What do you like best?
- CATIA has a wide array of tools. If you have the right level of license, you can do anything; sheet metal design, surface design, mechanical design or assembly.
- It is a widespread and well accepted software. Knowing CATIA is a big advantage career in design industry.
- Filleting is a blast. I often import a sharp cornered data into CATIA and put fillets there, real easy and fast.
- You can quickly check for continuity of multiple surfaces and find out naked or sharp edges. It requires very little effort.
- I get fairly good support when I have troubles. Turkish representatives are quick to return when in toruble and they always check if you are doing well.
What do you dislike?
- Figuritively, there are 50 types of license levels, working environments and so on. Yow will often find yourself switching between environments and licenses, just to perform very simple tasks. My company uses a very expensive license type just to enable us import and export STEP data and use some tools that we seldom use.
- When you switch between licenses, you have to restart CATIA. Very annoying and time consuming.
- When you connect a projector, it messes up your whole interface and all your buttons get lost or hide somewhere.
- No backwards compatibility.
- Modeling is not very intuitive. It took me 5 minutes to figure out that an unclickable selection box that asks for an axis input was actually meant to be right-clicked. ONLY RIGHT-CLICK?! Nothing happens when you left click, which is insane.
- Investment costs are very high. Dassault brought cloud system with CATIA 6 but I did not have a chance to experience it.
Recommendations to others considering the product
CATIA 5 is a platform of many tools and there are many licenses for it. You will not be able to do everything with just one license, so decide carefully when you buy a license. Inadequate licenses are a big problem when you need to do something which your license doe not include. CATIA 6 seems to be going towards a better direction, especially for designers. There are lots of CATIA versions and releases, do a good research which one to buy. Portability is another issue: you will need VPN services to work remotely on your laptop and always connect to Internet.
What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?
I use it to finalize my data that I created in a surface modeling software, in order to submit to engineers. I also do several minor modifications and finishing touches; for example closing surfaces, joining edges, trimming or capping holes.