Part Modeling 2018

Autodesk Inventor 2018 is here (read more here) and is chalk full of updates, enhancements, tweaks, and other goodies. Part Modeling 2018 got the biggest piece of the update pie, with some of the most significant updates within this year’s Inventor release

3D Annotation

The concept of documenting and detailing the 3D model is not a new concept. The idea is to forgo 2D drawings and replace them with the 3D model containing all the dimensions and annotations required to manufacture the component.

In the 2012-2013 time period, Autodesk toyed with the idea with the 3DA add-in for Inventor (was available on Autodesk Labs). Autodesk was excited but found a collective “meh” from the intended audience based on the feature set presented to them. No one really jumped up and down with excitement, Autodesk didn’t get the warm and fuzzies, and development was put on hold…. drum roll… until now!

Inventor 2018 contains Model Based Definition workflows to generate 3D Annotations within the Part Modeling 2018 environment.

We’ll be covering this in a “deep-dive” coming up later this month.

Sheet Metal

What’s the very first thing just about everybody said when Autodesk added multi-body sheet metal support? Can I have different styles and thicknesses per body?

The answer before 2018 was NO. Well, that is no longer the case as Inventor 2018 now supports multiple thicknesses and styles.

Inventor 2018 Sheet Metal Rule

The unique style is set with the Face, Contour Flange, Lofted Flange, and/or Contour Roll. Within these dialogs, disable Follow Defaults and select the desired rule.

You can also right-click a solid body within the browser and select the desired Sheet Metal Rule.


Extrude Enhancements

The new Distance from Face extents option within Part Modeling 2018 is phenomenal when you want to use one central sketch to build multiple features at different starting locations.

Inventor 2018 Extrude Distance-From-Face

With this new feature, you specify the starting face or workplane and the desired distance.


Hole Enhancements

With Simple Holes use the new symmetric option to extrude the hole in two directions. The Hole dialog termination buttons now match the Extrude dialog, providing consistency and easier identification.

Inventor 2018 Hole Termination Updates

Spotface holes support zero bore depths, which is useful for termination faces on a body.

Inventor 2018 Hole Updates

Utilize the new Extend Start feature to extend the hole to the first place of intersection… aka remove the slivers or pieces of geometry not cleaned properly by the hole.


Partial Chamfers

With the new Partial option generate Chamfers that bevel only part of an edge. Using the Partial settings specify the chamfer based on a combination of the starting point, ending point, and chamfer distance. The Driven Dimension Type sets the value being driven by what you specify for the other two options.

Inventor 2018 Partial Chamfer


Other Updates

Within the Parameters dialog, the new Consumed by column shows the features using the parameter.

Inventor-2018 Parameters Consumed By

Trim Surface contains an Apply button, making it so you can continue to trim surfaces without exiting the command.

Inventor 2018 Trim Surface Apply




Feature Image by Miguel Salgado