Re: Autodesk Inventor?

Date: Thu Feb 22 2001 - 19:49:57 EET

Hey guys,

I'm getting in on this conversation late, but anyway.....Have you tried SolidWorks? $5000, $1300 annual maintenance. Extremely robust program. Solids and Surfacing capabilities-- both parametric. Very easy to get started with but becomes more difficult as you get more advanced (understandably).You can set the keyboard up as a "hotkey" system. Large assemblies are possible. Way too many features to mention (or to use for that matter) Many many advantages over Rhino, but more expensive, too. Over 100,000 installs including educational.

I don't sell SolidWorks, but I do use it. I believe it's a great program. (I would not say this if I didn't mean it) SolidWorks, the company, is easy to deal with, also. Our VAR is excellent and has been an "extension" to our company. I have several CAD packages including RHINO. I use to use them all to create complex geometry. Not any more -- it's all done in SolidWorks, honestly.

Everyone has their preferences but don't let the keyboard issue drive your choice of a CAD system!!! I remember doing everything through the keyboard. In the early '90's when menus, buttons, and GUI started coming around, I hated it! Today, I would need an extra hand for the keyboard because with the mouse in the right hand and my SpaceBall in the left ($400, with hotkeys attached to it) the keyboard is hardly used.

This is only my humble opinion.

Dave Burbrink
ANZA, Inc.

PS For $500, I would buy RHINO just for its CAD conversion capabilities! It has a lot of import/export types.
  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Tom Richards
  To: Doty Mike
  Sent: Thursday, February 22, 2001 10:32 AM
  Subject: Re: Autodesk Inventor?

  Mike, From what I've heard from experienced users, Form Z might be the way to go. They seem to offer everything you are looking for as an experienced CAD designer except maybe parametrics. Also, CAD Key's ads read well. Both of those companies are long established. I see from NASA Tech Briefs that CAD Key's will be at the National Design Engineering Show in Chicago in March. Maybe others can comment on Form Z in particular. How well does Rhino meet all of your needs???

  At 01:43 PM 2/19/01 -0800, you wrote:

    I'm in the process now of determining which CAD package(s) to continue forward with. I prefer CV CADDS5, but Parametric Technologies bought Computervision and is trying to phase out CADDS5 in favor of Pro-E. I also use Autocad. I have preferred CADDS5 and Autocad over other systems since they allow the user to input commands directly, using the keyboard, instead of stepping through menus, which I find to be very distracting while trying to work. Menus are a great crutch for learning a system, but it is nice to have the option of using keyboard entry for more speed.

    I recently went to an Inventor training seminar, where I tried it a bit. It also is a departure from Autocad/Mechanical Desktop in that it only allows menu access. It has yet to incorporate the advanced surfacing contained in mechanical desktop. Otherwise, it is a nice package.

    I downloaded the Rhinocerous training version and have done some of the tutorials. So far, I like it. Also, from a business point of view, I prefer them over the other vendors in that they post the price of the package on their web site.

     Generally, when I'm researching something to buy, if I don't find the information on a product, including price, within 2 or 3 clicks on a site, I move on to the next vendor. Rhinocerous does this. The other vendors seem to want to play that annoying game where you have to interact with a salesperson in order to get the price and other specifics. Their web sites herd you around where they want you to go instead letting you go directly to the specifications, pricing and availability of the package. Also, Rhinocerous sells at a very good price for its capabilities. Unfortunately, it does not have a drafting/detailing package.

    When I'm looking at systems, I look for low price, a large installed user base, the option to enter commands directly through the keyboard, compatibility with other systems, low entry cost for training with online tutorials, parametric solids modelling with class A surfacing, and the ability to handle large (10,000+) parts assemblies.

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