Why Solidworks over Inventor?

Hey all-
I’ve been looking at some new CAD options, to learn more and spread out my knowledge. And so I decided I’d check out Solidworks. So here’s my question: Why Solidworks over Inventor? The kind of answer I’m looking for is a concise list of advantages, and maybe some cons. In all, convince me to migrate over to Solidworks. Keep in mind I’m advanced in Inventor, so basic CAD principles (dimensioning, machinability, weight, etc.) are all basic knowledge.

So why should I go to Solidworks?

I felt it was incredibly easy to pick up solidworks, while it is still very powerful as you get more and more advanced. Its user interface is stunningly intuitive, and the tutorial works wonders.

No to both. Autodesk all the way!!! VIVA!

i recently switched over to solidworks from inventor because of a mentorship im going to be doing this summer. One of the biggest advantages of solidworks is that it is the industry standard moreso than inventor. It is also on the rise. advanced solidworks prowess will be more beneficial careerwise than inventor. I agree that solidworks is alot more intuitive than inventor. I also like all of the different viewing options in solidworks alot.

some cons to solidworks are its movement. One thing i miss about inventor is that the scroll wheel clicking pans for you, in solidworks it rotates your view instead. I like pan alot more, especially when im working off 2d sketches. Another con of solidworks is the buttons. Its like it was made for blind people. you have a couple of massive buttons on the top bar and small ones off the screen that take 2 clicks to get to. in inventor you had plenty of small buttons on the left that you remember where they are so you dont need to see them that well. i think that modifying the toolbar some cna change this though.

all in all, i would choose solidworks. the switch to solidworks from inventor is easy, so get an educational copy and start learning. It will pay off in the longrun.

I find Solidworks a LOT more user friendly like the others have said. There are a ton of options and its easy to pick up, especialy if you already know inventor.

If you hold down ctrl + Middle mouse button then you pan instead of rotate. I think you can change the buttons to do different things in the options too somewhere, there is a lot of customization possible, but not needed.

Alot more companies use SolidWorks. I’m told its a good intro to ProE but I don’t know about that. It is easier to make a bill of materials in solidworks. Some of the calculations are easier to do, like measuring. SolidWorks can be used with other more complex programs to find things like vibration effects or FEA. SolidWorks can also be used to create machining programs automatically.

Huh? How is that?

JD Mather
Autodesk Inventor Certified Expert
Certified SolidWorks Professional

Alright, I like what I’m hearing. I like it enough to look into getting a copy or license of Solidworks. Anyone know the best way to go about this as a FIRST student and soon to be college ME student?

Contact Solidworks and tell them that you are considering switching to solidworks.

One of our mentors is a certified solidworks professional and uses it at work. He got solidworks to sponsor us with 15 or 20 licenses. It rocks!

I have a student trial version and it doesn’t have all the features of the regular version. If you decide to get a student version, make sure that it has everything you’re expecting.

seeing as you are:

  1. a student likely to use 3d modeling in your future
  2. a current inventor user
  3. considering a switch at such an impresionable time in your life

im sure solidworks would love to convert you. to them, a free copy now while a student just makes you dependent on them so that by the time youre out of college you need to buy their next edition (what number are they on now? 7?) which will cost tons of money. they profit by giving you cheap software, so go for it. just explain the circumstances and ask for an educational copy or a regular copy.

Already been done;) , and my copy is in the mail.

Good luck and have fun with solidworks!

Ummm…I am not sure if you are aware of this but have you ever heard the phrase “Autodesk Inventor”?

Invetor is an Autodesk product.


I also Am going to switch to Solidworks… maybe
It is the industrial standard around where I live, and we have allot of high tech companies around here. one of our biggest sponsors is willing to hook us up with some licenses.

The only reason I See to switch is that it is more common.

Well, i’m a Solidworks guy on 469, LasGuerrillas.

I’ve never used inventor, so I can’t say if it’s better or not, but Solidworks is a great tool! It’s easy to learn (i learned in just a few hours, and was able to model many things for the team the last season). Easy to use, in my oppinion, because it has a user-friendly interface. It looks nice, etc.

I would recomend that all teams who get a chance at least try to use it a few times, and pick which they like more, soldworks or inventor, or something else.

Actually halk is right, though it’s not a standard feature. There is an add on package you can install on top of SolidWorks called CAMWorks. CAMWorks is fully integrated into SolidWorks similar to the way COSMOS and PhotoWorks can be. This way inside SolidWorks you could create all your toolpaths and post process them without having to use multiple programs.

I’ve never actually used it myself, though I’ve seen it in action and have heard good and bad reviews of it.

There’s SolidCAM as well, and as you said, there are good and bad reviews of it too (which is true about any CAD/CAM application). If anyone is interested, there’s a free trial available at www.solidcam.com. It requires registration, and won’t post out g-code, but other than that it’s fully functional (I haven’t gotten it to actually complete the download, but maybe others might have better luck).