FreeCAD vs Inventor Autodesk: Which CAD Software is the Best?

Every day new stylish, creative, and innovative design products are introduced in the market. For constructing even the smallest piece of design, you will need some specially crafted software, this is where FreeCAD and Inventor Autodesk come into play.

But what is the difference between this two modeling software? Architects ask themselves this question as they seek out the best option for their work. To find the best CAD software, every architect must select a program that perfectly suits their needs. If not, they might end up with an inefficient and stressful workflow otherwise.

Now, why FreeCAD and Inventor Autodesk specifically? Because these are two of the best architectural CAD systems available. Even so, they differ greatly, making it difficult, to sum up, their pros and cons. Therefore, in this article, we are doing a head-on comparison of the two; FreeCAD vs Inventor Autodesk.

But, before hopping onto the difference between the two and choosing which one works best for you, let’s understand what exactly are these two softwares:

What is FreeCAD?

FreeCAD, which has been around for more than 18 years, allows users to design real-life objects using a 3D interface. In short, it is a parametric 3D CAD modeling tool. In a parametric model, certain guidelines are followed (like dimensions, measurements, features).

Based on this specification, the model will have specific features, material density, and formulas for importing data. As the project progresses, parameters can be adjusted if needed. Any modification will be reflected in the changes.

What is Inventor?

With Autodesk Inventor software, you can develop 3D mechanical designs, documents, and simulate products. It is a powerful mix of parametric, direct, freeform, and rules-based capabilities that can be used to design effectively.

Since its release in 1999, the program has been able to differentiate from Inventor Autodesk in its modeling tools, which are different than Inventor Autodesk’s drafting tools.

FreeCAD vs Inventor Autodesk: A Head-to-Head Comparision

Now, let’s roll!

1. Pricing

Let’s begin our FreeCAD vs Inventor Autodesk comparison by looking at the pricing of both the modeling software.

From the name alone, FreeCAD implies free and open-source software. In other words, anyone can study or use the software freely, or modify it according to their requirements, so that it can openly be shared with other people who are empowered to do so.

On the other hand, Inventor Autodesk offers its service at $5,630 for three years.

From this perspective, FreeCAD can be considered to be a better choice for students and beginners in architecture. As a top-notch paid program, Inventor Autodesk has a number of advantages. As an example, it has very efficient customer support that is available all the time.

2. Features

CAD drafting is quite easy with both FreeCAD and Inventor Autodesk. Using industry-specific toolsets, Inventor Autodesk developers help users be more productive.

With its numerous features, architects can speed up their drawing process and increase their productivity. Furthermore, there are a number of plug-ins available to give you even more options. For the most part, though, the program already has a ton of useful features, and more are added every year.

FreeCAD provides its users the following features:

  • Path mode
  • Rendering
  • Standard formats
  • Full parametric model
  • Architecture
  • Sketcher
  • Robot simulation
  • Geometry kernel
  • Modular architecture

Inventor Autodesk offers the following features:

  • Content center
  • Parametric modeling
  • Sheet metal
  • Drawing creation
  • Shared view collaboration
  • Component generators and calculators
  • Model-based definition
  • Printed circuit board interoperability
  • Stress analysis
  • Design configurations
  • Automated frame design
  • Exploded views and animations
  • Dynamic simulation
  • Shape Generator
  • BIM interoperability
  • Work with non-native data
  • Assembly modeling
  • Freeform modeling
  • Tube and pipe design

3. Modelling

In Inventor Autodesk, using alternative modeling approaches, direct modeling, free form modeling, and the ability to import files, you can create 3D mechanical and sheet metal designs. A number of simulation features in Inventor enable you to perform stress analysis on parts or entire products, as well as apply forces to study movements, speeds, and accelerations.

In contrast, in FreeCAD parametric models are created by introducing multiple parameters. They include dimensions and constraints, which relate to geometric entities. Each parameter contributes to determining an object’s size and shape. The model automatically updates when new parameters are introduced or existing ones are modified. Because the entire object is affected, the level of precision is high. But, consequently, this kind of modeling requires meticulous planning.

4. Audience

FreeCAD’s targeted audience is Engineers looking for a professional 3D parametric modeler software solution. Whereas, Inventor Autodesk is usually considered best for product design, documentation, and simulations of products by product designers and engineers.

Conclusion

Now you know four key differences between Inventor Autodesk and FreeCAD. In choosing CAD software to suit your needs, we hope that this article has been helpful for you. After all, for a truly efficient workflow, it’s imperative to be aware of all the options at your disposal

 

 

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About the Author: Jason Dulk

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