I've been searching for a good 3D CAD tool for a while now and finally got around to trying out Solidworks and I just wanted to post and say that Solidworks is by far the best and easiest 3D tool I've used ever (besides Sketchup) Sketchup still rocks for large items - but Sketchup's max resolution is like .01" or something like that which just won't work for some of these small metal parts.

I've used Maya, Lightwave, Blender, Mastercam, Artcam, and some I've probably forgotten! But for the kind of stuff that I'm doing - Solidworks is perfect... large wooden parts - no problem... a bunch of wood parts in an assembly? no problem! Small metal parts, intricate parts, complicated parts? no problem!

I recently remade the woodgears air engine in Solidworks... Modelled each part, put together assemblies, and then the final assembly with mates and real physical animation (by real I mean all I really did was apply a "motor" to the flywheel and the rest is moving because of mates and the physics engine in Solidworks) this took a total of about 2 hours (for a Solidworks n00b!) not bad and I think the credit should go to Solidworks! :) It's kinda short but you get the idea :)

anyway - I'm a "sold" solidworks believer now!