Thanks Smack. Yes, those renderings are mine. You can see more here
SW is all about accurate models. It puts AutoCAD in the weeds. AutoDesk's answer to SolidWorks is Inventor. That product is not bad, but it is typically 2 or 3 steps behind SolidWorks.
In SolidWorks, you work entirely in 3D. The 2-D orthographic views are simply by-products of the 3D model. Coming from 15 years of AutoCAD experience, I was skeptical that working in 3D could be as fast as 2D. Turns out I was right. 3D in SolidWorks isn't as fast as 2D. It's FASTER and more accurate.
I've been using SolidWorks now for 7 years and will never go back to drawing in 2D.
And for what it's worth, I always used 'monkey'.