Continue to Site

Welcome to MCAD Central

Join our MCAD Central community forums, the largest resource for MCAD (Mechanical Computer-Aided Design) professionals, including files, forums, jobs, articles, calendar, and more.

WildFire Vs Inventor 9


New member
My company is currently using WildFire Flex3C, but are undecided as to wheather or not to change over to Inventor 9. The main reason for considering a change is due toPTC maintenance & support costs.

My colleagues and I have seen numerous demos of IV9, but have not had any 'hands-on' experience.

Before we make a decision we would appreciate any feedback regarding the functionality of IV9 as compared to WildFire.
Hi Lee74

I would like to give you me humble opinion on that hot topic.

First i have been using both for a not neglictable period of time.I was very impressed by the ease of use and learning of Inventor compare to Pro/E. I was also very impressed of high quality and utility of graphical and user interfaces.It is of a greath quality and show a huge care for detail an ergonomy.

That is for sure that autodesk is a great developper with a strong power of developpement ressources. Nothing to compare.

But in my opinion those midrange software(Solidwork, Solidede ect.)are far awayof the capability of Pro/E in any area.

I have been using 3D modeling for 10 years and you cannot compare the both market. The midrang and high end like Pro/E, Unigraphics , Catia...

It really depends on your need and also your clients. That is for sure that you do not need a Ferrari if you just need a vehicule to go to the convenient strore.

But in my experience you hit the limit of the software quite rapidly especially if you model ,lets say, medium sizeassy. I have experienced being almostunable to work anymore on a model of approx. 1,000 of parts.

But again it depends of your need. And on this side of the sea the maintenance cost for both comparablesoftware Pro/E foundation advantage and Inventor are pretty the same. Therfore for me it sound a lot better having the more powerfull tool for almostthe same price. Furthermore if I need extra capabilities it is just down there a the reach of the hand, no need for third party application. Though >Inventor professionnal is well eqippedin fonctionnalities but a far less again in capability than high end software.

I hope this short and incomplete analisys could help you make a right decision.

Goog luck and have a nice overseas evening.
Hi Lee74

Its always a good thing to evaluate other software. I've done the same thing before. (Good to know whats out there)

The best thing to do is to compare the packages completely. (Meening not by tickbox compareson).

Even if you they both claim that they can do things like piping,cabling, assy etc.

A good thing is to evaluate them down to the bone.

I see that you guys are ussing the flex3c licenses. the cost and maintanance of that license is high.


Look at what you get. Lets do some of the actual comparisons down to the lowest level and not only at tickbox level.

In FLEX3c youve got:

A) Piping: Inventor has also got piping.(Tickbox) But it not as extensive as the proe piping. In Proe you get in your flex3c the following items. Normal parametric piping, similar to inventors piping. Then you get Spec dirven piping and you also get Routed systems designer lite as your 2d piping scematic package. these 2d designs can fully drive your 3d designs.

B)Cabling: Inventor can also do cabling. But not as good as Proe. Again you can use Routed systems designer as your 2d system that drives your 3d harness design. This meens that you don't need to train your electrical engineer to drive your 3d package. You create the diagram in 2d, send the info to proe and a mechanical user with no electrical background can create the harness in 3d from the diagram. THEN he can create a nailbord state (Manafacturing layout of this 3d harness) and place this on a normal drawing with fully parametric boms. Any changes to the 2d diagram will update your 3d model,flattened harness and drawing.Inventor claimed they can also import 2d info into their 3d harness. Wasn't very impresive. What we saw was that you can create the harness in 3d but that is about it.

C) Assemblies: Invetor comes nowhere close to Proe in handeling large assemblies. There is info on the web about acouple of independent benchmarks that were done to test various packages, most of them had desent results. But the inventor one did not even complete the benchmark. (May still be running.) When they showed us their large assy. management tools, it looked impresive. But when we asked them to something on the fly to that assy and regenerate to assy, it hang up the machine the first time and the next two time it crashed. You also cant create interchange assemblies.( So dont try to change out that first part in your assembly. I also havent seen the functionality to drive assemblies with someting like layouts). I also havent seen anything that is similar to pro process for assymblies in inventor.

D) BMX: Inventor has no tool that can compare to this (no tickbox for them).

E) ISDX(free form surfaceing): inventor has no fully free form surfacing. the limited surfaceing that is availble, is only parametric surfacing,(which you get in the base package of Proe as well), and it cannot even do halve of what you can do in proe.

F)Mechanism dynamics: cannot be done in Inventor. only standard mechanism. Some third party software available for this.

Most of the other stuff is very similar .

On the inventor side I must say that the UI is very good and easy to learn. For modeling simple parts it is great. But you will get stuck when you start creating complex geometry. It is very Microsoft windows dependant.

Hardware: Inventor uses alot more hardware resources than Proe. So alot of the money that will safe on software will into buying new and upgrading your hardware.

Your maintanance on Proe is more, but if you look at what you get for you money, ProE in the better solution.

If you buy the inventor series, you'lle things like mechanical desktop and and and... included. What this actually means is that inventor on its own can't do everything and you'lle need to use another application to do that work(SURFACING) and then import those files into inventor. Loosing your associativity and you need to learn another program.

Do yourself a faviour and do a search on PROE VS INVENTOR.

You will find alot of comparison material that will allow you to make a disicion.

yes Sheetmetal is available but it is not as good as Pro-e. firest off all I would like to understand what kind of design you do. If it is only modeling acitivity (Part Modeling, Assembly modeling etc), Inventor is more than enugh. As per my experience (I worked as TEch Support for Autodesk Product) we can't compare both hence both tool having Merits and Demerits. But for paramteric modeling Inventor is better. It is not as tougher as Pro-e. I worked on both tool. Cost wise Inventor would be lower in price. you will get full bundle of softawre in AIP (Acad, MDT, Acad Mechanical,Autodesk Vault).

Wtih regards

Nandakumar Hegde

Our company has purchased 4 seats of Inventor 10 - we currently uses ACAD2006 for 2D, 10% of our 3D parts and assemblies are STUCK in Mechanical Desktop, and 80% of 3Dparts/assemblies are in Pro 2001 ----- we have Wild fire, but have not installed it.

(My opinion) - Who copied who? The Pro-E and Solidworks folks will tell you not to buy RE-Inventor, because they copied the benefits from each other. They did enhance the pictorial representation of screw threads....

As I said - we haven't gone to WF yet - because that would probably be a 3-day or 1 week upgrade training for everyone from PTC. Remember - 1 week training for basic - 1 week for detailing, 1-week for advance, 3-days for sheet metal, one week mechanica, 3-days large assembly.......... To be proficient andproductive at what Cost? How many weeks of lost time for training instead of releasing projects? Plus $ for each module. Why go PDM or Intralink --when Vault comes with Inventor?

One week of Solidworksor Inventor training and you can be as dangerous in part modeling and assemblies as some of the us Pro Dinosours.

As for handling older files and to what formats..... you will need to re-do all of your drawings ----- you will have a transfered 3D part/assemblies that won't be associated to a drawing anymore.

It almost depends on the final customers (end users)needs. If they use Inventor, UG, Pro, Solidworks, SolidEdge, Catia.......

If you cross over to the Inventor, SolidWorks...... forums you read their rant & rave. To me - I don't care what platform the design is in - as long as it's in 3D, and has parametric associativity. Just remember that it was us old(Autodesk)Mechanical Desktop users that got stuck!

Depends on your application
I worked heavily with Pro/E-2000i2 and 2001,a bit with Wildfire for 5 years. Now my company switched to Inventor 10, so this are my first days with Inventor work.I can say that talks about "With Inventor you can have 3 day productivity etc.." are absolutely falsed.99% of Inventor users are users with experiences with Catia, Proe, Solidworks..., so lot of experience comes from those system.I cannot say that Inventor is bad-it works what I want,work with details on drawing-tolerances etc.. are much better than Pro/E, but features like free form surface,dynamical mechanism design-these are great values of PRO/E-for simple work are not possible, but for inteligent, sophisticated projects Pro/E is proper solution


Articles From 3DCAD World