With the expiry of Autodesk Showcase, all roads seem to point to
Rome 3ds Max.
In 2017 Autodesk retired Showcase to many an uproar from fans of the very easy to use visualization package. The question on everyone’s lips was what now? What else do we have in our arsenal that would replace this much-loved software package?
If you were (or are still using) Product Design Suite you are still entitled to use your 2017 version of any of the packages, so Showcase is still available to you if you save the Inventor assembly to STEP or DWG for import into Showcase. Please note that when 2021 gets released you will not be able to use Showcase as the entitlement only allows for using 3 versions back.
If you upgraded to the Autodesk Product, Design and Manufacturing Collections you, unfortunately, do NOT have access to Showcase and therefore need to use an alternative.
So what does Autodesk suggest you use?
Inventor – This has a built-in renderer but has not received much love recently. You can get some nifty renders out still after seeing what the competitors can do it should be much better.
Navisworks – Does a half decent render and also has access to cloud rendering. The problem for me is that cloud credits have to be used. which equates to more money. (Showcase was free)
3ds Max – Comes bundled with both Product Design Suite as well as the Collections. Maybe a bit of a learning curve at first but you can get very good renders straight out of the box (thanks to the new Arnold renderer). People say that this is extremely difficult to learn but if you only concentrate on the basics (import, material creation, lighting and render) I believe that it will be a great addition to your arsenal of Design tools (sans Showcase)