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Inventor vs. Solidedge vs. Solidworks, which one is best?

Inventor vs. Solidedge vs. Solidworks, which one is best?

Inventor vs. Solidedge vs. Solidworks, which one is best?

I design and build special machines and automated assembly machines currently with AutoCAD 2000. I am researching 3D packages (Inventor, SolidEdge & SolidWorks). Does anyone have any advice on which one is the best for my application and where I can get 3rd party evaluations?

RE: Inventor vs. Solidedge vs. Solidworks, which one is best?

I have used SolidWorks, and am now using Inventor.  Unfortunately, both are EXTREMELY weak when it comes to creating paper documentation such as a part or assembley drawing.  If your company files paper drawings of parts and/or delivers drawings to machinists/fabricators, then you will miss the features you have with AutoCad.  If you want to include extensive fabrication or assembly instructions as a component of your drawing, the text editors available to you are useless!

The very feature that CAD programs like SolidWorks or Inventor should be strong in (creating documentation) is the very feature that they are the weakest in supporting.

RE: Inventor vs. Solidedge vs. Solidworks, which one is best?

The paper side of the modelers is definitely a weak point. The latest release (R8) of inventor allows you to model in Inventor and detail in Autocad, while keeping the link in tact. (change model and dwg will change) Right now it only works with part files and not assemblies, but will probably come in next release. I don't use this feature very much, so I can not vouch for the stability.

The other issue with the assemblies in Autocad from Inventor would be all the intelligent data from the model (parts lists, auto balloning, weight, and other custom properties that you could currently carry into the drawing from the model)

This topic has been discussed at great lengths in many places. It is a hard decision (but you have to do it or get eaten by the competion)

You can get evaluation copies from the software people and do an eval of your own. You also need to get them to do a demo (and have them use parts like you would use, not the scripted demos they have). Give them an autocad file of a tough part to model and see how it works. I am an Inventor user that recently test drove solidworks for 6 weeks (and went back) Make sure everyone you are talking to is using the latest of each (solidworks 2004, or Inventor R8). Both have some new stuff and it would not be a fair comparison.

Pricewise, with Inventor you get the latest Autocad mechanical (2004DX) and the latest Mech Desktop with the package. The price will be very attractive until Jan 1 (when you can no longer buy an upgrade from Acad 2000 and you will need to get a NEW seat). I'm not 100% positive about the Jan 1 upgrade date, so talk to your reseller.

You can read the comparison at great length on many different sites (and the CAD magazines too). Just do some searching.

Good luck

RE: Inventor vs. Solidedge vs. Solidworks, which one is best?


I'll just say one thing.  Like DesignerMike, have some of your parts to take to the Resellers and have them model them for you and take them through to the drawings if needed.  Of course also get the eval copies and test drive them yourself...otherwise you will be using other's opinions which tend to get slanted from time to time.

Alan M. Etzkorn  
Product Engineer
Nixon Tool Co.

RE: Inventor vs. Solidedge vs. Solidworks, which one is best?

I've worked with SolidWorks 2003, MDT6 and now I'm on Solid Edge v14 and as you say that with SW and Inventor you can't ad information on your documentation your right. When I was on MDT6 I could draw some additionnal lines or text or welding symbol easily, but with SolidWorks you can't put a welding symbol without having it in your model and others things like that. Then when I compared Solid Edge V14 with SolidWorks 2003 this point was my biggest satisfaction to see that SE allow you to put any information you want in the drafting, you can draw inside your views if you want to correct some details without changing the model and you can put any annotations or welding symbol. I don't know for Inventor R8 but with solid edge, the program track and tell you when your view is out of date and what is out of date.

If you compare SW and SE don't get caught by comparison telling you that SW does 10 things that SE can't and things like that. Because I went through this and beside EDrawings and ExpressWorks SE can do as good as SW and many times SE does it better.

As DesignerMike said do your own evaluations and comparison, and make your VAR work for you in showing you what they can do with some of your parts. And insist that you want to see how they do it, Don't go only with what they tell you.

Good luck


RE: Inventor vs. Solidedge vs. Solidworks, which one is best?

I  am a solidworks and SDRC user and haven't used SE or Inventor, so I can't say which is better. However, I do have to point out that some of the statements made about SW Annotations and Notes are just plain False.
Maybe it is just the lack of training in the respective systems. If you have driven a Yugo for ten years, you can not expect to jump in a ferrari and have it handle the same way.
I'm sure they are all good systems with their respective strengths and weaknesses. You will have to make your own decsion based on what seems most intuitve and has the most features you will use, not on biased hyperbole.
Personally, I would pick SW based on my experience so far, but this is just my bias showing through as I am not a big fan of Autodesk.

Ray Havermahl
Independent Engineering Labs

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