System requirements for Inventor 2013

March 18, 2012

With an impending release of Autodesk Inventor 2013, here are the system requirements for this new version. From what I can see, they are quite similar to the previous version 2012 so there are no surprises this time:

  • Windows 7 (SP1) (32-bit or 64-bit) Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate, or Enterprise edition (recommended; Win7-64 recommended for large assemblies), Windows XP Professional (SP3), or Windows XP Professional x64 Edition (SP2); no Vista!
  • Intel Pentium 4, 2 GHz or faster; Intel Xeon, Intel Core, AMD Athlon 64, or AMD Opteron or later processor
  • 2 GB RAM (min. 1 GB for Inventor LT; 8 GB for complex models – more than 1.000 parts)
  • Microsoft Direct3D 10 (recommended) or Direct3D 9 capable graphics card
  • 1,280 x 1,024 or higher screen resolution
  • Internet connection for web downloads and Subscription Aware access
  • Adobe® Flash® Player 10
  • Microsoft Mouse-compliant pointing device
  • Internet Explorer 6.x through 9
  • Excel 2003 through 2010 for iFeatures, iParts, iAssemblies, thread customization, and spreadsheet-driven designs
  • Microsoft .Net Framework 4.0

Autodesk Inventor 2013 free (for Mechanical users)

March 2, 2012

We have been informed that our AutoCAD Mechanical (with subscription) will be changed to Autodesk Product Design Suite 2013 this year – a gift similar to that from the last year. The Product Design Suite will include both AutoCAD Mechanical 2013 and Autodesk Inventor 2013! So we will get Inventor 2013 for free. This is a welcomed way for us to increase the number of Inventor seats without any investment.

Plus we get Autodesk Showcase (also part of the Suite) that seems to more and more a better and easier way to visualize 3D designs that using 3ds Max or Inventor Studio.

Thank you in advance, Autodesk!

Unexpected gift from Autodesk

June 12, 2011

Instead of the expected usual upgrade to Inventor 2012 (Inventor Professional in our case) we have received a box with many new AutoCAD application we haven’t used or bought before – just a free gift. Thank you, Autodesk.

The new Inventor Suite is called “Autodesk Product Design Suite Ultimate” and it contains: Inventor Professional, Alias Design, AutoCAD Mechanical, Autodesk Showcase, Vault, 3ds Max Design, SketchBook Designer, Autodesk Mudbox. From these, I like the most the 3ds Max Design as I have always tried to make compelling presentations of my 3D models and Max has much more options than Inventor Studio.

Not all applications from the Design Suite are localized. The installation is performed from a USB key, not from usual DVDs. You can choose which applications do you need to install. E.g. I have skipped the Mudbox software.

And, BTW – Inventor 2012 is great! I like the “gesture” menus.

Inventor and Solidworks compared – who is the winner?

August 5, 2010


I have received a PDF document with a deep comparison study performed by TechniCom Group. This study is dated August 2010 so it must have been done quite recently.

The TechniCom whitepaper compares Inventor Professional 2011 and Solidworks Premium 2010 in 15 functional areas (161 individual questions), using a group of experts for each software product.

As an Inventor user and as a participant of frequent disputes with my school-mate Sergio (he is a Solidworks fan) I am very proud that Inventor has won this comparison in astonishing 15 cases (of 15)!

They were comparing the functions included in the following packages, with no third party add-ins – i.e. Inventor 2011 Professional Suite with Inventor Fusion, Autodesk Vault for Workgroups, AutoCAD Electrical, Inventor Publisher, and Showcase vs. SolidWorks 2010 Premium, SolidWorks Workgroup PDM, SolidWorks PhotoView 360, and 3DVIA.

The 15 key areas included in the comparison were (and the point score for Inventor vs. SWX):

  1. Part Modeling (2.8 > 2.5)
  2. Assembly Modeling (3.1 > 3.0)
  3. Simulation (2.6 > 2.4)
  4. Mixed Modeling – parametric+direct (3.2 > 2.7)
  5. Plastic Part Design (3.6 > 2.3)
  6. Sheet Metal Design (2.9 > 2.8)
  7. Interoperability (3.4 > 2.6)
  8. Documentation/Drawings (2.2 > 1.8)
  9. Visualization (3.4 > 2.9)
  10. Design Automation (3.4 > 2.9)
  11. Mechanotronics (2.3 > 1.7)
  12. Mold Design (3.0 > 2.1)
  13. Routed Systems (3.0 > 2.1)
  14. BIM – Building Information Modeling (2.3 > 0.8)
  15. Data Management (3.0 > 2.7)

You preferences and weights for the individual areas may vary, so you can perform your own comparision, but this is what experts are saying.

Sergio, do you listen ? 🙂

Inventor file translators – overview

August 4, 2010

Autodesk Inventor is known for its open approach to foreign file formats. It includes translators for import and export of many popular file formats used in the mechanical industry – you don’t to buy any additional software to read and write STEP, IGES, Parasolid, Catia files, etc. Importing foreign 3D models is a rather common and frequent job – at least I do it almost daily.

Mark Flayler from Imaginit has published a clearly organized table of all translators available in the current versions of Inventor, including Inventor 2011. Download this PDF file from his blog.

3D electronic parts for Inventor

March 9, 2010

If you design electronics or electromechanical assemblies, you might find usefull a library of free 3D electronic parts available for download at CADforum. Recently I have searched for a model of a TO39 package and found this rather large library of transistors, diodes, capacitors and IC packages. The models are clean and easy to modify.

Electronic parts

Inventor documentation online

August 8, 2009

Autodesk recently puts the electronic documentation of its CAD software on the web. You can browse AutoCAD help files online in the same way as you do locally, the same applies to Revit and Civil 3D. All these resources are available on the web site

Unlike the other CAD products, Inventor documentation is downloadable only – you cannot browse it online. The CHM and PDF files which are normally in your Inventor Help folder can be downloaded by everyone.

There are also other new Autodesk web resources for Inventor users – e.g. the Manufacturing Resource Center at: