Ray Kurland of Technicom was one of the attendees at our editors day in Feb. Ray and I go way back ... I remember a nice long drive from Boston to his office in NJ about 10 years ago when I was still working at Linius and we were too poor to affort plane tickets! Ray written a great summary and posted to his CAD-Portal. You can download the PDF here.
This coming weekend the FIRST Robotics championship takes place in Atlanta, GA. I'm not attending this year but lots of people from Autodesk will be there. Many of the teams have modeled their robots in Inventor and I'll post the winning entries after they are announced.
Buzz has also just written an article on how this robotics competition inspires future engineers.
Have you ever wanted to create parameters that can be used to adjust both parts and assemblies (global parameters)?
There are a few steps that will allow you to do this in either Inventor 10 or 11. First you need to create a part file that has all the parameters that you would like to share between parts and assemblies. After creating all the necessary parameters in the part file, check export parameters for all parameters you intend to use while in the parameters dialog box.
To use these parameters in other parts, use the derived component feature in the feature panel bar and select the part file you created the parameters in. Select Exported Parameters to add them to your active parts parameters. To get these same parameters in an assembly, create/open an assembly and activate parameters from the panel bar. Once the parameters dialog box is up, select Link and change the file type from .xls to .ipt and select the part file with all your parameters. Now you have one part that can globally update both parts and assemblies.
I will often place the part file that has all the parameters in my assembly for quick edits and in the bill of material make the part a phantom part so it doesn't show up in the pasts list.
Working with AUGI the Inventor team has created a public wishlist that went live on Apirl 1st. In the past we've managed a wish list internally based on user submissions and from monitoring the newsgroup. Now we have a public forum where anyone can go and submit wishes. Several times a year users will vote so we will have a sense of prioritiy for the wishes and will formally factor them into our development plans. The more people who participate the in the process the better the results. You can also comment on the wishes via a forum and provide us with extra information.
You need to be an AUGI member to submit wishes and to vote. Membership is free and easy and you can sign up at www.augi.com. The wishlist is available from a quick link on the right and you can check out all the wishes here.
A while back we gave our blog readers a sneak peek into the peer to peer component sharing on the community web site. Well it is up in full swing and there are over 100 user posted parts and assemblies up there. You need to be a member of the community to access this part of the site. You can sign up for the community here:
A few more Inventor reviews have come out and they are great. Jeff Rowe's Cadalyst review includes highlights of some features that haven't been covered by everyone - the construction environment will help you work with imported data and AutoLimits to help monitor key parameters.
Terry Costlow of Design News also writes about Inventor 11 highlighting functional design, data management, surfacing and large assembly capabilities.
Have you ever rolled the End Of Part marker (EOP) up in the parts browser to try something different with the model and decided you wanted to delete everything after the EOP? If the EOP is above any features you can right click on it and select "Delete all features below EOP" to remove them. This has been very useful at times when I have tried various iterations of my designs.
When I visit customers and resellers I'm often asked why Autodesk Inventor is better than the competition or what makes it different or special. There are lots of answers but the first one that comes to mind is always Functional Design.
Functional Design is an innovative approach to design. It is ground breaking technology that sets Inventor apart from the rest. It's not just a collection of capabilities, but instead represents a way for designers to move beyond simple geometric modelling. With Functional Design users can focus on their ideas and use Inventor to turn these ideas into intelligent models based on real world concepts. They can design around the problem they are trying to solve, rather than the geometry they need to build.
When people think of 3D design the first thing they think of is modeling part geometry sketches, extrusions, fillets, constraints and all the rest. This is not what engineering is about. Look at the elements of any piece of machinery. Designing the parts is actually a small part of the total engineering effort. More time is actually spent designing systems - mechanisms actuators, bearings, supports, piping, cabling etc.
Most 3D design systems are optimized to solve the problem of creating geometry. The traditional approach to 3D modeling does not provide good tools for solving the design problem. Think about how long it would take to model wire harness if a designer had to create each of the individual geometric elements.
Functional Design addresses the design problem by:
- Focusing on design requirements rather than the geometric model
- Generating parts and assemblies from real-world design parameters such as speed, power, and material properties.
- Including real world design intelligence earlier in the design process
Key components of Functional Design exist in Autodesk Inventor 10 today and more are being added with R11. They include: (I've linked to videos on Autodesk.com where possible)
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