SW vs INVENTOR

Inventor is dog pile. : )

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You know I really thought we had all made it past the "my CAD software is better than your CAD software". I avoided this NG and lurked for so long because this type of attitude ran rampant. I'll admit it was similar in the IV newsgroups but I can confess that I tried not to participate in those threads. It was refreshing to run into users like Ed Eaton and Richard Doyle at COFES who gave Inventor the respect it deserves. Sure they like SWX better an sure a few lighthearted jabs were thrown back and forth, but there was a mutual respect.
Both packages have pros and cons. I have both. I use IV a whole lot more than SWX but I find that SWX can do some things better than IV and vice versa. I think that anyone who chooses a package based on the few "Inventor sucks" or "SWX is garbage" posts they get in these NGs is a fool. They need to test them out in their setting to see what works best for them.
As for our attitudes, I has thought we had all finally gotten to the point where we could acknowledge each other as peers and realize that people will choose different software packages (AutoCAD/IntelliCAD, Windows/Linux, PC/Mac) and not sum up the other guy's choice as a "dog pile". Guess I was wrong...
--
--
Sean Dotson, PE
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.....some people are really easy to bait.... have a nice weekend Mr Dotson ;o )
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Neil.. RU just bored just because it's labour weekend, haven't you been fishing lately?
Mr Dotson seems a nice bloke to me.
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roll of eyes. Mr Dotson will survive I am sure, Cam. CAD is indeed a very serious business deserving of our continuing reverence.There must be a continual focus on professionalism to the exclusion of all else- especially good natured fun.Fun is of course inappropriate and unnecessary for the industrial age.
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The multinational company where I get most of my work have just told me the're planning a rollout of Inventor. I've been using SW there for the last four years and being told I might have to get my head around a "dog pile" in none too encouraging.... even if it's said with a smile.
Maybe I'm looking in the wrong place for some positives on Inventor.
..thinks to himself no eDrawings no configurations where will I get my zillion standard parts setup with configurations? single key short cuts? what's the swoopy surfacing stuff like? can I run my spacemouse? does it have a SW explorer thingy? who the hell uses it around here? is it time to look for new clients?
Enjoy your weekend..
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last
in
after 4 years of sw they're switching to iv. seems a bit backwards. oh well.
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Hi
Been using Both packages for a couple of years.
From your above list Inventor only lacks eDrawings. 8( too bad.
Personally, I feel the Inventor people created a product that is very intuitive to use. (user friendly) The terminology is much better alligned with commonly published drafting standards and practices. In other words they did not re-invent the drafting wheel. It just seems that SW and SE and et-al have their own language for common commands.
Inventor gets the job done with fewer keystrokes. Especially on repetative tasks where the dialog boxes remain active for the next task. SW you have to re-activate the tool.
Inventor has had a superior spin and rotate twirly thing (called orbit) Very slick. It always orbits about the centroid of the first object (part or face or particle on a face of a part. Regardless of zoom distance. Where, with SW you first have to right click on an edge or point.
I like SW load large assemblies light option. Inventor handles large assemblies a bit differently but very well.
Inventors Project folders concept is a bit quirky to wrap your head around but I tend to preffer it.
Had a bitch of time with Inventor document template files. I created some and placed copies on our server. Inventor crashed a sudden death when anyone tried to use them. The problem was the video card driver. Figure that one out.
SW crashes often amongst my group (a few times per week, sometimes per day). There's 4 of us and three are 10 year veterans, so it's not the user.
Inventor crashes too. Hell, all software (PC based) crashes.
SW is vastly better integrated with MasterCam (a very widely used CAM package)
Not sure on this, but I believe Inventor has a better surface capability. (for those igs files)
I preffer the way Inventor facillitates in context design. I see that SW has adopted Inventor's method of showing relations in sketchs.
SW is to 3D modeling as AutoCad was to 2D before 3D. It was the first PC based solid modeler and has a huge following. Inventor is much less in demand but gaining approval from the existing Acad group, but only because it comes with AutoCad (Mechancal Desktop).
If your shop is dependent on outside suppliers, machine shops and provides drawings to customers then perhaps SW is the better way.
If your shop is independant then Inventor is a great choice.
Each does a few specialized things better than the other.
I like the way Inventor does formulas. Very slick, very accessable and far fewer keystrokes. It is a spreadsheet interface and can link to an external spreadsheet.
Your decision must be driven by your needs and not opinions. (that's a given) Go see it in action and give it a test drive, kick the tires on both of them.
SW
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Actually Inventor does have eDrawings now
http://www.solidworks.com/pages/products/edrawings/eDrawingsforInventor.html
It also has 3D DWF (which I will admit is not as nice as eDwgs but it is useful in certain circumstances)
Nice analysis SW, I'd agree with most of what you say.
--
Sean Dotson, PE
www.sdotson.com
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Wow. I know that the IV group has been screeming for that for some time now. Great news.

Thanks Sean
I've been hammering the keyboard long enough that most all software all looks and feels the same to me.
Only difference is the location and the terms for the controls. Kinda like driving a different car.
Another thing: I love Inventor's "Pack 'n Go"
Cheers.
SW
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You just sparked a thought of mine by your statement of "I love Inventor's 'Pack 'n Go'" in that SW offers a method to do it also. I'm not familiar with IV, but in SW, say you have an assy open, then go to File/Find References and tell it to Copy files. You can either maintain the folder structure or not. It then makes a copy of everything needed to open that assy.
WT

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That's right! I forgot about that. (never used it myself) funny, I was thinking to myself, as I wrote the previous post, doesn't SWKs have something like that?
Thanks for pointing that out.
SW

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Inventor is not even close to SWX in terms of handeling surfaces. I would question anyones credentials who made a statement that they thought Inventor was better that SWX with handeling surfaces (even if they qualify the statement with, "not sure on this". I hold Autodesk Inventor Certified Expert status and am currently studying for the SWX certification. I teach both Inventor and SWX side-by-side. Every problem we do in one we also do in the other. For most designs I have found the programs to be remarkably similar. Essentially identical. We even go so far as to set up the GUI for each so the tools are in more or less the same location and move seamlessly from one to the other.
The students seem to prefer the Inventor interface when it comes time to do their major projects. (In two years I have had only two students choose SWX for their projects - one of the students took second place in a national contest using SWX.) In my area, central Pennsylvania, the systems in use (between just Inventor and SWX - not including others) are about 50/50. (Employers - not seats). I have found that students who do not express strong favoratism for one or the other seem to do the best quality work. They approach problems as geometry problems and not software problems.
J.D.
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snipped-for-privacy@pct.edu (JDMATHER) wrote in

I rarely use surfaces in either package. That's why "... not sure on this." is in the statement. Perhaps nothing said would have been better.
In answer to the credentials question:
20 years computer usage, including setup and maintenance (hardware - software) Teaching full time course loads at college Machine design Product design
Applicon (aka Bravo) Acad 2.6 and up Inventor 4 and up Solidworks 2000 and up Mechanical Desktop CadKey SolidEdge
Dos 2 and up 9 (including all the windoz) Unix, VMS, Qnx, Linux
Software: MicroSoft - Access, Excel, Word Power Point, Visual Interdev, Visio, WordPerfect, SQL Server, Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw WordStar Wordperfect 4 and up Lotus 123 ver 2 and up Visicalc (the grandfather of all pc spreadsheets) Harvard Graphics FoxPro DBase III
Programming: C, Fortran, Visual Basic, VBScript, ASP, HTML, CSS, AutoLisp and script for Acad, PLC's - Allen Bradley, Seimens, Omron, CNC (G-code), Fanuc and Motoman Robots
(I know I missed a few, but I don't want to brag)
Engineering and Design: Machine Controls, Pneumatics, Hydraulics
I have integrated MS Access with AutoCad and Inventor with bidirectional data communication.
Currently on contract with GE working on mechanical dedign for CT Scanners.

I like what you said in the last two sentences. It is the way design problems are best solved. In any medium. There is usually an alternative method in one package where the other might be better suited and vice-versa. So the job gets done by creativ thinking and not the tool.
Cheers
SW
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I haven't run across too many people who really know how(or need to know how)to use surfaces in either software package. The ID people tend to use other software like Alias.
If you are interested in learning to use surfaces I have a series of tutorials at- http://home.pct.edu/~jmather/content/DSG322/inventor_surface_tutorials.htm
We do the problems in both Inventor and SolidWorks with essentially identical technique. Most of the stuff that can't be done with identical steps can be done with workarounds that are software specific. But SWX has some surfacing features that Inventor users can only dream about.
J.D.
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snipped-for-privacy@pct.edu (JDMATHER) wrote in

Two camps: 1. CNC dosen't need to know about mass of a part, only where the surfaces are. 2. The mechanical camp makes great use of mass properties.
I have heard, from some mold designers, that surfaces is the design choice. CadKey et-al. Probably because surface technology was better developed and took a strong foothols in the late 89's and early 90's. And because, until of late, the solid modelers didn't have the tools. It seems that the lines between surfacing tools and solid tools is fading.

Bookmarked Thanks.
Cheers
SW
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I tend to disagree, to a degree. I have been doing mold design strictly in solids since I started using SW in '96. However, that is when I started doing actual mold designs period (rather than building them), so I have never used surfaces at all. It can be difficult at times doing it in solids only. I can't be sure, but I bet that there are just as many difficulties using surfaces also. It all boils down to the techniques and methods that you use and get accustomed to.
--
Seth Renigar
Emerald Tool and Mold Inc.
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wrote:

Cliff
I sounds like you know this stuff. I have more of an intuitive gut feel than hard facts. (I sure as heck don't have the brochures in front of me.) I've seen a many software tool for both solid and surface modeling. Used mostly a few solid modelers.
All of the mid range solid modelers ( SolidWorks and the like) have decidedly fewer tools and gadgets for the creation of surfaces. The mid range surface modelers have more. That much I can say.
BTW I remember APT. Studied it in school (back in 87) I thought it was the hottest thing. We also did Compact 2. Remember that one.
SW
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wrote:

Wow, glad to hear it's still being used today. (from a nostalgia point of view.) I haven't used it outside of the academic, so it's nice to see that something one has studied is actually still being used.
Am I right in thinking that most of the cad/cam tools post process directly to G-code? (and for the most part quite bloated output)?
SW

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Most actual full CAD/CAM systems use the ISO-4343 CLDATA format for output files and then postprocess those, same as APT. It's often hidden from the novice user though. The full CAD?CAM systems are also fully 5 axes capable for the most part AFAIK.
Remember ... these things grew out of APT and plotting toolpaths. That allowed things to be made with NC (and later CNC) machines while about anyone could use a drafting board.
Define "bloated output" <G>. That's confusing indeed.
--
Cliff

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