+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    Forum Newbie
    Using
    AutoCAD 2006
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Burlington, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2

    Default Comparison between Solidworks and Autodesk Inventor

    Registered forum members do not see this ad.

    Since I use both Solidworks and Inventor on a regular basis, I though it might be helpful to present my experiences with both programs, in the hope it will allow individuals to make better decisions about using one or the other 3D modeling program.

    I have tried to keep my own preferences out of the comparison, for a number of reasons. First, with experience you can make the best of whatever program you are using, As the old saying goes “A poor workman blames his tools”. Secondly if we are ever going to be able to exchange models between different modeling programs, we have to understand a little bit about how each others program works. Thirdly, I believe by working together we can improve the utility of both programs. The last thing we need is to have one system dominating the marketplace to a degree where we cannot exercise our freedom of choice.

    So where I can I will poke at the flaws and laud the good points of both programs in the interest of being fair. Also, I value the opinions of others so please don’t hesitate to send me your comments by sending me a message.

    Packages

    Both Solidworks and Inventor are sold in packages. The Basic Solidworks comes with drawing editor, a 2D drawing program called “Drawing Editor” also marketed seperately as “Intellicad”. Solidworks Office Professional adds PDMWorks, Photoworks and Animation modules and Cosmos Express FEA. Routing and full blown Cosmos FEA can be purchased as separate licenses.

    Basic Inventor AIS is part of a package with AutoCad. Inventor AIP is the top of the line version with wire and pipe routing and printed circuit board design. Both packages come with the industry standard AutoCad for 2D drawing.


    Sketching Module

    Both Inventor and Solidworks have similar sketch environments. Both have a good variety of sketch tools that any AutoCad user could quickly become familiar with. Both systems incorporate features such as sketches that change colour after you have fully constrained them.

    The sketch module in Inventor requires more steps than in Solidworks. In Inventor every time you make a new sketch, you have to click to project the planes and axes you wish to constrain to. No Midpoint constraint is available so usually you have to create one by adding a work point to sketched geometry, using the lines midpoint inference. Then you can constrain this newly created midpoint to whatever you like.

    With Solidworks, basic planes and axes do not have to be projected. You can constrain to them directly. There is a midpoint constraint available from the relations menu, which reduces the number of mouse clicks necessary to constrain the center of a line. The relations also appear in their own browser window making it very easy to see how you are constraining things.

    Inventors show constraint icons are very small and lack text descriptions of the constraints being shown. Its often difficult to figure out which constraint to delete or modify when you have a complicated sketch. If you are familiar with the constraint icons though, and remember how you completed the model, you will be able to figure out which constraints are being represented. If you are working with a model made by someone else, things will be more difficult.

    Parts

    Inventor has a very straightforward way for copies of parts to be saved. You just “Save Copy As” as you might expect to do. Solidworks complicates this process by adding “File save” and “save as copy” to the dialog boxes. Untill you get used to this, you will be saving parts with different file names that update every time you change the base part.

    Patterning features in Inventor requires picking both pattern axes separately. Its easy to add new features to the pattern by right clicking edit and picking the new feature. Inventor cannot pattern a pattern as Solidworks can.

    Solidworks allows you to pick both axes at once when using its feature pattern. It also offers you geometry patterns and sketch driven patterns if you need to pattern items and have length adapt to geometry or need to pattern non symmetrical arrays of bolt holes.

    Mirroring Components

    Inventor 7 can mirror components by making the source part a “derived” part and mirroring from that. It cannot mirror Assemblies. Inventor 11 adds the ability to mirror assemblies.

    Solidworks 2006 can mirror both parts and assemblies. Mates are often not retained when mirroring an assembly. The dialog boxes for mirroring are simpler than their Inventor 11 counterpart but still require practice for the uninitiated.


    Assemblies

    When you insert a part into a new assembly, Inventor automatically grounds its position coincident with the planes of the part being inserted. This is a time saving and convenient feature.

    Solidworks allows you to drag and drop parts into its new assemblies. They become fixed at the point you place them. You then have to take the extra steps necessary to relate them to the planes you want.

    Inventor requires you to change selection modes before you can change the size and appearance of planes in an assembly. Solidworks has no such restrictions

    Inventors mating dialog boxes are straight out of Autodesks previous 3D modeler Mechanical Desktop. To mate parts and assemblies you sometimes need to add a negative symbol to change the mate direction. The basic mates are flush, angle and tangent.

    Both Solidworks and Inventor allow you to replace components in your assemblies hopefully without losing any mates. So long as your new part differs only slightly, the mates should be preserved. Although sometimes it seems like either program will retain mates only if it feels like it on any given day.

    Inventor does allow you to restructure components in an existing assembly into a new one by using the “demote” command. You cannot drag components into the new assembly in Inventor 6 and 7 the way you can in Solidworks.



    Inventor 11’s new auto limits icons give you the same functionality as Solidworks collision detection within its mate command. This is used in situations such as hydraulic cylinders where the limits of the stroke are defined using limit mates.

    Solidworks has no problem making arrays of arrays. To do the same thing in Inventor, You need to work around its limitation a little. Pattern the first component, demote it to a subassembly and then pattern that subassembly. This only works if you want to pattern the whole pattern, It wont work if all you want in your new pattern is the first component in the original array.

    If you would like more information, the remainder of this article can be found at http://www.aaadrafting.com/solidwork..._inventor.html

  2. #2
    Super Moderator f700es's Avatar
    Computer Details
    f700es's Computer Details
    Operating System:
    Windows 7 Pro (W)/Windows 7 Home Premium (H)
    Computer:
    Dell Optiplex 9020 (W)/ Dell Inspiron 570 (H)
    Motherboard:
    Intel (W)/AMD (H)
    CPU:
    Intel Core i7-4770 quad (W)/AMD Athlon 2 X4 (H)
    RAM:
    16 GB DDR3 (W)/ 6GB DDR3 (H)
    Graphics:
    nVidia Geforce GTX 645 (W)/nVidia GF GT430 (H)
    Primary Storage:
    256 gb SSD 0/ 1TB 1 (W)/1 TB (H)
    Secondary Storage:
    Seagate FreeAgent Go 320gb
    Monitor:
    Samsung P2770HD 28" LCD and Samsung B2430 (W)/Dell 22" LCD (H)
    Discipline
    Facilities Mgmt
    f700es's Discipline Details
    Occupation
    Space Database Admin
    Discipline
    Facilities Mgmt
    Details
    Archibus Management
    Using
    AutoCAD 2015
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Winston-Salem, NC - USA
    Posts
    5,041

    Default

    Thanks for the comparison. I think I will move this to the 3D area instead of the AutoCAD area (since this is really looking at SolidWorks and Inventor).
    Welcome to the forum and please stick around. It's always nice to have another seasoned Solidworks/Inventor pro.
    Please do not PM me with CAD questions. Post your question on the forum. Our users are the best out there and you'll get the best possible answer to your question.

    - http://f700es.deviantart.com/gallery/ -


  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Using
    Inventor 2008
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Auburn, WA
    Posts
    192

    Default

    Adrian,

    I reread your list and you have not yet updated the things brought up by Pete and myself in the Eng-Tips Inventor forum.

    http://www.eng-tips.com/viewthread.cfm?qid=159721

    You may also want to specify that your list is compiled based on IV R7 and may not be accurate for newer releases.

    I still think it's a great list though!
    David

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Lazer's Avatar
    Computer Details
    Lazer's Computer Details
    Operating System:
    Windows 7
    Computer:
    HP xw 4600 Workstation
    CPU:
    Intel Core2 Duo, 3 Gig
    RAM:
    8GB
    Graphics:
    NVIDEA Quadro FX 1700
    Primary Storage:
    2TB
    Secondary Storage:
    Portable TB drive
    Monitor:
    Samsung SyncMaster 226
    Discipline
    Mechanical
    Lazer's Discipline Details
    Occupation
    2d and 3d Cad Engineer
    Discipline
    Mechanical
    Details
    Mechanical Designer using Autocad and Inventor
    Using
    Inventor 2015
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Northants, England
    Posts
    1,670

    Default

    Very Interestion topic and 1 that will be around for a long time.

    I have used Inventor for 4 years and had college updates with all the new versions and a good friend of mine teaches Inventor at an Autodesk Authorised Training Centre, I also have seen SolidWorks 2003 up to 2007 in action so I think I have a very good background to comment on both.
    And you know what, I like them both, Inventor is so quick to learn, Solid works will require more work to learn but will be very rewarding, Inventor is playing catchup with Solidworks but saying that Inventor can see where Solid works has gone wrong and using that to make better changes, Solidworks is great for surface modeling, I could go on and on all day with this LOL, What I have noticed is Solidwork users and Inventor users are like the old Spectrum and Commodore 64 guys, battle it out all day about who has the best machine, but at the end of the day both were great.

    Saying all that, I have been told at work Im gonna have to learn Solidedge or Catia, If I learn Catia it will be Inventor/Solidwork WHO?

  5. #5
    Forum Newbie
    Using
    AutoCAD 2006
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Burlington, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Thanks Aardvark, I have made some changes in the main page and more will be made. I am listening, honest !

    Deelay

    You made some great points. I dont mind the bickering back and forth, so long as I am able to weed out things that are useful from the arguments and from that post information that helps others.

    Catia eh ?, Maybe I should do a Catia/Inventor/Solidworks comparison ?

    on second thoughts, I've caused enough trouble already !

    Have a great New Year !!

  6. #6
    Full Member
    Using
    not applicable
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    54

    Default

    I have been using Solidworks since 1998 and now I have SW2007 at home and I am using Inventor 10 at work (I have used Inventor for about 1-1/2 years now.

    I can honestly say I REFUSE to learn more about INVENTOR. It is the most frustrating program I have ever used. Maybe if you want to create little boxes and holes, and little teeny weeny assemblies, thats great. But when you start getting into big assemblies and drawings you will want to punch the screen.
    Its not that it crashes, its just everything takes extra steps to perform. Like creating a simple square cut in a base- you have to create the cut(rectangle or something), then click "extrude" and then it asks "well what do you want to use to cut?" ---ok, well didn't i just create that sketch? So you have to go back, select it again (it turns red) So if you create 10 seperate "cuts" and select "extrude", then you gotta go through, select every single sketch you just created. Sometimes it gets conufsed and you have to zoom really close to make sure you get the sketch you want. Also when you do certain tasks, like creating a leader: You click "add balloon", place it, ok , looks good, now right click and ...hmm lets see, well I am "done", so let me select "done", woops! that erased the entire balloon and leader! You dont' click "DONE" you click "CONTINUE".

    You see, this kind of crap is all over this program and its illogical and frustrating, with many extra clicks needed to complete things that could be done with one click.

    This is my frustration with this program: extra steps and clicks for everything...

  7. #7
    Full Member
    Using
    not applicable
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    54

    Default

    Registered forum members do not see this ad.

    If you compare Solidworks to Inventor, you would see...

Similar Threads

  1. solidworks v inventor
    By FIFTHTEXAS in forum Autodesk Inventor
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 1st Sep 2006, 05:16 pm
  2. solidworks to Inventor
    By Ray555 in forum AutoCAD Drawing Management & Output
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 14th Aug 2006, 09:16 pm
  3. Scroll Mouse AutoCAD Vs. Inventor and Solidworks
    By alerch in forum AutoCAD Drawing Management & Output
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 31st Jul 2006, 02:48 pm
  4. WCS moved...
    By chrisdarmanin in forum AutoCAD Drawing Management & Output
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 1st Mar 2006, 07:15 pm

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts