With so many software options out there, it’s hard to know which combination is right for your custom manufacturing needs. With the SOLIDWORKS family of integrated products we’re spoiled for choice, but that doesn’t make understanding all the options any easier to someone looking at it for the first time. We’ve taken a look at all the options and put together a summary of what we think is the “ideal” manufacturing bundle. In this blog post, we’ll go over all the top-level benefits for each product and what you’ll be taking with you.
SOLIDWORKS Professional is a world-known mechanical design software that is easy to learn and use. I like that it is Windows based, so a lot of the Windows commands that you’re familiar with are also used in SOLIDWORKS. Commands such as CTRL + TAB to move from one window to the next, CTRL + C and CTRL + V for copying and pasting and a familiar command ribbon across the top of the interface called the Command Manager.You also get Feature Recognition which comes in handy with any imported geometry from other CAD systems and a Standards Toolbox which allows you to standardize your fasteners with your entire network of engineers.
SOLIDWORKS Professional also comes with a data management system, SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard, that allows you to have revision control over your product while having the security of knowing that your information is safe and easy to find. No more wasted time searching and wondering if you have the latest version.
SOLIDWORKS CAM Professional
You can integrate design and manufacturing processes in one system using SOLIDWORKS CAM with CAMWorks. CAMWorks, one of the most advanced CAM software available, is the building block for SOLIDWORKS CAM Professional. Seamless integration is incredibly important because it allows for automatically updating part changes, which eliminates time consuming CAM system rework due to design updates. A recent update to this product line is that SOLIDWORKS CAM Standard is free with all current subscriptions, but only 2.5 axis machining for parts is allowed. SOLIDWORKS CAM Professional has an upgrade charge, but with this version you also get assembly machining and turning capabilities.
SOLIDWORKS Inspection Professional
Most companies that do any kind of tight tolerance work have some type of quality inspection or quality assurance. Some call this First Article Inspection. With SOLIDWORKS Inspection Professional, there are no longer problems with manual errors when adding inspection information. For some, this is a very manual, tedious task and time-consuming as well, but with SOLIDWORKS Inspection Professional this process becomes effortless. It relies on the SOLIDWORKS Inspection Professional drawings you already have for its mark-up of critical dimension and then color-codes the measurement results in a spreadsheet that with a glance, letting you know what areas to monitor more closely.
SOLIDWORKS MBD STANDARD
MBD stands for Model Based Definition and by using SOLIDWORKS you can add all annotations directly to your model file and eliminate the need for a separate drawing file. SOLIDWORKS MBD captures 3D views of your models along with the annotations (dimensions, notes, finishes, etc.) which are then used in an Adobe PDF template. This is perfect when you have several vendors using different CAD programs, without having to purchase a compatible CAD program to check and approve the work of your vendor, all you need is Adobe Acrobat. The views can be examined, measured and have markups for approval. Notes, custom properties, and Bill of Materials (BOM) can be added to the PDF as well. With a 3D PDF document, anyone that needs to see or approve your work will be able to do so effortlessly.
So, by utilizing the SOLIDWORKS products we’ve identified in this manufacturing package, you can: design your product, maintain the history of the design, create a machining code to manufacture the design, create inspection documents showing the quality of the design, and then share it with others for approval of the design. The best part is that all these products can be upgraded, downgraded, removed or replaced to fit your own custom workflow needs. All using the SOLIDWORKS integrated platform.
Need to know more about what SOLIDWORKS products would be right for your manufacturing needs? That’s our specialty. Contact TriMech today and one of our engineers can help match your needs perfectly. We can even arrange to come to you for an on-site evaluation.