Hi my name is Jonathan, and I am going to be explaining the pros and cons of these CAD programs (using my limited experience in both programs). I am by no means an expert in either program, and these points are my personal opinions and experiences. We are in no way biased or favoring one software over another.
The main advantage of SolidWorks is the user interface. When you first open SolidWorks you immediately notice everything seemed very user oriented, as everything had icons and it looked very polished overall. Another thing that stood out was that on the side it had a page of tutorials that were very easy to follow and had a lot of pictures to accompany them. In those tutorials, when there were actions you can’t find, you could click on the icon in the tutorial and it would highlight it for you. That alone makes a huge difference when you are trying to get into modeling and learn the interface of the program. When you open your first part and start making sketches, it is very easy to see where everything is. Another advantage of SolidWorks is the community– if you ever get stuck with SolidWorks you can look up a tutorial and figure it out.
Now for the cons. One of the biggest drawbacks is how slow it is if you don’t have a powerful graphics machine. One time, it took 10 minutes to open just one assembly! In fact, we had to build a whole new computer to model on. Also, it can be hard to get motion mates in an assembly because the constraint manager is a little confusing to a rookie.
In Creo there are a couple of pros over SolidWorks. The first big advantage that Creo has over SolidWorks is that when importing assemblies, Creo has the ability to keep external dimensions. We also like how Creo has the ability to keep tools, like extrude, all in one place instead of having to choose extrude cut or extrude. Another pro to Creo is that motion mates are very simple when you want to make slot constraints or 6 DOF mates. Creo actually has the ability to walk you through how to make the mates. On the other hand, SolidWorks just asks you for the mates.
The cons for this software package include the UI, as it is very confusing and unlabeled. Another con Creo has is that it makes it so you have to keep clicking left and right until the desired action is completed. When you are using the sketch tool in Creo, there are many popups that block what you’re trying to work on. Lastly, it is very difficult in Creo to use the mirror tool.
In my opinion, if you know what you are doing, then Creo might be a slightly more powerful option. If you are new to modeling, like me, I think it’s better to start with SolidWorks. Not only does it have a simpler UI, but it also has a larger community. SolidWorks is also is easy to pick up with some practice. In conclusion, I think if I were to try learning modeling again I would have started working with SolidWorks instead of Creo so I could get the basics down, but professional modelers may want to take a look at Creo. Both programs are powerful in their own ways, so it all comes down to your skill level and personal preference.