Our engineering department is considering switching from AutoCAD 2010 to Inventor 2013 and the proposed move has a few of us up in arms. Of the most common of complaints is that Inventor is not meant to be used for large layouts. Most of our work involves rearranging/designing building and equipment layouts for food production. Inventor would give us the upper hand in designing our own equipment (which we rarely do), but how would inventor perform with 2 to 3 dozen assemblies in a large layout?
We don't make really large assemblies - it's just not required for our products - but, I've seen huge assemblies done in Inventor. It seems to me that Inventor will handle it just fine if you get the proper hardware to run it on.
...Inventor is not meant to be used for large layouts.
You might find a new source of information. ( I suspect your current source might be poorly informed.)
Have your VAR come in and do a demonstration related to YOUR needs (not a canned dog and pony show).
2013 adds additional functionality with AutCAD in a mixed environment.
Might want to look into somehting like this: http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/pc/index?id=1
I agree with Chris,
Use the right tool for the job. Do your eqiipment in Inventor but do your plant layouts in Something else. I been using Inventor for many years and I know its limits. Maybe the new shrinkwrap Lab add-in will help?
When we switched back to IV from Pro E a few years back, we tested it with 17 of our average sized assemblies placed into one large assembly. (the size of a potential job). IV out performed Pro E by nearly an hour in opening the files. We don't do anything like plant design right now, but I know it can handle large assemblies if you have the right hardware.
For the plant design, however... the tools exist so you should at least look into them. IMHO
I have an assembly with a few hundred parts and around 40 sub assemblies. Its really slow. My VAR came out and told me they were expecting to find errors in my work flow. After 4 hours of searching and testing they conceded that there is strange things happening, where unrelated parts rebuild for no apparent reason. They have asked for a copy of my model to send to autodesk. So performance will depend not so much on size but on part complexity as well.
So performance will depend not so much on size but on part complexity as well.
It sounds like to me from the OP's problem description that they can make extensive use of LOD simplfied representation.
Don't need every nut and bolt or even particularly complex form factors.
But then again, the OP has not really described how they are using AutoCAD 2D/3D, xrefs.....
I suspect they should sit down with their VAR or at least post some examples.
My models also use LOD's, and I turn associativity off, but unrelated parts still rebuild. Its hard to explain but as an example I have a steering wheel mated to a dash face. If I move the steering wheel, 6 other parts that have nothing to do with the dash or steering wheel rebuild and we have no idea why. So not only does the rebuild of these parts takes up time, but it also makes saving take longer as its saving those parts as well. Then the drawing views also see that the parts have rebuilt and want an update. All this and they havent changed at all.
Its really easy to test for. Open an assembly, rebuild all then save all. Now edit or move something. Press save and then look at the files that now appear in the box needing a save. If you see any that shouldnt have changed then you have the same problem.
You might want to search for an interview with Charles Bliss that was done at AU in recent years. He has successfully created an Inventor assembly with over one million parts/instances, don't remember which it was (parts or instances) without seeing the interview again. That far exceeds anything most of us will ever do.
I have created models of some fairly large assemblies with no issues at all. I have seen models much larger than the ones I created.
Hope this helps, Paul
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