March 18

AutoCAD Inventor vs SolidWorks Comparison: Which One to Choose?

AutoCAD Inventor vs SolidWorks Comparison: Which One to Choose?

Matthew Scyoc

AutoCAD Inventor vs SolidWorks: Which One to Choose?

Table of contents

Introduction

SolidWorks

Inventor

Comparison

Conclusion

References

Introduction

SolidWorks is the leading Dassault program in the 3D design of industrial and mechanical models. Inventor is, for its part, a more recent program and was created by Autodesk. 

SolidWorks

Operating Systems: Windows 7 or later

Processor: Quad Core

Memory: 8 GB

Hard Disk Space: 2GB

Display: 1920 x 1080

Price: $ 1,295 – 3995

As the name implies, SolidWorks is a solid modeling program. Through an approach based on parametric functions, SolidWorks allows users to create models, parts and assemblies. Models in the software generally begin as a 2D sketch before the parts are extruded in 3D using a variety of SolidWorks tools.

No matter how big the assemblies are, SolidWorks can work with them comfortably. In fact, the latest updates in SolidWorks now allow users to work with even larger assemblies and edit them in large design review mode. Let’s put this in perspective: these large assemblies can consist of millions of components. With the powerful software modeling functions, users can shorten product development times, reduce costs and improve quality in all areas.

Of course, no matter how large the modeling capabilities are, the simulation tools determine a real CAD package. With that in mind, SolidWorks has a wide selection of simulation tools offered to enable users to launch real-world conditions to their models and products. Example tools include topology optimization to provide voltage and frequency restrictions when optimizing parts, the ability to test static linear motion, time-based and high-cycle fatigue, and features to assess resistance in conditions static, thermal and buckling. 

With SolidWorks Sustainability, users can even measure the environmental impacts of designs, including the effects of materials, assembly and disposal.

The latest SolidWorks updates have adopted the future of CAD, offering users the option to export directly to AR / VR applications to interact with CAD models in a fully immersive virtual environment. Other tools include product data management solutions, which improve the way teams manage and collaborate in product development, and innovative visualization capabilities.

It is safe to say that SolidWorks boasts of having one of the largest user communities in the CAD industry. This is not a real surprise, given the large number of tools and capabilities offered by this software package. And it shows no signs of stopping soon, with new users joining daily.

SolidWorks has a place in any industry that seeks solutions to engineering problems. In fact, it has been present in almost all fields related to 3D technology, including public and private spheres. Additional industries include research and education, using SolidWorks to access the latest engineering technology and gain the skills necessary for those in the industry.

Inventor

Operating Systems: Windows 7 or later and Mac

Processor: 3.0 GHz

Memory: 1 GB

Hard Disk Space: 40 GB

Display: 1920 x 1080

Price: $ 250.00 – 1,985.00

Autodesk Inventor is a software package of mechanical design, simulation, visualization and 2D and 3D documentation. Similar to SolidWorks, Inventor focuses on parametric modeling, allowing users to create solid models and sheet metal components, using Autodesk’s patented geometric modeling core, ShapeManager. Beyond the parametric modeling options, Inventor also provides direct editing and freeform modeling tools.

As with SolidWorks, Inventor allows users to work with larger assemblies, taking advantage of the intuitive software design environment to develop initial conceptual sketches and kinematic models of parts and assemblies. Since time is essential for any mechanical engineer, Inventor accelerates design processes by automating aspects such as the advanced creation of smart part geometry, for example, steel frames, rotary machinery and cable harnesses.

Like any worthwhile CAD software, Autodesk Inventor comes equipped with a wide range of simulation tools to help engineers create the perfect product and minimize manufacturing costs. In addition, its capabilities include motion simulation at assembly level and tension analysis functionality. Users can simulate stress, deviation and movement to test their designs and models in real conditions even before they occur.

Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg for Autodesk Inventor. Users can improve design workflows by using additional design tools, with as accessories such as sheet metal, injection molds, chains and frame design. And, with features like shared view collaboration, anyone can review and comment on shared models in the Autodesk viewer.

Autodesk offers a wide range of software packages: AutoCAD is easily your most popular flagship product, with thousands of users using it worldwide. However, despite its extensive capabilities, AutoCAD falls short when it comes to aspects such as mechanical engineering. That’s where Autodesk Inventor comes in. Offering more specialized sets of mechanical tools, Inventor bridges the gap between design, engineering and manufacturing.

Autodesk Inventor is used in mechanical engineering, tool manufacturing, sheet metal processing, plant construction and much more. Almost any industry that designs and manufactures mechanical or electrical products uses Inventor. As a product that can control design, prototype and manufacturing costs, it is easy to see why. 

Comparison

Inventor SolidWorks
Focused on design in 3D models.  Good option for designing 3D parts.  
Available on Windows and Mac. Exclusive for Windows. 
Monthly, annual or every 3 years subscription system.  Offer perpetual license. It does not offer free services for students.
It has fewer users, but offers many teaching resources.  It has a wider user community.
It comes with tools for metal design.  It incorporates special electronic modeling tools. 
Use the Autodesk Viewer for collaborative projects.  It has 3Dexperience for collaborative projects. 

Conclusion

SolidWorks is a standard 3D modeling option for mechanical and industrial uses, offering specialized software with an easier learning curve. Autodesk Inventor, in exchange, offers architectural capabilities and licensing for students.

However, no matter what software package you choose, Scan2CAD can help you optimize your workflow. With this you can convert a raster to DXF or DWG and start drawing immediately.

References

Autodesk, 2020 [Online] Link: https://www.autodesk.com/products/inventor/features

SolidWorks, 2019 [Online] Link: https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2018/12/the- top-10-new-features-in-solidworks-2019.html

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About the Author

Matthew is owner of Sunglass.io. He employs a close-knit group of engineers to develop the technical content on the site, but is passionate about everything engineering. Matthew loves the future of 3D modeling and wants to push for more helpful, useful tools for the engineering community. Feel free to reach out to him directly on the Contact page or on LinkedIn!

Matthew Scyoc

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