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VX versus Solidworks

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Message 1 of 5

 VX versus Solidworks
11-11-2007 05:56 . am   |   View his/her posts only

did anybody knows if does exist any comparative sheet with "+" or "-" , or more advanced, between vx and solidworks?
I need to make a pleading to a solidworks fan, but who didn't use it anymore ... he is only a marketing victim.

thank you,


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11-11-2007 03:43 . pm   |   View his/her posts only

Hi Dorin

Do we really need a whole sheet? How about a few sound bites - "True Hybrid", "Fast", "CAD and CAM Kernel", "Advanced Design", "No solid required", "Import large IGES files", "Class A surfaces", "Use un-constrained Sketches", "Core functionality instead of $ add-ons", "Fun to drive".

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Message 3 of 5

12-11-2007 02:33 . pm   |   View his/her posts only
Hi Chris,
you may be absolutely right, but how do you convey that to someone who only has one experience to evaluate AND the comfort of a market leader (safety in numbers). No one ever got fired for buying SW.
Personally I think the VX website is very low key compared to the 'others' and this in itself may be an adverse influence a prospective purchasor.
Perhaps there is a place for a key point of difference comparison, the ppoints you make etc.
The other thing you notice when looking for VX on the web, is that much less competent CAD packages have a higher hit rate and appear more often in online publications.
All very well being the hottest performer, but it don't work only a small number of people know.


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Message 4 of 5

12-11-2007 04:28 . pm   |   View his/her posts only
Hi Paul,

We do need to be "out there" more, and we will be now that v13 has arrived. At the trade shows, we have demonstrated VX's advantages and value for money against other MCAD, SW in particular, but as they say, you can take a horse to water......

In any event, a point-for-point list serves no purpose. For a start, anything that one company puts on their list as a competitors weakness may well be listed as a strength by that competitor - as a buyer, you do not have the information on which to safely make your decision. So, you need to see the applications in action. Or do it the hard way, as so many have done - buy SW, get stumped by limitations, check the market thoroughly, buy VX. You are indeed an ex SW User yourself Paul, so I'm sure you understand my angle there. SW is a huge marketing force that cannot be "out advertised" in terms of volume and expenditure, while the low-end "pile it high and sell it cheap" market is not offering a serious solution to professionals. A common denominator amongst VX customers is commonsense. People that can see through the hype and understand what is real value for money.

VX is growing in reputation, and it is thanks to you guys, the (mostly) happy customers. The word about VX is spreading. VX is more than good enough to compete with the ultra-expensive high-end apps. Did I mention "fast and "fun to drive"?

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Message 5 of 5

13-11-2007 03:56 . am   |   View his/her posts only
Alternatively get both like I did. :-)

That way you get the best of both platforms.

The best thing VX could do in my opinion to answer the SolidWorks queries would be to have more like for like video demos on the website that compare to the ones on the SW site.

As a user of both systems I would say there is not much difference in modelling terms - some things VX does well, some things SolidWorks does well. Both have their issues. VX is a more powerful surface modeller but SolidWorks is easier to get the results you want. The Morph command in VX is not as effective as the Freeform in SW in my opinion, from a user interface (and so ultimately results) point of view. SolidWorks drawings are also more robust, and of course there are e-drawings. On the flip side of that VX has more flexibility in the drawings environment than SW, and output quality is equal. VX is also better at importing IGES - much faster - and generally operations like thickening surfaces are faster and more likely to work in VX. VX also has some nice specific tools like the thread tool, but then SW has fastener features like boss and snap hook which work well.

The whole hybrid thing is also getting a bit old hat these days as well. Fact is I tend to use SolidWorks as a surface modeller and mix and match solids and surfaces as much as I do with VX.

For the kind of work I do - small assemblies (up to 100 components say) of consumer and industrial products, either software is usable. I do prefer the environment of SolidWorks over VX (but then I think v13 is more SW like in that respect). Fact is both are good systems and both will get the job done. SolidWorks, being more like other applications, is probably easier to get going with, but once you start doing anything complex it comes down to your knowledge of the system anyway.

In this respect VX is, I think, slightly harder to learn to a higher level - there are just so many options in the tools and many are not obvious. SolidWorks is more "heads up". I tend to mix and match systems depending on the job in hand. Some things I will do in SW, some in VX, some in both. Neither are as good as Ashlar-Vellum Cobalt for knocking up quick, high quality, curve networks or models. The spline controls in SolidWorks are rubbish compared to VX or Cobalt, there are no conics for example, but they are easier to manipulate than the VX way (which I find intensely complex and annoying).

At the end of the day it comes down to budget and need, not to mention personal taste .

As a design service provider I have bought into many systems over the years. The only one I dropped was Think Design. The market in the UK is such that SolidWorks is the Autocad of 3D - like it or not - that is the format of choice. VX is virtually unknown. As a service provider it is results that count so I opt to currently use VX , SolidWorks and Ashlar-Vellum software - that combo works for me. If I was a manufacturing company making my own product and the CAD system was for in house use only and linked to CAM then VX is a good choice - especially in the UK where SolidWorks (and most others) is priced at "you are taking the piss" high levels. The support in the UK is also second to none.

In my opinion there are 2 things VX can do to enhance the marketability of the product:

1. Include a SolidWorks translator in all products
2. Revamp the web site to be more like SolidWorks for their online videos. The VX ones are too low resolution and too quick to see what is actually happening. The whole format of the training room and space ship thing is, well, a bit cheesy. (Though I have to say SoldiWorks did use a similar format for the previews for 2008 up until a few months back!!). Guys buy yourselves a copy of Adobe Captivate and record some like for like demos at high res - yes there is a language issue but SolidWorks VARs in the UK are looking at a 15% growth target per annum for the next 5 years - so English speakers are still the biggest (and easiest) chunk to target.
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