I play around with it at home for some wood related stuff. Mostly so I can learn it and practice it at MY pace.

It is awesome CAD, but at lot to handle, and more than I need for wooden things.

I have been on AutoCad since 1992 version 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 or so. Solidworks is far more than that.