Autodesk Inventor Rendering?

I normally use Solidworks, but I just got Inventor to try it out. So far its pretty good, runs noticeably faster than Solidworks on my laptop (which makes trying out designs more practical. But at the same time it’s harder to be precise).
However being able to render my CAD in a way that actually looks good is a big thing for me and I haven’t been able to render Inventor CAD models as good as I’ve been able to in Solidworks (see link below)

Comparisons between Solidworks and Inventor renders
Solidworks Photoview 360 render:

Autodesk Inventor screenshot:

Autodesk Inventor Studio Render:

I’ve seen some pretty good renders/screenshots of Inventor models (like 323Z’s CAD models).

What settings should I use to make decent Inventor renders?

Autodesk Inventor can be used to make some fairly nice-looking renders:

(Extra just for fun:

Unfortunately, ray tracing cannot be turned on using Inventor Studio to create renders. Therefore, these were all made by simply playing with the view settings, waiting for the view to finish loading (ray tracing takes awhile), and then taking a screenshot. These were all done by turning on shadows and reflections, and Realistic View, setting ray tracing to “Better” (“Best” takes too long, and doesn’t really look much better, if you can even tell any difference).

Or you can import the model into 3ds Max and use all the fancy stuff in there. Cody Smith has posted some nice [video tutorials on how to use it.


Wow, those are great. I’ll try those settings out and I might switch over to Inventor since it’s faster to work with

By the way do you do CAD in Inventor? What parts library do you use? (right now I’m using Autodesk VEX Kit of Parts which doesn’t seem to be complete (?))


Yes, I do. I use a library I started putting together a few years back. There are multiple versions, and some of them are rather incomplete. But this one has most of the parts (only that some of them have not yet been updated to Inventor 2014, but simply open them and allow Inventor to update them by saving - really simple).

Thanks, your library’s definitely more organized and looks better.

Your suggestions worked great, here’s what I’ve been able to render/screenshot

As a note I was having troubles with white “specks” in the render. I read up and people were saying it was a problem with Inventor 2014 so I got the 2013 version too but it had a few specks too, so I lowered the brightness of the lights and that seemed to help. Not sure which helped with the specks the most though.

I have had a similar problem. Lowering the brightness of the environment lights would definitely help. The problem is basically because the amount of light bouncing around so many times off reflective surfaces eventually gets to the limit set by the Ray Tracing setting. If you set the quality to “Best,” it may improve some, but I didn’t see much difference. When Jesse from 323Z and I used the darker environment, this issue didn’t really come up. However, it was rather difficult to see things. I like the brighter environment, which is why I choose it most of the time now, with some slight modifications here and there.


Tried rendering a similar model in Inventor 2014 with lowered brightness (in fact lower than I had it in Inventor 2013) and it had a lot of white specks, unlike the Inventor 2013 render

I’m suspecting that Inventor 2014 could really be the problem, for now I’ll probably render stuff out in Inventor 2013.

Also I just found out about iMates and they make everything SO much faster. No more trying to select the tiny faces of those little extrusions of the bearings to mate them manually.

Rendering the model in a darker lighting setup (“Default” instead of “Plain Room”) had better results, I’ll try to play around with the lighting settings to see if I can get “Plain Room” to render better.

For Inventor these are actually really good renders.

But… I can pretty much blow them out of the water with max.

It’s actually not max at work here, it’s nVidia’s mental ray renderer which can be used with both 3ds max and Maya.

It’s worth noting that Autodesk has been pushing integration between their products a lot and as such Max’s interoperability with both Inventor and Revit have been improved a lot between 3ds max 2012 and 3ds max 2014.

It’s still not perfect, but importing small CAD models into max is a lot easier than it used to be.