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Autodesk Inventor vs CATIA vs SolidWorks

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April 22, 2010 7:05:28 AM

1.Autodesk Inventor is easy to learn and use.
But it is perfect for machine design kind of work. No surfacing available in Inventor.
Best suitable for Novice/Beginners for 3D CAD.

2. Solidworks is good & has surfacing option too, easy to learn also. Excellent tool to work with great support. Best suitable for Moderate users with some basic CAD knowledge.

3.Catia- Best & one of the Complicated tools available out there. Best suitable for Advanced users. Mostly used in Automobile Design Industries. Highly complicated profiles & models can be done.
Anonymous
April 22, 2010 10:34:13 AM

Pro/E Wildfire!
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April 22, 2010 12:37:42 PM

Oh! I used SolidWorks 2009 last year but I was using a laptop so it was bad in rendering. It took me 3 hours to render a design. Hehe. By the way, I forgot to include Pro/E Wildfire so would you mind to compare it to the other three? Thanks!
April 23, 2010 2:59:38 AM

Pro/E wildfire is also best tool for complicated design. but for making simple parts such as plates & shafts, it'll give us a go around way & you'll get irritated, if you are going to model a series of simple parts & assemblies. Pro E is also for advanced users only.

For making any of CAD tools work better your system must have Professional GPUs like Quadro series/FirePro Series.

Ge force/Radeon are for gaming/HTPC purpose only. I hope that the laptop you worked with SW2009 didn't have any professional GPU.
April 23, 2010 2:01:04 PM

I have used all of these systems except Autodesk inventor (though I have used AutoCAD) at different times over the last decade. I currently use SolidWorks for most of my CAD. Here are my recomendations:

Autodesk Inventor: If you just want to dabble but still have a real production system this tool is O.K. If you want to do any serious CAD work avoid it. It's fairly cheap (I think) but Autodesk's products are not used much outside of Archetecture. I don't care for AutoCAD's interface, but I havn't used Inventor so I can't really comment on that.

Solidworks and ProE: Both of these are solid systems with similar and very useable and good for production CAD work. I know with SolidWorks you can buy a student version for less then $200 which is fully usable, but you are signing an agreement to use the product for non-comercial purposes. A full licence is ~4,000$.

CATIA: This is the 800 lb Gorilla of CAD. While SolidWorks and ProE will do most everything you need, they don't do as well when you want to work in a large collabrative environment. If you want to desing something with more then a hundred or so parts up to a commercial jet it starts to shine. Of course that spit and polish will cost you on the order of 10,000$ to start. I don't care for the interface in CATIA as in SolidWorks or ProE, but I learned those before CATIA and that may be a product of likeing what I learned first.

If I was going to get something for myself to play around with I would go for the student version of SolidWorks. If I wanted to design something for a commercial purpose I would either work with the low cost solution or, preferable, spend the $$$ to get a commerceial version of SolidWorks.

-Kirby
July 11, 2010 8:14:10 PM

I have used all 3 and I would say Solidworks and Inventor are easier to learn. CATIA (made by same company that owns SolidWorks) has much more advanced surfacing tools though.
Anonymous
September 7, 2010 11:45:48 AM

kwilkerson said:
I have used all of these systems except Autodesk inventor (though I have used AutoCAD) at different times over the last decade. I currently use SolidWorks for most of my CAD. Here are my recomendations:

Autodesk Inventor: If you just want to dabble but still have a real production system this tool is O.K. If you want to do any serious CAD work avoid it. It's fairly cheap (I think) but Autodesk's products are not used much outside of Archetecture. I don't care for AutoCAD's interface, but I havn't used Inventor so I can't really comment on that.
snip


-Kirby


@Kirby
It is very obvious that youre not at all familliar with Inventor. There is absolutly no comparison between AutoCad and Inventor all though they are now a days using the samme shortcut keys - thats about it. The user interface is two different worlds allthough both use ribbon UI.
And I dont think there's many Inventor seats that are used for architectural purpose - they use Architectural desktop or Revit aso. NOT Inventor. Inventor is very much like SolidWorks, Though weaker on plastics/surface but stronger imho. in mechanics. And both these systems are intuitive and very easy to learn unlike Pro/E which is about 100 times harder to learn. As an allready experienced 3d-cad user, I used Pro/E for 4 years and never got to like the way it works.
On a daily basis I am working in a 20 seat cad environment, building machines in Inventor with 1500+ parts - mostly sheetmetal - and using skeletal modelling. Works like a charm...

C
December 3, 2010 7:54:25 AM

Autodesk products are fine for mainstream simple jobs, but for serious aerospace, F1 and even architectural design it is CATIA and nothing else.
All the traditional CAD programs work fine for their own specific application, but they cannot handle or even start to comprehend the complex calculations needed for example 'the birds nest' in China for the Olympic Games.
Anonymous
January 5, 2011 3:31:52 AM

Autodesk Inventor is the simplest of programs. CATIA is professional. The differences between the programs make them nearly incomparable to each other, since CATIA is so complex. Not your average kiddie toy...
Anonymous
April 2, 2011 11:14:19 AM

ummm have you guys checked out sites.google.com/site/atozofcad/ they have some pretty good comparisons of the software
May 14, 2011 10:34:49 PM

I've used Autodesk Inventor professionally since 2006. Got "Certified Expert" in 2007. It is definitely one of the easier programs to learn. Every company I've worked for was either already using it or hired be essentially to implement it and train everyone else.

I am currently leading a migration from Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 2.0 and Pro/INTRALINK 3.4 to Autodesk Inventor / Vault 2011. The company loved Pro as a modeler, but it sucked for drawings - they look horrible. They already had one failed implementation of Inventor, so they needed an expert to lead the way.

The last company I worked for was migrating from AutoCAD / Mechanical Desktop to Inventor and again already had one failed implementation, so it definitely pays to have an expert on staff - much cheaper too.
May 16, 2011 7:11:14 PM

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