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 ? ­čÖé

Inventor 2008 now reads also Solidworks files

July 17, 2007

Autodesk has added support of Solidworks .sldprt and .sldasm file format to Inventor 2008 and Inventor LT.

With the updated Translator module available as “technology preview” on you can add Solidworks, Pro/E, Granite, UG-NX and Parasolid files to your Inventor 2008. The Solidworks format was added today to this module. You can work with Solidoworks file formats 2003 up to 2007.

Inventor is much faster than Solidworks, Pro/E, Catia

July 11, 2007

Today I have received an interesting performance benchmark comparing Inventor with other major mechanical CAD applications. It claims Inventor to be 2-4x faster than Catia, 2-4x (up to 20x) faster than UG NX, 3.6x faster than Solidworks and 1.5x faster than Pro/Engineer Wildfire. Inventor also consumes less memory – e.g. half of the memory resources needed for CATIA or Pro/E Wildfire for the same assembly.

The tests were performed on a set of parts and assemblies ranging from 100 parts up to 4879 part instances and on patterns with 4000 features. See the full performance benchmark report (PDF).

I would say that any 3D modeler is considered too slow and too RAM hungry by its users – especially on larger data sets. And even if it won’t help, it is good to know that other software is probably even slower.