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  1. Randy
    September 23, 2019 @ 11:57 AM

    A little curious, since you are a design house, if you felt the need to get Solidworks there was because it was driven more by customer’s want for Solidworks deliverables, vs picking that software because it was the best choice in terms of using CAD for design?


    • Eldon
      September 23, 2019 @ 4:06 PM

      That’s a great question, with a 2-part answer. First, yes there was a need to meet customer requests. Second, I had used Solidworks at a customer facility some and liked several things about it. I also liked the presentation and promises. So we dove in and bought it, then took several of classes to really learn it with the intent of expanding our capability. Call it jumping in with both feet, even though we knew it was not the most capable CAD. The issues highlighted are extras to learn as you go.


  2. Matt
    December 17, 2019 @ 10:59 AM

    One thing you forgot to mention was the ease of learning the systems. Having learned to use both, I’d say that I was able to become proficient in Solidworks in half the time it took me to get to the same level in Creo. In fact, I was able to learn SW faster on my own with just tutorials than I was able to learn Creo with tutorials and teacher led courses. Along those same lines, I’ve found the online tutorials for SW are by far superior and more numerous.

    A second thing is that I’ve found the SW online part repository much better than that of PTC’s. There are also a lot of suppliers (like McMaster Carr) who offer downloadable parts in native SW part files, which can really make things easy.


    • Eldon
      December 18, 2019 @ 8:59 AM

      Good points, especially about the parts libraries of suppliers. I agree, that’s nice — though even more common are formats like STEP that work fine in just about any CAD. Thank you for adding the comments.


  3. dan
    January 23, 2020 @ 2:05 PM

    Creo is billed as a “high-end” CAD software, but it is so limiting on how one goes about modeling that it really isn’t. For instance, mirroring features in a part, it does fine. But once you change the source feature, the mirror WON’T update!! How is that even possible in 2020.

    SolidWorks has had multi-body functionality since the early 2000’s. this is a powerful feature that most inexperienced users don’t even realize what they are missing, and some experienced but stubborn users as well are missing out on one of the most powerful modeling tools SolidWorks has. It is only now that Creo will be implementing this same functionality.

    I am actually having many problems in Creo because it does not handle multiple bodies in a part well, so that I am considering having to go back to SolidWorks for much of my workflow, specifically importing files that will need some manipulation. SolidWorks is far superior in this arena.

    SolidWorks is FAR more efficient. The current project I’m working on, we are using over 20 CAD designers to develop a system that has a complexity similar to stuff I’ve done in SolidWorks with a team of three or four people.

    Creo often forces you do to things a specific way. For instance, if you want to mirror in a sketch, you have to follow the software’s order of selection. In SolidWorks, the order of selection is not detrimental to the process.

    Creo is clunky, having only partially integrated into Windows and therefore does not take advantage of many functionalities in Windows. For instance, in one session, SolidWorks can have multiple parts, assemblies, and drawings open. You can drag a part into an assembly very easily. In Creo, each part, assembly, or drawing has it’s own instance of the software open. Dragging from one to another is only a distant dream.

    Another OS integration issue with Creo, probably stemming back to the ’80’s when it was developed is no spaces in filenames. Just a small inconvenience.

    I can’t find 3D sketch in Creo. Use it all the time in SolidWorks.

    Graphics and interface are much better in SolidWorks. To be fair, I haven’t taken the time to customize any of this in Creo, but I shouldn’t have to. Often wireframe, sketches, and so on look horrible in Creo. Eye strain anyone?

    No concentric mates in Creo, or any of the cool, advanced mates that SolidWorks has. For instance, width mate in SolidWorks is a little weird at first, but once you get used to it, it is often your go-to mate. Not having it in Creo is like missing a body part.

    Creo splits surfaces sometimes, typically on a cylinder, but I’ve seen it on flat sheetmetal surfaces. This causes a false illusion of what the part is.

    Parent/Child relationships in Creo are absolutely HORRIFYING. If you delete a parent, the children will most often delete. In SolidWorks you will get a dangling relationship to the abandoned children that you can go in and fix. In Creo, you can’t easily reorder the assembly tree. It’s super awkward manipulating assembly structure in Creo.

    Holes in a part: Creo bites the big one. You can only make one instance of a hole and then you have to pattern it or whatever. In SolidWorks, you can create as many instances of a hole in the hole feature by sketching patterns or any other method you want. Much more intelligent.

    SolidWorks has “virtual parts”. Super powerful. I’ll bet the author of this article doesn’t even know what they are, as well as most SolidWorks users. Virtual parts are parts in an assembly that don’t exist on the server. You embed them into the assembly. Massive improvement in file management. For instance, say you have a hydraulic cylinder that you import from Parker Hydraulics. There’s fifteen parts. You can import it as a part, but then it can’t articulate as it should. But you only want one part number to manage. In SolidWorks, import it into an assembly and make all the sub assemblies and parts “virtual”. Then you only have one file to manage but all of the parts and sub assemblies remain in tact and are kinematically functional, if you set it up that way. Another usage would be a welded assembly and you want to model the welds. You can make the welds virtual and then they aren’t filling your server with random files. I don’t see anything like this in Creo.

    SolidWorks allows the user to “lock” the part drawing tree. This does two things. It keeps idiots from accidentally modifying your part unless they go and unlock the tree. Also it reduces the part rebuild time to ZERO. I don’t see this in Creo.

    I’m not seeing any offsets for extrudes and cuts, for instance in SolidWorks, you don’t have to start your sketch in the exact location you want to start the feature. You can choose to offset the beginning of the feature which allows you to forgo having to create a construction plane to create your sketch. If Creo has this, I can’t find it yet.

    Making drawings in Creo is archaic. I get that this is how it once was, but in 30 years this hasn’t been modernized? We have hundreds of Creo users here and most of the ex-SolidWorks users hate it. Drawing difficulties is at the top of their list.

    As the other poster above stated, I taught myself SolidWorks in no time. It’s very comfortable and intuitive compared to Creo. With Creo, I already have tens of thousands of hours of CAD modeling in various softwares and after four months in Creo, I am only slightly comfortable with the software.

    I just started using version 4, and I really like how it is starting to feel more like SolidWorks. Everything should be intuitive and at your fingertips. They have a long way to go, but it’s getting better.

    It’s sad though that I was expecting much more from a “high-end” product. I would have thought that while SolidWorks was surpassing their market share to where they own four to five times the market that PTC does, they would have taken note and adjusted their trajectory. Yet, it seems they didn’t get the memo.

    There are obviously features in Creo that SolidWorks doesn’t have, like the ability to create “non-manifold” or Zero Thickness Geometry. Direct editing seems superior as well. They say it’s much more stable and can handle larger assemblies. Two reasons for this, one is that being extremely limited in what you can do and also not fully integrating into windows I’m sure has some effect on the stability. Imagine Creo as programming that has to be linear, no spaghetti programming. Now imagine that SolidWorks can work this way but allows spaghetti programming. Then of course many users will not be disciplined and will make a mess if they are allowed. I would say that if the same care were taken with SolidWorks assemblies as one is forced to do with Creo, the stability would be similar.


    • Eldon
      January 23, 2020 @ 2:50 PM

      Thank you for taking the time to write all the above. I think you’ve made some great points, and I’d love to hear your opinions after a few solid years in Creo. I personally don’t know anyone that loves Creo at first when coming from something else that’s familiar and comfortable. Probably could say the same for those going the other way too. It took me a long while of immersion to get the flow of SolidWorks after so much Pro/E. I’ve come to like SolidWorks for simple stuff, but have a hard time with the inefficiency for bigger projects — and I still think SolidWorks drawings suck big time. Funny how we see things always biased. Thank you again for the comments. I should probably learn more SW from you.


      • James
        July 20, 2020 @ 9:52 AM

        “opinions after a few solid years in Creo” this is absolutely the problem. It is so unintuitive and down right obtuse that is does take YEARS to get fairly basic aspects to work!

        I agree with most of Dan’s review of Creo. I am Creo 5 user and i can see good aspects to the program, mainly stability of assemblies which I can free admit has cause numerous problems in Solidworks, however all of that time has more than been eaten up how awful the drafting is.
        The drafting side of Creo is embarrassing. It takes me a least 3 times longer to get a decent drawing out of Creo than Solidworks, and really it begs the question as to what the point of Creo is, yes i can make a pretty model and analysis it but that model is no better for being modelled in Creo and when the time comes for manufacture the whole program starts working against the user which must companies that use Creo a fortune in man hours. And the fact that almost every forum that Creo is mentioned on users complain about the drafting and have been complaining for years about it shows how little PTC care about making the program any better as they have some large companies held hostage with Windchill and their subscription model.

        Personally i would recommend any other CAD program over Creo as there is no hope of using it without a support team and even then they will not be able to help a lot of the time.


  4. Mahesh
    March 2, 2020 @ 5:23 PM

    Creo, the best. Solidworks, the worst.


  5. Pete
    July 8, 2021 @ 9:38 AM

    This is a little dated, but this was my list of things that drove me nuts about Solidworks after switching from Creo. This is probably about 8 years old now so I suspect many of these might not be accurate anymore.

    *no ability to explicitly orient sketch (easily)

    *no ability to pattern curves, planes or axis or any datum feature. Patterning curves is very important to create/signify keep-outs and keep-ins etc.

    *Patterning SMT like components (components that are assembled into onto other parts “sans” mating features is impossible). you have to create “dummy features” in parent part,
    pattern the dummy feature, so you can then pattern the component in assy based on the dummy features. This is not a good way to express design intent and bloats files unnecessarily.

    *sketch mode is inconsistent at “autosnapping/autocontraining”. sometimes entities that are snapped during creation but are not constrained sometimes they are…some like “auto-snap” = auto constrain 60% of the time…

    *sketch mode allows “over-constrained” sketches..- sometimes…” inconsistent. Time consuming to re-constrain a sketch or repair a sketch. I have never spent so much time in sketch mode

    *no ability to put both endcaps and surface features (i.e. extruded surface lack both endcaps options – think you can get one end cap but not both)

    *no auto orient and plane creations for sections used on sweeps. Creation of a sweep bundles the path and section into the feature….even though the path may have been created 50 features ago…..after the sweep is created you have no clue “when” that path was created (This can be easier to see in Solidworks if you have the “show flat tree” enabled on the part)

    *no ability to convert extruded boss to a cut or surface or vice versa.

    *No ability to convert created thin feature to “not be” a thin feature or vice versa (after feature is created and you “edit definition”

    *model/feature tree constantly needs resized just so the bottom “drag up bar” will appear

    *sketch mode almost indistinguishable from 3d model mode. Daily, I exit sketch inadvertently and think I still am in “sketch mode” or vice versa”

    *no ability to flip which side an offset edge is in a sketch after you accept and create the feature

    *no dynamic preview of draft features which is a bummer because on small draft angles it is difficult to ensure which direction correct.

    *no feature copy command (IE create the exact same feature but use these new references to create the feature)

    *no “use previous” sketch plane option upon creating new sketches

    *no dedicated systematic feature re-route ability

    *assembly mode, no ability to “roll back” in time on the assembly tree….almost behaves as if it is “history-less” but still has parent-child relationships

    *datum plane colors are stored per part…not as an environmental variable….yuck…can have 20 parts open all with different colored datum planes.

    *e-drawing installation error as part of service pack update no machines here successfully got the prepackaged edrawings installed correctly.

    *no comparable tool to pro/E’s “simplified reps” in assy

    *no ability to “suspend” children features off a feature when deleting. SW will just delete the feature.

    *heavy utilization of system registries for admin. good and bad here. updating configurations system-wide REQUIRES all users to be logged out of SW. This is tough to enforce….unless your admin like getting up at 4:00 am.

    *constraining a sketch is ultra-time consuming. The ability to create underdefined/under constrained sketches allows for sloppy design and design intent.

    *no “ref pattern” of features available. further proof that SW is very much a “transplanter” for patterns…and not parametric…barf

    *no ability to pick and choose what features curve etc you want from a base part….you get all or nothing…….you can turn off entities like Csys’s…but you can’t pick when ones you want. Creo’s “inheritance” and Publish Geom features crush Solidworks for Top Down Design features and flexibility.


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