I know very well SW and I'm learning IV slowly. I'd like to know what kind
of thing I'll like on IV compared to SW (example of command or features).
You can be really specific, I've read a report paid by Dassault comparing SW
to IV but I'd like to have comment fron the other side.
I passed the Autodesk Inventor Certified Expert Exam a couple of
months ago. I an now studying for the Certified SolidWorks
Professional Exam. I have been teaching both for about 2 years.
I have not found very many differences even if the terms are somewhat
different. A line is still a line and a circle a circle. Extrude,
revolve, sweep, and lofts are still extrusions, revolutions, sweeps,
and lofts. Fillets and chamfers... I could go on and on...
Geometry is geometry.
Yes, but software can handle different shapes well or badly. When it comes
to sweeps, lofts and fillets, there are big differences between how
different releases of SolidWorks (or SortOfWorks, my present
less-than-affectionate name) work or don't work. I haven't played with IV,
but I've got to believe that there are big differences between how SW and IV
work on this type of geometry. Given their histories, I would expect IV to
be even less robust than SW.
If you're working on "normal" ME shapes, then I defer to your judgement on
the similarities, but I'll bet if you do some serious design work with ID
surfaces you will change your mind.
Tripod Data Systems
"take the garbage out, dear"
Your assumptions are correct.
Preventor has nothing to offer the ID.
Tennis in snowshoes, so to speak.
No blend with C1/G1 continuity on all boundaries.
No C2/G2 - not even in its vocabulary.
No variable section sweep or swept blend.
No section propagation options for sweeps.
No exception handling options for failed offsets or shells.
No conic rounds.
No silhouette split or curves functions.
Only the most remedial curve creation functions.
No geometry integrity checking, analysis, repair.
Rudimentary at best surface analysis functions.
It has a nice UI and is adequate to good for most mechanical design, even
excellent in some respects, but is intimidated by the most demanding
mechanical shapes. It has an incredibly annoying habit of going into deep
thought for hours trying to create a poorly defined or sometimes just
difficult feature with no way out except giving it the 3 fingered salute.
Forget recovery. Save it beforehand or loose it.
Top down design capabilities are good, versatile, but difficult to manage,
untraceable, limitations and pitfalls are poorly documented, and schizoid
behavior like sub-assembly coordinate system origins inexplicably being
launched into the next county seems to be considered acceptable.
Drawing mode is capable, but slow, surfaces can't be shown, is intolerant of
translated solids and some curvy native solids. It has a predilection for
corrupting drawing files or crashing when supporting model files are corrupt
providing no indication of where the problems may be requiring hours to
isolate, correct. It can sense when you are approaching deadline.
The industry is not all abuzz about Shape Manager. For all practical
purposes you will find 3 - 4 year old ACIS with some minor tuning under the
They try to convince you you are getting a good deal since you get Desktop
with it, but you probably know how that is. Those that don't should
contemplate the learning curve on two very dissimilar programs if both are
needed to get the job done. There is precious little interoperability even
some subtle hostility between the two programs and the more advanced NURBS
functions in Desktop which are the best the combo has to offer are not
The pace of development has been underwhelming and they have recently
resorted to an old tactic of purchasing 3rd party applications, ho-hum
integrating them, charging extra for them, promising future development of
functions they didn't create and might or might not understand. They will
probably end up giving them to users as has been done after similar
endeavors in the past.
Consider it for machine design. Think twice if you need to build around
models translated from other platforms. Shun it for industrial or consumer
My students generaly don't have the clout to dictate what CAD program
the company should use when they start a new job. Therefore
everything we do I have them do it in both SolidWorks and Inventor.
After 8 years as a machinist on the shop floor actually making parts
rather than just pretty pictures, I am fairly certain
geometry-is-geometry. Of course certain tools are better for creating
certain types of geometry. The most complex solid we have been able
to create so far in Inventor is a Mike Wilson's Scooby.
on Student Gallery).
The student who modeled this in Inventor tried to exactly reproduce
the SolidWorks feature tree as much as possible, but did have to make
some changes do to differences in the software and limitations in our
Based on Robin's comments on an Inventor forum, I would suggest
learning the software at hand and trying to fit in as a new employee,
rather than rocking the boat. Unless that is what you were hired to
do and have the knowledge and clout to do it.
And capability is capability, differing with software.
I generally leave X vs. Y discussions alone because they almost never yield
anything useful; degenerating into meaningless jb, jiml, salesman vs
salesman babble and rants. I also have only a casual passing interest in SW
or IV, so my apologies for cluttering the group, but I think I see a chance
at something useful coming from a discussion across the fence concerning a
specific part modeling problem in the "This screw is killing me" discussion
in the IV8 group.
If anyone has time to kill and is interested; the part (what appears to be a
mixer / extruder screw) is a variable double helix wrapped around two
discrete variable radius forms. I think it's an interesting shape of
moderate complexity and it is definitely a step above the vendor demo /
shootout show-em-up / marketing BS class of part. I know the part is a
challenge to IV's ability and it is a bit of a challenge for the modeler (at
least of my ability / experience level), no matter what software. (If
anyone IS interested, I'd be happy to email a small .stp of a portion of the
part. It's not really a good representation of what I think the goemetry
should be, either, but a start to show the basic form. There are 2D's
associated with the discussion thread, though.)
Sorry, if this is taken as trolling. It's not my intention. And thanks for
the opportunity to raise the possibility. It's not possible to do so on the
vendor maintained groups. I'm not interested in starting a mine is better
than yours flame war (this problem is related to one small subset of
the software package), but it would be Very_Interesting to see different
solutions to the modeling problem and, to some extent, get beyond
the salesman crap and see how it's handled by different programs.
Back to the mines before the boss gets back..... 8~)