I use Inventor mainly, Rhino more than ever now that I’m doing CMM’s & pointclouds, and had used SW as my main program in the past. My view is a combination of what’s been said above.
Before switching to Inventor (I hate Autodesk b/c they’re thieves and liars, so don’t take this as a sales pitch for Inventor), I used Rhino almost exclusively. I switched from Autocad b/c I got sick of making blocks to create easy to draw large assemblies. Autocad is primitive (as in ‘stone age’) compared to Rhino. The switch was easy b/c Rhino was like Acad, except it had a zillion improvements and other functions that Acad didn’t and still doesn’t have. The 2 major problems I found w/Rhino that caused me to switch are 1. drafting tools, esp. metadata management, and 2. Assembly size limitations.
I quit using SW b/c it was not suited to my area of work: Industrial machinery, structures, piping, etc. The biggest time saver with Inventor compared to SW was/is the management of metadata. That’s where all the time is saved in the drafting area. Rhino is almost naked in that area of need. I learned real quick that SW is good for molds and that sort of thing, but not my area of work. SW metadata management is garbage, and I ‘had it out’ w/the district rep over it. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me.
Rhino is excellent for surfacing and product development, but it lacks the one essential for designers: bi-directional parametrics. To change something takes forever. That’s the other side of metadata. Everything is connected to each other with mathematical relationships. Can’t do that in Rhino … at least not easily, far as I’ve found. Correct me if I’m wrong. So when the customer wants something resized or changed, most times it’s as easy as changing a number or making a base sketch correction. Can’t do that in Rhino. Changing things downsteam, things that have multiple parent-child relationships, is very difficult and time consuming in Rhino.
But now, since both IV & SW can’t do surfacing and meshing worth a darn, I use Rhino. One day someone is going to develop software that’s AFFORDABLE, but which also combines parametrics, metadata management, meshing, surfacing and modeling, AND ISN’T CONTROLLED BY SUBSCRIPTION SLAVERY.
Today, all those programs are out of reach of all but the ‘uber rich’.
Not knowing your particular circumstances, I really can’t offer an opinion on your needs. Everybody has do to their own R&D, I guess!
Just my 2 cent’s worth … Chris