Autodesk Inventor: specialized tool for designing mechanical parts and assemblies.
February 11, 2019

Autodesk Inventor: specialized tool for designing mechanical parts and assemblies.

Juan Carlos Molina Castejón | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Autodesk Inventor

Autodesk Inventor is part of the curriculum for the department of mechanical/mechatronics engineering. Therefore, its used by many students and faculty as part of their regular classes which include mechanical design, digital manufacturing, introduction to CAD, mechanical drawing, industrial engineering, etc. It's also used in many workshops and outside of the classroom for the development of individual projects. Autodesk Inventor is part of an Autodesk Suite that's focused on designing mechanical parts and assemblies for the generation of blueprints, industrial manufacturing or even 3D printing.

Pros

  • Inventor has a unique drawing system based on creating sketches in XYZ planes. This makes it easier and more efficient to develop/modify a new component based on the drawn sketches, similar to the way you can create a 3-D figure based on its isometric drawings.
  • It's different from AutoCAD because 3-D figures are treated as solid parts and not just as one big computer drawing. This allows the user to treat every component parts that can later be added to an assembly or modified as independent components of a more complex system.
  • Very easy to develop professional looking blueprints based on 3-dimensional parts that can be later used for manufacturing in traditional lathe/milling machines. It's even possible to generate an exploded view of an entire assembly.
  • Inventor is not just a mechanical drawing suite. It includes many additional features/uses such as sheet metal design, mold design, stress analysis of parts.

Cons

  • The way file addressing and directories are handled isn't very straightforward and can be very prone to errors. Especially when dealing with large quantities of parts and sending an assembly to another PC or colleague, it will not work if not carefully done.
  • There isn't much detail as to what mathematical models and calculation methods are employed in embedded tools for stress, temperature or vibration analysis. This leaves a lot to be desired, especially if you need to use these results for research or academic publishing.
  • It requires a lot of CPU and memory resources if your machine doesn't meet and exceed these requirements the entire program will begin to shut down all of a sudden, especially after large periods of work. This problem has lead me to lose a lot of progress and time when changes weren't saved!
  • Autodesk products and suites have great value compared to other alternatives, especially for the education sector.
  • Inventor incorporates many tools and mechanical design products into one single environment, making it easier and faster for our faculty to teach a wide array of concepts and engineering methods.
  • The use of Inventor has helped us mitigate the need for other software solutions and has provided our students with a great tool to develop projects outside the classroom that transcend the universities traditional goals.
ANSYS is far more expensive and has a steeper learning curve. Autodesk has many flexible and scale-able licensing options that adapt to our institutional needs and IT infrastructure. Furthermore, it allows our students to have free educational software running in their own personal computers, allowing them to work at home and be more productive with it.
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.

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