“Built for the expanding role of the professional engineer, with enhancements to core design tools to design faster and optimize performance from the outset“. There are so many updates to parts, assemblies, and drawings… none are earth-shattering new, but nice additions that will make your life easier. However, the presentation environment has had a complete overhaul. So what’s new in Inventor 2017? Here are a few of my favorites:


Sketch Driven Patterning

Have you had the need to create a pattern of features that is not circular, rectangular, or follows a path? Was this difficult before? Within Inventor 2017 the Sketch Driven Pattern makes this an issue of the past as you can quickly generate features (or bodies) in complex arrangements. This works with both 2D & 3D sketches!

With all patterning types the new Fixed option locks the orientation of the feature, so that it doesn’t rotate the objects throughout the pattern.

Parent/Child Relationship

Understanding the intertwined relationships within your part features is not always an easy task. That becomes apparent when you start to delete features or when errors occur, and you need to be a detective to figure out what goes where and how everything is related. The new Feature Relationships option identifies these parent-child relationships between part features. It also provides a new option for editing the features contained within your component. Is it as slick as what I’ve seen in other CAD packages? No, but the information is still there and still extremely useful.

To launch the dialog, right-click on a feature within the browser and select Relationships. Parents and children of the selected feature are instantly shown. Selecting a feature within the dialog highlights the feature in the browser and in the model. Click the Select icon to activate the feature, showing its parents and child features. Select the Edit button to edit the feature.

Inventor 2017 What's New - Feature Relationships

The parent/child relationships shown include all feature types, even sketches and work geometry.

Part Quick Hits…

  • Inventor now supports patterning & mirroring iFeatures on multibody parts
  • You now can window select multiple closed profiles within the Extrude command
  • While creating Boundary Patches, use the new Guide Rails option and select curves and/or points to “shape the patch and more precisely control continuity and form
  • Ruled Surface contains an Angle option to set the direction of the surface


Make Components Transparent

You can now toggle the transparency of a component in an assembly without applying a translucent appearance.

Inventor 2017 Assembly Transparency

Cross-Part Reference Enhancements

Cross-Part relationships are created when you project (associatively copy) geometry from one part into another. With this relationship intact, as you change the original component the projected geometry updates. Although a powerful feature, it can be very difficult to keep track of what’s related to what, and what changes will impact your components.

Inventor 2017 shows new icons so you can quickly identify the source of the cross-part relationship. Also, a tooltip with additional information appears as you hover over the item in the browser.

Inventor 2017 Cross-Part Reference Icons

From the assembly, AdaptiveBreak Link, and Open are now available from the browser node, meaning you do not need to drill down or activate the component to work with the relationships. This makes it a whole-lot-easier for dealing with the many cross part relationships that can occur in your assemblies.


Easily the best new feature in drawings, but for me also all of Inventor 2017, is the new Parts List Filter feature Limit QTY to visible components only. This works in conjunction with Design Views to provide a quick method to limit the visibility of components in the Parts List to the components that are visible in the Design View. Why is this important? If you do any type of assembly sequence / order style drawings this is a huge benefit to show only the required components for the active sheet.

Inventor 2017 Parts List Filter
Drawing Quick Hits…

  • Cut Edges in Section Views can be shown as jagged. This is similar to Detail Views and a good enhancement
  • Balloons now contain a rectangular style
  • [FINALLY!] In the Application Options dialog box > Sketch tab, select or deselect the Enable Link option by default during image insertion option to set the default behaviour when inserting images into sketches.
  • New setting for Automatic Text Wrapping in Title and Column Headings in Drawing Tables

Other Updates?

Make sure to check out our other posts on the new features & functionality in Inventor 2017:

Better Presentations with Inventor 2017

Inventor 2017 3D Sketch Enhancements

Interoperability with Inventor 2017

My Take on Tube & Pipe in Inventor 2017

Feature Image Excited by Alex Kuruz