Friday, September 26, 2008

Day 4 - Autodesk Inventor vs. Solidworks

(Warning Technical Jargon)
While I am waiting for my CAD material from HUBO lab I have been teaching / familiarizing myself Solidworks. I have been making a series of tutorials for Basic and Advanced Solidworks knowledge building. I have dug up a few 3D drawing practices that I used in Advanced Mechanical Drawing in high school to learn Autodesk Inventor. The software came with an online tutorial that was informative to show how to locate the drawing options, just i needed some supplementary material concrete my skills. Therefore, I remodeled each drawing into a 3D model using Soildworks. In the following images and descriptions I'll describe my opinions of both pieces of software.

Can you figure out which software is what?

Can you tell the difference yet?

Well to the trained eye the Autodesk Inventor would be to the top and the Solidworks would be to the bottom. The first thing you would notice is the colors. I tried to match the color as best I could I to show the color features of both software. I was always under the impression that Soildworks had a very flashy color scheme for their models, but Autodesk Inventor 2008 has diffidently passed Solidworks abilities. In modeling there were many things that annoyed me or helped me, but ill focus on a few. In Solidworks the ability to rotate the part with the roller wheel on the mouse is a helpful feature especially in Assemblies. Also the Hole Wizard took some time to get used too, but it is helpful to make standard holes. The only issue is you have to arbitrarily place the hole then demension inside of the wizard. Also it lacks the visual threading features. I still prefer the way Autodesk Inventor takes care of this, they split holes into two steps. The user can place holes (just + signs designating center) during drawing mode and dimension accordingly. Then in solids mode create the proper hole parameters. Solidworks also has a helpful trim tool used to cut loose ends of sketches. The user can draw a free flowing curve over desired lines, what ever it touches it eliminates.

Autodesk Inventor is still ranked at the top of my list on CAD software for modeling. They always say "its tough to teach and old dog new tricks". But I believe by the end of Co-Op I will have matched my skills that I have in Autodesk Inventor for Solidworks.


Josh said...

cool comparison. it is a bit of a challenge to create similar models in the two programs even though some of the feature are very similar. Hope your co-op goes well! Check out when you have a chance! see ya,


Mommom said...

Hi RJ,
Yes, that was pretty technical stuff but interesting! Can't wait to talk to you this weekend. We hope you're eating well at the cafeteria. What's the weather like?
Mom, Dad, & Mommom