9 Replies Latest reply on Feb 27, 2015 8:16 AM by Glenn Schroeder

    SolidWorks and Autodesk Inventor Professional

    Robert Calavetta

      I have been using Autodesk Inventor Professional for 6 years now but we are now thinking of switching to SolidWorks. If my company was to switch to SolidWorks will my Autodesk Inventor files be able to be editing using SolidWorks or will they become dumb files. We currently have over 300 parts/assemblies that have been created in Autodesk Inventor. Also we are using Autodesk Vault Professional to store our files. Will we still be able to check in and out SolidWork files using Vault Professional? We are using the Vault and Inventor 2012 version but do have the 2015 versions just not installed on our computers yet.

       

      Thanks in Advance,

      Robert

        • Re: SolidWorks and Autodesk Inventor Professional
          J. Mather

          The files will be converted to base solids.

          You can run feature recognition to rebuild history tree (I only use on features that I actually need to edit) or use direct editing techniques.

          Your assemblies will lose constraints.

          You are out of luck with existing associative 2D.

          • Re: SolidWorks and Autodesk Inventor Professional
            Robert Calavetta

            O man that will really stink losing all constraints on Assembly files. Base files are always a pain to edit as-well. Thanks for the heads-up

            • Re: SolidWorks and Autodesk Inventor Professional
              John Burrill

              Wow, what's driving that decision?

              Are you unable to do something in Inventor that can be done in SolidWorks?

              I mean, what J said is correct.  You're going to lose 60% of your work in translation.  Everything from metadata to, appearances and textures to 2D sketches to exploded views to drawings-whole freakin drawings will have to be recreated.

              Is it because Autodesk is putting an end to perpetual licensing?  That's not going to affect you since you already have your seats.

                • Re: SolidWorks and Autodesk Inventor Professional
                  Robert Calavetta

                  Well it is not because of licensing. I work as a contractor for the Government and for our contract we have three full time 3D designers using Inventor. We were the first ones to bring this capability into the building we work for 6 yesrs ago around But since then there has been many other designers that are now in the building using SolidWorks, around 30. They are also using a computer system with SolidWorks on it for 3D printing and CNC machining. My boss believes that we made a poor decision on using Inventor since knowone else in the building has followed suit and feels that we should transition over to SolidWorks to be compatible with everyone else. Reading what you guys have said though it looks like it will not be the smartest idea or move.

                    • Re: SolidWorks and Autodesk Inventor Professional
                      Glenn Schroeder

                      I can understand management wanting everyone using the same software.  Can you switch to SW for all new work, and just keep the old stuff as Inventor files?

                      • Re: SolidWorks and Autodesk Inventor Professional
                        Erik Bilello

                        Robert,

                        It looks looks the handwriting's on the wall, and the sooner you switch over the better (Do you think there's any chance you can convince the SW guys to move to Inventor? If you can pull that off, move into sales.)

                        I'd agree with Glen about keeping Inventor just for working with the old files and migrate them to SW as needed.  300 files is not really so many.  For some you can probably just save out to dumb solids to use in new SW assemblies, and for revisions that can be done without the need for feature history.  I find you can do a surprising amount of modification to "dumb" solids quite easily (check out "Move face" for instance).  Creating new assemblies and drawings is more hassle, but not as hard as all that.  I find that recreating a drawing is not so hard if you have have the original to work from, the real time went into the original, figuring out what views you need, how to fit everything neatly and clearly on the sheet, etc. etc.  The new one should go pretty fast.  You might also find this is an opportunity to clean up some of those old drawings (You know the ones I'm talking about, we all have them.)

                        If you do switch, and keep Inventor around for the legacy stuff, don't cling to it unnecessarily.  Move over to SW as soon, and as much, as you can.  At the same time I wouldn't bother moving things that can just stay in Inventor.

                    • Re: SolidWorks and Autodesk Inventor Professional
                      Mike Pogue

                      Leave your Inventor work in Inventor. Let your Inventor licenses lapse and you will still be able to make changes. Start fresh with SW and do things the way you wish you'd done them the first time.

                      • Re: SolidWorks and Autodesk Inventor Professional
                        Mike Bartlett

                        Robert,

                            My company moved from inventor to solidworks a few years ago.  They had almost ten years worth of designs and models.  I still keep a workstation with the old inventor installed to make use of these.  Things have been fine for us since moving across, as our designs are predominantly more bespoke to each customer. On the main if I require the use of some older files, I will convert the old models into a sat/iges file to import into solidworks and make use of those that remain unchanged, then design in the changes that are required using solidworks.  As previously said, there is an issue of updating 2D drawings, this hasn't been too much of an issue for me as we/you already have the drawings with the required vital info to copy from.

                        I'm glad we made the change for myself and for reasons of compatibility with our partners.

                        I find solidworks to be a lot better for drawing larger, more complex sheetmetal and weldment models in-context.

                        There are other things that "the other one" does better, but really its horses for courses.  If you look for differences and/or faults you will undoubtedly find them.  Its best to consider the benefits to you and your compatibility with your partners and other contractors you work with.

                        That being said it will fall upon you as the driver for this change to ensure the extra work required is met with and that the transition is as seamless as can be... believe me I have been there and only just seeing daylight!!!!

                         

                        Mike

                        • Re: SolidWorks and Autodesk Inventor Professional
                          Glenn Schroeder

                          Robert,

                           

                          This is going to be a little bit of unsolicited advice.  Feel free to ignore it if you want, but here goes.  If you do make the switch to SolidWorks, try to look at it with an open mind.  Specifically, concentrate your energy on learning how it works, and not on getting frustrated that it doesn't work like Inventor.  I see too many people here who have switched programs and get all bent out of shape when SW doesn't work the way they expect it to, or think it should.  I was fortunate that SW was the first CAD program I worked with, so I didn't have any preconceived ideas about it.

                           

                          Good luck,

                          Glenn