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Design and Motion Cools Off For ALS

Yup, everyone is doing it. All in the name of ALS. I just hope everyone doing it is donating as well. Design and Motion donated to Lynne Grainger to help fund her treatments, we decided to directly help a friend of a friend. So thanks to Sean Dotson for bringing Lynne to our attention and Jay Tedeschi’s ‘attempt’ resulting in myself getting nominated, so I thought it was only fair I got the Design and Motion Ice Bucket Challenge rolling. So here they are in order of appearance:

So there you go, Sean gets nominated for a second go, James Herzing and Buzz Kross are also named by John. Epic, I can’t wait to see the last two. I have to say John really looked like he enjoyed that! So are there are outstanding nominees? Why yes there are… Joey Foster, Hans Grootegoed and Kevin Ellingson are all current stragglers. Come on guys, make it happen.

If you would like to donate towards Lynne Graingers care as well, then swing on over to her gofundme page and enter your digits. Thanks for being good sports guys… special mention to Mike for doing it while on holiday, while at what looks like a campsite.

AutoCAD’s Vault Browser

AutoCADs Vault XRef Palette

I’ve been surprised to learn over the last 6 to 9 months that a large number of AutoCAD users who work with Vault on a daily basis, don’t realize AutoCAD’s External References palette double’s up as a Vault browser. As it happens it’s pretty close to the one found in Autodesk Inventor. This is true across all flavours of AutoCAD, including Mechanical, Architecture, Civil 3D and Plant 3D. I suppose there are a lot of AutoCAD users who don’t even go near the Xref Palette. I’m not sure why I was surprised about that, because since I’ve been a heavy Inventor user for 10 years, my AutoCAD use hasn’t demanded their use. The same will be true for thousands of other AutoCAD users world wide. So, as I will demonstrate in the following video, every Vault user, who also uses AutoCAD on a daily or even weekly basis should dock and auto hide their External References palette and take advantage. Oh, but please be aware, overlayed file references ONLY show up in the Xref palette for the drawing they are referenced in. Which is all good until you need to find a broken reference when checking the dataset into Vault.


Design & Motion are Between The Lines

Keeping Up Appearances with Autodesk InventorJust a quick post to let our readers know we have a Guest Post on Shaan Hurley’s legendary Autodesk Blog Between The Lines. Given the historical significance of Between The Lines with respect to CAD blogging, I’m pretty stoked to have finally got some work up there. Keeping Up Appearances with Autodesk Inventor shows Inventor power users how to ‘window select’ multiple faces, so they can apply appearance overrides in one hit. So please go take a look and hopefully you lot can put it to good use.

A Window into Autodesk Fusion 360′s Near? Future

A Window into Autodesk Fusion 360's Near Future

Just a quick one today. I recently came across these videos showing off potential implementations of simulation and design accelerators in Autodesk Fusion 360. There’s some pretty cool stuff in them, so I thought I would share them with our readers and offer some comments on each one. I’ll get the ball rolling with simulation.


Now that is a pretty sweet pre-design, proof of concept tool! However, the downside is the potential precedent they could set for unconscious incompetence. These kinds of early stage “monkey see, monkey do” analysis tools are pretty compelling, especially if they are used during the bidding stages to win jobs or at least allowing you to write off poor design ideas and zero in on the better of the bunch. But they certainly are not suitable replacements for grown up simulation and real world product testing. Is this something you would use?

Too Hot To Drop

I’m no simulation expert, but drop tests from what I understand are safe enough to make ‘fool-proof’ in this way. For the most part there is no need to over-complicate the issue with high-end simulation tools. In this case here though, I would imagine the limitations would come in when your model becomes too complex for it. But again, this should probably only be used during the early stages of the design process.

Gearing Up

Seeing these types of tools appearing in Fusion 360 is giving me the willies. As a faithful Inventor user that is. It’s nice they are being put into the product, but it does increasingly make me wonder when the cross over between the two products becomes great, what will happen? Fusion 360 is just such great value for money. The Gear Feature shown at the end is badass! It means you can focus on your design in a simplified cylindrical and/or conical way, then scoot around adding Gear Feature’s when you’re hot to trot. Lovely! It’s that kind of stuff that makes Fusion 360 scary for Inventor… but then again. Just look at T-Splines. The Inventor development team now have some excellent internal competition to keep them on their toes, but also a great reference to step back, admire, pole around in and learn from.

Driving Me Nuts

I’ve recently been mucking about a bit with SolidWorks as a result of supporting HSMWorks during my day job. One of the things those two products together do very, very well, is holes. The SolidWorks Hole Wizard combined with the HSMWorks Drill Wizard is a sight to behold. It demos bloody well, but frankly it impresses because it’s a huge productivity tool and it WORKS! Well from the testing I have done it works, I have no doubt people can break it. This bolted connection tool in Fusion 360, looks to deal with some of the shortcomings found in Inventor’s hole tool, the most obvious of them is the ability for this tool to place a hole on a curved surface. I hope to see this turn into a really powerful hole & bolted connection tool, if it does, as I stated previously it should drive long overdue improvement of the Inventor Design Accelerator tools as well. Incidentally, if a SolidWorkesque Hole Wizard is something you would like to see in Inventor, I’ve created an Inventor Hole Wizard idea on the Ideastation you can vote for.

SolidWorks 2014 VS. Inventor 2015 Filleting Showdown

SolidWorks 2014 vs Inventor 2015 Fillet dialogI’ve recently been getting stuck into learning some Autodesk CAM products, the most accessible of which are the HSM products. The dominant product of the three available is naturally the one they were all born from, HSMWorks for SolidWorks. There are far more people using that at the moment, than are using Inventor HSM and CAM 360. As a result, since I’m supporting the products in Australia and New Zealand for CADPRO Systems, I really needed to learn a bit about SolidWorks. So it’s been an intense three weeks learning a new CAD platform to a stage where I could hack up models where needed and effectively toolpath with HSMWorks. I’ve really enjoyed it and although I’ve always respected SolidWorks, as I do other mechanical CAD packages, it was nice to finally see what it’s all about on the other side of the trenches. Unsurprisingly it’s a handy set of noughts and ones, which come together to form a pretty handy tool… much like Inventor is.Curvy Part

These two products have a lot of history, each product has its areas of strengths and weaknesses. One product will suit one business better than the other, then it will be the reverse for the next company. So I don’t want to turn this into a ‘mine is bigger than yours’ contest, but as a long standing Inventor user whom respects SolidWorks achievements and well known surfacing capability, this sure did make me smirk.


Section Hatch Update Now Available For Inventor 2015

Section Hatch Update - Before & After

Have you added a new material to your library? Did you forget to map your new material to a hatch pattern in your drawing standards? Do you have drawings which are reused from one project to the next but you often change the materials? It’s likely you will have noticed the section hatches won’t update even though you have added the material to hatch map in the drawing standards style. In September 2013 we released the first edition of the D&M Section Hatch Update Add-In for Inventor 2014.D&M Hatch Update AppStore Logo Last week Autodesk approved it for use with Inventor 2015, it is also free, so there really is no excuse for not checking it out. Take a look at the video below to see what it’s all about.