For the 2016 release of Autodesk Inventor, Autodesk boasts 387 new additions and improvements thanks to the help of Inventor user requests. Inventor is Autodesk’s 3D product modeling software used to produce all sorts of parts, assemblies, drawings, Stress Analysis and Dynamic Simulation. This 3D modeling software can be applied to a diverse group of industries, such as consumer products, industrial machinery, aerospace and automotive to name a few.
- AnyCAD – CAD files from other programs can be linked to an Inventor model and everything stays associated. This allows you to import Solidworks or ProE files without any conversion process, maintain association, and the added bonus of being able to edit part details. The link can also be suppressed or broken if needed.
- DWG Underlay – Working like an External Reference in AutoCAD, a 2D AutoCAD drawing can be linked and placed into a part or assembly file. DWG Underlay geometries can be projected into your Inventor model for easy part creation and assembly constraints. The drawing remains associated, showing the up to date features.
- MyHome – With the new Inventor homepage, it is easier to choose a Project and template. This is done by allowing the customization of how recent files, projects and templates are viewed. Details of drawings can be viewed without having to open the files. The new ability to create shortcut icons for Projects and files means no more hunting for files to open.
- Drawing Production – The workflow has been streamlined, first by making notes easier and robust with rich text formatting. In a single step, a drawing and base view can be created from a part or assembly file from the browser. Exploded views are faster to create for drawings and Presentations using Auto Explode. Tweaks can be edited now and adjusted.
- Assembly Performance – It is now possible to disable Graphics Refinement which makes working in an assembly file much faster. When using replace components, multiple parts can be replaced at a time. During interference checks, crossing windows to select parts and zoom to allow you to see the interferences sooner. If multiple sick constraints exist in a model, design doctor delete or suppress them in one step.
- Sheet Metal – Zero radius bend as well as multi body sheet metal solids are now supported. When converting non sheet metal components, the thickness of the sheet is automatically identified to help speeding up the process. If a sheet metal model contains punches that are all similar and only slightly different in dimension, a table can be generated for you printed drawing that details the punches using iFeature Author.
- Electro-Mechanical – An imported AutoCAD Electrical drawing will stay associated to the Inventor model and keep both electrical and mechanical designs up to date through live sharing. This feature is perfect for routing wire visually within your electrical product design.
- Part Creation – The parting line for Face Drafts can now be fixed or moved. Ruled Surface is available when creating surfaces. Sketches used within Features can be reused or shared by dragging it above its parent feature in the browser. The shared sketch will retain its original name or number and is a linked copy of the original sketch.
- Freeform Modeling – Creating Free-form or ergonomic surfaces is more intuitive so that surfaces stay smooth and watertight. Existing parametric geometry can be quickly converted to freeform surfaces for fine tuning surface details. The Freeform thicken tool is used to create a solid, offset surface or shell wall from a freeform model. Bridge tool is now available so sections of a freeform mesh can be connected or bridged together. Free form surface tools Unweld and Delete Face have been added to allow for more flexible editing. For a full list and description of the Freeform modeling edits, see this Autodesk article on Freeform Parts Enhancements.
Overall, Autodesk Inventor is becoming an advanced, powerful 3D modeling Platform. With Inventor’s helpful and responsive user base, the productive features and sources of support are numerous and continually increasing.
For more information about Inventor and its new features, take a look at Autodesk’s Inventor Campaign at http://www.autodesk.com/campaigns/inventor2016.