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Pro/E versus AutoDesk Inventor


New member
I have been using Pro/E for many a year now and I come from a qualified and experienced background. I have accepted a position in a company that is primarily a Machine Design House where I start after Christmas and I am looking forward to it. They use AutoDesk Inventor (Version 7 or 8 I think) as their software for design and development. Their reasons for not using Pro/E is because they say; 1) Pro/E is more expensive; 2) harder and longer to learn; 3) more expensive training costs; 4) they are getting along with Inventor and it gets the job done; 5) lastly Pro/E personnel are harder to retain because they are more in demand and also demand a higher salary. Right, that is the background and here is the question. -->> What is the ammunition that can be fired back at them to say that they would be better off with Pro/E as opposed to Inventor given their POINTS to the contrary? You see I have no experience with AutoDesk Inventor and I am guessing that there are some of you that have experience with both Pro/E and Inventor.


Active member
I have been using Pro Engineer 2001 since March 2001 todate and started working on Inventor 6.0 since last year. I am good to use both softwares now. I can't comment anything about salary but about the techniques there is a hell of difference.

Pro Engineer is ten times faster than Inventor and much more flexible than Inventor. Actually it is the size of the project that matters. If the project is small may be inventor works the same as Pro Engineer but as the projects gets bulky you will really feel the difference.

And now with Wildfire release Pro Engineer has got much more advancements and you can't compare Inventor with it.



I don't use Inventor but would never even consider it due to Autodesks abysmal track record in solids modeling. Inventor is about their 4th attempt. Everytime their product has been very weak and when they came out with a new product they left their users holding the bag. No upward compatibility, no support for the old software.


New member
You're going to hire into a company and want to recommend a change without knowing both? Ok.

1) I don't think there's any appreciable difference in cost. Both were around 5K US, last time I looked. Maint costs are comparable, but you don't get anything out of the Adesk subscription except updates (support and knowledge base are functionally non-existent). It could be argued that the updates are counterproductive; a whole new set of bugs every 8 months or so, data to migrate, etc. with marginal gains in truly productive functionality. (Same could be said of PTC, but Adesk takes the shell game concept to a whole new dimension.)

There would probably be some considerable cost involved in changing an established system.

2) Pro/E may be a little harder to learn, but I don't think that's a worthwhile parameter unless they have a high user turn over. I used Adesk software from MDT2 to IV7, purchased Wildfire a few months ago. I'm self taught in all three and it didn't take any longer to pick up Wildfire than it took me to make the transition from MDT to IV, due in large part to the amount of tutorial information available for Pro/E; most notably the Suggested technique... articles on PTC's site. If they are getting along well, it may not be a factor, but if you want to talk about a learning curve, try doing something that a software isn't well suited to. Adesk software is well suited to prismatic parts, plate and angle assemblies. Anything else is a struggle.

3) No opinion.

4) That's hard to argue if you don't know the capabilities of both. Why don't you learn IV and then show them? It could be that for their purposes there would be little return on the investment. Pro/E is orders of magnitude superior to IV in almost all respects, but it could be they are only using a portion of IV's capability.

5) Pro/E users go for a higher rates. Well versed IV users are hard to find. The software just isn't very widely used. Pay no attention to any seat counts published. Adesk merged the MDT and IV programs so any MDT user that upgraded, either purchased or as a result of subscription, has a copy of IV (the great Inventor giveaway).


New member
The replies are appreciated. Thanks.

One of the main reasons why the question was asked is because I have these suspicions that are pointed out in ye're replies, but I don't have the experience with Inventor to back it up myself. I have seen the sort of machines that this company designs and produces, and my impression is that the likes of Pro/E, or something close to it, should be the software of design choice (especially so from what one reads along the way about various design software, and also from my design past with respect to Pro/E). I have no reservations in learning new stuff or software. Therefore it is not my intention to recommend a change of software. But who knows, at some point it might be, if suspicions are anything to go by. And at that possible point in time, I'll have some ammunition thanks to all of ye're replies.

But I would like to know more in relation HOW or WHY Pro/E is that much more advanced than Inventor, given that this company designs pretty trick stuff, not so much surfacing related though.




New member
Inventor does have some good points. Adequate for prismatic shapes, and beyond, but the adequacy (and performance) falls off pretty steeply with increases in the shapes complexity. There's no way to, for instance, create a four sided surface that's G1 in the U and V direction (U only and that's iffy), G2; no such thing. The kernel is based on ACIS 6 or 7, which Adesk purchased the source code for and says they are developing their own kernel. Rumor has it that D-Cubed has been contracted for that development. Going on two years now and not much to show for it yet. (Brings me to another, speculation on my part, point; they don't develop much in-house, but contract or purchase code and then interface it. Seems to be a good explanation for why there is so little improvement after the initial, usually troubled, offerings.) It has decent assembly characteristics, including motion. So-so documentation / drawing creation capabilities. All in all, were it not for the continual beta test program the users are force to participate in, stability and corruption issues, etc. it wouldn't be a bad choice for around 2 to 3K vs. Wildfire at 5K, though from what I've read about some of the feature / interface improvments coming in Wildfire 2, IV's relative worth (IV 8 was just released and thus far the response has been luke warm, at best) may slip a little more.

The why is hard to pin down, but I think much of it can be attributed to advertising, marketing propaganda (as a frequent Inventor NG participant, it appears to me that not many Adesk customers know anything about the more recent goings on at PTC; still think 20K US is required to get started, nor will any such info be aired there), and users reluctance to expend the, not insignificant, resources to fully evaluate another product once they have a solution they think is working well enough, much less make the investment to change. Autodesk was banking on this when they gave Inventor to all the existing MDT users.

Just my take on it....


i don't believe that autodesk has the knowledge to develop a software like proe..

As we all know they has started with the mechanical desktop which was a total failure, then they bring up to the market the Inventor, but i don't believe that this software is able to be compared with other high-end packages like proe..

may be in a few years...



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