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What you need to know about moving to SOLIDWORKS
1 SOLIDWORKS at a glance
Many of our customers have made the decision to move from a different 3D CAD system to SOLIDWORKS. Here are the main factors which have influenced their decisions:
- To improve business processes with a fully integrated design platform
- To have a partner that supports their daily operations and helps them stay competitive
- A large SOLIDWORKS User Community makes it easy to find new skilled engineers, utilize resources, and to find and reuse components to use in their designs.
SOLIDWORKS is part of Dassault Systèmes, a worldwide leader in 3D solutions that help engineers and designers to succeed through innovation. The software deliver an intuitive experience in product design, simulation, publishing and data management.
2 Proven strength and growth
SOLIDWORKS is used everywhere! With a strong focus on ease of use and affordability SOLIDWORKS has established itself as a leader in the CAD market, with over 4,700,000 users within 250,000 companies. One of the biggest assets of the SOLIDWORKS network is the large user community, academic arenas and different networks:
As if that wasn't enough, you now have more than 730 Software & Hardware partners to help your business to accelerate.
"What are the top reasons for your transition to a new CAD System?"
Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS Corporation asked customers who have switched CAD why they migrated to SOLIDWORKS.
Not surprisingly we can see that the functionality aspect is important, but Reseller Service relationship is definitely a major reason as well.
PLM Group is the largest Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS partner in Northern Europe serving 5000 customers from a wide range of industries in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Estonia and Latvia. We have 20 years experience of helping engineers and product developers make inspirational and ground breaking high quality products better, faster and more cost-effectively.
3 The Switch
Whenever possible, choose a 3D CAD system that is popular in your industry and within your supplier community. This choice will eliminate the need to translate files from one system to another when communicating with your vendors and suppliers. Translation takes time and sometimes introduces errors in the daily communication.
When helping our customers with their strategic move to SOLIDWORKS, we have learned that the common priorities for most of our customers are the same. We call it ”The Switch”
- How should Legacy Data be handled? How much, if any, should be converted? What has proven successful for other companies? Data Migration from your existing CAD systems requires tactical thinking and sound planning
- Migration tools
- Re-training CAD Users
- Factors of success
A successful switch moves from general to specific, starting with an analysis of your organizations needs, and proceeding to detailed project plans. Start early, start focused, and enjoy the benefits of your new and more effective design- and engineering environment.
4. Migration tools
We have a new tool that is included in SOLIDWORKS that will help your transition into SOLIDWORKS.
While it’s not a “magic migration” tool, it does enable us to stand behind the claim that it’s never been easier to adopt SOLIDWORKS. 3D Interconnect will allow us to get the word “translate” out of our vocabulary.
The application of 3D Interconnect is natural in any cases of a “mixed CAD” environment:
- Consultants/Manufacturers working with customers that have a different CAD system
- Companies that have lingering legacy data
- Companies looking to switch from one 3D CAD software to SOLIDWORKS
3D Interconnect is included in all versions of SOLIDWORKS.
Except for the cool new features of 3D interconnect, there are a number of options when selecting the best tools for the job, and depending on what type of data you need translated, the method can differ.
The four most common practices for migration to SOLIDWORKS
Direct CAD system export/import
You can import native format to SOLIDWORKS from your existing CAD system, and for some CAD formats you even get history and feature tree. An option to this is what you read above, 3D Interconnect, where SOLIDWORKS now directly open native 3rd party design data. Though it doesn't translate the features, but creates a link to the original file that can be updated with your existing CAD software.
Intermediate data exchange formats
Your existing CAD software should support export of STEP, IGES and SAT. You can use built-in tools for repairing damage to imported shapes. If your company must translate many files from several brands of CAD systems, check out the direct translators available with each CAD system, and also those from third parties that specialize in translation software. You can then use the built-in tools in SOLIDWORKS that will translate feature by feature.
Direct 3rd party translators
There are a number of companies who specialize in CAD data translation software, providing software that can read one system and write the information in another CAD system format. These systems have their own proprietary intermediate format some of which will allow reviewing the data during translation. Example of Partner Softwares; Capvidia, Datakit, Elysium.
It is what it says. Sometimes the best solution is to re-draw the specific model in the new CAD system to get all the benefits of the new software.
We have experienced that most 3D CAD users moving from a different CAD system already have a lot of the necessary knowledge to succeed with SOLIDWORKS. This is why we recommend that we tailor-make a training plan based on your needs.
This will focus on the subjects relevant to your product and industry, as well as give your experienced CAD users exactly what they need to know, without repeating what they already know.
We also have a wide variety of predefined trainings held reguarly throughout the year in our offices, see them all in our Training Magazine
|Basic Part Modeling|
|Thin Walled Parts|
|Multi body Solids|
|Large Assembly Considerations|
|Top-Down Assembly Modeling|
|Drawing Sheets and Views|
|Assembly Drawing Views|
|BOMs and Design Tables|
Example of a custom 5-day "SOLIDWORKS for 3D professionals" class
6 Success factors
To make the transition into a new system as successful as possible we have some guidelines. There are different strategies how to implement a new system and we have experienced this with different results. We can help you make this transition as easy as possible, but here are some guidelines:
Make it a priority instead of mandatory
Mandatory policies can lead to irritation and dissatisfaction. “If you have more than three priorities, you have none”. Don’t expect people to change several major things at once. Give people time to switch without too many distractions. Give each department the freedom to decide how to adapt this prioritization.
Make It Easier (By hiring someone else to do the hard work)
There are many tasks that vendors like PLM Group can do faster and with less expense than your project engineers; like creating templates, installing server software or managing licenses.
Focus on changing your own processes and let PLM Group take care of all the work needed behind the scenes to make it run. After all, PLM Group have been doing that for twenty years.
We will help you to:
- Manage the project
- Select the best strategy moving into a new system
- Define a transition program consisting of:
What our customers say:
"We should have introduced SOLIDWORKS several years ago, but we feared the transition. The fear has turned out to be unfounded, because in SOLIDWORKS we have our own custom automated importing processes and now we use engineering data from earlier CAD systems as well. We’ve got huge time savings compared to our old software solution, and made a big leap in minimizing risks of errors." - Mikk Noorkõiv, R&D Engineer, Cleveron
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Phone +45 70 22 22 80
CSO, PLM Group