We hear a lot about going from concept to design, and with SOLIDWORKS CAD that’s the easy part. But what’s next? What tools do you need to pitch your design and get that first prototype made? In other words, what tools do you need to go from concept to reality?
Once you have your CAD complete in SOLIDWORKS, the three tools that help you make a concept a reality are: SOLIDWORKS Composer, SOLIDWORKS Visualize and SOLIDWORKS Visualize Pro. With these tools you can showcase how your design will look and how it will work, capturing the essence of your idea before it’s even made. The best part is these are all linked to the SOLIDWORKS CAD model, meaning any changes to the model are automatically updated; saving you substantial time and frustrating effort.
All three tools put your model on a stage so you can easily share your designs, but what exactly are the differences? In this article, we break down each of the features of the tools, so you can know exactly why and when to use them.
SOLIDWORKS Composer is great at showcasing how your design works. That’s what makes it the best tool for technical documentation and work instructions. Gone are the days of waiting for a product to be manufactured before you can start to show how it’s assembled or how it operates. This means no more taking pictures with a camera. With Composer, assembly guides and work instructions can be created before the first parts are printed or the first piece of metal is cut. These pieces of content can be created even before the design is finished because Composer is linked to the CAD model and updates with a SOLIDWORKS product.
As you’d expect from a SOLIDWORKS tool, Composer is incredibly easy to utilize, even for a non-CAD user. So, anyone in the company, technical or non-technical, can create great looking and concise content. Composer makes it easy to add collaborative actors like arrows, balloons, text and other annotations to effectively communicate your design. For an added level of detail and clarity, you can include body parts like hands or entire humans. With SOLIDWORKS Composer you can really show off how your design will function, making it easy to present a virtual prototype of your concept before it becomes a reality.
SOLIDWORKS Visualize takes your design and turns it into a model ready for a professional photoshoot. With Visualize, you can make your most imaginative designs a reality. Visualize enables you to create images so realistic that people will think it’s a professional photograph of a real object, not a CAD screenshot. In a user-friendly application, you can control every aspect of the stage for your model from the appearance, the lights, cameras and the surrounding environment. Visualize is a stand-alone application that can be easily utilized by any CAD or non-CAD user. After a virtual photoshoot with your CAD models in SOLIDWORKS Visualize, your concept will be ready to become a prototype.
SOLIDWORKS Visualize Professional
If you want to take your photoshoots to the next level, you can upgrade to Visualize Professional to make even more stunning photo-realistic renderings. SOLIDWORKS Visualize comes with every seat of SOLIDWORKS Professional and Premium with subscription, but you can upgrade to Visualize Professional at any time. With this software, you can tell a deeper story and enhance emotional connections with your products. SOLIDWORKS Visualization Professional offers the most comprehensive way to generate photo-quality imagery, interactive animations and 360-degree spins to effectively communicate the most complex design details.