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A Review of Mastering Autodesk Inventor 2016

Mastering Autodesk Inventor 2016

I’ve been involved with training involving Autodesk products for a long time. Everything from delivering training to developing material… yet this is the first time that I’ve done a review of training material. Perhaps its because I was just waiting for the right book to come along.

Mastering Autodesk Inventor 2016 and Autodesk Inventor LT 2016 written by Paul Munford and Paul Normand, published by Sybex.

Mastering Inventor 2016

 

Mastering Autodesk Inventor 2016 and Autodesk Inventor LT 2016

This book is massive! Coming in over 1000 pages it covers all aspect of Inventor, and I mean everything. It starts with a test-drive to get your feet wet then moves on to sketching and basic modeling, then more modeling and sheet metal, before heading into assembly and weldment creation. From there is documentation, exchanging data with other systems, using the Frame Generator, and Inventor Studio for creating imagery and animations. This book also covers Inventor Professional related “advanced” topics… Stress Analysis, Dynamic Simulation, Routed Systems, and Plastic Design Features. The final chapter covers iLogic. This is really your start-to-end all-inclusive tour of Autodesk Inventor.

Unfortunately, I think for many, Mastering Autodesk Inventor 2016 will seem overwhelming. The book is truly massive and it can feel like a daunting task to even get started. There is also no colour, which at times makes it feel a bit drab. However, once you get going there is a good flow to the material. Everything is broken down into Chapters and then into various sections. There are plenty of pictures to keep every topic illustrated and so you know exactly what is going on.

I appreciate the “tips” and other small tidbits throughout, which are easily identified as they are boxed and shaded in grey or marked with a symbol. These provide additional information, that although not always directly related to the topic at hand, lend advice on how to make Inventor perform better, make it easier to work with, identify Inventor Certification objectives, or suggest better ways to design your models. Take for example this tip, which is in the middle of the section on Projecting Geometry…

Breaking the Link with Project Geometry

Projected geometry is created by projecting an edge or a face. When you project faces, a browser node for a projected loop is created under the Sketch node. When you project edges, no browser node is created. You might need to break the link of the projected geometry in order to modify it.

— To break the link of projected faces, right-click the Projected Loop browser node and select Break Link

— To break the link of projected edges, right-click the edge itself and choose Break Link

There are also plenty of “Real World Scenarios” explaining why you should do something using a real-world example to drive home the point. This is a real differentiator between this material and other training materials I’ve used.

Inventor Model

The exercises in Mastering Autodesk Inventor 2016 are short, concise, and overall simple… which is a good thing. Who needs long drawn out exercises when you just want to get to the point. The exercises are also all independent, meaning if you mess-up or struggle with one it doesn’t impact working on subsequent exercises. There is also almost always an exercise per topic meaning even if you jump into a middle of a chapter to learn a specific feature there is an exercise to guide you through the process.

Each chapter starts with a summary and finishes with “The Bottom Line“. This chapter ending Bottom Line summarises what you just learned and also poses challenging questions to test you. If you can answer the bottom line question, not only have you learned the feature, but have also mastered it. All that is missing is Paul yelling “That’s the bottom-line, cause Paul Munford says so!”

The Authors of Mastering Autodesk Inventor 2016

I have been very fortunate to have met both of the authors of this book. There is some serious weight here as these guys are not only experienced but also master communicators.

Prior to working for Autodesk Paul Normand worked in the Autodesk Reseller channel selling, supporting, and training people on how to use Autodesk products, including Autodesk Inventor. For almost 10-years now he has been working for Autodesk as a member of the Autodesk Learning Experience and User Experience teams.

Paul Munford, aka CADSetterOut is a “self-confessed and unrepentant CAD geek“. He has 10+ years using Inventor, he is an Autodesk Expert Elite, and highly rated Autodesk University speaker. He has written many a great article on his site. The highlight for me was his series on surfacing which has proven to be the greatest resource for me on the topic. His style of writing has transferred to this book, which means there is a good flow, its easy to read, yet he gets the points across.

Paul Munford

 

If you get the book or not, make sure you check out Paul’s Mastering Inventor page

Final Take

If I used a grading system for my reviews this book would get an A+. Although from its size it is a bit daunting to get started, but once you do I’m sure you’ll find that Mastering Autodesk Inventor 2016 is well laid out, easy to follow, and it follows a logical order.

Pros

  • Extensive coverage of Inventor – consider it your one-stop-shop for learning all aspects of Inventor
  • short, straight-to-the-point, easy-to-follow exercises
  • many tips, tricks, and other important tidbits scattered throughout

Cons

  • no colour
  • the book is massive, meaning it might seem a bit daunting to get started and a bit overwhelming once you get started

Disclaimer: Sybex provided a copy of the book free of charge for the purpose of providing feedback. They have had no influence over this article beyond that interaction.

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