Learning Resources and User Base
One factor you might consider for choosing a software is the availability of learning resources and the size of the user base. In that prospect, SOLIDWORKS currently has the largest professional user base compared to other software. This ultimately means that it makes it easier to find learning resources and community help if you get stuck on something. Other software often has more niche and focused learning communities due to the smaller user base size
Our Software of Choice at TforDesign
At TforDesign, we use SOLIDWORKS because it is a well-rounded 3D design software that is fulfilling all our needs. Also, due to the software's large user base, it makes it easier to find talents that are familiar with the software already. The widespread use of SOLIDWORKS also makes it a bit easier to communicate with third-party prototyping facilities as many use SOLIDWORKS as well. In our case, this meant we could correspond with native SOLIDWORKS files directly rather than getting entangled with different generic formats.
Which Software Should You Use?
Unfortunately, there can not be an ultimate recommendation as to which 3D software you should use. So, the best answer is: 'it depends'. If you have the freedom to choose a software, then our recommendation is to explore each option, watch tutorials, and possibly try out free or trial versions before making a final decision.
For most people, the reality is that your choice might not be about what features the software provides. Rather, your choice might depend on what software you have access to or what software you will have access to based on the location and industry you are looking to work in. For example, if you happen to work in a prototyping facility that has adapted SOLIDWORKS, then you would simply use SOLIDWORKS.
Navigating the world of 3D modeling software may seem daunting, but by considering your project's nature, industry, budget, and whether you prefer a cloud-based or desktop platform, you can narrow down your choices. Remember that each program has its strengths, and often, trying a few can give you a better sense of the right fit for your 3D modeling aspirations. Whether you're a budding hobbyist or an aspiring professional, the key is to begin creating, experimenting, and finding the tool that best serves your imagination and workflow.
A last word to keep in mind is that all parametric 3D design software works on similar principles. Thus, transitioning from one software to another is easy and quick compared to learning 3D modeling from scratch. Thus, just getting started with any software can be a great move regardless of whether or not you end up using that same software for the rest of your career.
If you are looking to start your 3D modeling journey with us at TforDesign, you can start with our Intro to 3D Modeling program which is not software-specific. After that, you can start learning SOLIDWORKS in our most basic SOLIDWORKS program: Become a Certified Associate Today.