As you may know, SOLIDWORKS comes with various packages from which to choose. Generally, these packages feature multiple levels of software to benefit your product development. The most popular of the SOLIDWORKS packages are Standard and Professional. We will cover Premium in a later lesson.
For now, let’s take a look at SOLIDWORKS Standard vs Professional and how they impact your design and manufacturing business.
Note that Standard, Professional, and Premium improve your product design no matter the package you choose. All three products are valuable when considering product development, manufacturing, and reverse engineering.
SOLIDWORKS Standard is aimed at casual users of SOLIDWORKS and contains core 3D design software. Standard provides basic drawings and part assemblies capabilities, including sheet metal, surfacing, weldments, and mold tools.
Generally, users who use SOLIDWORKS Standard only leverage the essential features that SOLIDWORKS offers. Therefore, for parts and assembly, modeling, and design, Standard is fully functional. Standard also has some FEA capability to perform static and stress analysis on components. Additionally, SOLIDWORKS Standard also includes animation.
In addition to SOLIDWORKS Standard’s features, SOLIDWORKS Professional offers some valuable extras. The features of SOLIDWORKS Professional aim to boost productivity for the everyday user.
Users that leverage SOLIDWORKS Professional typically need to do work quicker and more efficiently.
As mentioned briefly above, SOLIDWORKS Standard comes with many features that benefit manufacturing professionals. Let’s take a look at some of the components within Standard:
Most machine shops and manufacturers still leverage 2D drawings to do business. Lucky for you, SOLIDWORKS Standard includes the ability to create, scale, link, and modify 2D drawings. Usually, users make 2D drawings from their 3D models or existing designs.
Are you looking for a guide on creating 2D drawings in SOLIDWORKS? Solid Professor provides a valuable FAQ blog around 2D drawings. In addition, the TPM1 Premier Program includes a Solid Professor subscription. A TPM1 Premier Program subscription allows users to take advantage of the many eLearning tutorials available.
SOLIDWORKS Standard gives you the ability to efficiently and quickly create animations that represent a design’s movement and functionality.
SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD is truly the foundation of the entire SOLIDWORKS suite of product development software. With the 3D CAD functionalities of SOLIDWORKS Standard, manufacturers can increase their efficiency and reduce their expenses in their modeling process.
SOLIDWORKS features 3D Interconnect. 3D Interconnect allows users to import third-party CAD files created in other CAD systems. While most engineers and manufacturers leverage SOLIDWORKS, there are still a few out there leveraging other CAD software. 3D Interconnect is valuable in these cases, allowing SOLIDWORKS users to accelerate their design process.
Design Analysis allows users to check the performance of a created design in real-time. This function is crucial to engineers as it will enable them to fix, improve, and optimize their designs on the fly.
Interference Detection identifies conflicts between components and helps you determine what to do with those conflicts.
SOLIDWORKS makes it easy for users to manage the designs of large assemblies of thousands of parts. This suite of tools, built into the software, can help you improve the performance of your large assembly designs.
With mold design, SOLIDWORKS users can use a sequence of integrated tools that control the mold creation process. Part files automatically update as you work, enabling changes until final manufacturing with these tools.
Sheet Metal allows users to quickly create a wide array of sheet metal parts using dynamic tools.
You can create your weldment profiles to use when creating structural weldment members. You make the profile a library feature part, then file it in a defined location to make it available for selection.
The most frequent SOLIDWORKS Professional user is looking to increase productivity and take their designs to the next level. Including the benefits of Standard, Professional allows users to get products out of their door even faster and under budget.
Visualize allows users to leverage their 3D CAD data to create photo-quality content. Users can make this photo-quality content from images to animations, interactive web content, and immersive virtual reality. Visualize is considered the “camera” for your CAD data.
In the SOLIDWORKS Toolbox, SOLIDWORKS Professional provides prebuilt 3D CAD models and other CAD data libraries. These CAD libraries are beneficial as they allow manufacturers and engineers to reduce development expenses and increase productivity in their workflow. Additionally, SOLIDWORKS Toolbox offers a parts library to speed up your designs even more.
eDrawings Professional accelerates the design to the manufacturing process and encourages collaboration. Using Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality, users can send a 3D model to suppliers to quote.
With Professional, users can verify the manufacturability of their product designs, even early in the development process. This verification ability reduces development costs, saves time, and speeds up project timelines.
SOLIDWORKS PDM is a document management product that assists in managing data files and documentation. PDM automates large portions of manual tasks, maximizing productivity and improving product quality. SOLIDWORKS PDM enables your teams to store securely and index design data for fast retrieval.
With Professional, users can avoid redesigns and save time by automatically evaluating designs against budgets with SOLIDWORKS Costing. As you design a product, SOLIDWORKS will update the cost of materials in real-time.
SOLIDWORKS’ ScanTo3D allows users to open scan data from any scanner (mesh or point cloud files) or curve data from mathematics software. ScanTo3D enables users to reverse engineer their data and convert it into a surface or solid model. The function works even when complex surfaces are involved.
Included in SOLIDWORKS Professional is SOLIDWORKS Design Checker. Design Checker allows users to create a consistent design, which helps with overall progress efficiency.
The user can run Task Scheduler while not physically at their desk. Task Scheduler runs batch exporting, printing, and importing processes in the background so you can focus on the things that matter.
With SOLIDWORKS TolAnalyst, users can check the potential of their design before its creation.
Not mentioned previously is the third SOLIDWORKS package that comes in the form of SOLIDWORKS Premium. SOLIDWORKS Premium includes even more additional features than Standard and Professional. In brief, SOLIDWORKS Premium allows manufacturers and engineers to collaborate and communicate their designs and ideas quicker.
The answer to this question depends heavily on what you are working on and what projects you have on your plate. One thing is certain: your Design workflows are going to improve when you are working with SolidWorks Professional. It is going to help you to communicate your design ideas more effectively and efficiently.
Are you looking to understand even more about SOLIDWORKS and the tiers that are offered? Get in touch with our team of professionals today.