June 13, 2022

With the recent launch of the SOLIDWORKS Maker's Edition there has been a huge inflow in the number of users that have been joining SOLIDWORKS, the new price is extremely attractive to new users especially beginners who like to go offline with their CAD software.

When it comes to offline CAD packages like SOLIDWORKS you do have a certain number of benefits compared to online packages such as fusion 360 or Onshape, these include:

1. True offline capability

2. Freedom to work off the grid

3. Data security

4. Speed of use

5. Robust

Again, it's no surprise that when it comes to CAD an offline package is going to give you true offline capability what this means is let's say for example you want to run some sort of simulation or some sort of rendering it would be much more likely that you would have the tools needed for the task in offline package like SOLIDWORKS which does not demand any sort of online resources or access. Certain software such as fusion 360 force the user to save their part on the web and only then does the user get access to rendering capability as well as exporting capability into STL which are extremely common these days with 3D printing enthusiasts.

Example: You have a sphere which you want to 3D print the process for this would be creating the sphere in CAD using some sort of revolve whether it be in fusion 360 or SOLIDWORKS. In SOLIDWORKS you only have to simply go ahead and save your part as an STL where you are presented with multiple refinement options to curtail your file size of the STL. Irrespective of the choice of refinement the saving process is nearly instantaneous and without any additional obstacles. Fusion 360 demands online saving of your part file which again adds an additional step which takes some time since it has to transfer your entire model to the web followed by automatically creating a new version of the same. They still demand conversion times for simple formats such as STL, OBJ and 3MF which can also slow down the user and the simple process of saving as STL, another thing to note is these processes have no guarantee of being successful and can easily take 10-15 minutes per export and this gives SOLIDWORKS and other offline CAD packages an unmatched advantage in this department.

When it comes to truly working off-the-grid this is a massive advantage for SOLIDWORKS, usually as a hobby creator you would not always have the comfort of working from your desk, at times you are forced to go to the work side exactly where you plan on building your project where internet connectivity might always not be the best, in such circumstances a CAD package like SOLIDWORKS greatly comes in handy where you do not need internet access to retrieve any of your dad designs or models, unlike other CAD packages which are online based which even though they claim to have offline modes they are not truly offline and would demand internet connections to retrieve your models which beats the whole point of truly working offline.

Coming to data security, today we are in the year 2022 and data security is of utmost concern, even though most online packages do mention that your data is under your own right and that this will not be shared with others certain companies especially when there are patents involved we cannot risk anything and take this issue lightly, that is why we see most of the top companies in the world will never prefer online based CAD packages even though they promise better collaboration capabilities for the only reason that a data breach or and online server crash which could  lead to loss of data or even worse malicious use of the data without the authorities permission. This could lead to a massive loss of revenue and as a result most industries for now stick to offline based CAD packages like SOLIDWORKS apart from others.

When it comes to offline packages like SOLIDWORKS we see that the speed of use is drastically faster compared to online counter parts, this is simply because the entire CAD package can run truly offline and therefore needs no assistance for any sort of online computation or feedback on the design, this drastically improves the speed of the modelling process and can thus save time and resources which can be redistributed in a much more productive manner.

Finally, we come to the point of being robust, most top Industries believe that being truly offline helps CAD packages like SOLIDWORKS be robust to the next level and this is because all your files are truly offline and as a result there is a less likely chance of any of the files been misplaced or renamed by other members, not only this but simulation as well as rendering can all be done in a truly offline manner which saves time from online processing or saving any data anywhere apart from your system which is a great boost to SOLIDWORKS users.

Online CAD packages do have a couple of points that could be vital to users shifting to the other side of the coin, these are mainly online collaboration which allows a user who is using a software like fusion 360 or Onshape to collaborate on a level that is unmatched by any sort of offline CAD platform such as SOLIDWORKS. Imagine this you create something in an online platform in one country and simultaneously another designer from another country across the globe can work without any sort of lag in the communication process, not only this but softwares like fusion 360 unlike SOLIDWORKS also have facility is where your design can be shared live on the internet with a public link which can then be even viewed on mobile or Tablet. These sorts of online based capabilities are something that cannot be directly integrated in softwares like SOLIDWORKS because they are truly offline but are definitely possible using the other products of the Dassault systems such as the whole 3Dexperience suite.

Overall we can conclude that when it comes to offline versus online CAD packages you basically have a couple of points that you need to keep in mind, if collaboration on an unmatched scale is what you'd prefer in that case a software like fusion 360 or Onshape would be your best bet, but on the other hand if you would prefer to have a robust software which is truly offline which does not need any sort of online feedback or computation and thus you know for sure all of your data is exactly on your own system and in your own hands without any sort of external Interference then SOLIDWORKS is your best bet.

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