Inventor 7 Vs Solidworks 2004

Gday,
Probably not the best place to ask this question, but I havent found anywhere better.
My company is looking to invest in a 3D modeling package. Currently I think
Inventor is winning the race (as autodesk are offering us a substainsially reduced price due to our large number of existing autocad licenses). Personally I really like SW, but money talks.
Has anyone had experience using both? Any opinions regarding either package Good or Bad?
I am particularly interested in the Weldment/Structural Steel capabilities of SW2004 ie wire frame model etc, which seems to be lacking from inventor. And any file coruption problems/assembly reactions to changes in parts etc. But im guessing that both products should really have this sorted by now.
Thanks,
Pete.
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The latest version of IV that I've used is 6. In general, I think they are both easy to use and good for basic tasks. I think SolidWorks is much deeper and better thought thru. I also believe SW to be a better company to deal with. It really comes down to your own specific job. If IV really does everything you need it might be okay. I would advise against making a decision on price alone. If a tool doesn't do your job correctly then you really aren't saving any money. The better tool quickly pays for itself.
JJ

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I agree, I had a basic training for IV6 and noticed these 2 important things: in IV you can't use configurations in with assemblies. You can't use planes/origins for mating.
I also believe SW to be a better company to deal

So true, but in many cases (sadly) the one who makes the desicion don't think ahead, but only the current situation; how much it will cost me today

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JJ wrote:

are
deeper
Sorry to butt in but you can use planes for mating in IV. Always have been able to.
You're right about configurations though
RM
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Yes, but how you define where the origin (and therefore planes) is..You can't give any relations between origin and something else..?

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Pete,
I haven't used IV, but I recently did a 15000+ component assembly in SW 2004 for a company that had IV. They were switching because IV didn't give them API control and they were unable to program a cost estimating program to work with IV.
SW has 100% API documentation and accessibility. It also has very good large assembly capabilities.
SW (IMHO) is definitely ahead of IV at this time.
Tom

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I was in a similar situation about 2 years ago. My advice would be to tell your SWX VAR the IV price that was quoted to you. I did this and they dropped the per seat price $1500 each.

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You should post the same question on the IV user group, Point A or whatever it's called on the AutoDesk website...

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Pete,
SW doesn't offer 3D wireframe as a primary modeling method. The same is true for Pro-E, Solid Edge, Inventor, and the rest. You don't need it, and it's a very clumsy and archaic way of doing 3D. The only program, I can think of, that offers this is Unigraphics. In this case it's pretty much a legacy thing. In SW, 3D curves, and other wireframe elements, are used to drive, and define, surfaces and solids.
SW2004 has specific features for structural steel. I don't do this type of work myself, but maybe someone who does can chime in.
Regards
Mark

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I'm trying to remember but I think there are 3rd party companies that make addins for iv to do piping, structural steel, fasteners and a few other things.
Damned if I could remember the names though... I think one was called power fasteners? Maybe the others were named similarly. I haven't used IV since release 5.

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of,
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RE Weldments and structural steel: Note that this is new in 2004 and will still need a good bunch of development to get what we will need out of it. I had a quick play with it for the gantry on a boat and the concept was good - draw a "wireframe" of your steelwork and extrude along it with stock sizes, produce a cutting table, weld table and have all your weldments shown on drawings with end cuts for sections and 3D views of your structural steel - superb - it'll save me a good chunk of time. However, you cannot as yet extrude along curves (let alone splines) and the weldment operation seemed very slow (this was in PR2 and I haven't had a shot with it since, so it may have improved). I have no idea if Inventor has anything similar, but the SW structural system is in its infancy (read - not of use in a production environment yet)and should improve over the next couple of releases, provided we as customers tell them what we need in it. My guess is give it until SW2005 and it will be a useful tool - good effort to SW in adding it in though, all I need now is for them to add plate development (above lofted curves, which are a damn fine piece of gear!) for non linear surfaces and I'll be a happy punter! Hope this is of help Cheers Deri

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I played with the new Weldment and Structural Steel components in SW2004 SP0.0 also. I drew up one of our trailer frames it worked like a charm. I didn't have the time to delve into detailing it though. I was rather impressed with how easy it was to create the tubing. It was also easy to change between tubing sizes. Nice tools, great concept. We will see how it works in the real world later though.
Corey Scheich
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writes:

comp.cad.autocad alt.cad.autocad autodesk.autocad.2000general autodesk.autocad.2002general     comp.graphics.api.inventor autodesk.inventor.support    
One of those, I expect.
My little quick search also found
comp.cad.solidworks news.admin.net-abuse.sightings
<G>
HTH
--
Cliff

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week
moot
Boy--you live in a different world than I do if $AUD 4,000 per seat is "quibbling".... Your productivity argument has merit, but it's awfully difficult to quantify in advance.
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In our company I had to evaluate 3D packages for sheetmetal as we were still using AutoCAD. After some amount of online research I narrowed the field down to Pro-E, IV and SW. I had VARs for each come in and finaly concluded SW was the best value. IV was cheaper and Pro-E was in theory more powerfull, but they buth had hidden costs associated that ruled them out.
Whicever package you go with make sure you get a good VAR, they make all the difference when switching from 2d to 3d, ask you customers and vendors that use your target package what there VAR is like. You will want someone who can imediatly answer your questins while you are implimenting your switch because the switch will really slow you down for 2 to 4 weeks.
The 2004 weldment package can be a very powerfull time saver but amazingly it cant directly tie into the tool box so you must initaly create your own libray of steel shapes. Its a one time task but is kind of stupid since the toolbox addin we bought allready has them all in place in a seperate database.
Once you become skilled in mutlibody parts and you have got SW Office or buy the toolbox package steel structures can be done very fast. And tie in assemblys with in context edditing/convert entities you can be very safe in locating hole patterns on steel, even after changes have been made. Just make sure you line up you cross beams with your layous sketches on the beam CL and not the flane edge because W24 beams are very expensive :). Rember GIGO, no matter how good the app is it can only be as good as the user.
The main advatage that weldments caim are in cut list creation, but I have not fully used this feature yet, but I did create a set of industrial starways for presentation with it, though I ended up redrawing it using toolbox for final production. After I have finished my libray of steel shapes we use on stairs I intend to use this feature in more depth. It is promising, but I hear that new SW feature are often "lacking" there full potental.

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Dickering over the price is only useful if the softwares you are comparing are equal in efficiencies when working with your parts/assemblies/drawings. I assure you they are not! You owe it to yourself to look at each in a comprehensive benchmark using your products and lifecycle workflows. And I wouldn't just settle for Inventor or Solid Works, I would also include Solid Edge. Saving a couple thousand per seat now will pale in comparison if it takes each user a few hundred more hours a year longer to accomplish something over the more expensive software.
Ken

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"And I wouldn't just settle for Inventor or Solid Works, I would also include SolidEdge."
SolidEdge is the *only* CAD/CAM package of the three mentioned to have an easy to use intuitive approach that actually works when it comes to attempting to integrating surfaces and solids so they work in a seamless, unified manner.
http://www.cadonline.com/reviews/software/cad/0903sedge /
"It lets you create complex surfaces and then edit them without rolling back the part's history. This is achieved with new commands and capabilities. "
"History-tree dependency and editing, in my opinion, is the leading cause of user frustration with today's crop of solid modeling applications. The ability to bypass history ordering and dependency is a welcome improvement. Competing products don't have a feature similar..."
http://www.mavenmicro.com/solid-edge/News/EA_Report.pdf
"B-spline curve. Users can quickly create the foundation for complex geometry using simple commands, and then convert to more flexible and sophisticated curved shapes as the design progresses. For example, you can convert a simple arc into a curve, increase the degree of the curve, and then use local or shape editing to manipulate the curve. You can also turn on a curvature comb for curve analysis, and easily add edit points to the curve. And the feature tree handles all these types of changes without restriction."
"The Rapid Blue technology in Solid Edge V14 also makes use of geometry and constraint manager technologies from D-Cubed (see EAReport, January 2003) to enable dynamic editing capabilities with instantaneous feedback. For example, we were able to dynamically drag a component consisting of a hole and rib feature in a thin shell part. When the hole intersected the edge of the part, it changed automatically from a hole to a slot along the edge of the part. The D- cubed components handle the solving while Solid Edge handles the shape presentation. Rounding capabilities have also been extended for surface modeling. Once surfaces are stitched together, you can use standard rounding tools to add rounds to those surfaces. Rapid Blue supports G2 continuity as well as constant radius, connect, bevel, and constant width blends. There are also new surface analysis tools including curvature display combs and user-definable zebra striping."
http://www.cadserver.co.uk/common/viewer/archive/2003/Aug/1/feature2.phtm
"What's really clever is the manner in which features or faces built on that curve are updated. Rapid Blue differs significantly from the usual workflow of such solids-based system, as traditionally, you would have the roll back the feature history, edit the appropriate profile, and then regenerate the whole model to see the effects. Of course, if you're experimenting with shapes, then this is going to be a very lengthy, iterative process. With Rapid Blue, as you drag the curve, the surfaces or solid features attached to it update in real time, so you can see the effects of your edits on the whole model."
jon

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Dear clueless, What is history? What is it used for? Why would you (well, not you, but someone that can actually do CAD or CAM work) need it?
In the past you have touted systems that can (YOU claim) create history from imported geometry and such ....
Now it's unneeded?
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Cliff Huprich

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Stop posting stuff stolen from others as if you had a clue what it was about. Nor do you use it so you don't know squat.
The frogs probably know more: http://www.geocities.com/banquercadcam/comments.html
(1624 hits so far BTW. I gather it's popular with some of the CAD & CAM systems vendors & VARs <G>.)
--
Cliff Huprich

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Nope. It's NOT a CAD/CAM "package".
Buy some clues. Some day .... by now you should well know better. Why don't you??? Never used one?
--
Cliff Huprich

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