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A Newbie’s Experience with the Inventor 2018 Free Trial: Final Thoughts

Trevor English
June 7, 2017

I’m in the last days of my Inventor 2018 free trial. It has been a month of learning, designing, and surprising myself at how easy Inventor was to learn. As I wrap up this blogging series, I want to leave you with my final thoughts in regards to the trial and what I’ve learned in just 1 month using Inventor.

What I’ve Learned

Going into the trial I expected the learning process to be slow going. In the first week, this was a fairly accurate assumption. If you’ve read the other posts in this series, you know that I have background with AutoCAD. The “Autodesk CAD interface” was familiar to me, but the world of Inventor and mechanical design was not my strong suit. Following the built-in learning path through the first and second weeks helped me enormously in establishing a foundation to learning. For anyone with experience in CAD looking to learn Inventor, some of the learning path may seem slow going – I know it did at times for me. However, I kept myself on track to make sure I got through everything and found that even the repetitive and slow-moving sections simply solidified my foundation in Inventor.

Halfway through the trial, I finished the learning paths in Inventor and went out on my own on a few projects I wanted to create. While the learning path was instrumental in my learning, I had the most fun and probably learned the most when I set off on my own and ventured into design spaces where I had very little idea of what I was doing. I had to refer to the online community and various other resources to figure out how to do many tasks. One thing I was impressed with was just how many resources there are out there for someone learning, whether it be from Autodesk themselves or a third party. If you want to learn, you shouldn’t fear being left in the dark, finding answers is easy.

Finishing up the trial, I have built significant confidence in my ability to design with Inventor. I feel like if I was given a task to design something, I could probably get it done. It might take me days or weeks, but I could do it. Ultimately, practice makes perfect.

My Thoughts on the Trial

My goal in leaving you with trial feedback is to provide you with an honest opinion of how the trial went from someone just learning Inventor.

Downloading the trial was simpler than I thought, even with a few hiccups in the installation process. I found out quickly that the online communities would be my support throughout the trial. Following along with the learning track was a good idea for me, but it took some personal drive to keep at it. The learning track helps as you try to find your footing in Inventor, but ultimately, you’re learning a new skill and you will need to keep yourself driven to continue learning.

For someone just wanting to learn Inventor, I would say give the built-in learning track a go before you start exploring other tutorial options. There is so much information built into Inventor to help you learn, I didn’t find that I needed any other resources other than some specific help from online communities. It’s a big plus that you don’t need to switch windows while learning.

There was very little I didn’t like throughout the trial. It’s hard to beat getting to use Inventor and learn for free. If there was one thing I would want more of, it would be more emails about the trial. It would have been nice to get more communication and tips right in my inbox to help remind me to get back into Inventor and learn more. Rarely do I want more emails, but since I actively wanted to learn the program, this was one case where it would’ve been nice.

Segwaying off of that, if you are downloading the trial, you need to be active about learning. It’s easy to forget to learn, and sometimes you simply don’t want to. If there’s one regret as I finish the trial, it’s not getting in Inventor and learning more. Set reminders and actively engage with learning. While it may seem like drudgery in the moment, you won’t regret the new skills later on.

Should You Download the Trial?

If you want to download the free trial, make sure that your schedule for the next 30 days allows you to actually get in and use the software tools available. It’s a great resource, but you only get 30 days to use it, and for some, to consider purchasing a subscription. If you actually want to determine if Inventor is right for you or learn to use it, make sure you actively engage with the trial and utilize as many of the tools as possible.

Questions for a Newbie? If you have any questions for me or want more feedback on how my trial went, leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to get back to you!




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Trevor English

Trevor is a civil engineer by trade and an accomplished internet blogger with a passion for inspiring everyone with new and exciting technologies. He is also a published children's book author whose most recent book, ZOOM Go the Vehicles, is aimed at inspiring young kids to have an interest in engineering.