Devon Sowell of 3-D Design Solutions, a company that provides SolidWorks Engineering Support and Design Services, left this comment on my Facebook wall: “in 11 years/40 clients, only 1 used Inventor, interesting.” Devon was comparing the popularity of Inventor to SolidWorks. Actually, I am not surprised at his 39:1 ratio favoring SolidWorks (I am assuming that the remaining 39 clients used SolidWorks) because Devon is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and most likely will look for and get work that involves SolidWorks.
As it turns out at SYCODE we have a similar and highly unscientific ratio as well. We develop data exchange plug-ins for all the mid-range MCAD systems. The kind of files that our add-ins import and export are not specific to any one industry and are actually quite spread out. I know there are many if’s ang but’s attached to this but I get a good sense of the popularity of CAD systems based on the number of downloads that we receive of our plug-ins for them.
Unscientific as it may be, I find the data quite interesting, if not amusing. Here is the break up of the number of people that downloaded our SolidWorks, Inventor and Solid Edge plug-ins. And to make things more interesting let’s add Alibre Design as well.
SolidWorks -> 71%
Inventor -> 12%
Solid Edge -> 12%
Alibre Design -> 5%
So according to my numbers the ratio of SolidWorks to Inventor is 6:1. However, it is important to note that we have 20 SolidWorks add-ins, wheras we have only 11 Inventor add-ins, which is about half. So halving the ratio I get a SolidWorks to Inventor popularity ratio of 3:1.
On the flipside, one could argue that this 3:1 ratio is far from a popularity ratio. Since all our add-ins for SolidWorks, Inventor, Solid Edge and Alibre Design are file import and export add-ins, one could call this ratio a “pissed off” ratio. I mean 3 times more SolidWorks customers are pissed off that their software cannot read a particular file format.
Like said, quite amusing 😉