I read somewhere that it is possible to do anything done in Mechanical 2d can be done with Inventor. So my question is this, can I do assembly layouts in Inventor during conceptual design or do I still use the Mechanical module and do it in 2d?
For your work I would forget AutoCAD. Old technology.
I will certainly weigh in on the side of making the leap to Inventor.
I used 2D CAD for about 20 years (mostly AutoCad) to the point where I could do just about anything that could be done in AutoCad. Ten years ago I switched to Inventor and have never looked back.
I do mechanical design and use Inventor more than 99% of the time. I've gotten to the point that I will do things in Inventor that would be more suited to AutoCad, just because my AutoCad skills have deteriorated do to lack of use.
Just my $0.02 worth.
Richard in Houston
PS, Does anyone else think it's hilarious that the spell check in an Autodesk forum doesn't recognize the word "Autocad"?
...not sure how I'm going to do conceptual layouts with it
Post a dwg example of a "conceptual layout".
The question should be what problems do you have with your current way of working and will inventor solve those problems. If you are like me your only problem might be that you want to work faster and there's no guarantee that inventor will make you faster - it just might make you slower.
For me I waste a lot of time waiting for rebuilds, and modelling and placing trivial items just to get them to show up in a drawing view, eg brackets. I'm no faster than I was when working in 2D and am still looking for a better (faster) way of working. For large projects where rebuild times would be long I still use autocad, Inventor is just too slow rebuilding and updating all the time.
The big advantage of Inventor is that all drawing views update when you make changes, so there can be some big rework savings there, but you can wait a while for the drawings to update. Sometimes it takes longer than a manual change in Autocad would have taken.
And then of course there's the problems and bugs associated with Inventor, which you just dont get in Autocad.
If you switch you will have a huge step backwards while you learn with no guarantee of being any faster once you have gone through your learning curve. And if you use macros, the inventor macro language is a nightmare to learn compared to autocad.
Autocad still exists because it has a purpose and for some, its still the most efficient way to work.