Autodesk Inventor - Part and Assembly Modeling for the Beginner and the Expert
April 02, 2020

Autodesk Inventor - Part and Assembly Modeling for the Beginner and the Expert

Scott Hutson | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Autodesk Inventor

Autodesk Inventor is currently not being used by my organization. We tried it out for a one-year contract and after that, we went back to using SOLIDWORKS for our design processes. When we first purchased it, we had three engineers including myself using the software. The software seemed to work well for us, and we were able to get most of the projects completed for which we used it. There were quite a few quirks with it, and my professional opinion is that it has as its underlying base, the AutoCAD program for basic sketching and drawing based models. Since we had always based much of our design using MasterCAM 2D sketching, when we utilized Inventor, there was not a smooth mesh allowing the transfer of information between the two programs. Even when we used an AutoCAD standard file type, moving data back and forth was more of an elaborate dance, rather than a simple "Save, then Open."
  • Inventor works well at creating model data that is easily re-configurable.
  • Inventor has a lot of different modules for different types of design.
  • Inventor works well for those accustomed to using AutoCAD.
  • 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.
  • Over the other software package we have used, there is not much more that Inventor allowed us to accomplish than it.
  • Comparing the price of the software, you can use a seat of Inventor for a year for less than $2500, because of their subscription-based service. The other software we've used before required you to purchase the package, then stay on maintenance in order to keep the updated version.
  • Because Inventor is subscription-based, if you don't pay the fee every year, you lose access to the software, and essentially, to any work you have done.
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. I just have not been able to identify anything that Inventor does that SOLIDWORKS doesn't, and there is not much that it does easier, from my experience. I have used SOLIDWORKS for over 7 years, and the year that we switched to Inventor, and received training for it as well, we didn't really seem to increase our capability with it.
I think the support for Autodesk Inventor is very good. The staff at our reseller were very knowledgable and able to walk us through problems pretty easily. The training we received was very good also.
I will say that there were a couple of times we reached out to support with a question or challenge we had, and the support agent was not able to resolve our problem, and after touching base back we found out that there was not a solution for the problems we were experiencing. One of them was just how Inventor represents colors inconsistently at times, all things being equal. Another was that Inventor would not let decals on parts transcend to the assembly level. they just would not show up.

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Autodesk Inventor does have a couple of features that I wish our current software suite did. I find the view cube to be very nice to work with. I found that most of the features of Inventor are very similar to another program that is used widely in the industry, and yet they seem to not be as easily managed. For example, parametric modeling is nothing new, but it seems like the Inventor interface does not make it as simple to make adjustments or changes quickly. Also, the way the different features are laid out on the toolbar does not seem as logical to me, but that may just be me. I am not sure I like the idea that many different programs must be installed on your machine in order to use different features that are elsewhere incorporated within other software packages.