Likelihood to Recommend:Not LikelyExtremely Likely
Pros: It is embedded with CAD so it is relatively easier to use. If you understand the theory of the problem you want to solve : the results that you get from SolidWorks simulation tools are as equivalent to other tools like NASTRAN, ANSYS etc. I am the advanced lead engineer at GE transportation and use this tools for vibration analysis, fatigue analysis and static analysis. I solved the real vibration problem using this tool. I am the expert in the vibration analysis theory so for me using SolidWorks is easier, less time consuming than other software like ANSYS, ABAQUS and NASTRAN. I have used ANSYS and NASTRAN in the past but I like SolidWorks Simulation most because you can easily edit the geometry in SolidWorks. Basically the only weak part of SolidWorks Simulation is mesh optimization , it doesn't have that much as it just use tetrahedral element for solid meshing but you need to be aware that mesh optimization is not only the thing through which you get the results what you want. You need to fully understand the problem and only use the simulation as a solver. For example you need to the literature survey and define the problem and data related to the problem first.
Cons: I think SolidWorks has less strength in fatigue analysis. It has only the stress life approach and it will calculate the fatigue life based on the entered SN Curve. The other problem is: it has just a 5000 data point limit. You cannot enter more than 5000 data input curve for any analysis . It might be the huge problem. For example, if you have a signal of 5 sec time series and the signal is sampled at 1khz , you cannot enter more than 0.5sec time series that might be the issue for analyst . It would be great if they increase the input data limit and especially if they work more in the contact issue in the linear dynamic analysis. They should introduce bolt connector , no penetration/penetration contact , interference fit contact , sliding contact in the dynamic analysis . These contacts are really creating the inferiority of the software as compared to other tools like ANSYS and ABAQUS. The other thing I don't like about this software is they don't have frequency response function tool. If you want to correlate your experimental data with the simulation tool you need to have a frequency response function as FRF is the first measured quantity from the experiment. Try not to be confuse FRF with harmonic response analysis . FRF is ratio of output to input in frequency domain whereas harmonic analysis in SolidWorks is just the maximum amplitude response at the excitation frequencies range.
Overall: I am using this tool for research purpose as well as solving the daily problems