Surfacing Showdown: Autodesk Inventor Vs. The Rest

Which 3D MCAD package does it faster, with less features, better control & feedback with higher surface quality?

With a number of different surfacing technologies in the MCAD market, I thought it would be interesting to see how Autodesk Inventor’s Freeform Modelling (using N.U.R.B.S with T-Splines), stacked up against the rest.

CAD Systems

In this review, the following CAD systems are benchmarked:surface

Autodesk Vs. Dassault Systemes

  • Inventor Vs. CATIA V5*
  • Inventor Vs. Solidworks

Autodesk Vs. PTC

  • Inventor Vs. Creo

Autodesk Vs. Siemens

  • Inventor Vs. NX
  • Inventor Vs. Solid Edge

In the Australian market, these are the 6 main 3D Mechanical CAD systems on offer, so that’s what was focused on. I didn’t compare surfacing specific tools like Autodesk Alias or Rhinoceros as they don’t do Mechanical CAD Design.

*There were no CATIA V6 vidos that I could find that demonstrated a surface from start to finish.

How Surfacing Was Benchmarked

Demonstrating an unbiased and fair ‘apples for apples’ scenario is difficult but, with so much content on the Internet, I’ve put together a video series that shows how the same surface is done inside Autodesk Inventor compared to competing 3D Mechanical CAD packages that ship ‘out-of-the box’ without any 3rd party tools or additional add-ons.

To get the most fairest comparison possible, I’ve have referenced videos that were not edited from start to finish, had a decent time length to showcase the tools, were created by either CAD Vendors, CAD Resellers or when neither were available, a user who by the looks of things had experience.

I looked for models that were Industrial Design based rather than Automotive Design, because the Automotive industry uses surface specific software like Autodesk Alias rather than Mechanical CAD Software for surfacing.

Most videos that fit that criteria are tutorials, so speed of the design becomes a factor, so in fairness, videos created showcasing Autodesk Inventor with the same surface, was done at ‘tutorial speed’.

The criteria assessed was how much time it took to complete the design, the amount of planes, sketches and features required to create the model, and the surface quality of the model.

In the first of 3 series, see how Autodesk Inventor performed against Dassault Systemes CATIA and Solidworks.

Autodesk Inventor Vs Dassault Systemes CATIA

Autodesk Inventor Vs Dassault Systemes Solidworks

Autodesk Inventor Vs. Dassault Systemes Solidwork In-Depth Feature Comparison

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