SolidWorks is GREAT for small manufacturers.
It still has the best user interface in the industry.
It has 3D export to DWG, DXF, SAT, ACIS, IGES, Parasolid, Step, etc. built-in.
You can also convert SolidWorks 3D files to 2D by using the "Make Drawing from Part" command.
From there you can export the files to 2D-versions of DWG, DXF, etc.
Most any toolpath programming program should be able to import dxf files at least.
Keep in mind that truely large manufacturers usually end up with
Pro/Engineer, HP SolidDesigner or other high-end CAD systems.
Certainly NOT because they are more productive, but because the
clueless engineering managers get sold on PDM (Product Data Management)
and 'collaborative' features that in the end, are hardly ever implimented.
I've seen it time and again, They buy Pro/E assuming that their people will
have the spare time to keep the PDM features filled-in and updated, but in reality
most Designers & Engineers are too pressed with deadlines to keep all those
bells & whistles updated enough to be truely useful downstream.
In some Aerospace and Medical companies yes, but in most engineering
environments implementing PDM just ends up being lost time.
Organizational theory is one thing. Human nature is another.
A few years ago I even contributed to getting our company another "Hot" 3D software
(in addition to SolidWorks) "Varimatrix" that was at the time a much more capable
surfacing program than SolidWorks and already had a CAM
plugin that was associative (Updates of the CAD Model updated the Toolpaths).
Big mistake. A year later SolidWorks updated
their surfacing features to the point where we did not want to bother
with using the new "high-end" CAD system. it's interface was just not
as intuitive. - SolidWorks was faster for 97% of the things we needed to do.
If you want sheer productivity, nothing beats SolidWorks.
If you are on a tight budget, there are cheaper programs, but keep in mind
that Solidworks is already VERY cheap compared to Pro/E and many others.
SECRET: Although SolidWorks does not advertise the fact, 'ONE' seat of SolidWorks
actually includes TWO licenses. The second one is the "Home Office" license.
So when you buy 1 seat of SolidWorks you are actually buying 2.