Inventor vs Fusion: Where's the line?

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I was just at AU, and asked @LanceGrow321 how Fusion 360 plays into the Inventor strategy moving forward (in less eloquent terms, admittedly, but that was the gist). His initial response was essentially that “Some users are not ready” for cloud solutions like Fusion 360, and for those users there is Inventor.

That sounded a lot like “Inventor is old tech for the fuddy duddies, and Fusion is The New Hotness”, so I pressed him on it. When asked if that meant that Inventor is an EOL product and that people should start moving toward Fusion 360, he emphatically disagreed. No, he said, the products are parallel, and users can choose whichever one works best for them.

When asked how to choose between the two products, he said “it depends.” Helpful, right?

Obviously I have my own opinions on the following questions, but I wanted to get yours, oh gurus of SmackTalk. Your thoughts, please:

  1. Who is Inventor designed for?
  2. Who is Fusion 360 designed for?
  3. Is there any overlap? If so, how would you choose between the two?
  4. Pull out your crystal ball and ask it the following: in five to ten years, will Fusion 360 take over as ADSK’s workhorse CAD tool? Why or why not?

I have no experience using Inventor, but I’ll reply assuming is ADSK version of Good’all SolidWorks

1) Who is Inventor designed for?
Mid to Enterprise Companies (5 Seats and beyond)

2) Who is Fusion 360 designed for?
Consultants, Makers, Hobbist and Small to Large Companies (25 Seats max)

3) Is there any overlap? If so, how would you choose between the two?
Absolutely, As of today Inventor is more Scalable than Fusion. If you design Large Machinery or systems, or you can envision your company requiring MRP, PLM, ERP Software in the next 5-10 years then Inventor makes more sense.

If you just want a quick and easy way to design and build products then Fusion is the tool

4) Pull out your crystal ball and ask it the following: in five to ten years, will Fusion 360 take over as ADSK’s workhorse CAD tool? Why or why not?

I don’t think so. If what they are saying is true, they will continue to develop Inventor into something more robust that also competes with CATIA & Pro E not just solidworks.

In conclusion:

Fusion = Design Engineer
Inventor = Mechanical Engineer

Thanks for the post Adam, these are great questions. We discussed at length in an earlier SolidSmack post - http://www.solidsmack.com/cad-design-news/autodesk-announces-new-fast-track-program-for-fusion-360-users-migrating-from-solidworks/

  1. Who is Inventor designed for? People that don’t want to change.
  2. Who is Fusion 360 designed for? People that like change that improves productivity.
  3. Is there any overlap? If so, how would you choose between the two? I choose F360!

Pull out your crystal ball and ask it the following: in five to ten
years, will Fusion 360 take over as ADSK’s workhorse CAD tool? Why or
why not? Yes, of course, why not.

I’ve been using Inventor for almost 10 years and can say it’s been notoriously buggy at times. Which made me want to learn SolidWorks which I still haven’t done… But at the moment it’s not, but over the years it’s been terrible. My worst experience was over a 2-3 month span w/ v2009 or v2010 I had close to 100 crashes. It’s also very bloated so I feel that this is their solution to full blown Inventor. A built from scratch version of Inventor that is gainng features month by month, year by year In it’s current state it has just about everything except ilogic. At some point if feel it will replace normal Inventor. But now it’s in a weird in between state. One thing I love about it is the monthly price point.

There’s a pretty big shift coming–those who don’t want to install software, a generation that is use to the immediacy of developing content online. They’re preparing for that, as are others, but the offline version will be less so and certainly won’t go away immediately.

Regarding features, some will work with/without, just because they prefer the platform or the payments.