SW Guy on Inventor, MDT or Catia?

I'm a self employed that just became an employe of a company. I am used SolidWorks as a self employed but the new companyi using something else.

They are using MDT 6, claiming that MDT 8 is not stable (is the 6 stable??). They have licenses of Inventor 6 but claim that this is not stable and they should better stay with MDT 6 rather than moving to Inventor 6. They have there licenses of Inventor 8 but did not tested it.

They are in the aerospace industry and could buy Catia too. Catia is more appealing for potential clients but cost much more. They could just afford one eventually and whould have to deal with the fact that we could be a couple of staff using cad system which could be a problem with just one Catia license.

This is a big problem. Stayong on MDT is an advantage because the structure and templates are already working. However, they are pain slow and it sounds not realy appealing to client.

Moving on Inventor could be a nice move but they claim it is not stable.

Moving to SW is easy to me (I do support and training on it) and I can manage every aspect of it (including FEA analysis that we plan to do). Morehover, SW is a property of Catia and I know it can handle the job well.

Question: Can Inventor 8 handle the job as good as SW2004? (stability and features)

Question: is Catia as fast as Inventor or SW on modeling and drafting? (I'm not talking about power but basing prismatic modeling)

Question: Is Catia FEA module as fast and easy as add-in in Inventor or SW?

If anybody can help me in part of this big problem, I don't expect anyone to help me in all these area. I am just an expert on SW and cosmosworks.

Robin mech eng tmhcanada

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I have the latest version of MDT 2004 DX (version 8 of Autodesk's Inventor Series) and it is very stable. I recently analyzed the mid-ranged modelers (SE, MDT, SW) and SW was the clear choice. MDT is dead! The sooner the switch over to a robust modeler, the better your project history will be, reducing legacy data conversions. The big thing which sold me on SW was "configurations", the other packages required an add-on to perform this functionality (SE may or may not, but 2 years ago I was told "UG and "Fusion" was their solution). The positive switch over from MDT to whatever will become apparent when the old MDT ways of thinking are quickly and easily dropped. Using the interlinking of features and variables is a blessing.

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Keith Streich


Good luck. In 18 years I have never been sucessfull in converting am ACAD/MDT group to anything else no matter how superior it was. Unless there was an influential manager (that actually had some cad experience) that saw the pitfalls of the old system, and had the motivation to carry the ball for switching to a new/better system. So go find that guy and get behind him.


Rob> I'm a self employed that just became an employe of a company. I am used

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Robin, I would get trial of SW in order to check it out. Then you could use XchangeWorks which is free for you. This allows you to load in a plug in for autocad or MDT. This will allow you to bring in SW files, Pro-E files and Unigraphic part files into MDT.

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Apparently YOU did not evaluate Solid Edge as it does have configurations, and you apparently talked to the UG sales group.


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At the Engineering and Design Show in Chicago! I told them want I wanted to do (automatically suppress or swap components based on dimensional or load conditions) and they stated SE couldn't do it, but UG could, but only with a add-on called "Fusion" or "Fission".


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Keith Streich

To answer a couple of your questions:

Inventor 8 is lacking in configurations, e-drawings, and surfacing in comparison to SW. But Inventor can handle prismatic parts as well as SW. From what I've been told Inventor takes less clicks to get the job done, has an easier interface to learn, and is slightly better in the detailing department. I would suggest using SW for consumer products, and IV for machinery. We use Inventor 8 here along with a couple of other programs and it's been a very stable release. I suggest talking to a VAR of both and have them set up your computer for a demo. Both SW and IV are very picky on the computer systems and that could be leading to the stability problems they're seeing.

Catia V5 has a clean interface and should be easy to learn to use and make prismatic shapes if you've used SW. I would be wary of the price of Catia. The basic package for Catia is slightly over SW and IV, but the add-on modules get pricey.

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They both have strengths and weaknesses, but Inventor & SW are both pretty capable programs. MDT, on the other hand, deserves to be taken out behind a building a put out of it's misery.

If I were starting from scratch my preference would be for SW, but....

If I were managing the department, and you offered me a choice of SW at $5k+ per seat or Inventor at $0 per seat (since it's already paid for), you'd have an awful hard time convincing me to spend the money...

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