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Tag Archives: Autodesk

Autodesk Manufacturing 2016 Product Launch

Autodesk has officially released (April 13, 2015) their Product Design Suite and Factory Design Suites for 2016, in concert with their Simulation software lineup, and Inventor HSM. This package represents a very large range of solutions for its manufacturing industry customers, and includes some great updates to existing products as well as a few new features too.

Autodesk Inventor took the Lion’s share of improvements in what the company is calling an open, connected, end-to-end seamless product development ecosystem. The following are a few highlights from these portfolios.

Product Design Suite (PDS) and Inventor

Recently, we detailed the enhancements in Autodesk Inventor 2016; 387 additions and valuable enhancements such as multi-body sheet metal and model to free-form tools. One addition that stood out was the 3D Printing Environment within Inventor. This allows users to prepare their components for specific vendor’s machines, orienting and partitioning their parts in print spaces that are too limiting. The partition tools include alignment tabs, and the ability to reposition the remaining portions of the part in the void areas of the printer’s effective printing space. Watching the company’s demo of this functionality was kind of cool.

Autodesk Print Studio 2016

Once a print is prepared, users can then send the oriented parts from the 3D Printing Environment to Autodesk’s new 3D Print Studio, an application that helps users build supports and prints the project directly to the large list of known commercial printers.

AnyCAD, Autodesk’s name for their new technology for importing and maintaining most popular CAD model formats inside Inventor assemblies. This allows users the option of importing almost any CAD model for use in their designs, and maintaining the relationship between the original file and the model. If the original file is modified (or overwritten), the imported model is updated dynamically.

Autodesk Inventor 2016 AnyCAD

Buzz Kross, senior vice president, Design, Lifecycle and Simulation at Autodesk noted:

“The new AnyCAD technology in Inventor alone is worth moving to the 2016 version, but we’re also improving every part of the product workflow from concept through product delivery to help companies meet the challenges that lie ahead”

 

Watch Scott’s great video of AnyCAD in action.

 

Other really nice areas of improvement include Sheet Metal environment, 2D Sketching, Drawing Environment, and Presentation Environment (yes, believe it or not).

 

Product Design Suite Software Titles

PDS Premium includes:

  • Inventor
  • AutoCAD( + Mechanical)
  • AutoCAD Raster Design
  • ReCap
  • Vault Basic
  • 3ds Max Design
  • Navisworks Simulate
  • Showcase (downloaded separately)
  • 3D Print Studio
  • Fusion 360

PDS Ultimate adds:

  • Inventor Professional
  • AutoCAD Electrical
  • Navisworks Manage (replaces Simulate)
  • Alias Design (downloaded separately)

 

Factory Design Suite

Additional enhancements for Factory design Suite include:

  • Batch convert legacy CAD items into Factory Assets
  • Quickly convert AutoCAD facility layouts to 3D in Navisworks.
  • Point Clouds display laser scan location map and synchronize across AutoCAD, Inventor, and Navisworks.
  • Create Factory Design Suite assets from Point Clouds

Factory Design Suite Softare Titles

FDS Standard includes:

  • AutoCAD( + Mechanical +Architecture)
  • AutoCAD Raster Design
  • Factory Design Utility
  • ReCap
  • Vault Basic
  • Showcase (downloaded separately)
  • 3D Print Studio

FDS Premium adds:

  • 3ds Max Design
  • Navisworks Simulate
  • Inventor

FDS Ultimate adds:

  • Navisworks Manage (replaces Simulate)
  • Inventor Professional

The Complimenting Simulation and InventorHSM

I’m tempted to call these the landscape after all the money the company has sunk into the technologies. Think back 5 or so years ago and compare… You can’t; there was nothing there.  Autodesk’s end-to-end manufacturing solution is intertwined with continually expanding simulation and CAD/CAM software solutions.

Simulation Portfolio

The Autodesk Simulation portfolio for 2016 has a few changes you don’t want to miss as well as a brand new application. We have more details here.

Inventor HSM

We still do not have the complete picture for the changes in Inventor HSM, but there is one really sweet addition to the product, and more information coming soon. What we can say is…

Autodesk Inventor HSM 2016 gets Turning!

Autodesk added the much awaited turning capability to InventorHSM. The turning addition includes traditional toolpaths with facing, roughing, profiling, grooving and drilling operations. The applications support programming for twin-turret and twin-spindle lathes, plus mill/turn machining.

Autodesk InventorHSM 2016 Gets Turning

What does this mean for Subscribers?

I think Inventor’s improvements alone represent a significant value to engineers and their customers (I won’t rehash these here), and are worth the costs of renewing. I cannot personally speak for specific enhancements within the remaining titles in these suites, but I can attest to the level of detail applied to Autodesk Inventor, and how happy I was to see this much attention paid to a veteran product that we depend on.  Potentially more wonder and technological goodness surrounding Inventor are on the horizon, but I am under oath of silence and secrecy… (first born child and all that).

The integration of Inventor and Nastran In-CAD speaks to the company’s connected, all-encompassing mantra. With regard to the complete end-to-end digital prototyping (and physical prototyping), Autodesk’s Simulation offerings for 2016 hold a few nice features as well. More on that is coming soon.

 

Autodesk Software Information and Downloads

Autodesk Product Design Suite

Autodesk Factory Design Suite

Autodesk Inventor HSM

These products are available now!

Images courtesy of Autodesk, Inc.

 

Jon Hirschtick loses Onshape to Carl Bass

It was clear for attendees and onlookers of the Develop3D Live event held at Warwick University last week, that it was a rip roaring success full of brain food and networking. Of particular interest was the dual attendance of CAD royalty; Mr. Jon Hirschtick and Mr. Carl Bass. Given the history of Autodesk and Solidworks, having these two gentlemen in the same room together will always be a curious affair. However, this time their encounter has the power of CAD in the Cloud behind it. With Autodesk showing off and giving away Fusion 360, and Onshape doing likewise, the scene was set for a competitive environment.

Autodesk Slips in behind Onshape for the win

The competition didn’t stop at the event itself though. During the event’s invite-only after party at a local casino, it has come to our attention that a watershed moment for the CAD industry occurred.

Fueled by Kraken, the stakes were rising between Carl Bass & Jon Hirschtick. With their respective products about to go head to head in the market place, a bystander suggested they play for them at the Blackjack table, winner takes all. Carl refused to put Fusion 360 on the table, insisting the wager was completely unbalanced compared to Onshape. Instead, he proposed Tinkercad as a much more appropriate bet.

Our source relayed that Jon was disgusted by the proposition but quickly came around, figuring his legendary skills at the table would surely mean Carl’s defeat. As the game played out towards the end, a small crowd gathered as Jon doubled down with the last half of his markers… and busted… Carl walked out with Onshape and the opportunity to finally bring AutoCAD solid modelling into the 21st century.

*We sincerely hope no Onshapers were harmed in the production of this post.

Autodesk Inventor 2016: What’s New Review

This year Autodesk showed considerable effort towards caring for their existing user base, by adding 32 user requested enhancements in this release, almost 4X that of 2014. There are changes in almost every area of Inventor; from tiny improvements to dialog boxes to complete workflow overhauls; a new rendering engine was added too. The list was really long this year, and quite impressive actually. All we could do is hit some high points in this summary.

Unfortunately, not all features were extended to Inventor LT. We noted as many as we could determine with (*nLT).

User Interface

Various User Interface (UI) features have been tidied. From countless dialog box tweaks to workflows, changes include:

  • Hide all sketch dimensions
  • Import/Export iLogic external rules configuration (*nLT)
  • Numerous Visualization changes
  • All lighting styles are now associated with (IBL) Image Based Lighting.

New 3D Printing Environment

Position your design within the designated printer space and print the components directly from Inventor.

Inventor 2016 3D Print

  • Direct editing in this environment doesn’t modify the original geometry
  • Oversized components can be partitioned
  • List of commercial 3D printers

Sketch

  • Identify sketch plane source. FINALLY!!
  • Create tangent dimensions between curved geometry
  • Enhanced 3D sketch wrapping and projection

Inventor 2016 - Show Sketch Input

Parts

Parts look really exciting this year.

  • Boundary Patch no longer requires closed edge selection
  • Mirror and Pattern support multiple solid body selection
  • Create nonlinear patterns for solid bodies
  • Copy / Paste is now available from the Parameters dialog context menu
  • Surfaces used as parting lines
  • Ruled Surfaces have been added. FINALLY!!

Inventor 2016 - Pattern MultiSolids Inventor 2016 - Ruled Surface

Sheet Metal

Sheet metal is my favorite item this year; well at least so far. Great improvements include multi-body support, new features, 0-bend radii much more.

Inventor 2016 - Multibody Sheetmetal

Check out the details in our first Inventor 2016 New Sheet Metal Features Test Drive.

Freeform Environment / Edit Form

Freeform command activates a Ribbon tab providing full access to the environment.

  • Cool new Convert to Freeform command
  • Work features accessible from Ribbon tab
  • Numerous new commands and features available
  • Intelligent body management

Inventor 2016 - Convert to Freeform

Assembly

  • Analyze Interference improvements
  • Tube and Pipe(*nLT) – File names for Fittings customizable and part numbers populated in Parts Lists
  • Assembly conflict zoom-to

Color Override in Derived Components

‘Use color override from source component’ option added to Derived Assembly (*nLT), Derived Part, Make Part, and Make Component dialog boxes. A global override is available in Application Options.

Drawings

The Drawing Environment received a huge share of attention this time round. Numerous view related workflows have been cleaned up or moved to create a more direct approach of manipulation, as well as many annotation enhancements that were needed.

  • Add projected geometry to view sketches
  • New Reflection Environment settings in the drawing Document Settings – apply specular effect and specify Reflection map in a drawing (.idw) file.
  • New Hidden Line options for Content Center and Sheet Metal
  • Drawing sketch creation is now similar to creating model sketches
  • Merged Format for Dual Hole notes
  • Initial View Scale added to title blocks
  • Transparent components in Drawing Views
  • Create Drawing View from Any Open Model, then current model view orientation and representation are carried over

Overhauled Base View Creation and Editing

The In-Canvas Base View creation tools simplify workflows associated with base and projected view creation. Initial View Scale is set to a best fit and can be changed by dragging the corner to produce the new scale. Direct editing of orientation is now available, as well as a slew of refined features throughout the interface.

Inventor 2016 - Drawing Improvements

Annotation Enhancements

  • Double-click direct editing of symbols
  • Feature Control Frame enhancements
  • Split Leader corrections
  • Single segment leader option
  • One-step leader alignment
  • Symbols list reorganized and enhanced
  • Surface texture symbols updated
  • New external Sketch Symbols Library

Drawing Balloon Enhancements

Balloon creation has been enhanced, including Balloon alignment tools, split Balloons, selection and more. Custom Balloon styles can be created too.

Inventor 2016 drawing balloon improved

New Text Options

Text editing finally received some enhancements and a revamped dialog box, including bullet lists, text case, Graphics Window preview, and much more.

Inventor 2016 new drawing symbols list

Studio Visualization

  • New IBL Lighting Styles added and all custom styles automatically associated with IBL

RapidRT is now the rendering engine for Inventor Studio

Enhanced render quality with additional features:

  • Time duration/iterations/unlimited mode
  • Lighting and Material Accuracy modes

Inventor 2016 Studio Render Enhancements

Presentations (*nLT)

Presentations have been excluded from enhancement since Inventor Publisher arrived…. This year offers some relief:

  • Trail creation and editing enhanced
  • Component selection simplified
  • Enhanced Representations support
  • Triad Manipulator modernized and can be aligned to component geometry
  • Auto Explode improved and added to Ribbon

Tweak Command Enhancements

Tweak Components command is redesigned to include direct manipulation. A mini-toolbar is available with new commands including Undo option.

Inventor 2016 Presentations - Default Trails

Dynamic previewing of tweaks now occurs, and components are rolled back during tweak editing to preview the changes.

  • Tweaked component selection sets amended dynamically
  • Enhanced Trail editing and manual creation
  • In-Canvas editing of distance and angle

Interoperability

Autodesk continues to merge the seams between CAD model versions, with some focus on AutoCAD and non-native formats.

  • Simplified importing of non-Autodesk CAD files

Associativity

Associative CAD file import maintains and updates links with:

  • SolidWorks
  • CATIA
  • NX
  • Pro-E/Creo
  • Alias

AutoCAD Electrical and Inventor (*nLT)

A New Electromechanical Tab has been added to the Ribbon. The New Electromechanical link between Inventor and AutoCAD Electrical provides smooth data exchange and update between the two.

Other Enhancements

  • Multi-thread support (Single processor only)
  • 64 bit only support for Inventor 2016 through Win 8.1 (LT still supports 32-bit)

Detailed What’s New Posts

Autodesk Inventor 2016 Now Uses Any CAD format

Sketching a Circle Around the Competition with Inventor 2016

Autodesk Inventor 2016 – Drawing Environment Improvements

Presenting Inventor 2016 (What’s New With Presentations?)

Autodesk Inventor 2016: Sheet Metal New Features

Thank You!

Thank you to our team for pumping out this series of posts:

There will be plenty more to come about Inventor 2016 in the coming weeks and months.

Autodesk Inventor 2016 Now Uses Any CAD format

Ok, not quite any CAD format, but all the really important ones are covered; Solidworks, CATIA, NX, Pro Engineer and PTC Creo. Hey, what did you say? you may be asking… Yes Autodesk Inventor 2016 will now natively import and maintain associativity with all major CAD file formats. BOOM! Now that guys & gals, is a game changer for the wider CAD / CAM industry.

Autodesk Inventor 2016 Multi-CAD

Why’s it a Game Changer?

There are plenty multi-CAD workplaces knocking about, whether that’s because of mergers, legacy decisions in different departments or a heavy reliance on contract design staff. But this is also a big deal for the CAM users out there, those guys are receiving various data formats from all their clients every day… and they are also subject to in process change just like everyone else is.

In the way the Navisworks changed the way multi-disciplinary design review was carried out forever (and it’s competitors), Autodesk Inventor’s Multi-CAD functionality promises to do the same for the modelling process itself. Yes, PTC got in there first with Creo 3.0 delivering their Unite Technology supporting Solidworks, CATIA and NX files. Inventor 2016 supports those same file formats, as well as PTC Creo, Pro Engineer Wildfire and Autodesk Alias. I never got the opportunity to try out Unite in Creo 3.0, so I can’t compare real-world functionality unfortunately.

How does it work?

I have absolutely no clue, beyond knowing the translators in use are from a 3rd party* (which other CAD vendors will also be using) and a heavy dose of wizardry from the Autodesk developers! What I do know, is you can open any of the supported file types, either parts or assemblies, straight into an Inventor part or assembly. You even get to read the BOM of the source files via Inventor’s Bill Of Materials dialog. Check out this video to see how it’s done:

Does it work?

I’ve only been able to test it using datasets created in Solidworks 2015 SP1.1. So I can’t speak for the other file formats at this stage, but the harsh reality is there are issues. Bearing in mind that there is a lot of Black Magic going on here, it is hardly surprising. However, this is the first release of the technology and I have no doubt that PTC’s Unite Technology will have issues as well. But the great thing is, both of these companies are having a go at breaking down the barriers put up by competing CAD file formats.

The problems I have encountered initially are:

  • 80% of the time a projected edge from a Multi-CAD source will fail on update when the source model geometry around it changes.
  • Geometry changes within the boundary of the Multi-CAD model work better than changes which result in the overall model size changing.
  • Assembly Joints & Constraints are a bit hit & miss at release, but those relationships are more stable than sketch projections are.

So basically, if you stick to a bottom > up modelling workflow with these components you are more likely to succeed than using a top > down approach.

I did manage to program a native Solidworks part file, inside Inventor HSM though and maintain an associative relationship:

DWG Underlay

Another excellent feature which arrives under the ‘Multi-CAD’ banner, is the AutoCAD DWG Underlay. I was honestly speechless when I saw this for the first time. Having worked with Inventor in the Super Yacht interiors industry for 10 years, I’m acutely aware of how poorly Inventor handles large amounts of AutoCAD 2D objects. General Arrangement plans are highly detailed beasts in the marine (and aerospace) industry, because they’ve historically been used to sell yachts there is a lot of stylized line work. It can be a pain to clean it all up, only to receive another version the following week. God I wish I had this tool in the past. Feast your eyes on this:

* Digging through the Autodesk Inventor Trademarks and credits declaration, you will find a reference to CADCAM-E.COM. Credit to a very curious colleague of mine for finding that!

Autodesk Inventor 2016: Sheet Metal New Features

My favorite addition to Inventor 2016 is most likely Sheet Metal. That’s not to say that other great enhancements were less impressive, but that sheet metal design has been waiting on these improvements for some time.

Autodesk Inventor Sheet Metal Multi-Body

These improvements include:

  • Zero bend radius support
  • Material thickness detection in standard part to sheet metal part conversion
  • Punch tool shows center selection count
  • Dialog Enhancements

Multi-body Support for Sheet Metal

This is the cat’s meow; Top down workflows through Make Components and Make Parts allows users to write out components and generate separate flat patterns.

New Solid body option includes Face, Contour Flange, Contour Roll, Lofted Flange, and Split, with multi-body workflows for many others.

During the ‘Convert Part to Sheet Metal’ command, sheet thicknesses are automatically determined by detection from a selected face when prompted.

A Quick Run-Through

I needed to put something to the test and then show here, because most of my readers are “all text and no pictures makes Jack bored silly”. I didn’t have but an hour to spend, so I threw this seal mount together, and later decided to integrate it into a bulkhead instead.

Sheet Metal Part Creation

I started with a 2D sketch, from which I turned a contour roll of 0.063” aluminum with 1.5” flanges in a single motion. I unfolded the half circle shape, so that I essentially had an L-angle, and added two mating end flanges, as well as the bolt and rivet holes by rectangular pattern.

Finally I refolded the structure (still amazing and cool that all the features hold together), and added a circular pattern of two components to copy the structure around the circle, making sure to pick the New Body option.

Autodesk Inventor 2016: Sheet metal make components

Inventor created a mating duplicate body, both of which I quickly wrote out to an assembly using the Create Components command. As you might imagine, the two components were placed and grounded just as if they were regular part bodies.

Flat Patterns

I remembered reading how flat patterns were associated with each individual part file, so I edited one, and sure enough, the option to Edit Flat Pattern was there.

AWESOME!!!!

Autodesk Inventor 2016: Sheet Metal Flat pattern

Another Body

I returned to the multi-body sheet metal part, and turned off the lower seal ring support. I created a Face for a new body, and added another contour roll, flanges, and fasteners with typical operations.

Once again I wrote the part out, and used Component Replace to swap the bulkhead into the lower seal ring’s place.

Yep, you guessed it, it worked perfectly.

0 Bend Radius Support

I thought that it would be a good idea to test the 0 bend radius on this odd back and forth operation I had going. I edited the upper seal contour roll, and changed the radius to 0. Everything updated properly. Inside radius was 0, and outside of sheet radius was the sheet thickness.

Autodesk Inventor 2016: Sheet Metal 0 bend radius

Conclusion

I am quite happy to get multi-body sheet metal into Inventor finally, a functional part of the overall design process. Is there anything remaining that needs to be handled?

Sure, like more aviation type manipulations for example. However, these additions are a real winning addition and are something that we can build new workflows from immediately.

Presenting Inventor 2016 (What’s New With Presentations?)

Described as the “red-headed stepchild” of Inventor in our introduction post on Inventor 2016, the Presentation environment has gone a long (and I mean a long) time without any updates, tweaks, changes, improvements, or really anything to write home about. The Presentation Environment remained almost identical to when it was first introduced in R2 of the software…. and that was in 2000! What else within Inventor has remained unchanged for 15 years?

So although there is still lots of room for improvement, I’m glad to finally see some much-needed enhancements. So what’s new?

I put the updates into these two categories:

  • Environment brought up to par
  • Improved Tweaking

Environment / UI Enhancements

Many of the enhancements to the Presentation environment have been in other places for the past couple of years, but it doesn’t make it any less impactful for building the exploded views.

Window Selection

Components can be selected by both window and crossing selections. You don’t really truly understand how much you missed something until you have it. Being able to quickly select objects by a window selection can significantly streamline the process.

Inventor 2016 Presentations - Window

Representations

You’ve always been able to set the Representations on Presentation View creation, but now you can switch the active Design View at any time... not just during creation. In addition, the associative option can be enabled or disabled whenever. What does Associative do? If enabled, changes to the assembly’s design view automatically update within the Presentation. This includes component visibility and component color

Inventor 2016 Presentations - Representations

Browser Views

Gone is the little filter icon with no indication of which browser view is active. Within 2016, it behaves as the Part and Assembly browser.

Inventor 2016 Presentations - Browser Filter

Tweak Components Minitoolbar

The big, clunky, dialog is gone! Replaced with the newer style Minitoolbar. Everything is accessible from one compact interface. This includes the option to change the selection filter WHILE you are applying tweaks!

Inventor 2016 Presentations - Mini Toolbars

Tweaks

Triad Manipulator

At first glance it might seem like a small thing… whoo hooo they changed the icon to represent tweak direction. However, its more, you are now forced to use the triad meaning no more unintentional selection of additional components not intended for the current tweak operation. To tweak a component click-and-drag on the triad arrow in the direction you want to tweak the component. Another great enhancement is with the Triad comes in-canvas text boxes. As you click on the triad and apply tweaks you can also specify exact values.

Inventor 2016 Presentations - In Canvas TextIt’s also important to note that when you initially position the triad, it automatically selects the component it is snapped to.

Move vs. Continous Move

This is a nice little enhancement. To mimic 2015 (and older) behavior, use the Continous Move option. As you apply tweaks the components remain selected. This builds a workflow in which you can tweak a group of components, apply the tweak, then shift + select to deselect a component (or more), and continue to apply tweaks. With the Move option, the components are tweaked and when applied the components are all deselected.

Select Sets

When applying a tweak the selected components can be dynamically adjusted, adding and removed components. The preview automatically updates as you add and remove components to the selection set, even after you’ve started to apply the tweak. Even better than this is that it now extends to editing tweaks. This means you can modify an existing tweak to add a component or remove components from the tweak. No more creating a new tweak to match up the component already tweaked.

Dynamic Previews / Undo

Tweaks now preview before being applied! You can now undo during the tweaking process! Enough said

Auto Explode

It used to be all or nothing… you auto exploded the components at view creation or you didn’t explode it at all. Auto Explode is now its own ribbon icon meaning the assembly can be exploded at any time during the process OR selected objects of the assembly can be auto exploded.

Inventor 2016 Presentations - Auto Explode

Trails

Trails, I know you don’t like me and I don’t like you, but we need together” Who hasn’t said this about trails at least once during their time in Inventor? Trails definitely got some lovin’ in this release

First, there are now four “default” trail options as you are building tweaks…. None to not create trails, Components to only add trails to top-level components, All Parts to apply trails to everything, and Single to apply a single trail to all the components being actively tweaked…. Brilliant!

Inventor 2016 Presentations - Default Trails

The new trail selection filter (used when either creating or editing a trail) provides the means to delete or add either the full trail (following all tweaks) or a trail for a portion of the path.

Inventor 2016 Presentations - Trail Filters

See it in Action!

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