What do you like best?
I really liked the features and a lot of commands makes the design very descriptive. The software also helps in high end engineering, analysis and motion simulation. I had used the product in designing my projects which required high end analysis and simulation.
Its perfect for surface design industries, perfect for mould designing and stuff.
I find that CATIAs Part Design workbench is superior over other similar modeling solid modeling softwares because of its utilization of parametric modeling. Being able to work inside of a history tree really makes CATIA a step above the rest. In addition, CATIAs Imagine and Shape workbench is the most manageable and intuitive freeform modeling softwares I have ever used.
What do you dislike?
I feel that the interface in general is a bit outdated, but that comes down to just graphics. The only other think I dislike is Generative Shaoe Design. While I like the idea of parametric modeling for CATIAs other workbenches, softwares like Alias are set up much better for surface modeling.
- 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.
Catia is one of the most powerful CAD modeling software's on the market. Although it is expensive, it is validated in its cost. It is an extremely useful software used by the biggest names in the industry.
Time is money, when I need to design fast, and to surface something with lightning speed Catia is a weapon of choice, fast, agile, safe and sound, small size files, flexibility....
The list goes on and on for this one :)
KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.
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.
My goal in using CATIA is to build solid models for both rendering through visualization softwares and presenting in a digital format, and for the purpose of rapid prototyping. The biggest benefit I have realized is that CATIA makes it far easier to stitch models for 3D printing than any other software I have used.