ProE vs Inventor

I’m the CAD leader at 862 and I’m interested in possibly switching to ProE from Inventor, due to Windchill possibly being awesome. Can anyone relate experiences of switching, or good/bad experiences with Windchill? We have a major issue sharing files on my team, Windchill just seems like a dream come true. I obviously need to test it for myself, but I am interested in knowing if I’m just wasting my time.

I have used Pro-E for a little and I can say for sure that how parts are drawn in Inventor is different from Pro-E just something to conider.


My name is Mark Fischer, Director for the PTC Education Program. I would be happy to help you with the transition to Pro/ENGINEER and Windchill. PTC has provided a number of resources that help make the transition painless.

If interested, please send me an email at

I can setup a call to discuss the resources and directions to getting started.


See if you can get a Vault serve set up. I use this at work for our CAD, and it’s seamless for version tracking and distributing files between team members. Then you can stick to Inventor, and focus more on design.

Autodesk stopped providing the Vault server software to FIRST several years ago. The client comes built-in with Inventor, but the server software is only available on a 30day corporate trial. Otherwise one must pay the full retail price of several thousand dollars.

I’ll admit my opinion is biased since I’ve been an administrator for PTC products for a number of years as well as a designer using PTC products for even longer.

On that note, my advice to all FIRST teams is to take advantage of PTC products being offered. PTC products are all high-end, professional tools and are free to students in FIRST. A huge benefit to students is the training supplied with these tools. The Pro/E exercises for the FIRST tech challenge teach you pretty much everything you need to design and analyze your robot. Mathcad is a fantastic tool.

So, I won’t get into what CAD tool is the best, because I believe they are all good depending on what you need them for. What I would advise is that you take advantage of everything PTC is offering through FIRST. This stuff will help make you more employable as well aid in designing a first rate robot.

Good luck to you!