What are the advantages and disadvantages of these 3 cad systems Inventor 2012, Solidworks 2012, AutoCAD 2012?

Dear Sir/Madam
I am needing some information on CAD systems.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of these 3 cad systems please.
Inventor 2012,
Solidworks 2012,
AutoCAD 2012.
I have attached a word doc for your answers.
Kind regards
Laurence Masson.

Comments 1

5 Answers

Laurence, I have to say that asking a forum of predominent SolidWorks users, you will get a weighted response. Realistically, you should exclude AutoCAD 2012 if you are considering Inventor because you get AutoCAD for free with Inventor and it is not a parametric program like the other two. Heck Inventor even writes to native AutoCAD files as well.

Really the two main in comparision do really the same things, you will find SolidWorks has been a bit stale over the last three revisions and has always been truncated as to not step on Dassault's large software (Catia) whereas Inventor is more of a flagship product for Autodesk and you get a whole slew of software now when you buy it (Alias, Sketchbook, AutoCAD Mechanical, 3ds Max, Showcase).

Here is what you really need to consider, what pricing you can get for both and do you have any contractural agreements in place to deliver files in a certain format. Get demonstrations of each from your reseller and see who can support you the best as you pick up the new software. Some resellers will hand you the software and you will never see them again. It is important you have good communication with your vendor for more than just quotes.

Now if you really want to see some side by side comparatives, there is a Technicom study going around that does showcase some higher end differences in the software in regards to Mold Design, Routed Systems, and other categories although a little one sided, its not as biased as some people think.

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While I can't say anything regarding Solidworks as I have no experience with Solidworks. I have a good deal of experience in AutoCAD and Inventor, and I use both programs (keep in mind I only have the 2011 version, not the 2012 you mentioned). AutoCAD is good because it is like an "all purpose" drafting program. in this I mean that AutoCAD can be used to make drawings for many fields, I have used it for mechanical drawings, architectural drawings, maps etc. AutoCad can also make some pretty good solid models. However AutoCad is limited in parametric area, in AutoCAD 2011 they have just started to bring in dimensional parametrics & geometric constraints, but its not that great.
Inventor is excellent in the parametrics area, dimensional & geometric constraints, parameter adaptation etc. Inventor is especially good in the assembly area (it has a seperate area for part models and assembly models).
Inventors big downfall is that it is designed to work in the mechanical area only. Autodesk (the company that makes both products) does have a parametric architechtural program called Revit.

Its my understanding that Solidworks is mostly the same as Inventor. I would say if you just have mechanical type drawings to do you should go with Inventor or Solidworks, if you have other types you should consider AutoCAD.

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In a few words: AutoCAD is good for 2D and SolidWorks is good for 3D.
Autodesk Inventor is also good for 3D but I preffer SolidWorks instead.

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Оба продукта хороши и оба дополняют друг друга Inventor 2012, Solidworks 2012. Inventor 2012, например, может проектировать цепные и ременные передачи. Зубчатые приводы в нем проектируются легко. Но вот сопряжения делать лучше в Solidworks. К недостаткам Solidworks следует отнести тот факт, что автомат скруглений в этой версии работает некорректно. Да и все проверки пересечений только усложняют жизнь, при проектировании. Не надейтесь, что получите корректный импорт-экспорт между nventor 2012, Solidworks 2012. Это видимо политика разработчиков.

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I don't know the advantage of Solid Works or Inventor. However, I can say I can draw anything with autocad. I do use inventor fusion to convert drawing formats. As far as drawing, I use AutoCAD to draw automotive bodies, human figures, etc. I am very good with AutoCAD and after 20 or so years of using it, then I've gotten quite good at it/

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