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Thread: Solidworks

  1. #1

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    Solidworks

    I have some questions about the use of SOLIDWORKS for designing aircrafts and aircraft parts and I'm wonder who uses it...how long you've been using it...how you use it...what you think of it etc.? Anyone out there willing to answer some questions about SOLIDWORKS? Are you willing to share some parts you've designed in SOLIDWORKS?

    Thanks!

    Cory

  2. #2
    Mike Switzer's Avatar
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    Most of the manufacturers are using Pro-E due to its ability to integrate individual drawing data thru the whole assembly. Personally, I still use Autocad (mainly 2D, top view, 2 side views & an isometric), but that is how I learned & when the 3D products first came out none of my employers wanted to pay to have a design engineer learn to use it since that was the draftsmen's job. Now a young design engineer pretty much has to know how to use Pro-E.

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    Matt Gonitzke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Switzer View Post
    Most of the manufacturers are using Pro-E due to its ability to integrate individual drawing data thru the whole assembly. Personally, I still use Autocad (mainly 2D, top view, 2 side views & an isometric), but that is how I learned & when the 3D products first came out none of my employers wanted to pay to have a design engineer learn to use it since that was the draftsmen's job. Now a young design engineer pretty much has to know how to use Pro-E.
    I don't know of too many aircraft manufacturers using Pro-E; in fact, I can't think of any. CATIA is pretty much the industry standard at this point.

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    Mike Switzer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Gonitzke View Post
    I don't know of too many aircraft manufacturers using Pro-E; in fact, I can't think of any. CATIA is pretty much the industry standard at this point.
    Wow things sure change in a few years. I knew a couple of the automotive companies were using CATIA to some extent, but most of the contract jobs (around here, at least) are still asking for Pro-E experience.

    As far as solidworks goes, the only people I know using it are facility engineers, it works pretty good for piping layouts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Switzer View Post
    Wow things sure change in a few years. I knew a couple of the automotive companies were using CATIA to some extent, but most of the contract jobs (around here, at least) are still asking for Pro-E experience.

    As far as solidworks goes, the only people I know using it are facility engineers, it works pretty good for piping layouts.
    I had read/heard that Cirrus, Synergy, Sonex, Zenith and Sam have all been designed in SolidWorks. Any designers from those companies on this forum?

  6. #6
    Dana's Avatar
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    There are so many CAD systems out there nowadays that there really is no "standard". That said, most of the big auto and airplane companies use the really high end systems (CATIA, Unigraphics, etc.) that small companies and individuals rarely can or are willing to pay for.

    I've used Solidworks in the past and though it's a good program, I really don't care for the parametric sketch based approach... it just doesn't suit the way I design. I personally prefer a direct modeler. I use Keycreator (formerly Cadkey), but if I was looking for a new system I'd take a good look at Creo Direct, which is from the Pro/E people. They have a free version you can download that's limited to 60 parts.

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    Autodesk's Fusion360 is pretty good (its integrated CAM is excellent if you are designing parts for CNC etc) and it's free for hobbyist or small shop use.

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    Solidworks

    Quote Originally Posted by Cory Puuri View Post
    I have some questions about the use of SOLIDWORKS for designing aircrafts and aircraft parts and I'm wonder who uses it...how long you've been using it...how you use it...what you think of it etc.? Anyone out there willing to answer some questions about SOLIDWORKS? Are you willing to share some parts you've designed in SOLIDWORKS?

    Thanks!

    Cory
    Hi Cory - I took a basic Solidworks course 5 or 6 years ago, and have been using it ever since. I am building a Pietenpol Air Camper and wanted to learn a CAD system to draw and make all my metal fittings.

    I have no experience with any other software (I tried to learn Autocad many years ago, and gave up!!). With the basic training in Solidworks, you can do lots. Youtube is a fabulous resource to solve problems of how to do stuff - along with experience of using it.

    I have all my metal parts done, and am working on a propeller design now - much more challenging, but doable. I like Solidworks, but I have no reference to others.

    I can try to answer your questions, if you like. Most of my parts are admittedly pretty simple. Putting them together in assemblies is more impressive....

    Take a course and dig in.

    Mark B.
    Northern Ireland

  9. #9
    I use Solidworks extensively and have my own copy at the home office. I work as an aerospace consultant and most often use Creo 2 (formerly known as Pro-E) since that is what my clients are using.
    I still find that Solidworks has all the capability needed to design an airplane or anything else one could envision, and the cost of the Solidworks license is less than anything else out there with commensurate capability. For an example of an aircraft design using Solidworks, see my website: http://miller-space.com/aero.html
    Roger Miller
    Morrison, CO

  10. #10
    SOLIDWORKS Support Volunteer Jeffrey Meyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cory Puuri View Post
    I have some questions about the use of SOLIDWORKS for designing aircrafts and aircraft parts and I'm wonder who uses it...how long you've been using it...how you use it...what you think of it etc.? Anyone out there willing to answer some questions about SOLIDWORKS? Are you willing to share some parts you've designed in SOLIDWORKS?
    I've been using CAD/CAM systems in general almost all my professional life (40+ years), and SolidWorks in particular for 16 years. Also taught it to university engineering students.
    I'd be glad to answer any questions from the EAA forums.
    As for sharing parts, it might be easier to reverse engineer existing parts or simply to design them from scratch. Let me know if you have a specific need.
    Jeffrey.

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