Autodesk Inventor vs. SOLIDWORKS

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
Autodesk Inventor
Score 8.4 out of 10
N/A
Autodesk Inventor 3D CAD software offers professional-grade 3D mechanical design, documentation, and product simulation tools. These blend parametric, direct, freeform, and rules-based design capabilities. Inventor includes integrated tools for sheet metal, frame design, tube and pipe, cable & harness, presentations, rendering, simulation, and machine design. It also features TrustedDWG® compatibility and Model-Based Definition capabilities for embedding manufacturing information directly in…
$300
12 days over 1 year via Flex pricing 100 tokens
SOLIDWORKS
Score 8.1 out of 10
N/A
Dassault Systemes offers SOLIDWORKS, a computer-aided design (CAD) system for education and manufacturing supporting 2D or 3D design, electrical design, simulations, and product development with collaboration tools.
$1,295
per year
Pricing
Autodesk InventorSOLIDWORKS
Editions & Modules
Subscription - Monthly
$305
per month per user
Subscription - Yearly
$2440
per year per user
Subscription - 3 Years
$7320
3 years per user
Solidworks Annual Subscription
1,295
per year
Solidworks Standard
3,996
per standalone license
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
Autodesk InventorSOLIDWORKS
Free Trial
YesNo
Free/Freemium Version
NoNo
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
NoNo
Entry-level Setup FeeNo setup feeNo setup fee
Additional DetailsAlso available for limited use through tokens on a Flex plan.
More Pricing Information
Community Pulse
Autodesk InventorSOLIDWORKS
Considered Both Products
Autodesk Inventor
Chose Autodesk Inventor
Autodesk Inventor is better supported as a native system to export to other Autodesk products namely CAD related. SOLIDWORKS is less powerful in regards to features and analysis tools, but is much quicker and reliable in regards to file management.
Chose Autodesk Inventor
Autodesk Inventor is by far the best CAD package when it comes to mechanical design. The product development that requires small mechanical details, including electronic components. The user interface is much more intuitive and clean when compared to SOLIDWORKS or PTC Creo. …
Chose Autodesk Inventor
Inventor is a very similar design platform as SOLIDWORKS. I have used both over the last 19 years. Functionality is very similar. In my own experiences, SOLIDWORKS has proven to be easier for new users to learn but Inventor has improved in that area over the last few years.
Chose Autodesk Inventor
I believe Autodesk Inventor is the easiest 3D modeling software to use, but it might not be the most cost effective though. The best thing about Inventor is the learning curve. It makes bringing new people up to speed much easier.

I do believe that SOLIDWORKS has better …
Chose Autodesk Inventor
I've listed SOLIDWORKS, SDRC Ideas and Pro/Engineer as alternative and comparable applications. SDRC Ideas is an extinct product, and Pro/E is available as it's descendent, PTC Creo, I think. Of the two alternatives, SOLIDWORKS is easier for me to use and I can do more with it, …
Chose Autodesk Inventor
Audesk Inventor is better than SOLIDWORKS in all ways, better than Onshape in important ways, but not as good on collaboration tools, and more professional than Fusion 360.
Chose Autodesk Inventor
Inventor is more intuitive and directional when it comes to the creation of parts and assemblies. The commands are also simpler and easier to understand than SOLIDWORKS. Inventor also has the support and presence in the market that allows for it to be utilized for different …
Chose Autodesk Inventor
Inventor and SOLIDWORKS compare nicely with it coming down to user preference. Both are great modeling tools, with Autodesk providing more flexibility through its subscription add-ons. Although AutoCAD exists in a different environment it is still used for design although less …
Chose Autodesk Inventor
Some of the features are more intuitive in Inventor. For example, there is an auto mid-plane function in Inventor that doesn't exist in SOLIDWORKS. Also, the mouse controls are easier to use in Inventor. It is easier to spin and rotate the part in Inventor, this action is a …
Chose Autodesk Inventor
In my opinion, Autodesk Inventor is easier to set up and use. It also has iLogic that has added many more design options over what I have been able to accomplish in SOLIDWORKS.
Chose Autodesk Inventor
I definitely prefer SOLIDWORKS to Inventor. For part modeling, SOLIDWORKS is second to none. Because Inventor is part of the Autodesk suite, if you are wrapped up in AutoCAD information and data, it's possible that Inventor may be the part modeling tool you would naturally use. …
Chose Autodesk Inventor
I used to work on SOLIDWORKS CAD modeling software. but now, I am working with Autodesk Inventor. Inventor in budget software for new start-up companies. and Inventor provide a product bundle in one. So, you will get the other beneficial software also. and we can also design …
Chose Autodesk Inventor
We chose Inventor because the team had some historic experience with older versions of AutoCAD. Our market services primarily building engineers, so to export directly to a REVIT file was critical.
Chose Autodesk Inventor
When it comes to solid modeling, the bad choices died out years ago. So we looked at the total ecosystem and chose Autodesk Inventor because of the integration with Nastran, HSM (machining), Autodesk CFD, MoldFlow, and AutoCAD. This means our legacy data (2D) is still a valid …
Chose Autodesk Inventor
As previously mentioned in an earlier question, Autodesk Inventor has found the happy middle ground for my 3D CAD needs. Autodesk is easy to pick up but complex enough to allow for all our CAD needs to be filled. I personally didn't select Autodesk Inventor (it was what the …
Chose Autodesk Inventor
We selected Inventor since we were deeply invested in AutoCAD for previous 2D designs and this was smoother integration with existing design practices.
SOLIDWORKS
Chose SOLIDWORKS
SOLIDWORKS has the advantage on Autodesk Inventor due to the amount of users and support that SOLIDWORKS has. The help you receive from resellers and 3DS themselves is much better. Also the other users on the internet in community forums provide a wider range of solutions. The …
Chose SOLIDWORKS
I have previously worked with Autodesk Inventor for designing very complex door mechanisms and large assemblies of drilling machines. I did not face any stability or performance issues
Chose SOLIDWORKS
SOLIDWORKS is actually used by major corporations to design and create products for wide release, whereas Autodesk Inventor is usually only seen as an instructional tool to teach students the basics of 3d modeling so that they can adapt to more complex software with less effort …
Chose SOLIDWORKS
Creo offers easier design for surface modeling. Inventor is simpler to use, however, it is much more limited in modeling. Overall, I find SOLIDWORKS has a good balance of simplicity and completeness at the same time.
Chose SOLIDWORKS
In many scenarios, SolidWorks and Inventor actually compare fairly evenly to each other. However, I believe that where SolidWorks really stands out is the fact that it was designed from the start as a 3D parametric solid modeling application whereas Inventor comes from a …
Chose SOLIDWORKS
I only used Inventor for the 30-day free trial, which admittedly is not enough time to really give it a fair shot, especially since I had almost no 3D drawing experience before I used Inventor. There were two main things that pushed us toward SOLIDWORKS.
First was the support …
Chose SOLIDWORKS
SOLIDWORKS provides not only aesthetic appearance of a product but also provides the capability to analyze behavior of structural and material components.
Chose SOLIDWORKS
I think it stacks up very well to Inventor. Inventor has some more auto features that make working easier. For example, Inventor has an auto mid-plane function and their hole wizard is easier to use. Other than that, they have a lot of the same features it just a matter of …
Chose SOLIDWORKS
It's very good. SolidWorks has a great marketing budget and really reaches college students. My loyalty actually is to Inventor by AutoDesk, but honestly, they do the same things equally as well. I think that the user interface is better in Inventor and allows me to be …
Chose SOLIDWORKS
SolidWorks is in a similar class with both Inventor and SolidEdge. I selected SolidWorks due to its wide user base and my past experience.
Chose SOLIDWORKS
SOLIDWORKS is so much more advanced than either of the other programs. Fusion 360 and Inventor are great programs, but once you get to more complicated models, they do not stack up. There are so many more functions and ways to customize files in SOLIDWORKS for users to create …
Chose SOLIDWORKS
SOLIDWORKS has been around much longer than Fusion 360...and in many realms they aren't even comparable. Fusion 360 is great for small product development projects... but really can't handle large files like SOLIDWORKS can. SOLIDWORKS overall has better and more simulation …
Chose SOLIDWORKS
Solidworks & Inventor are actually pretty evenly matched in terms of design & modeling capability. I will say in my experience that Solidworks is easier to learn the basics of 3d modeling on but at the advanced level both are very capable pieces of software. Inventor has the …
Top Pros
Top Cons
Best Alternatives
Autodesk InventorSOLIDWORKS
Small Businesses
ARCHICAD
ARCHICAD
Score 9.0 out of 10
ARCHICAD
ARCHICAD
Score 9.0 out of 10
Medium-sized Companies
Onshape
Onshape
Score 9.0 out of 10
Onshape
Onshape
Score 9.0 out of 10
Enterprises
Rhino
Rhino
Score 8.8 out of 10
AutoCAD
AutoCAD
Score 8.8 out of 10
All AlternativesView all alternativesView all alternatives
User Ratings
Autodesk InventorSOLIDWORKS
Likelihood to Recommend
8.5
(25 ratings)
9.4
(55 ratings)
Likelihood to Renew
9.2
(2 ratings)
10.0
(2 ratings)
Usability
10.0
(1 ratings)
1.1
(2 ratings)
Support Rating
8.1
(12 ratings)
5.2
(16 ratings)
In-Person Training
6.0
(1 ratings)
9.0
(1 ratings)
Online Training
-
(0 ratings)
9.0
(1 ratings)
Implementation Rating
10.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Configurability
10.0
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
User Testimonials
Autodesk InventorSOLIDWORKS
Likelihood to Recommend
Autodesk
Autodesk Inventor is a great tool for students and faculty for engineering areas that don't require great precision or development of more thorough scientific results. Is you are conducting research, or deal with very intricate and complex systems I would recommend a more robust platform that complies more to industry standards.
Read full review
Dassault Systemes
As a mechanical engineer, it is one of the best tools to just start modeling and engineering with. The UI tools are intuitive and engineering analysis such Mold Analysis, FEA, are great! Other 3D CAD modeling tools have a longer learning curve to master. All in all, if you're not planning to design an entire airplane with large assembly files, then Solidworks is your tool!
Read full review
Pros
Autodesk
  • The program is very good at simplicity. Each of the buttons, menus, and options has an explanation of exactly what the feature does, and even a more advanced description if you desire to learn more about what each one does.
  • Autodesk Inventor is a very fast program. Everything renders extremely quickly and there are no delays when examining a 3D model, part, or assembly. This is especially useful when giving a presentation about a product or design, and you need to be able to show a concept to an audience in real time.
  • The software has an extremely accurate simulation feature that lets users do stress analysis on a 3D model. It can calculate precisely where the stress concentrations are going to be in a particular model and even give you an accurate depiction of where the part could likely fracture and/or fracture during loading.
Read full review
Dassault Systemes
  • The collaborative work environment is a cool and useful feature where groups of people can work on the same model at the same time, and SOLIDWORKS ensures that you don't overwrite each other's work.
  • The ease and amount of customization options are very useful for creating a personalized and intuitive user interface, whether SOLIDWORKS is your native CAD package or not.
  • It is very easy to quickly edit a model you have already created. The software allows sketch and feature editing without having to take the time to actually enter the sketch/feature environment.
  • The use of configurations and configurations-specific dimensions in the same sketch is very useful for creating different forms of the same part
Read full review
Cons
Autodesk
  • Inventor demonstrates a lack of fluidity in the process of transferring data between programs.
  • Inventor shows some lack of sophistication that certain features that are readily available in other design software packages are limited in use in Inventor.
  • Inventor can often have difficulty in creating models that show true color, as in blacks can come out as dark grays in certain renders, even when the material and appearance settings are the same from part to part.
Read full review
Dassault Systemes
  • Save DWG 2D files in inches or metric easily, defaults to metric and has to be manually converted to inches
  • When using the sketch feature, the ability to disable ALL references. If I don't know the exact shape and I want to draw/adapt my design, it harshly interprets the references which have no value to me. The easiest exact is to think about when you have a Microsoft Word document that has a lot of formatting, photos, tabs, etc. If you accidentally hit the "enter" key, you can explode the formatting and everything goes crazy. SW does this to me, I just want to "doodle" my sketches, edit/delete/etc and not be bound by arbitrary references.
  • For the sketch feature, ability to use a DraftSight plugin of some sort. I'm super fast in DS, if I could draw using the commands in SW then I would probably never open DS again and convert to SW full time. Currently, I only use SW as a way to convert 3D files so I can build everything in DraftSight.
Read full review
Likelihood to Renew
Autodesk
Inventor continues to meet our enterprise needs. I don't see a need to change unless we change our business model significantly.
Read full review
Dassault Systemes
We have absolutely no reasons to not keep with SolidWorks for the foreseeable future.
Read full review
Usability
Autodesk
It’s easy and very good for mechanical design
Read full review
Dassault Systemes
SOLIDWORKS is very user-friendly. The user interface is intuitive. Many sources for help are available in the event you are attempting something new.
Read full review
Support Rating
Autodesk
I'm giving the overall support rating a 5 only because I rarely have to use it. Trying to find the answer on the help pages hardly ever helps me because any problem I have is usually too deep for what the help offers. Given the popularity of Autodesk, I have always been able to find an answer online after doing enough looking!
Read full review
Dassault Systemes
We have an unusual arrangement. We don’t pay for support, but we’re partnered with a VAR for second-tier support.
I work with other users if I have questions but when we’ve had to ask the VAR, they always have answers. It appears that all of the VARs have access to a support platform from DS SOLIDWORKS that helps them answer most questions.
Read full review
In-Person Training
Autodesk
I got the training during college, so mostly i learned on my own
Read full review
Dassault Systemes
No answers on this topic
Alternatives Considered
Autodesk
When it comes to solid modeling, the bad choices died out years ago. So we looked at the total ecosystem and chose Autodesk Inventor because of the integration with Nastran, HSM (machining), Autodesk CFD, MoldFlow, and AutoCAD. This means our legacy data (2D) is still a valid part of our design methodologies going forward, and we have the full breadth of engineering tools at our disposal. Other solutions in this space have similar offerings but not nearly as potent of a portfolio in total. It's worth saying that we do not consider Inventor in the same space as CATIA or NX, but that the entire Autodesk portfolio (e.g. Alias, PowerMill, etc) includes a total toolset that exceeds these industry giants.
Read full review
Dassault Systemes
Onshape is a direct competitor. It has great entry level pricing and it is easy to access with no installation required. Being a web based app there is sometime some lag being based in NZ. Management also have concerns over where the data is stored on the cloud. With SW we can control where it is stored
Read full review
Return on Investment
Autodesk
  • Working on a project designed with Inventor provides a modular design platform that can quickly be configured or changed as required. This allows for the quick turn around time for the design and revision of drawings.
  • We've used Inventor over the years (since 2013) and the updates and newly released versions of Inventor do not require re-training or restrict use.
  • Autodesk follows an intuitive approach and users or designers who have worked on other design platforms like SolidWorks can transition easily to Inventor.
Read full review
Dassault Systemes
  • Creation of small 3D pieces to generate cash flow.
  • Not being able to create 3D sculptures with this tool, and not being able to fulfill the client's requirements.
  • To be able to sell high visual quality simulations for companies that hire the service.
Read full review
ScreenShots