Autodesk Inc. has a track record of more than 25 years of sustainable, reliable, and innovative designing of software that is applied in 2D and 3D design and production as well as pre-manufacturing phase automation. It is, therefore, not a surprise that they have separate software for separate purposes. Differences are a considerable factor in the choice of various Autodesk software.
I will differentiate and compare AutoCAD vs Inventor in this one by one comparison of their purposes and why one software would be perfect for a specific user over the other.
Let us dive head first into the world of CAD. There are a few subtle and some not-so-subtle differences that one can see, realize and experience after being exposed to both software.
Overview of AutoCAD and Inventor
AutoCAD was first created as an all-in-all suite for the design engineer and technician. For Autodesk Inventor, the design philosophy is the exact opposite. AutoCAD development is focused on more things for more kinds of users for even more domains. Whether it is civil and building architecture design, mechanical and manufacturing, post-development cross-section manipulation and evaluation or simply animating machine part’s movement once put together, AutoCAD was meant to be able to do all of that just as easily as anything in between.
Autodesk Inventor was not, and that’s the beauty of Inventor. Where AutoCAD is a heavyweight design production platform with post development features , Inventor is focused on aiding the post-design manufacturing process. However, this does not mean that Inventor is not a good tool for design production or for 2D/3D drawing. In fact, it has some abilities that are far beyond the reach of AutoCAD, and for good reasons.
We have already compared the design of the two software’s. Let’s look at them one by one.
AutoCAD Pros and Cons
AutoCAD Gives You Control
As discussed earlier, AutoCAD was created to be the all-in-all for every person in every domain. This means it gives you control over the smallest detail possible in your design in order for you to be in complete control of your design from top to bottom.
AutoCAD has a Learning Curve
The complete control given by AutoCAD comes with a price. In order for a user to be able to draft a gear box, for instance, that user needs to learn the ins and outs of all the relevant features. Without AutoCAD skills, it is almost impossible to carry out a design. Visit www.demoscad.net to see a software that is made for enhancing your AutoCAD skills.
If the user needs to go beyond the simple click-and-drag technique of drawing, there is also the need to have a sense of how to write scripts along with macro development.
AutoCAD is not Team-Friendly
Along with all this, the user of an AutoCAD design product must have a good grasp of its file types and layering capabilities in order to understand the design from another designer. This is when designers are working in a team, where designs are often shared and multiple versions of the same part are incorporated for trial purposes.
Despite being a heavyweight software, AutoCAD has limitations. AutoCAD was primarily a 2D software which was later fine-tuned into 3D software. It , therefore, lacks features that other 3D modeling software incorporate almost by default. It does not have many modeling capabilities that can be found in SolidWorks or CATIA.
AutoCAD does not have dynamic simulations as well as cable and harness modules. However, with relevant skills, one can still come up with fascinating designs using AutoCAD as shown in our gallery of DemosCAD software.
In conclusion, AutoCAD, according to industry standards, is at best a 2D modelling and documentation software as well as a training ground for those looking to get into 3D development. AutoCAD is not the most suitable 3D modelling and production software out there today.
Inventor Pros and Cons
No Full Control With Inventor
On the other hand, Inventor was created for the manufacturing phase. Where AutoCAD’s design was geometry-driven, Inventor’s was dimension-driven. This means there is a huge difference in the basics.
Inventor enables you to draw out a sketch and then manipulate it by tweaking the dimensions, as opposed to sketching an object with diligent control over aesthetics as well size and hoping that we end up on the right form and shape.
Drawing is simple with Inventor
With Inventor, all you need to do is sketch a raw form of the object, before finalizing its dimensions. This makes drawing simpler and more powerful.
Inventor has the ability to distinguish features from within a part and store them as individuals in the part/feature browser. This is an excellent quality, which means if you don’t like some small part in your design, you can simply select it from the browser instead of having to do away with the entire design object piece by piece. The old habit of delete and repeat the design goes out the window. To change a feature, you just change the dimension.
Inventor Supports Adaptation
This means the existing geometry knows how to update itself based on updates within the base part of the geometry. This base-part proportionality is not available in AutoCAD and it was cumbersome, to say the least, to see that a design object may or may not update itself when existing geometry would be manipulated. This is what led to the delete and repeat technique.
Another great thing about Inventor is there is no use of layers, or a command line, or a UCS. This may sound like I’m pro-Inventor but the truth is that Inventor presents many opportunities that AutoCAD just doesn’t touch upon, one of them is user-friendliness.
Overall, Inventor seems to be the smart choice for any and all 3D drawing applications. However, you have to take into account the fact that your particular need dictates your requirements. Consider that the whole of Disney World was created using AutoCAD. Inventor did not exist that time, SolidWorks and CATIA were new-borns and AutoCAD 3D did a tremendous job.
While AutoCAD gives you extreme control, Inventor offers you the ease-of-use.
With AutoCAD, you are offered exceptional design and pre-production flexibility, whereas with Inventor, you get post-development and manufacturing potential.
Written by John Macharia.
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