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Home / Products / Manufacturer / Autodesk | Inventor

3D CAD software for modeling and simulation


Inventor® and Inventor® Professional mechanical design and 3D CAD software includes: freeform, direct, and parametric modeling options; design automation tools; and advanced simulation and visualization tools.


Product design and modeling


Shape Generator

Use the shape generation tools to explore more design possibilities early in the design stage. Define the basic shape and function for a part or design, and Inventor provides a form that's optimized for stiffness and weight.

(Video: 1:59 min.)

Parametric modeling (enhanced)

Intuitively model parts using parametric modeling tools in Inventor®.

  • Use marking menus to access commands right at your cursor.
  • Create parameters and dimensions as you sketch.
  • Dynamically size 3D objects, fillets, and chamfers.
  • Iterate on your design using tools to quickly identify existing features in the model history and view parent/child relationships.


(Video: 3:16 min.)

Assembly modeling

Quickly assemble your products to assess fit and function. Identify interferences, create renderings, and simulate the performance of the assembled parts.

  • Use joints to apply appropriate constraints in a single step.
  • Use data from virtually any source, maintaining a link to the original file.


(Video: 2:41 min.)

Drawing creation

Create associative drawings as native DWG™ files in Inventor® or AutoCAD. Modify dimensions in the drawing view to drive a change to the 3D model and more.
  • Position, scale, and orient views with interactive controls.
  • Use the marking menu to add auxiliary views and section views.
  • Detail drawings quickly by retrieving dimensions from the model parameters.
(Video: 2:51 min.)

Flexible modeling

Use the right modeling tool for every job. Model the way you want:

  • Parametric modeling. Define relationships between features and components in your model.
  • Freeform modeling. Create complex, organic shapes using T-Splines technology.
  • Direct modeling. Make fast edits to your model with the simple push/pull controls.


(Video: 2:06 min.)

Direct modeling

Instead of searching for the right sketches or features to edit, you can directly:

  • Move, rotate, resize, or scale features from imported geometries.
  • Use easy push/pull controls to modify designs for quote.
  • Iterate faster between simulations by directly editing the geometry.


(Video: 2:03 min.)

Freeform modeling

Start with a basic shape—such as a box, cylinder, sphere, or plane—and move points, edges, and faces around to freely sculpt the shape of your design.

Refine the shape further with tools to:
  • Add or remove points or edges.
  • Match edges to existing curves or geometry.
  • Bridge faces together, and more.

(Video: 2:30 min.)

Mechanical concept and layout design

Open AutoCAD DWG™ files directly inside Inventor as the basis for your 3D model:

  • Derive blocks created inside AutoCAD into separate part files.
  • Add constraints to place them inside your assembly models.
  • And continue to edit the 2D layout or concept inside AutoCAD. 

Your Inventor models are automatically updated, without rework.

(Video: 1:55 min.)

Plastic parts design

Design and analyze your plastic parts. With the design tools in Inventor for plastic parts, you can:

  • Sculpt complex shapes using freeform modeling, based on T-Splines technology.
  • Create common types of geometry, such as bosses, ribs, and grilles.
  • Identify potential quality issues in your parts, using plastic flow analysis, based on Moldflow technology.


(Video: 2:02 min.)

Sheet metal design
Design complex sheet metal products that conform to your company’s standards. Our sheet metal design tools help you:
  • Convert your 2D sheet metal designs into 3D models or create it from scratch.
  • Create folds, hems, and flanges to your specification.

(Video: 2:02 min.)

Design automation


Automated product configuration
We take complex programming out of setting up and deploying your product configurator:
  • Drag and drop code from our huge library of code snippets.
  • Select parameters and rules from a list and add them to a form—no programming needed.

To deploy your configurator outside the company, simply upload your products to the cloud, using our Configurator 360™ service.

Configurator 360 is available as a separate subscription.

(Video: 2:19 min.)

Part and assembly design automation

Create reusable, configurable parts (iParts), product features (iFeatures), or assemblies (iAssemblies) by defining the variable parameters.

To insert the part, feature, or assembly in your product design, select the location and specify the parameters of the target geometry.

(Video: 2:30 min.)

Component generators and calculators

Use built-in calculators to inform the design of common joints, such as welds, clamps, and press fits.

The component generators automatically generate parts that meet your design requirements, such as bolted connections inside an assembly.

(Video: 2:14 min.)

Automated frame design

Simplify the design of structural frames with automated commands. Use the specialized frame design tools to:
  • Insert frame members from a library of thousands of standard profiles.
  • Offset or rotate the frame profile as you wish, relative to a selected line.
  • Apply trims and end treatments to multiple frame components at once.

To analyze the performance of frames, just add your constraints and specify where to apply the loads.

(Video: 2:09 min.)

Electromechanical design

Connect 3D models of electronic components to their 2D schematic counterparts.Changes are updated in both Inventor Professional and AutoCAD Electrical, so your teams are always in sync.

Once components are placed, automatically create all the cable and wire connections between them.

(Video: 2:30 min.)

Automated tube and pipe design (enhanced)

Use a combination of automated tools and full-control design functions in Inventor Professional to:

  • Select a predefined tube and pipe style from the library or create a custom style.
  • Define routes interactively inside the model or use an existing 3D sketch.
  • Create flexible hose runs that automatically follow the shortest path possible.
  • Edit existing runs, no matter how they were generated.

You can also define requirements, such as maximum segment lengths or default bend radius, so tube and pipe runs always meet your company or industry standards, even across multiple projects.

(Video: 2:03 min.)

Interoperability and CAD collaboration


3D PDF export

Export your 3D designs into a 3D PDF format, so anyone can view your 3D design with Adobe Acrobat Reader.

With the 3D PDF export feature, you can:
  • Include multiple user-defined design representations.
  • Attach additional files to the PDF, including drawings and neutral CAD file formats.
  • View the complete assembly structure and file properties.

(Video: 2:08 min.)

Cloud-based 3D design reviews

Share lightweight versions of your 3D designs in the cloud. Reviewers don’t need a login to view, and they can’t alter your 3D source file.

Collect feedback from project team members anywhere, on any device:

  • Take a snapshot of your design in a lightweight 3D viewable format that helps protect your intellectual property.
  • Collaborators can view and comment on your design, directly in the A360 cloud environment.
  • Feedback is automatically collected and displayed inside the Inventor design environment.


(Video: 1:56 min.)

Printed circuit board (PCB) interoperability

Integrate your electronics and mechanical designs into a single, complete definition of your product. IDF import capabilities include:

  • Support for IDF files with 2.0 and 3.0 standards for PCB data exchange.
  • Authoring and reuse of electronics components in the IDF component library for faster, more detailed representations of your PCBs.
  • Filtering options to reduce PCB design complexity.

(Video: 1:45 min.)

Work with non-native data (enhanced)

With AnyCAD technology, your designs in Inventor point to the latest updates in your non-native files, without rework or reimporting:
  • Work with non-native data. Insert parts or subassemblies from suppliers or vendors into your designs without translation, no matter what CAD software they use.
  • Maintain an associative link. If there’s a change to the non-native file, Inventor automatically updates your design.


(Video: 2:45 min.)

BIM interoperability (enhanced)

Access tools specifically created to help prepare your 3D models for use in building information modeling (BIM) systems. Use our BIM tools to:

  • Reduce the complexity of 3D models into lightweight BIM-ready models.
  • Define system connection points and properties.
  • Export the file as a native Revit family or IFC file format, ready to use in the building information model.


(Video: 2:35 min.)

Data management

Manage all of your design data in a single spot. Robust search functionality makes it easy to find files. Quickly copy design files to use them in new or derivative designs.

Avoid overwriting data with check-in and check-out capabilities.

(Video: 2:33 min.)

Simulation and visualization


Exploded views and animations

Use exploded views and animations of complex assemblies in your product documentation, manuals, and assembly instructions. To create the views in Inventor:
  • Choose the Tweak command to interactively move or rotate components.
  • Save Snapshot views of the model that can be used inside the animation timeline, drawings views, or saved as model imagery.

Once your exploded views are ready, set up sequences that show each step in the assembly process, and animate them to show how it all goes together.

(Video: 2:04 min.)

Dynamic simulation

Evaluate the motion, speed, and acceleration of your design as forces are applied to it. Calculate the resulting forces that are generated by the movements your product will experience in the real world.

Then transfer the forces to a stress analysis to understand the effects of motion on the performance of your design.

(Video: 3:05 min.)

Stress analysis

Run quick checks on parts or perform in-depth analysis of the entire product at any stage.

  • Carry over the model, materials, and contacts from the design environment.
  • Apply loads and constraints by selecting the surfaces in your model.
  • Automatically detect contacts between parts.

Testing throughout the design process helps you iterate and improve your product’s performance early in the process.

(Video: 2:49 min.)

Visualization and rendering

Show how your product will look with visualization and rendering tools.
  • Choose from a variety of styles inside the design environment.
  • Use one of the default shaded, wireframe, monochrome, or illustration modes.
  • Use ray tracing to get the best possible rendering.
(Video: 2:14 min.)
Please make sure that you are installing the appropriate version of Autodesk Inventor software for your operating system. Inventor 2017 is only supported on 64-bit operating systems and cannot be installed on a 32-bit system.


System Requirements for Autodesk Inventor 2017 Windows
Operating System ¹
  • 64-bit Microsoft® Windows® 10
  • 64-bit Microsoft Windows 8.1 with Update KB2919355
  • 64-bit Microsoft Windows 7 SP1
CPU Type ² Recommended:
Intel® Xeon® E3 or Core i7 or equivalent, 3.0 GHz or greater

64-bit Intel or AMD, 2 GHz or faster
Memory ³ Recommended:
20 GB RAM or more

8 GB RAM for less than 500 part assemblies
Disk Space Installer plus full installation: 40 GB
Graphics Recommended:
Microsoft Direct3D 11® or capable graphics card or higher

Microsoft Direct3D 10® capable graphics card or higher

See the Certified Hardware
Display Resolution 1280 x 1024 or higher.

Recommended scaling: 100%, 125%, 150% or 200%.
  • DVD-ROM ⁴
  • Internet connection for Autodesk® 360 functionality, web downloads, and Subscription Aware access
  • Adobe® Flash® Player 15 ⁵
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer® 11 or equivalent
  • Full local install of Microsoft® Excel 2010, 2013 or 2016 for iFeatures, iParts, iAssemblies, thread related commands, clearance/threaded hole creation, Global BOM, Parts Lists, Revision Tables, spreadsheet-driven designs and Studio animation of Positional Representations. Excel Starter®, Online Office 365® and OpenOffice® are not supported.
  • 64-bit Microsoft Office is required to export Access 2007, dBase IV, Text and CSV formats.
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.6 or later
  • Virtualization supported on Citrix® XenApp™ 7.7 and 7.8; Citrix XenDesktop™ 7.7 and 7.8 (requires Inventor Network Licensing).




For Complex Models, Complex Mold Assemblies, and Large Assemblies (typically more than 1,000 parts)
CPU Type Recommended:
Intel Xeon E3 or Core i7 or equivalent, 3.30 GHz or greater ²
Memory Recommended:
24 GB RAM or greater ³
Graphics Recommended:
Microsoft Direct3D 11 or capable graphics card or higher

See the Certified Hardware


Autodesk Inventor and Autodesk Vault must both be the same language on a given computer. English versions of these applications will run on any language operating system. Other language versions of these applications will run on operating systems of that same language.
Autodesk Inventor 2017 is optimized to take advantage of the SSE2 extended instruction sets supported on Pentium 4, AMD Athlon 64, and AMD Opteron processors. Inventor 2017 will not install on computers that do not support SSE2. Several utilities are available on the Internet that report CPUID including supported instructions sets.
Autodesk recommends settings which allow Microsoft Windows to manage virtual memory as needed. There should always be at least twice as much free hard disk space as system memory (RAM).
DVD-ROM drive is not required if installing from USB or software download.
The multimedia learning components of the Inventor Help system, such as the UI Video Tour, Command Reference, and Show Me animations, require Adobe Flash Player 10. If it is not already installed, you can download it from the Adobe website.



For Autodesk Inventor 2017 Macintosh Users
You can install Autodesk Inventor® Professional software on a Mac® computer on a Windows partition. The system must use Apple Boot Camp® to manage a dual OS configuration and meet the minimum system requirements:

Boot Camp
Mac OS Recommended:
Mac OS® X 10.10.x

Mac OS X 10.9.x
CPU Type Intel Core 2 Duo or greater, 3.0 GHz or greater
Memory Recommended:
16 GB RAM or greater

Partition Size Recommended:
500 GB or greater

200 GB
Windows OS
  • 64-bit Microsoft Windows 10
  • 64-bit Microsoft Windows 8.1 with Update KB2919355
  • 64-bit Microsoft Windows 7 SP1


Autodesk Inventor Professional can be used on the Mac via Parallels Desktop for Mac without having to boot directly into the Windows OS, so it is easy to switch between platforms. The system must meet the following requirements:


Mac Virtualization on Parallels Desktop
Mac OS Recommended:
Mac OS X 10.10.x

Mac OS X 10.9.x
Parallels Parallels Desktop 10 or higher
CPU Type Intel Core 2 Duo or greater, 3.0 GHz or greater
Memory Recommended:
16 GB RAM or greater

Free Disk Space Recommended:
250 GB or greater

100 GB
Windows OS
  • 64-bit Microsoft Windows 10
  • 64-bit Microsoft Windows 8.1 with Update KB2919355
  • 64-bit Microsoft Windows 7 SP1