Inventor experience

Work in a fresh user interface along with new property panels to streamline workflows, reduce clicks, and save time.

Inventor 2020 is here, bigger and better than ever before. This is our first deep-dive into the new and improved. Autodesk celebrates 20-years of Inventor by introducing an enhanced user interface (UI) and improved workflows. You might want to sit down, it looks different

Visual Refresh

Compared to Inventor 2019 (and older releases) Inventor 2020 introduces a refreshed user interface (UI). This styling update improves the clarity and crispness of Inventor and provides a modernized look and feel. The new UI style applies to all products contained within the collection (Like Nesting, Nastran, HSM, etc)

Still no dark theme option. Hopefully, if I’m a good boy, Santa will bring me one for Christmas. I like this UI refresh. It does look crisp (not my word), new, and modern. My only complaint, is now I have to redo all our internal process documentation.

The new Inventor 2020 Light Theme provides a pre-set of colours for the many Inventor elements. This includes the colour scheme, icons, display color, the background, manipulators, and ground planes. Autodesk created this scheme to align (and optimize the experience) with the updated UI style.

Inventor 2020 also provides two new lighting options: Light Theme IBL and Light Theme. Again these are optimized for use with UI and graphic updates.

Hot Tip: For those of you hating change, use the Amber UI Theme to use the Amber icon style as in previous releases

Graphic Presets

Use the new Graphic Presets to adjust the look and feel of your designs. Inventor 2020 consolidates the graphics display settings into three modes:

  • High Quality – to present a pleasing visual display. Emphasis on the visual results using the new IBL lighting style. Best used with part models
  • Balanced – emphasis on both visual display and performance. Intended for parts and small-to-medium sized assemblies
  • Performance – best for performance. Best for working with medium-to-large assemblies

The names describe the optimum usage of each option. Performance is intended for day-to-day modeling type activities and High-Quality when needing to present your design. Balanced provides a middle ground between the two.

Modernized User Interface

Inventor 2020 continues the trend of modernizing the more frequently used tools. This started in Inventor 2019 with the updated Hole and Measure features. Inventor 2020 tackles Extrude, Revolve, Sweep, and Thread. I wouldn’t be surprised if the mid-year updates will tackle even more part modeling tools… so start getting use to them!

 Each of these updated features is now palettes opposed to dialogs. These palettes float over the graphics window and dock within the window as with browser panes. Driven by customer feedback, the updated features increase productivity and improve workflow.

The updated layouts contain all previous options AND put the features in a better position for advancements. I love the fact there are no longer tabs and all the feature options are presented into one nice compact and pretty spot. These palettes make the working area feel bigger, allowing me to focus less on a dialog and more on what I’m trying to get done.

 In addition to the updated interface, use the breadcrumb with Extrudes and Revolves to navigate between feature and sketch. The breadcrumb appears along the top of the palette. You can use the breadcrumbs to rename sketches and features too!

Use the Presets to store frequently used feature property combinations.: Use the advanced menu to access additional feature options. With Extrude and Revolve this includes keeping the sketch visible and hiding the presets sections.

Oh, and the Thread feature is now available within assemblies and weldments. Welcome to the party!

Modernized Extrude

Multiple Monitor Support

When opening a file Inventor loads it into its own graphics window by default. Inventor 2020 adds support to use a single Inventor session but several windows across multiple monitors. You can open the same document in multiple windows or click-and-drag a document tab onto the other monitor. Open documents update in real-time regardless of the window or monitor.

Additional dragging-and-dropping between monitors includes:

  • Dragging the document bar to move the entire frame window together to the second monitor
  • Docking the browser to the secondary frame window
  • Create a tab group by dragging a document tab into the tab bar next to another document until the blue tab displays
  • Working on the secondary frame window with changing view styles, creating drawing views, and other features
  • Open an assembly. Then drag a component out of the assembly into the second monitor to open it

Outside of spell check in Inventor 2019, for a few of my users, this is by far their favorite enhancement to Inventor in quite a few years.

The primary window contains all the standard UI elements (ribbon, browser, view cube, etc.). The secondary window frame contains only a subset of the UI elements. You will see the title bar, documents tab, document menu, view cube, and navigation toolbar. In addition, you can doc the model browser, property panel, and other documents in these windows.

Good to Know: Activate a window by clicking inside the document’s graphics window.