Autodesk released Inventor 2018.1 (or R1 if you prefer) last week and it’s got some great features in it. As with any mid-year release, this is only available to subscription customers. You’ll find it in your AutoCAD Account in the Management section. It should also appear in the Desktop App.

Faster Drawing Updates

By only re-drawing the portions of the drawing views that have actually changed, Inventor 2018.1 provides “significant” drawing performance improvements. This is especially true for large assemblies.

Inventor 2018.1 Drawing View Performance

The amount of performance gain is dependent on the type of change perform on the model. You will see more gains with isolated changes compared to changes that impact the entire model.

MBD for Assemblies

2018 introduced Model Based Definition for parts, Inventor 2018.1 expands this into the assembly environment. Model Based Definition (MBD) is the full documentation of a design within the 3D model. This includes dimensions, GD&T, text, annotations, and other meta data. The MBD information is included when publishing to 3D PDF.

Inventor 2018.1 Assembly MBD

*I really hope 2018.+ expands this into the Presentation Environment. I have such high hopes for IPNs, and adding MBD would be an awesome first step.

AnyCAD Meets SolidEdge

AnyCAD was introduced with Inventor 2016 (if you are not familiar with AnyCAD, take a look at Scott’s post for more details). It has provided support for many formats, but there was always one missing. So I’m sure many will be happy with the newly added support for SolidEdge. Yes, you can now import SolidEdge data or associatively link it as with other AnyCAD supported file types.


Customer-Requested Productivity Improvements

The awesome… Weld beads of sub-assemblies can now participate in an assembly feature. It has a bit of a funky workflow in that you first activate the sub-assembly and then right-click on the top level assembly feature and select Add Participant…. but it works, and I am happy.

The good… use the new Project objects as construction geometry to automatically project objects into sketches as construction geometry.


The meh… the Task Scheduler adds options for shrinkwrapping. This includes options to remove holes, pockets, fillets, chamfers, and parts by size. I don’t shrinkwrap via the Task Scheduler as I prefer to control the results on an assembly-by-assembly basis.


The wish you did more... a new option to include thumbnail images when exporting bill of materials. How about including this when placing Parts Lists in the drawing? I’d love to do the Ikea style parts list with a picture in many of my drawings.

Inventor 2018.1 Honorable Mention

The new “Easier Automation with iLogic sounds neat and useful but I have had no time whatsoever to take a look. Hopefully over the next week or so I’ll give it a spin and report back with my findings.



Feature image by Israel Orlandi