Easy to use 3D modeling software, with some downfalls
Updated April 26, 2019

Easy to use 3D modeling software, with some downfalls

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Autodesk Inventor

Inventor is used in the Electrical department to design and layout electrical control cabinets and junction boxes. Creating these panels in 3D helps us ensure all components will fit and brings in the depth factor, which is especially helpful with door mounted components. The mechanical side also uses Autodesk Inventor to model the machines that we build. I believe Inventor is much easier to use than AutoCAD, also there are a lot of perks to using Inventor. One feature which is extremely helpful is running FEA's on models, which shows the stress points and such. Inventor helps my organization create high quality and detailed models of our product, which makes interacting with the customer easier.
  • The learning curve for Inventor is very small, which makes training new people easier. By making this software easy to learn, new people can start contributing more at an earlier stage. I have heard from multiple people that the basic tasks in Inventor are very easy to use.
  • Inventor makes design changes very easy, as long as you practice good design rules. Making modifications to existing models is very easy with Inventor, if there is an issue with a constraint or sketch, it makes sure you are aware. This also contributes to making Inventor easier to use.
  • The software does not require an extremely powerful machine, as long as you do not have 1000's of parts in your model. This is helpful for my organization because not everybody has a powerful desktop PC, and they are still able to open up and view models on their laptops.
  • Inventor is not the most cost-effective 3D software, it depends on the amount of money your organization would like to spend on design software. There is other 3D modeling software out there that are more cost effective, but they might not be as easy to learn as Inventor.
  • Some of the menus within the software are sort of confusing, also some of the functions are hidden within sub menus. This can sometimes make finding certain functions a hassle. There is a way to hotkey functions to keyboard buttons, but I have not found an easy way to do this.
  • If your model has over 1000 parts, then creating 2D drawings can cause a headache. If you have a lot of parts in your model, and your machine is not powerful enough, then creating a 2D drawing can take some time depending on the level of detail required.
  • It has helped us create 3D models cost effectively with a small learning curve.
  • Some of the users had to upgrade their systems to handle the models which were created. They were originally not able to open them because of their lack of RAM and CPU power.
  • We are not able to leverage previous AutoCAD drawings in Inventor, they all had to be recreated. This caused us to have to redo some work from the past.
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 integration between their 2D electrical schematics and 3D. You are able to easily place components in the circuit diagrams, then drag them over to the 3D model. Inventor has this functionality between itself and AutoCAD Electrical, but it isn't nearly as fluid.
Inventor is well suited when you need 3D modeling software that is easy to use. I believe out of the two other Inventor type programs I have used, this is the easiest to learn. This is especially useful if you are bringing people who are not too experienced.

Inventor is less appropriate in scenarios when you need highly detailed 3D models that look realistic. The other 3D programs that I have used have much better looking models, they look much more realistic.