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What’s New in Vault 2016? Copy Design 2.01

Vault 2016 puts me into a difficult position. For those of you who moved to Vault 2015 R2, the majority of the new features contained within 2016 you’ve already seen. For those (like me) who stayed on 2015, there is a lot new in 2016 as you didn’t use R2.So the dilemma…. do I blog about 2016 like it is all new? and just ignore 2015 R2 existed?

What I’ve decided to do is write about the 2016 features assuming that you’ve never seen them (as in never seen 2015 R2 or 2016), however, I will try to identify all things that have changed within 2016

The new and improved Copy Design is so significant Autodesk now labels it as an “Experience(ed: Very ‘Dassault’ of them!). If you haven’t seen it yet, you will probably be a bit shocked by how significantly different it is. I’m labeling the 2016 Copy Design as version 2.01, as 2015 R2 introduced the new “2.0” Copy Design and 2016 only slightly tweaks it.

Experience

photo credit: JOH_1143 via photopin (license)

Allan O’Leary is doing a very, very, very deep dive of Copy Design over at Under the Hood. Its a very good read as it is both informative and fun, in a way only Allan can. My post however, is not the “long and short of it”, it is only the short. It is the meat and potatoes of Copy Design, meant to give you my impression and get you up and running in no time.

Copy Design 2.01

I should start by saying that for anyone using Vault Basic, you will continue to use the 2015 Copy Design. The new Copy Design “Experience” is only available for Vault Workgroup and Vault Professional users.

So what was so wrong with the old Copy Design?

There are many things about the old Copy Design that I liked. It was easily accessed, it autoloaded the file I had selected and its children. It was easy to tag components with the actions I wanted (after I learned the hold CTRL to toggle all trick). It also had a flow and feeling that didn’t make me feel like I was leaving Vault for something else… it was a part of Vault.

Copy Design however, is not always the most intuitive. For example, Find and Replace is available but only if you know the magical sweet spots to right-click. It also becomes clunky when you start getting into large datasets. It’s clunky as it’s difficult to navigate to find the items you want copied, the ones you want replaced, excluded, etc.

The New UI Experience

Copy Design Dialog

The User Interface (UI) is completely overhauled allowing for more feedback, user customization, and different sorting (ed: while nice, it’s yet another Vault UI variant). Although some similarities in workflow to Get / Checkout, it really is a different experience.  Although it can be launched from within Vault [new to 2016] it is actually a standalone application. You can additionally start Copy Design from the start menu.

Copy Design Start Menu Location

Copy Design now supports more than one dataset at a time. It also supports AutoCAD Electrical Projects (finally). It also now works on non-CAD files… meaning any file stored within your Vault is eligible to participate in a copy design.

Although standalone the window behaves as other Vault windows. The displayed properties (columns) are adjusted by dragging-and-dropping. If additional properties are required (desired), right-click on any column and use Choose Columns to add or remove properties. The view is persistent, meaning it will be as you left it the next time you use Copy Design.

A nice bonus feature which would be nice at times in other windows, is the right-click options for a quick expand-all or collapse-all. The expand options include 2-levels, 3-levels, 4-levels, and All options.

Other new features:

  • copy individual instances (opposed to all instances)
  • replace parts with copies that were created during the active copy
  • configure different actions for drawings
  • use circular references, such as substitute parts and drawing overlays.

The copying process has been completely restructured which should lead to much greater performance. With the previous version files were copied local to your system (into the temp) for the magic to happen (copying and renaming) and then checked back in as the new files. Although this happened invisibly to the user it was still time consuming, especially the file transfer back-and-forth between your system and the server. The copying now occurs completely on the server leading to greatly reduced copying times, significantly improving performance.

The Workflow

If you launched Copy Design from the Vault client your dataset is already loaded, or at least the start. If you required more data or if you launched Copy Design standalone use the big plus sign icon in the toolbar to browse for and select files to include in the copy operation. One caveat is there is no search, that’s right I’ll say it again, there is no search using the add file option within Copy Design…. it’s straight up browsing file structure (maybe Copy Design 3.0?)

Copy Design - Add Files

Use Add Children (in the ribbon) to quickly add attachments and Library files.

To remove drawings from the view, disable Drawing Views from the application menu. Enable Automatically Copy Parents so that as you select a component to copy its parent is automatically selected. Disable Select References when you only want to copy the instance of the component, not all references of it in the assembly.

Copy Design App Menu

Right-click on the components in the list to set the action. The available options will vary on the component level and the file type. The options include:

  • Copy: Toggles the component to copy creating a new file in the same location as the original
  • Copy To: Similar to Copy but you will be prompted to select the destination folder for the new copy
  • Copy Branch: Sets the action to Copy for the selected item as well as all of its children
  • Replace: Browse for and select a replacement file
  • Reuse: Is the default action and can be used to remove an action like Copy
  • Reuse Branch: Sets the action to Reuse for the selected item as well as all of its children
  • Exclude: removes the instance from the new copied assembly

Use the new Actions panel to quickly filter out the files with the assigned action. For example, selecting the “Exclude” tab displays just the files set with the exclude action. The action of the files can be toggled via right-click in these views as well. This has proven to be a great way to check what I’m actually copying and other actions and make adjustments… especially opposed to navigating up and down the navigation tree with larger assemblies.. Remember that nothing is committed until you click the Create Copy button, which is when it initiates the copy process.

The Where Used panel provides a Source and Destination option to quickly see where the files are coming from (Source) and where the copies are going (Destination). Because you can copy individual instances (now) a particular component might have multiple destinations.

Copy Design Where Used

Use the Folders Panel to review the source and destination folders of the copied data, a different view of the Where Used Panel. This shows where the copied files are going, so you can insure they end up in the correct location. As a bonus, you can apply operations based on the folder location. You can also drag-and-drop files between folders or from the main view to add to the copy.

Using the Numbering Panel

The biggest change, and most likely the one that takes the most to get used to, is the Numbering Panel. You do not adjust the name of copied components from anywhere BUT the Numbering Panel. The Numbering Panel lists the files to be copied and is what you use to set the new names. This Panel displays tabs for each numbering scheme used within Copy Design. It organizes the files based on the scheme applied.

Copy Design Numbering Pane

With files with no scheme applied, you can manually adjust the destination file name, apply a prefix (before the base name) or postfix (after the base name). You can apply changes to the three (pre, post, and base) on a selection of files. The options presented on the specific numbering scheme tab is completely dependent on the numbering scheme.

In Summary

Vault Copy Design 2.01 is a case of the good, the bad, and the ugly… well, not quite as it is more of the great, the good, and the bad.

Great is the new features like multiple datasets, AutoCAD Electrical project support, and copying instances opposed to all references.

Good is some of the workflow items like the action panels, the right-click expand options, and the exclusion of drawings from the view.

Bad is the separate window, with its look & feel and workflow different from all other features in Vault. When you launch Copy Design, it truly does feel like a standalone, separate product from Vault. Inconsistencies in software workflows make it difficult for new users to learn and difficult for users who don’t use the feature all the time to be productive.

Ugly Sweater

photo credit: Vintage 80s 8-Bit Scottie Dogs Tacky Ugly Christmas Sweater via photopin (license)

Autodesk Announces Fusion 360 Enhancements

Today at Solid 2015, Autodesk is announcing more enhancements to their cloud enabled Fusion 360 CAD software.  These improvements and expanded functionality were released on June 20th, 2015, and are summarized below. These enhancements surround user requests for the greater part, and represent a good set of improvements. It’s not like a full release, but more like a nice cleanup.

Distributed Design

Users can insert associatively linked components into existing designs. Previous versions of the reference component can be selected from within the existing design interface through the Browser’s context menu. Team member comments can be reviewed from with the Fusion 360 design space Activity Browser.

The recent addition of the Fusion 360 iOS app allows users to review and edit project information and team activity from any internet connection. The combination allows users to collaborate on the project however they desire; mobile, web, and desktop, all of which support screen capturing in the comments as well.

Sketching

Sketching received some user-requested enhancements. Parameter names are displayed in a tooltip during numerical input. Sketch geometry profiles highlight with a different color when fully constrained, and the sketch itself shows a pin in the browser when fully constrained. Geometries and profiles can be referenced without projecting to a sketch. An icon appears over the cursor to represent the operation that is currently active.

Drawings

Fusion 360 drawings have come along well since I initially saw their preview. Autodesk has responded to user requests with numerous improvements. Dimensions have been enhanced and include baseline and chain dimensioning, inspection dimensions, tolerancing, and more. Drawing settings can be established as the drawing is being created, and the settings can be accessed subsequently from the nav bar. There are more usability enhancements that were added, and I hope even more are on the horizon.

Fusion 360 Drawing Enhancements

Parts

Fusion 360 now had a CADENA parts4cad interface to access their well-known standard manufacturer’s parts library.

Manufacturing

It’s nice to see the 3D Print Studio as part of the Fusion 360 design and manufacturing integration. 3D Printing now support Spark Print Studio, allowing users to communicate directly with Autodesk Ember, Type A, and Dremel 3D printers. I hope this list gets expanded soon.

Users can now request manufacturing quotes directly from Fusion 360 by way of the Brighthub service. The STEP files are automatically generated and handed off to a RFQ page where users can enter their project specifics, and get their products manufactured.

ProtoLabs will soon add a quoting service for their machining and injection mold services as well.

Autodesk Fusion 360 3D Print Studio

Even More Enhancements

There are far more improvement then I had time to add here. Check out Autodesk Fusion 360 “What’s New” page.

 

Reviving Inventor’s Design Checker – Making it work for you

In case you have not seen it yet, the (subscription-only) Inventor Design Checker tool is a potentially massive time saver when it comes to checking on the conformance of modelling data to a known (company) standard.

I will not be covering how to use/set it up here since the instructions can be found (in brief) online or in detail in the accompanying help (.chm format) documentation, but suffice it to say it’s really easy to check a whole plethora of common modelling errors/omissions.

I have previously posted about my desire to use the Inventor Design Checker (IDC) to check pre-existing model datasets using this tool, but, if you have used the tool already, you will notice that it has one (to me at least) fatal flaw with the inability to batch process (existing) large assemblies and sub-assemblies.

Because of this flaw, I had ignored the tool for over a year when a series of events led me back to discussing it with the very knowledgeable Adrian Salariu. I praised his post on Inventor Pipe Clips and he then replied to my Google+ post on the subject of the IDC stating that he had previously used it to check a large assembly structure without using iLogic or the API.

We subsequently discussed this further using Google Hangouts and, after understanding how Adrian had accomplished this seemingly impossible goal, here is my guide on using the Inventor Design Checker for batch processing large assemblies:

Preparation for Batch Processing with Inventor Design Checker

There are a huge number of checks that available to use with this tool, and whilst there are too many to mention in detail, the one issue we encounter more than any other in provided-to-us Inventor datasets is “under-constrained-sketches”.

This error ranges in severity from one or two dimensions/constraints missing within one sketch in a part file to (the worst I have seen) 150 of 180 sketches being under-constrained within one part file.

Obviously in the latter case, the only option left to us was to take the original paper drawing data and re-draw the Inventor part from scratch as attempting to piece together a part with around a 70% broken sketch count was simply a non-starter.

Once you have agreed upon a set of company standard checks that you wish to run, the procedure for running the tool as a batch process is relatively simple.

Ensure that “Enable LiveCheck” is selected:

Inventor Design Checker - Enable Live Check

Then double-check the profile you wish to use:

(In my case remembering to turn on the previously mentioned “Under Constrained Sketches”)

Inventor Design Checker -  Under Constrained Sketches

Also remember to add Default iProperties you wish to have checked:

Inventor Design Checker - Default Properties

Save and exit the Design Checker Profile tool, then close Inventor.

Now we need to think about the origin of any files we wish to check, since there are a number of pointers I have discovered that could shape the way you use this tool:

  • Are the files Vaulted?

OR

  • Are the files part of a pack and go?

OR

  • Are they included on an email/CD/DVD?

If the answer to the above is a. then skip to (Vaulted Files).

If the answer to the above is b. then skip to (Pack & Go Files).

If the answer to the above is c. then read on:

In the case of emailed/DVD-based files, simply place them somewhere within your existing Vault folder structure.

Make sure to unset Read-Only on these files and (to prevent missing file errors) open their parent assembly with Inventor. This ensures that (if Inventor is unable to find them) Inventor will download the latest copy of any Content Centre files referenced by this assembly.

Once again, close Inventor and skip ahead to (Processing files using Task Scheduler).

Vaulted Files

Vaulted files can be treated similarly to number 6) above, but with the caveat that if they are in a lifecycle-released state, the IDC results will not be saved to the files in the Vault.

If non-saving of the files is not an issue, for instance if you simply want to report on pre-existing, Vaulted, locked files, then simply do a “Get” at the parent assembly (remembering to tick the “Children” option) and download the latest files from Vault. Then unset Read-Only and open the parent assembly as per step 7 above.

Pack & Go Files

Pack & Go Files should already be writeable, but it is best to check as the IDC will fail on any missing or read-only files and repeated failures will result in the process stopping completely.

Depending on the settings used when creating the Pack & Go, there may or may not be included the relevant Content Centre files, so it is worth setting the Pack & Go project file as current and opening the top-level assembly to force Inventor to get all missing Content. (Of course, Inventor may not be able to retrieve some items in which case an email to the Pack & Go source is likely required.

Processing files using Task Scheduler

With all the necessary files downloaded and ready to be processed, open the Inventor Task Scheduler from the Start Menu -> All Programs -> Autodesk -> Autodesk Inventor (year) -> Tools -> Task Scheduler.

Create a new “Update Design” task:

Inventor Design Checker - Task

If you can’t select a project file, then simply select a folder to use, or even an assembly file:

Then tick the “Immediately” (Assuming you want the task to run straight away!):

Inventor Design Checker - Task Folder

Next, click “Options” and tick the “Total Rebuild” option. (This may or may not be necessary, it was something Adrian & I discussed and we agreed it was probably best to turn this option on):

Inventor Design Checker - Task Run Immediately

Finally click OK to close the Update Design Options and then, if you are happy with the settings you have selected, click OK on the Update Design dialogue.

Inventor Design Checker - Task Total Rebuild

Awaiting the Task Scheduler results

Once the process is running, you will see different “speedometer” icons appearing on-screen whilst the task completes:

Inventor Design Checker - Task Running

Inventor Design Checker - Task Running 2

These different icons display the different checks that have passed/failed within the IDC dataset.

Once the task has completed you will see something similar to this page:

Inventor Design Checker - Task Running 4

The “Red Cross” denotes that the task completed with some errors. In the case above, the most-recent task only had three errors:

Inventor Design Checker - Task Error

Now it is simply a matter of right clicking the completed task and selecting “Create Report”:

Inventor Design Checker - Task Create Report

Then select the filename/path for the report and click OK:

Inventor Design Checker - Task report filename

The report will open and because we ticked the “Errors Only” option will only display errors from the Task Scheduler process:

Inventor Design Checker - Task Report

With the Scheduled task complete, we can now reopen Inventor and begin to interpret the IDC Results.

Inventor Design Checker Results

Open the top-level assembly checked by IDC and you will see the speedometer as shown below:

Inventor Design Checker

The number displayed within shows the number of files that have failed checks. Ideally, this would be zero, with the dial(s) fully green as per this part:

Inventor Design Checker - Results

The exclamation marks shown in the image above are highlighted within the report as “Accepted Failed Checks” and have accompanying remarks from the user (in this case me) explaining what the Accepted Failed Check means.

Inventor: Top Ten iLogic & API Tips

Here are my Top Ten Inventor iLogic tricks. I have included some mentions of the Inventor API and SDK too, since they go hand-in-hand.

Forums, forums, forums

When working with Inventor iLogic, it is important to remember that for the most part, none of what you are likely to create will be “entirely new” code. There is a good chance that somebody on the Autodesk Forums will have either already used the methods available (within iLogic) to do what you want to do with them, or at the very least be able to offer pointers as to how to achieve your goal.

The Inventor API team are always on hand to aid with a specific question and the Expert Elite will occasionally chime in as well.

A good starting point is the Inventor customization forum:

Inventor Customization Forums

In particular, the search function (circled above) is one of the best ways to get started. Always make sure to include iLogic in the search string.

Inventor SDK

One of the most useful (and often overlooked) repositories available to even a seasoned iLogic user is the Inventor SDK. Normally available here:

C:\Users\Public\Documents\Autodesk\Inventor 20##\SDK

It comprises two installers:

Inventor SDK

User Tools

This installer contains the following tools:

Inventor SDK UserToolsThe titles of which should be self-explanatory. 😉

Developer Tools

This installer contains the following tools:

Inventor API developer tools installed

It is worth noting however that without even an Express version of Visual Studio installed, you will receive the following error and be unable to proceed with the installation:

Inventor API developer tools no Visual Studio errorEvent watcher sample

Assuming you did have Visual Studio installed; one gem in the Developer Tools -> Tools folder is the Event Watcher, a standalone app that is especially useful if you want to see what commands are firing within Inventor when using the Inventor UI.

I have previously used this tool to discover and subsequently intercept the “file close” and “file save” events for example.

Keep It Simple, Stupid.

When working in iLogic, it is very easy to end up with an enormous codebase; and whilst this may seem like “do as I say, not as I do” I have in the past created iLogic routines with 500+ lines of code. It is not something I would recommend to anyone starting out. The easiest way to keep things simple is to limit each method to an absolute maximum of 10 variables. I.e. objects you define yourself:

Inventor API Variable CountThe above is a good example of a limited number of variables leading to easily maintained code.

Another tip is regarding named objects you create; sometimes in a large iLogic rule, you will find an error, which results in a useless dialogue from the Inventor UI. Often, this sort of error can be as simple as a typo caused by an overly complex object name. Turning “Option Explicit on” is one method to eliminate these errors before running the rule.

Debugging

A quick way of debugging iLogic code is to place message boxes throughout the rule:

Inventor iLogic messagebox.showThis gives a nice prompt within the Inventor UI that things are running as planned.

I do not recommend including them within a (potentially long running) loop, unless you like clicking the mouse waiting for said loop to finish that is.

Visual Studio

Visual Studio Express is the minimum required to install the a fore-mentioned Developer Tools and is especially useful if you are serious about working with the Inventor API.

Among its many attributes are:

Intellisense

Autocompletes code and can suggest options as you type.

Break Points

These function in a similar way to the message boxes we discussed earlier, but allow the developer to step through the code line by line.

These are both things that Inventor iLogic is sorely lacking, but which is an unlikely implementation unfortunately.

Option Explicit on

A trick I picked up because of this topic of mine is that although VB.NET and thus Inventor iLogic is happy for you to use the following statement:

You will see (as in the case above) strange results within the Inventor UI.

The correct method to use for the above scenario is thus:

Notice the addition of the Type Name Constant preceding the link Object above. To help detect these constants in code, you simply add “Option Explicit On” at the top of the iLogic Rule. This will Force explicit declaration of all variables in an Inventor iLogic rule.

Commenting

Commenting code is often something that is either forgotten or over-used. For instance, when naming objects, there is no need to comment every variable, provided each uses a sensible name. For example:

Dim selectedfile As String = String.Empty” Would not require a comment whereas:

Dim a As String = String.Empty” Would require a comment to denote what ‘a’ means.

Granted, for a small piece of Inventor iLogic it may not be necessary to comment anything, but let us say for instance that you write a comment-free iLogic rule that works so well you do not need to update it for 6 months.

When you next attempt to edit this piece of code, the lack of comments will likely mean spending half a day or more getting to grips with what the code is doing.

Another trick that Visual Studio has up its sleeve (which would be useful in Inventor iLogic) is the ability to auto-expand any instance of three apostrophe characters preceding a method into a block of text resembling this:

Visual Studio Autocomplete CommentsObviously, if you have installed a copy of Visual Studio, and you want to include this kind of commenting, you can copy the header that defines your method into a vb.net class open in Visual Studio, hit apostrophe three times on the line above and it will expand into the layout seen in the image above.

Built-in tools for user ease

For beginners, typing logic statements within iLogic is sometimes a difficult idea to get to grips with.

The iLogic “Edit rule” window does an okay job of highlighting the most-used of these:

iLogic Edit Rule dialogue keywords dropdownThere is also the Operators drop-down:

iLogic Edit Rule dialogue keywords dropdownClicking any of these dropdown items inserts them into the iLogic rule window.

Snippets are your friend

The Snippets available in the iLogic Rule Editor are (by me anyway) an underused addition to the iLogic toolset:

iLogic Edit Rule dialogue snippetsSnippets allow the user to create iLogic rules with minimal searching of the Inventor API documentation.

The snippets included by default allow for simple things like iProperty changes, feature suppression and mathematics through to more advanced topics like running other iLogic rules or even vanilla VB.NET code.

Custom snippets contain parts of actual rules, which you can place into your rules and use them without any modifications:

iLogic Edit Rule dialogue custom snippetsOne of these snippets even allows you to make Inventor talk to the user.

Vaulted iLogic is Good iLogic

Lastly, I find an easy way of creating a repository of iLogic rules is to simply create a sub-folder in Vault and check the files in.

This way, any time you wish to make a change to the Rule in question, you first have to check the file out, and then check it back in when complete. This builds a revision history similar to that which you might see on www.github.com or other similar service.

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 Now Uses AnyCAD format

Well, well, well, Autodesk have really stepped up to the plate with this new feature. Multi-CAD… Sound familiar? PTC served up their version last year. Have Autodesk taken it further? Is it a truly useful workflow? What about improving the DWG import performance? Are all questions you may be asking. Continue Reading

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