Autodesk Inventor 2017 R2

The first subscription-only update for Inventor 2017 has been released.

What’s New? Unlike the Inventor 2016 mid-year releases, this one is not focused on new functionality, but a collection of enhancements, improvements, and updates to just about every environment. I’m only highlighting what I feel are the significant updates, you can read the entire list of changes here.

Your first reaction might be disappointment, why? The 2016 mid-year releases set the bar so high with the introduction of the Shape Generator, the embedding of ForceEffect, and the new A360 Connected design review, that this update might just seem ho-hum. I’m happy with the enhancements, and we should all be… there is a lot put into this update and it’s focused on productivity and making our (Inventor) lives better.


  • Measure Improvements
  • Model Browser enhancements
  • Workflow Enhancements

A checkmark now appears next to the default measure precision. The precision is also now persistent across sessions meaning you can set it and forget it.

INV2017R2 - Measure Checkmark

The browser has been updated to provide better clarity. Lines are shown to aid in the display of the model hierarchy, there is now a bigger difference between expanded and collapsed states, and it is much easier to navigate the hierarchy. This might seem like a minor change, but its amazing how much easier it makes navigating the browser.

INV2017R2 - BrowserEnhancements

Use Alt + R to launch the Relationships dialog when a feature is selected in the browser. This was an idea from the Inventor Ideastation.

Sketches now maintain their properties when exported to an AutoCAD DWG.

The Undo / Redo now functions like the other Autodesk products in that you can use the drop-down to quickly undo / redo a group of actions. This was an idea from the Inventor Ideastation.

INV2017R2 - Undo_Redo_Updates



  • New Menu Options for Make Part & Make Components
  • Tangent feature selection enhancements

From the browser or graphics window select sketch blocks, solid bodies, or surface bodies and select Make Part or Make Component from the right-click context menu.

INV2017R2 - MakePartComponent

With Inventor 2017 R2 double-clicking a face or edge selects all faces or edges tangent to each other. After selecting multiple faces right-click and pick Select Tangencies to select all the faces tangent. Anything to make it easier to select a group of objects is always a winner in my books.

Inventor2017R2 - Select Tangencies


A long time coming, we finally get Mirror and Copy enhancements.

  1. Prior to Inventor 2017 R2 relationships were automatically applied to the mirrored or copied components, now within R2 you decide if you want the relationships applied.
  2. A new option grounds the resulting components of the mirror or copy operation.
  3. When mirroring you can select Origin planes directly within the Mirror Components dialog.

Inventor2017R2 - Mirror Enhancements


  • Quickly Customize Properties for Imported CAD Files with the New Property Mapping Tool
  • DWG Underlay Now Fully Supports AutoCAD Mechanical Geometry

When attaching CATIA, Creo, NX, STEP, or Solidworks files as reference models use the new standalone Property Mapping Utility to map properties from the 3rd party CAD data to Inventor iProperties. This means the 3rd party CAD data will automatically import during attachment, meaning no more manual entry.

INV2017 R2 - AnyCAD Property Mapping

As the mapping is stored in XML files it will be consistent and automatically set each time you attach the data. This also means you can create as many mappings as required. Take for example you receive Solidworks data from two different sources, each who use the properties differently, no problem, just create two XML files and set the mapping as required.

INV2017 R2 - Import Design Data

The Property Mapping tool is standalone, meaning in addition to launching it from within Inventor it is also its own menu item in the Start Menu.


  • Reorder Attached Balloons with the new Sort Balloons Context Menu Option
  • Specify a Hatch Pattern as SOLID
  • Enhancements to Revision Tables and Parts Lists Exported Excel Formats
  • Improvements to Deferring Updates on a Drawing
  • Save Time Printing Multiple Drawings with Auto-Size to Drawing Sheet Size [Task Scheduler]
  • Align Multiple Center Marks in a Drawing to the Selected Edge

Yes, you read that right… we can finally after all this time finally apply actual SOLID hatch patterns… whoop, whoop… no longer do I need to set the scale so small that the ANSI hatch pattern just appears as solid. [This was a long time ideastation suggestion]

INV2017 R2 - Solid Hatch

When you collect balloons onto a single leader the new Sort Balloons now sorts the balloons numerically. Great little cleanup tool. My wish, how about picking Sort Balloons a second time and it sorts it in the opposite order?

INV 2017 R2 - Sort Balloons

Another implemented IdeaStation suggestion is the ability to align multiple select Center Marks. [I haven’t counted, but there has to be a least a dozen ideastation suggestions implemented with this update]

INV2017 R2 - Align Multi Center Marks

Presentation Enhancements

  • New Create Presentation options
  • Multiple Action Editing
  • Edit the Duration of Multiple Actions:
  • Local/World Direction
  • Publish Images with a Transparent Background
  • Performance Improvements for Presentations

Directly within the Assembly / Weldment browser, you can create a new presentation by right-clicking on the top-level node and selecting Create Presentation. The second option is pressing Alt + P. This is another suggestion from the Inventor Ideastation.

INV2017 R2 - Create Presentation


Multiple areas with the Presentation environment have received performance improvements. This includes trail & component selection, deleting tweaks & storyboards, and creating storyboards from previous storyboards.

The Auto Explode feature has been removed. Hopefully, you didn’t rely on it. I for one never used it as it usually ended up creating more cleanup work for me then just creating the tweaks manually myself.

Mesh components are now supported within Presentations and are treated just as other solids.

The Presentation environment went under quite the overhaul with Inventor 2017 and let’s be honest, for as good as the changes are there were a couple annoying workflow limitations. One of the biggest has been addressed with this update in that you can now modify multiple actions at one time.

Within the timeline select multiple actions by pressing Ctrl as you make your selections, then drag and drop the actions to the desired location. You can drag and drop the actions before or after existing tweaks and it will maintain the relationship between the actions with different start / end times. You can also drag the end to adjust the duration (length) of the actions.

With multiple actions selected, right-click, and from the contextual menu select:

INV2017 R2 - Timeline Multi Right Click

  • Edit Time to set the specific duration
  • Align Start Time or Align End Time to align the start / end positions
  • All Before, All After, and Group to select all actions occurring before or after the selected action or playhead position.

When editing multiple Opacity actions at one time all selected components will get the same opacity value.


Inventor 2017 Service Pack 1

This also includes all the updates contained within Service Pack 1 for Inventor 2017. If you are not on subscription then I would still highly recommend installing SP1.


In Summary

This is an update that I think will have something for everyone as it touches just about every standard environment. As it doesn’t introduce any new functionality do not wait until you pass go, just deploy it now, and start enjoying the increased productivity.


Feature Image Airplane Wing with Jet Engines at the Airport by Viktor Hanacek