Using SketchUp instead of AutoDesk Inventor


Hi there!
Our engineer requested to purchase Autodesk’s Inventor Software. I’d say it is not very pricey (about 700-800 USD per year) but I’d like at least check alternatives.
So is there any pros to use SketchUp versus Inventor?
Personally I have a bad experience with free PCB software (KiCAD) which is a bad substitute for industry standard Altium. Is is the same applied to SketchUp?
Hope not…

PS. Engineer has experience with Inventor. So SketchUp learning curve is also important…

UPDATE: Inventor needed for hardware 3D modeling, building a 2D drawings… Hardware is industrial power supplies.


apples with pears…

… if a parametric MCAD NURBS modeler for creating spline curves based solids and surfaces as Inventor/Solidworks/Creo/Alibre is required a mesh modeler for creating facetted 3D sketches mainly for presentation and visualization purposes as SketchUp is no replacement and vice versa.


I don’t really understand what are you talking about. Looks like you described particular feature.
I’ve updated my question to make the task more clear. Could you comment on that?


if you don’t understand what I’m talking of you should probably not decide what to be bought but discuss my annotations with your engineer first.


Rhinoceros would also be worth a mention here as a NURBS modeller that can even get parametric features through the Grasshopper extension, and it is not as expensive as the others (more than SketchUp Pro, though)

Well put



Rhino is optimized for advanced surface modeling in the area of product/industry design and less optimized for solid modeling in the engineering area (constraints/parametrics, assemblies, sheet metal, threads/shafts, kinematic simulations etc.).

If no knowledge and/or no native documents do already exist, I would check SWX first and alternatively if price is an issue Alibre.


I was rather thinking about an alternative to Inventor that was the first choice of the user referenced by Ramario. Inventor too is more about surfaces and product design than mechanical modelling, but I am quite ready to admit that I to do not know much about what I am talking about here.



Another NURBS modeling tool: (moment of inspiration). Never tried it, but loved to watch some videos of it in action…


Inventor is the successor of ‘Mechanical Desktop’ and ADesks MCAD package for “professional-grade 3D mechanical design” competing with the products already mentioned above but can of course used for surface modeling in the design area too.