i have been using autodesk inventor for a while and we all know its time consuming and complicated to use my team and i recently attended a solidworks seminar and it seems to be a lot easier to use and quicker.
my question is why do most teams use autodesk?
is it the price? i know you can get autodesk student versions free but the solidworks student version is about $100 a seat
even the vex parts were originally made on solidworks (i am assuming this because the step files were converted from solidworks to step)
my school dosnt really use either, but I personally prefer inventor even though its harder, Ive been using it so much now that Im constantly working on a project on inventor, but atm I dont have a project to work on, and my imagination wont work so i probably wont be working on anything for a while
Im not sure why I use inventor, I guess its a challenge, but after you’ve used it enough it becomes quite easy, and when I do get a problem I find that google fixes it fairly quickly
I recommend you have your team install both and try designing the same design on each and then determine which you wish to use for the rest of the season. They are both very similar and you will probably be best off if you are proficient in both as they are both commonly used in industry (while I believe Solidworks is a little more common).
I’ve had ~45 hours of experience in Solidworks and I’ve recently got Inventor and here’s what I think:
*]Inventor runs a LOT faster on my laptop (intel i3 with integrated Intel HD graphics)
*]Solidworks is slower especially with large assemblies. Especially annoying is when I mouse over any part and it tries to render all the edges of that part, which hangs it up for a few seconds each time.
*]Solidworks’ view controls (pan orbit zoom) are easier and you can have it automatically orbit around where you middle-clicked while in Inventor you have to set the center of rotation manually
*]Mates/constraints in Inventor seem to be simplified-- i.e. mates are combined into one. So it’s harder to find what mate you’re looking for and you need to do a bit more thinking on what mate to use.
*]However Inventor’s iMates make everything SO much faster (something that would take a minute to fully constrain in Solidworks would take only seconds for me). Just connect the nodes and they’re mated.
*]Meanwhile Solidworks has more mates/constraints and they’re more specific, and therefore easier to find what you need.
*]Mates in Inventor seem like they’re harder to use in combination with other mates. In Inventor, you have to define more constraints per mate, compared to Solidworks. For example, I want to mate a collar so it’s on the shaft, and also up against a c-channel. However it requires me to input a distance. So I need to measure the distance or use trial and error.
*]In Solidworks it’s easier to use multiple mates in combination with each other. For example I can make a collar to the shaft without needing to put a distance. Then I can mate the side of the collar to the side of the c-channel with a separate mate.
*]In Solidworks you can easily rotate parts by specific angles. You can also move parts along certain axes (Inventor can move parts along certain planes as far as I know, without having to add extra constraints)
*]In Inventor you can rotate by increments of 90 only when you first place the part (and only in Inventor 2014). Otherwise you have to use mates/constraints to rotate parts.
*]In Inventor you have to “render” models in the viewport then take a screenshot. Inventor does have Inventor Studio but I don’t think it can render as good as in-viewport rendering can.
*]Solidworks has its own rendering component Photoview 360. It has more preset scenes than Inventor. So it’s a little more straightforward to render in Solidworks imo.
*]Both Inventor and Solidworks renders look good. However rendering in Inventor 2014 gives tons of white specks, or has odd reflections (but rendering in Inventor 2013 works great).
*]Since with Inventor you can render in-viewport you can render dimensions with your models. (you can add dimensions to Solidworks too but it won’t render along with the model)
It’s faster to work with Inventor. At first it can be hard to use, however once you know which mates to use for what you need, it gets faster. iMates streamline assembling a lot.
Solidworks is more comprehensive and in a few ways more straightforward. Assembling is more straightforward but takes longer.
Honestly whenever someone tries to compare Inventor and Solidworks (including me) it always comes down to the conclusion that they’re basically the same. They both serve the same purpose and have their own nuances.
If you have a slow computer I would get Inventor. Otherwise it’s up to you whether to get Inventor or Solidworks.
EDIT: I don’t have as much experience in Inventor so if there’s anything innacurate let me know