Autodesk has released most of the 2019 suite of products, including Inventor 2019. If you are expecting a long list of new features for Inventor, you’ll be disappointed. I will admit to sometimes missing the days of the big shiny new features that required hunkering down and figuring out all the ins-and-outs. However, if you are like me you’ll appreciate the improvements in performance, the new-and-improved hole dialog, and many of the tweaks.
Inventor 2019 continues Autodesk’s plan of delivering “professional grade improvements“. Over the past couple releases, including the mid-year updates, Autodesk has done a good job of tweaking, improving, enhancing, and redesigning many of the features we have all used for many years. For me, the performance improvements are alone worth the upgrade.
“Inventor customers from around the world continue to provide feedback and drive enhancements to the Inventor 2019 experience. This release marks a continued focus on improved performance, automation and core modeling workflows that enable professional-grade mechanical engineering design. Inventor 2019 also connects to the Autodesk cloud to unlock collaboration, design and supply chain user workflows.”
Inventor 2019 provides significant performance improvements. This includes many assembly features and drawing functions, which will be most noticeable with larger assemblies and drawings of larger assemblies.
Inventor 2018 Mid-Year Updates
For those of you not on subscription, or who did not apply the mid-year updates for Inventor 2018, your journey starts with these. The new version of Inventor rolls up the updates, making them available to all users of Inventor 2019.
To review these updates, take a look at our previous coverage:
The updates with Inventor 2018.3 focused on AnyCAD. With the update applied you are able to reference Inventor 2019 parts and assemblies within Inventor 2018. This update also updated the versions supported for many of the formats supported by Inventor. Formats including SOLIDWORKS, Creo, and others.
Manufacturing Collection – What’s in the Box?
When Autodesk initially introduced the Product Design & Manufacturing Collection, it wasn’t a whole lot different than the existing Product Design Suites. With the past couple releases, this has changed with the inclusion of HSM CAM, Nastran In-CAD (FEA), and new in 2019…. Nesting!
Autodesk has utilized a previous acquisition in creating a TruNest-for-CAD integration with Inventor. With the 2019 version, it does come with a few limitations, like only working with sheet metal parts…. but the add-in is very slick, simple to use, and creates ready-to-use profiles.
With the merging of the “flavours” of AutoCAD into the One AutoCAD. Or is it AutoCAD One? You now have access to AutoCAD, AutoCAD Mechanical, AutoCAD Electrical, AutoCAD Architecture, AutoCAD MEP, AutoCAD Map, and Autodesk Plant… whew!
Inventor 2019 – Collaboration
The new Inventor includes a subscription benefit to collaborate with others on your designs. Similar to the previously included Connected Design, most of the Autodesk 2019 portfolio includes the new Shared Views feature set. This means that sharing your models and drawings from Inventor, AutoCAD, Revit, and others follows the exact same process.
Piggy-backing on the online Autodesk Viewer, you share a visualization of your model. This means not the actual CAD model, but a viewable representation of it. The person on the other end does not require Inventor or any CAD system. Using this viewer they can pan/zoom/orbit, toggle visibility, explode the model, add dimensions, and markup the view.
The view automatically expires after 30-days, but can be extended or deleted at any time.
Holes R Us
Inventor 2019 completely revamps the hole dialog. This new Hole feature is almost completely unrecognizable from its predecessor. I will admit that first couple times I used it I was wishing for the old hole dialog. But, it quickly grew on me and now I couldn’t imagine going back.
The redesigned UI leads to fewer clicks and less mouse travel, a win in itself. With the browser-panel type design, individual panels are collapsible so that you can hide areas you don’t use. Many of the sections are context sensitive and adjust based on the options you select.
Outside the new dialog redesign, Inventor 2019 allows for the placement of multiple holes without first generating a sketch. The breadcrumbs along the top of the dialog provide the means to flow into and out-of-the sketch environment. Once in the sketch environment add dimensions and constraints… all without leaving the hole feature! Gone are the days of first selecting the placement type as Inventor now understands based on the selection. For example, selecting a curved edge automatically snaps concentric.
Use the presets feature to save frequently used hole configurations for quick restoration in future hole creation.
Autodesk also made performance improvements to the loading of thread and clearance data. So not only is the hole feature improved it also loads faster.
Inventor 2019 – The Bigger, Badder, iLogic
iLogic got a lot of loving in 2019. Mostly focused around assemblies and configurations, Inventor 2019 makes it much easier to add, modify, and delete components. Working with constraints with iLogic is also much easier. The IDE provides new capture features for getting the current state of components, constraints, and patterns.
Within the part environment, use the new right-click feature to assign names to faces and edges. Use these names within your iLogic code to directly interact with these objects.
Gotta love the now embedded Color Scheme Editor. Available for many years as a some-what hidden add-in, now access this directly from within the Application Options. You this to define your own custom color schemes.
Adding a dimension to a 3D spline now locks its length, yet allowing for modification of its form.
For MBD, the Tolerance Advisor within parts now highlights faces to aid in understanding the current constraint state. Hole Notes now automatical display the number (quantity) of holes in a pattern.
Direct Edit includes an Automatic Blending option, allowing for easier movement of faces and edges to new locations.
Within in Sheet Metal, create symmetrical Faces with the now included midplane option. For better support of laser cut profiles, enable the new Laser Weld corner relief which terminates with a tangent arc.
Use the new Inverted Filled option to invert the direction of fillets. This allows for the creation of convex or concave fillets on any selected edge.
Axis Mate Constraints now include three solutions: Opposed, Aligned, and Undirected. Use these options to aid in proper alignment of the two components.
Use Lock Rotation with Insert Constraints to lock the rotational degrees of freedom.
I know there is a lack of new features, but this upgrade sticks with Autodesk’s focus on making what is already in the product work better. If you are on subscription then it should be a no-brainer to upgrade to 2019. With the many performance improvements, the redesigned hole feature, and the enhancements to many of the features we use daily there is a lot to be gained.