Overall Satisfaction with Autodesk Inventor
At Gemcor, I used Inventor and AutoCAD to design, detail and make drawings of components or subsystems of complete automatic riveting systems and associated aircraft assembly tooling, machinery and factory installations. These systems were designed for precision automated and semi-automated assembly of riveted joints fastening aircraft components together.
- I found Inventor to be particularly stable when working with large assemblies using hundreds or thousands of parts.
- Inventor allows production of derived parts based on configuration of the parent with their own design histories.
- Inventor allows definable motion limits for moving parts.
- Last I used it, 3D sketching was much more awkward and limited than SOLIDWORKS. In inventor it mostly consisted of converting existing entities to make a 3 dimensional path.
- The stability of features based on converted entities could be improved. When designing handrails for instance, if I adjusted a parent feature, I would often have to redefine or fix the child feature.
- While the view cube / adjuster is neat, I miss the ability to click on the center mouse button and rotate the part.
- Working just as a designer/drafter, I was able to learn to use Inventor and be satisfactorily productive to feed myself for a time.
- If I were to buy it to produce a project taking less than a year or several months, the various short-term license options are attractive.
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, from small molded parts to large fabricated equipment. In the case that I used Inventor, it was my employer's choice.
I've found Inventor well suited to handling large and very large assemblies without crashing. That being said, everything is a bit less easy for me to do than it is in SOLIDWORKS. Some things, like adjustable non-rectilinear or splined 3-dimensional paths drawn in the context of assemblies, I don't know if it could be done in Inventor, at least easily.