I have been using CAD systems since 1985 when they were still 2D wireframe programs. I have been an engineer for over 20 years. I have used every CAD system there is...AutoCAD, Inventor, Cadkey, KeyCreator, MasterCam, IDEAS, Anvil, Catia, SurfCam and Pro-E. I have used Solidworks since 2004. I have used programs that are no longer available. I have never seen or used a more flawed, inefficient, geometrically sloppy, poorly written with abnormal drafting procedures, tedious, confusing, illogical, frustrating, piece of trash CAD program in my life! $4000+ for a system that can't draw a tangent even with the tangent snap. Can't draw a point at the end of a line. Can't dimension to a reference line that was drawn while in the "Drawing" mode. Can't use the 2D entities of a section cut for measuring. Doesn't flatten to 2D entities properly when creating drawings. And has a "Mirror" function, that has been CHANGED, to give you FOUR answers to choose from even though it asks to identify the mirror plane. There's ONE answer! That is a blatant act to confuse the customer in hopes of scamming them into paying for "maintenance". The "Tangent" Quick Snap still doesn't work correctly, yet something that WAS working has been unreasonably altered to contradict the very meaning of the command! I could go on and on.
I have used Solidworks 2004, 2008, 2009, I own 2010 and have used 2011. I have run it on no less than six different computers with six different hardware configurations. I have run it using Windows 98, 2000, Vista, XP and 7. Solidworks has crashed every single system and on a continuous basis! It crashes at least once every time I use it. It has completely locked up two computers so bad I had to format the hard drive. I have lost countless hours and thousands of dollars in computer time re-doing parts. "Maintenance" repeats over and over that it is my video card or operating system. Bologna. I have a computer made for running CAD. I run twenty year old software, bootlegged software, software I don't even know where it came from and have NO computer problems. EVERY time I use Solidworks, it crashes...EVERY TIME!
I have NEVER received ANY help from tech support even while working for a company foolish enough to pay for the so-called "maintenance". It is an extra $1000 a year for no help and another $1000 for the yearly upgrade...although the salesman will tell you differently. Salesmen are the only people to ever return my calls, NEVER a tech support person.
DO NOT BUY SOLIDWORKS! The Federal Trade Commission should look at this company, their practices and their product. I am convinced that self-destruct routines are written within the program causing it to degrade over time. Solidworks was written by incompetent amateurs, in my opinion. It is just simply a rip-off and the "Maintenance" package is just simply an attempt to extort money from the consumer.