Why Solidworks?

Some students ask why we use solidworks in our programs.  The answer is simple:

  • It’s the most affordable general CAD package for us;
  • It’s well-known to be particularly easy to learn compared to most other CAD packages;
  • It’s very popular in all kinds of different industries.

Some students will occasionally challenge that last point based on their own anecdotal experience; they’ll tell me that as they look for work, they find AutoCAD, not Solidworks, is required. Unfortunately, even though anecdotal evidence may seem indisputable to those who experience it directly, it is not sound evidence.  If you look here, you’ll see that Solidworks is very popular, but not enough information is given about the nature of the survey to know if the statistics gathered are robust.  So then, look here, and while I would never expect you to fork out the $2,500 for the full report, the key result is given for free: “The key vendors dominating this market space are Autodesk Inc., Dassualt [sic] Systemes SA, PTC, and Siemens PLM Software Inc.”

Dassault Systemes is the parent company of both Solidworks and CATIA.

2 Replies to “Why Solidworks?”

  1. I believe what puts Autodesk products high on the list is that the building industry is Autocad driven. Virtually all Architecture firms use Autodesk products including Autocad and Revit. Most construction firms use AutoCad as well. This is not from a scientific study but my observation teaching in both CADD based curriculums and Engineering curriculums as well as 30 yrs experience in the private sector.

    1. That’s probably a good rule in civil engineering and AEC, but to say that it holds for all of engineering is incredibly myopic.
      North American aerospace seems to prefer CATIA.
      Automotive industry (again, at least in N. America) is quite diverse (UGS, CATIA, etc, are all used).
      SMEs will often use Solidworks.

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