Home » SolidWorks vs Inventor

Inventor and Solidworks are two of the most popular 3D CAD modeling applications in most industries today. However, comparing SolidWorks vs Inventor by considering their distinguishing characteristics, deciding which is the greatest is always a challenge. While some people choose Solidworks for its ease of use, others find Inventor a better fit for their needs. Both can assist design engineers in easily modeling complicated geometries and integrating their modules or features to extend the design for other departments.



SolidWorks is Dassault’s most prominent 3D design application for industrial and mechanical models. Solidworks is a market leader in the 3D industry. It is a professional-level computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided engineering (CAE) program. You may use Solidworks to create mechanical parts, sophisticated machinery assemblies, and welding structures, among other things. SolidWorks is a solid modeling application, as the name suggests. SolidWorks allows users to design models, components, and assemblies using a parametric function-based method. Models in SolidWorks usually start with a 2D drawing before being extruded in 3D with a range of SolidWorks tools.

No matter how large the assemblies are, SolidWorks can easily handle them. Users may now work with bigger assemblies and modify them in large design review mode, thanks to the newest SolidWorks upgrades.


Inventor is a structural design, simulation, visualization, and 2D and 3D documentation software suite by Autodesk. Inventor, like SolidWorks, is an advanced simulation program that allows users to generate solid models and sheet metal components using Autodesk’s unique ShapeManager geometric modeling core. The Inventor also has direct editing, freeform modeling capabilities, and parametric modeling. Autodesk Inventor, like any good CAD program, comes with various simulation capabilities to assist engineers in designing the right product while lowering production costs. Motion simulation at the assembly level and tension analysis functions are also included in its capabilities. Users may simulate stress, deviation, and movement to test their ideas and models in real-world scenarios before they happen.

Autodesk Inventor’s main goal is to allow you to design, evaluate, and prepare complicated mechanical systems for manufacture. 3D modeling, sheet metal design, tube and pipe design, and electrical system design are all included in the package. 

You’ll get access to complex simulation software and much more. 

SolidWorks vs Inventor

A comparison of Dassault Systemes’ Solid Works vs. Inventor is akin to comparing the PS3 Gaming Console with the Xbox 360 since both CAD software have similar drafting tools and are designed to be used in similar projects by professionals working from similar perspectives. It is very hard to compare software programs without establishing a clear foundation or criteria to apply to achieve an unbiased comparison. Hence, the following criteria will be used to differentiate between this powerful 2D and 3D professional CAD software.

SolidWorks vs Inventor: Similarities and Differences in Features

Both Solidworks and Inventor have similar extrude and revolve features in which both the start and end conditions for extruding and revolving must be a surface.

The differences in features between applications, the profile complexity in Inventor is limited, and bidirectional sweep is not possible. Solidworks offers a feature called Profile Complexity that allows you to sweep detailed profiles in both directions. For patterns, Inventor can create linear or rectangular paths but not skip instances, whereas Solidworks can create linear/rectangular paths as well as skip instances. The same holds for circular patterns in both applications.

SolidWorks vs Inventor:  Similarities and Differences in Functions

The differences between the applications are in the specifics, such as how they carry out activities, which inspection choices they provide, and which workflow aids they provide, among other characteristics that will be discussed in further depth below.

SolidWorks allows you to conduct mouse gestures by customizing right-click gestures to boost productivity while working and setting up configuration. Configurations, which can be found in one of the Feature Manager Design Tree’s tabs, are a highly essential and powerful function of SolidWorks. As the name indicates, the function allows for several configurations of the same part or assembly. In addition, history-based modeling is also possible with Solidworks.

In comparison to SolidWorks, Inventor places a greater emphasis on scripting to automate and parameterize design. When creating assemblies, SolidWorks employs mates, whereas Inventor uses constraints, joints, and parameters. Inventor’s Shared View Collaboration function allows you to share a view with others. The perspective is solely visual and merely displays the model, which does not move or have any settings.

SolidWorks vs Inventor: Pros and cons

SolidWorks features far more powerful solid feature choices than Autodesk Inventor, enabling more complicated geometries to be generated faster and easily. 

Also, all Autodesk products are only accessible on a subscription basis, which may be renewed month-to-month, yearly, or every three years. However, because it is a subscription, you will never actually own it, unlike SolidWorks, which has a permanent license (meaning you own it). Therefore, it is a less expensive and more convenient alternative as a long-term corporate solution. This means SolidWorks is also a better alternative for long-term businesses.

Along with their 3D CAD software, both Autodesk and SolidWorks provide various software products, such as SolidWorks Simulation and Autodesk’s Fusion 360. Many SolidWorks programs are integrated into the application and feel complete. In contrast, many Autodesk programs, on the other hand, are “light” or restricted versions of established products that do not have all of their features.

SolidWorks vs Inventor: Areas of application

Both tools are excellent choices for large-scale tasks. However, when designing large-scale items, such as those found in industrial facilities, SolidWorks is preferable since the program’s configuration feature makes working with several versions of the same component easier. 

Inventor, on the other hand, is ideal for collaborative projects since it allows teams to evaluate creations almost step-by-step and save them in Autodesk’s cloud. 

1. Engineering Design: The Inventor includes 3D drawing tools, sheet metal design capabilities, plastic design integration with Alias, harness and cable design, and sophisticated assembling features that let users manage every stage of the component assembly process. It enables flexible pipe design and comes with iLogic and iCopy capabilities to reduce component assembly time. SolidWorks gives users access to sketching tools for 2D/3D models; “the conics in sketcher” allows users to adjust forms and their associated dimensions, and it also gives them access to material modeling capabilities for all fundamental material kinds. It also includes tools and capabilities for pipe modeling. It comes with an easy-to-use junction function. It’s a powerful tool for enhancing a model’s functionality. SolidWorks automates the task of an Estate Surveyor by calculating material prices and environmental consequences. 

2. CAD Software Rendering and Simulation: The Inventor is a sophisticated piece of software that can be used to render and simulate large projects with ease. It has integrated motion simulator capabilities for previewing scenes, analyzing project characteristics to forecast potential defects due to stress, and an Eco Material Advisor to help with design sustainability. Also, SolidWorks has the capabilities and tools you’ll need to easily manage solid and fluid representations and simulations. For example, the “flow simulation” capability may handle virtual fluid design, geometrics, and fluids’ photorealistic feel/look after simulation. SolidWorks also includes the tools you’ll need to debug projects and identify stress points and structural problems.

3. Interoperability with Other CAD Software Applications: The Inventor is compatible with AutoCAD DWG and DXF files and PDF files and may be modified to be interoperable with other building information systems. Inventor may also be used to convert CAD files and share data with external sources. Earlier versions of SolidWorks lack capabilities allowing interoperability with other building information modeling systems. Still, its latest version is designed to function flawlessly with external CAD software and easily access other file types in its workspace.


Both of the CAD programs in this comparison have their strengths and weaknesses. While Inventor may be a superior tool for numerous CAD users to work with simultaneously, SolidWorks offers additional tools for project simulation, fluid mechanics management, and the unique capability of estimating the cost of constructing a project in real-time.