Solidworks user going to ZW3D

Hi, I’m a long time Solidworks user but have over time become pretty jaded with their pricing and conditions. I have been looking at ZW3D for a while now but never really took to it (with 2023 coming soon I hope it’s more down my ally) as I do machining and tool design.

I wanted to ask are there many Solidworks users that have changed over, if so how long did it take to get back to operating at 100%. What can you do to make ZW3D to operate as much as possible as Solidworks to reduce the learning curve.

I was Solidworks user. When I started with ZW3D there was few tutorials in the internet. So it took me apr. half a year to operate it 100% level.
Now I think there is plenty tutorials and materials in the internet and in the zw3d website. Do not worry.

Not Solidworks but CATIA. I use the latter for my employer and ZW3D for all my other work. It is a very capable system that serves all my complex surfacing, component engineering and assembly requirements. It does have quirks but then so does all CAD software. If you are coming from Solidworks you will have no trouble grasping the concepts.


I am a Toolmaker doing design and CNC machining. Used Solidworks for 15 years, and a multiple of cam packages.
It took me about 6 months to get the basics to get on with for the Cam and Cad. It has got its glitches but as mentioned almost all packages do. I moved away from Solidworks for similar reasons to you and wanted something more cost effective.

When I started I used it like Solidworks, just the file management / structure is a bit different. As time has progressed with more understanding I use it in a different way to take advantage of the more advanced features.
You cannot compare the power of ZW3d tooling module to Solidworks. It is more in line with NX. So Obviously very good value for money.

Coming from Solidworks you will have a few frustrations with the measuring tool, sketches and mates, Just takes a bit of getting used to, the measuring tool you can create a hot key. Sketches are not as user friendly. Mates are very similar in some ways but take a bit of getting used to. Finding existing mates to a part is not as easy as its all stored in one assembly file and no reference in the part.

It is actually quite a big change from Solidworks, but would not go back.

Re access to tools.
You can customise ZW to be incredibly similar to anything you want. This takes time and effort off course and is a pain anytime you up grade.
BUT the low hanging fruit is to add a few toolbars then save as a User Role via Role Manager.

e.g. I add the Inquire Toolbar to every screen and place it at the bottom of the screen.
Just RMB on a vacant part of the upper ribbon and follow the menu. Drag and dock the toolbars where you want then save the Role.
You will need to do this for each screen operation zone.
Cheers- Paul

HI kwallace:

Now the zw3d design pattern is the same as that of solid works。

Of course, you must start with zw3d2022

Performance wise, how it’s compared to CATIA or SOLIDWORKS

It is not CATIA’s opponentIts positioning is between SolidWorks and NX

CATIA and NX, are on the same level, the high end cad.

On the mid range you have SOLIDWORKS, solid edge, inventor.

Between mid and high end, there is PTC CREO.

So you say that it can try to compete with CREO.

But answering my question. In terms of performance (regeneration and graphic) how it’s Zw3d compared to SOLIDWORKS or CATIA or NX?

I mean how it works.

There is still a distance from SW

So better than SW, no so good as Nx

My point is:

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Do you mean that ZW is slower than these other programs or worse in functionality?


I have experienced these software,
fluency:ZW > SW
function: ZW ~=SW
Third-party plug-ins:ZW<SW
Self-contained module:ZW<SW
secondary development:ZW<SW

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