Inventor 7 Vs Solidworks 2004



I faced the same situation 18mos ago. It was a one-seat purchase, and I was the one making the decision. One of the main factors I tried to evaluate was just quantity of bugs. As a long time Acad user, I knew the dirt, and was running from the chronic bugs. I had hoped that Solidworks would offer me a much more reliable platform, but saw that there were some problems. Enough problems that I, as an outside observer, could not clearly see a leader.
I eventually went with the Inventor 5.3 series, largely based on the idea that the AutoCAD 2002 program came with it. I felt this would be a safety net if I had problems with Inventor. I did have problems with Inventor, so much so that I abandoned it. The reality is that you CAN'T really know a software package as complex as this until you've used it for 6 months.
However, I've now decided to make the switch to Solidworks, largely due to the dealer making a good deal on a cross-platform upgrade. (I'm also very grateful I said not to go with the subscription to Inventor, giving me cash to play with for Solidworks)
Even though I've made the decision to purchase Solidworks, I have continued to look at things, and have some observations regarding upgrade and subscription policies;
Autodesk; They have substantial penalties when you upgrade and aren't on subscription. Evidence that they don't feel their upgrades earn their price. Subscription used to not provide any support, but recently they added some level of technical support. Autodesk does, however provide service packs even if you aren't on subscription. Another evidence that they play games with upgrades and subscription is when they removed a number of add-on tools from the 2002 version, granting them only to subscribers. Then for the 2004 upgrade, they were re-introduced to AutoCAD as a new feature. With the Inventor series, they gave subscribers a minimal upgrade version 7, and introduced the Inventor-PRO series, for which subscribers had to pay an upgrade fee. Another dirty trick.
Solidworks; Their upgrade policy for non-subscribers does not have significant penalties. This indicates their confidence that upgrades will earn their fee. I was very disappointed to learn that service packs are only available to subscribers. Until recently they were even withholding the user-contributed model library from non-subscribers. They are artificially adding to the value of the subscription. But they've always had a strong plus with the support that is part of subscription.
Often it feels like we buy our CAD software from marking companies, and not CAD companies.
Joe Dunfee
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I think it's safe to say that all companies are marketing companies. We deal with companies that market CAD software.
--
Dale Dunn
Design Engineer
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.... and some of them actually develop software as a sideline. 8~)

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I posted the same email (except removed the sentences that indicated I prefered SW) to the Autodesk Group (convinently served only on their server). Never saw it, nor did I get any replys.
Pretty poor form from a company, and the only logical thing to conclude is that they expected comments not to be in their favor.
Guess we will know in several months.
Thanks for the info regarding Subscriptions, Im sure I will have to look at both offers again, but I cant imagine it making enough difference to sway the those who eventually make the decisions.
Cheers,
Pete.

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It's because the Autodesk Group is meant to be a technical support resource. Keeping discussions about anything else helps keep the clutter out. I personally like the fact that it's moderated so that there are no 100+ reply's of two people bickering.
Joe

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True, that helps, but I appreciate the freedom of this group that let's people say what's on their mind. I don't always agree, but that's ok because I don't have to read it.
WT

is
at
sway
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I think if you post a useful message to the Autodesk site, rather than poorly thought out statements without any question or request for help, they will not pull the thread. I once posted a message with the title: SolidWorks Works Inventor Doesn't. In the body of the message I explained a relatively simple model that using the same modeling steps resulted in a correct model in SWX but not in INV. I also posted the file in question to customer files on the Autodesk website and they did not pull that. Shortly after that I got an email from someone at Solidworks asking if I had more examples. I have also gotten email from a Solidworks VAR based on posts to the Autodesk site. So they obviously think it is worth their time to visit the Autodesk site. I don't see much traffic at the forum on the Solidworks site. Anyone know why? When I send my students there it doesn't appear that anyone is using Solidworks. J.D.

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The main reason that one is not very busy is due mainly to the activity of this newsgroup. In short, this newsgroup just seems more popular.
--
Arlin
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----- Original Message -----

at
Ever had a look at Think3 ? At least they have a no hidden costs anual subscription fee including everything from license to updates, hotline and training. We are very happy with it and it was even for unexperienced computer users easy to learn. As far as I understand, they seem to be able to do the same 3D tricks as mentioned about SE and still have a sound 2D basis. Here in Europe these guys are growing pretty fast now.
Regards, Speedfreak
del_poets
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For damn good reason. Think3 has the best technology by far compared to SolidWorks, Inventor, SolidEdge, IronCAD, etc. who have absolutely nothing close to think3's Global Shape Modeling....
NOTHING !!!
Think3 has only recently adopted a successful U.S. marketing program in which thinkdesign / thinkshape is being targeted towards midsize companies. Think3 pretty much ignores very small accounts who for the most part don't like think3's way of selling their product.
Because think3's technology is so good and will continue to stay far ahead of the rest, they will do well with the midsize accounts that they directly target with ex PTC and other highly successful salespeople from SDRC, etc. It also helps that think3 is moving to Cincinnati, Ohio and this will no doubt help think3 land many more midsized U.S. based accounts
Still, many small U.S. companies will never go for think3's one year license.
IMO, it would be fair to say that Europeans are by far more open to new ideas and superior technology and will put up with a one year licensing concept. The fact is many small Americans companies won't. It totally goes against their nature.
jon

sway
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A new Better Business Bureau?
--
Cliff Huprich

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Does this explain why you don't use it for your own "work"?
Where's that broomboy pic?
--
Cliff Huprich

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Stop paying and your parts databases are totally useless. They can raise the prices and hold you hostage at any time.

That usually means that it can do far, far less than other systems because there is less to learn.
--
Cliff

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----- Original Message -----
Newsgroups: comp.cad.solidworks Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2003 1:41 AM Subject: Re: Inventor 7 Vs Solidworks 2004

raise
Not at all. The license will work "forever" but only for the last version you payed for.

users
because
We used to work with Pro/E. Now we do the same work faster and with less frustration. Maby it has something to do with a highly integrated, homogenious and intiutive User Interface?
But how cares, Cliff ? It seems to me that you are a very "closed" person who is lead by its own prejudices.
I just wanted Pete to share my experience. And please do not get me wrong: I still regard Pro/E as probably the best CAD application available. Personaly I have always liked using it and I still do. But didn't dinosaurs extince because of to much power and not enough brains?
Regards, Speedfreak
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You had best check your facts. As I understand it in the US you must pay the annual fee to maintain/renew a *working* licence. Else it shuts down when it expires. That's the whole idea behind an annual license fee.

Whose buzzwords?
And possibly because Pro-E had many, many capabilities you did not use for the type(s) of work you did? Or a lack of training ... or perhaps it really is best suited to the work *you* do. Clearly it is not for what many do.

I've read too much thet ended up being total BS from jb. And caught three (IIRC) think3 shills posting here knocking other products but I had to trace their IP numbers to see .... that they were posting directly from a think3 server. They had not stated that they worked for think3. Business ethics issue.

It's actually a full CAD/CAM system. I doubt you can say that for think3.
As to which is best ... nobody can say without looking at the exact work to be done and it's environment and data flows (and a lot of systems).

Nope. You have to stop listening to jb <G>.
--
Cliff


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or news://discussion.autodesk.com/autodesk.inventor.7
.... describing the type of work you do, along with as many specifics regarding your expectations as you might be able to provide, and ask for opinions regarding suitability. Don't do it as a vague X vs. Y topic. So many of those have been flogged to death with little meaningful information bubbling to the top; most people are a little tired of them.
(I'm not trying to sell you. I, personally, wouldn't recommend Autodesk software to anyone except, perhaps, architects, etc. The company was a great 2D developer, 3D... well, I have my opinions, but they aren't necessarily relevant to your situation or of any intrinsic value to anyone.)
Use what you find to determine which programs you will (can't stress this strongly enough) evaluate or, at least, have demonstrated under conditions relevant to your requirements. If investment in personally learning and evaluating the systems isn't practical and you can only talk one sales person into a meaningful demonstration; well, at least you've made them work a little for the commission <g>. From your initial description of requirements I don't think any VAR worth their salt will have trouble working up a quick, relevant demonstration, though. If you make a decision based solely on marketing psycho-babble, what you read on the web and price you have about a 1 in 5+ chance of lucking into the solution that is most efficient and effective for your immediate needs. (Some emphasis should be given "immediate". Beware vague allusions by sales people to "future developments" and bank on them at your own risk.) Might just as well throw the names in a hat?
-----------

-----------
I think you are coming back to price here, and it can be a misleading parameter. I can tell you from personal experience that, X vs. Y, performance issues (how long you wait for features, shaded view render meshes, and drawing views to generate / regenerate repeatedly), software stability issues, file management issues and re-usability of design data alone can easily cost in excess of 4 hours per week per full time use seat. Add to that the lack of one or more frequently used tool that will help streamline your design process....? It all depends on the demands that your specific design requirements put on the system. (Likewise, the other sales touchstone; "ease of learning", is only a useful parameter in a specific, and somewhat narrow, range of circumstances, but that's another story.)
Again, good luck with it. If the decision is up to others; well, what the heck. Most any program will, in the end, suffice, you can learn from their experiences and do it on their nickel. If you feel their choice is truly inappropriate, get an eval copy of your choice and learn it on your own nickel. It's all, to some extent, valuable experience. 8~) -----------
Bit of an afterthought (and don't think I've seen it mentioned); does stress (or motion?) analysis go into the equation? =====================================
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