“Good things come in three’s” and the board of Dassault Systemes knew that SolidWorks couldn’t be the exception. SolidWorks is available in three different versions: Standard, Professional, and Premium. Basically, each version differs in cost and of course, features. Using this sales campaign the company aims to give every user exactly what they need. In the subsequent paragraphs, we’ll compare the first two versions. Keep on reading for this SolidWorks Standard vs Professional comparison.
Created for Everyone. SolidWorks Standard version.
After reading the word standard you may think about something basic, but, when speaking about SolidWorks, Standard means attainable. The Standard version of the software is intended for those who like to create new things and don’t concentrate their efforts performing engineering calculations.
Inside this package, you’ll find all the tools required for creating parts, assemblies, and drawings. The Standard version also includes the DimExpert tool which allows generating dimensions automatically, accelerating the drawing process. In addition, other features like 3D Interconnect, FeatureWorks, Mesh File Importer and the basic utilities are inside.
There is only one major drawback to the Standard version: The complete simulation package is not available. However, it introduces a simple feature known as Simulation Xpress. This simulation tool allows performing various analyses of single bodies, excluding assemblies and multi-body parts. Of course, this may not be enough for a professional, but most amateur designers will find their way with this feature.
Another disadvantage of the Simulation Xpress Tool is the lack of a proper mesh control interface. With this tool only the standard SolidWorks mesh parameters are available. In contrast, this mesh may be enough for small projects since it grants proper results on the basic analyses that can be performed. SolidWorks Xpress not only incorporates simulation. It also involves features like sustainability, DriveWorks, DFM, and flow simulation.
If you’re looking for more, go Professional.
On one hand, we got software for those who like creating things for fun. On the other hand, we got a powerful tool for those who develop new products for society. SolidWorks Professional includes everything from the standard package plus some new features to increase productivity.
One of the most important features is the Toolbox. SolidWorks Toolbox includes tons of part documents for standard parts such as bearings, bolts, screws, washers, and many more. This attribute enhances manufacturability, and reduces design time, thus, increasing productivity. To further increase efficiency, the Costing tool will automatically give you an idea of how much you’ll need to invest to fabricate your product.
Since this is a product aimed at companies, this version includes the Task Scheduler feature. This ad-on serves your design team by helping them keep an organized work schedule. To improve manufacturability, the Tolerance Analyst includes an assistance interface that, in four easy steps, matches your tolerances with proper manufacturing processes.
Companies are not what they are just for showing 3D models, they grow by showing the public a sneak peek of what their product will look like. SolidWorks knows this, and the professional version includes the perfect tool for them. The Photo Rendering tool creates realistic images, adds custom backgrounds, and even gives proper surface finishes to your parts. These images would reduce your expenses since you won’t need to fabricate a prototype for your sales campaign.
All of the features mentioned above are amazing, but there’s one that surpasses them all. The “ScanTo3D” feature included in this package is perfect for engineering companies. Scanning machine components comes really handy, especially if they’re the result of complex geometries. The re-engineering industry comfortably takes advantage of such a tool.
Which one suits you better?
Now we’ve explained the reach of both packages, you’ll have an idea about which one suits you better. If you consider yourself a hobbyist who has access to a 3D printer and likes creating stuff, the Standard version is for you. It’ll cover most of the things you need since it has all the design features.
If you’re the head of a design team for a company and you’re trying to improve your team’s performance, you’ll definitively go Professional. The enhanced tools of that version are a “must-have” in every engineering firm.
When it comes to the economy, the Standard version costs around 30% less than SolidWorks Professional. Nevertheless, the efficiency boosts, time-saving, and even the ability to track your teammate’s work with only one tool is worth the extra bucks. Preparing and launching a sales campaign made from 3D models could also be made using free software, but most of the time quality tends to be expensive.
Freelancers may do well with the standard version. Since the professional version doesn’t add much to simulation, a freelancer could simply help himself by using open software to carry out the calculations. This shouldn’t be a problem because every SolidWorks version can save parts in a large variety of file types.
After reading this review, and the commends we have about each version ask yourself: Which one suits you better?