Jump to content
FLTLC

Inventor Vs. Autocad....Please weigh in!

Recommended Posts

FLTLC

Hi everyone,

I realize I am amongst the Inventor users, but I just wanted to ask a question.....

 

I work for an architectural millworking firm and most of our work is custom. We use Autocad exclusively, but are now being pushed to learn/use Inventor for all of this custom work. I even went for a number of courses (about 30 hours), and it fell to the way-side because we were so busy with work that we kept using what we knew (autocad).....so it's back to square 1.

 

Admittedly, I don't know all that much about Inventor. However, the impression I have gotten about it, is that it is good for using a library of parts for mass production. I don't see how this program is better than AutoCAD for custom (1 off) projects. In addition, I also do not think that Inventor can produce the high custom millwork detail that AutoCAD can deliver.

 

So, my question is.....Can someone weigh in and agree or disagree with me?...and why?

 

I'm open to the idea of using inventor, but I just want to know if this is the right program for what I do. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
rkent

Upload a sample of what you typically draw/design. Someone can then tell you how it would be done in IV and why it would be better for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ReMark

Find, download and read Lynn Allen's booklet entitled "Making the Leap from AutoCAD to AutoDesk Inventor." It will provide you with many helpful insights regarding a switch to Inventor. It is a different mindset and a few may not find the transition easy at first.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JD Mather
I don't see how this program is better than AutoCAD for custom (1 off) projects. In addition, I also do not think that Inventor can produce the high custom millwork detail that AutoCAD can deliver.

 

This is an incorrect impression. Inventor is great for 1-off custom projects. It is not possible that AutoCAD can deliver something that Inventor cannot - they are both CAD programs. Geometry is geometry.

 

It is common for any user of any CAD product to experience frustration when moving to a different CAD program.

Once you learn the tricks to Inventor, AutoCAD "feels" like an antiquated tool left over from the last century.

 

Take the most complex or the simplest design you do, I would rather work with the modern tool, basically because I am lazy and don't like doing extra work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tzframpton
Geometry is geometry.
True.

 

....AutoCAD "feels" like an antiquated tool left over from the last century.
Hahaha!! Perfect analogy.

 

....because I am lazy and don't like doing extra work.
Again, could not have said it any better. That's why I love Revit, which is in the same category as Inventor being a workplane based, parametric CAD application.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FLTLC

Thanks for your replies!.......Even on a filing standpoint....I mean one of our jobs could literally have hundreds or even thousands of parts.......Does that mean we'll have 1000 times more files?!?!

 

Again, I only speak from the impression I got from my classes.....I'm sure there's more to it, but any input is greatly appreciated.

 

......and thank you for the booklet reference....I will be sure to look for it! :)

 

Thanks again!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JD Mather
Thanks for your replies!.......Even on a filing standpoint...:)

 

http://cadsetterout.com/

 

 

What is the difference between a single folder full of files of 1s and 0s and a huge single file full of 1s and 0s?

Once you get past this limited way of thinking - the Inventor method represents the real world more correctly and gives you extra functionality.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jim H

JD's link to Paul Munfords site is what I was going to suggest. I would also recommend talking to Widom Associates. They are an Autodesk reseller specializing in Inventor for woodworking. They support a plugin from http://woodworkforinventor.com/ (For some reason that page doesn't seem to load for me at the moment, so keep trying). This is their youtube channel.

 

AutoCAD and Inventor are both very generic in a way, and to be productive for woodworking you must customize and bend them to your will. What Inventor will give you that (at best) would be very difficult with AutoCAD is automatic Bill of Materials.

 

Are you drawing in 3D with AutoCAD? If so, you will likely find that 3D drawing in Inventor is much easier, once you get the hang of it. If not, how are you generating cut-lists? Even in AutoCAD 2012, many of the Inventor features have been passed down (parametrics :)). Consider Autodesk product design suite, which gives you AutoCAD and Inventor. Content you use now (blocks, trim profiles, etc) can still be used.

 

You might also compare AutoCAD and Inventor with Cabinet Vision and Microvellum. I have used all these programs and while CV and MV have their strengths, custom one-off work is not one of them, IMO.

 

The thing you want to keep in mind that should drive your decision more than anything else (again, my opinion) is:

You want a modeling process that will allow you to do submittal drawings and easily generate cut-lists (BOMs) and G-code for CNC machines directly from that model.

If you already have CNC machines, that may influence you CAD choice to a degree. It may mean you need to jump through a few hoops to get from screen to machine, which adds cost. Many woodworking shops rush out to buy CNC equipment and don't consider how that impacts engineering software until it is too late. Even if you don't have CNC equipment, you likely will some day, so that should be kept in mind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FLTLC

Hi Jim,

Thanks for your input. I work for an millwork design firm, and all of our shops are elsewhere. It is my understanding that the main reason for the upcoming switch to inventor is because our shops use it for their fabrication purposes. We submit CAD's but they redraw them in Inventor. So, they figured learning Inventor would cut out that step and make it easier and quicker for our shops to fabricate.

 

Also, I am fluent in AutoCAD 3D, but rarely use it. I would choose to use it more, but it is looked at as a waste of time and 2D details are sufficient.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...