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Thursday, 17 February 2011

We've moved

This is the last post that will be made on this Blogspot hosted blog, but it's not the end of the Autodesk Northern Europe Manufacturing Blog - we've moved!

Our new home is on the Autodesk TypePad platform and the good news is is that we are up and running and posting new tips, tricks, updates etc at the new location. So here's all you need, the new URL....

http://autodeskmfg.typepad.com

Please update your bookmarks, links and syndications to this new location and make sure you visit regularly for all the news, tips, tricks and updates on the Autodesk Manufacturing Solutions.

Thanks

Steve

Friday, 28 January 2011

Have you got what it takes to be a Design Guru?

Autodesk distributor Man & Machine are running an exciting competition for design students at the moment. The Autodesk Design Guru 2011 competition aims to find the most talented students in UK further and higher education.

Prizes are on offer in each of the following five categories:
  • Architecture & Engineering
  • Civil & Structural Engineering
  • Entertainment Creation
  • Industrial Design
  • Mechanical Engineering
Entrants who come top in each of the categories will win a 3G Amazon Kindle and an overall winner will be chosen as this year’s Design Guru and will win a top-of-the-range Apple iPad!

All you have to do is post your designs on our Facebook Wall or link to them via our Twitter feed @Design_Guru. Once you’ve done that, just register your contact details on our Creativity in Learning site and you could be on your way to winning one of the great prizes.

You can get more information about the competition (and all the links to Facebbok and Twitter) on our Design Guru mini-site - http://www.creativityinlearning.co.uk/designguru/

The closing date for entries is 1st April and the winners will be announced shortly afterwards.

Good luck to all those entering the competition!

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Add Social Network Links Video

Sorry for the delay in getting this video done, it's been a hectic week!

I've uploaded a video to YouTube of how to embed the Social Netoworking links directly into Autodesk Inventor. Use this with the previous post and code to have your favourite websites & social networking sites available directly within Autodesk Inventor. You don't have to go find the video on YouTube though because I've embedded here fo you to watch.....


Thursday, 20 January 2011

Adding Social Network links into Autodesk Inventor

Since the release of Autodesk Factory Design Suite which includes tools directly inside of the Autodesk Inventor part of the suite to launch your favourite social networking sites, I've been asked many times if we can have these in the 'standalone' Autodesk Inventor.

Never one to shy away from such a challenge I decided to see what could be done to answer the requests. Some VBA and image editing later, this is what I managed to come up with:

It's really quick and easy to do, and to save you some time and effort I've put the instructions, code and files here for you to download and use.

1) Download the icons from the link below:

http://www.mfg-area.com/social_link_icons.zip

2) Unzip the contents of social link icons to C:\Users\Public\Documents\Autodesk\Inventor 2011

3) Launch Autodesk Inventor (no need to start a new document)
4) Go to the VBA editor which is on the Tools ribbon
5) Open or create a module within Default.ivb
6) Copy and paste the following code into the top of the module:

Private Declare Function ShellExecute Lib "shell32.dll" Alias "ShellExecuteA" _
(ByVal hWnd As Long, ByVal lpOperation As String, ByVal lpFile As String, ByVal _
lpParameters As String, ByVal lpDirectory As String, ByVal nShowCmd As Long) As Long

7) Copy the rest of the code from below and paste it after the first piece of code you pasted:

Public Sub Autodesk()
Input_URL = "http://www.autodesk.com"
ShellExecute 0&, vbNullString, Input_URL, vbNullString, _
vbNullString, SW_SHOWNORMAL
End Sub

Public Sub Blog()
Input_URL = "http://autodeskmfg.blogspot.com"
ShellExecute 0&, vbNullString, Input_URL, vbNullString, _
vbNullString, SW_SHOWNORMAL
End Sub

Public Sub Flickr()
Input_URL = "http://www.flickr.com/photos/autodeskmfggallery/"
ShellExecute 0&, vbNullString, Input_URL, vbNullString, _
vbNullString, SW_SHOWNORMAL
End Sub

Public Sub YouTube()
Input_URL = "http://www.youtube.com/user/manufacturingarea"
ShellExecute 0&, vbNullString, Input_URL, vbNullString, _
vbNullString, SW_SHOWNORMAL
End Sub

Public Sub Facebook()
Input_URL = "http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=144941045545462"
ShellExecute 0&, vbNullString, Input_URL, vbNullString, _
vbNullString, SW_SHOWNORMAL
End Sub

Public Sub Twitter()
Input_URL = "http://twitter.com/autodeskmfg"
ShellExecute 0&, vbNullString, Input_URL, vbNullString, _
vbNullString, SW_SHOWNORMAL
End Sub

7) In the zero doc environment right mouse click over the Get Started ribbon and select Customise User Commands…
(you don't have to add the tools to the Get Started panel, you could add them to any ribbon panel you want using the same method)

8) From the drop down list at the top select macros where each of the macros we pasted in to the VBA editor will be listed.

9) Use the Add>> button to move each of the macros from the left column, to the right column.

Re-start Autodesk Inventor and when it re-starts you should see your links on the Get Started ribbon for you to use.

Clicking on the link will launch your default browser so it doesn't matter if you use IE, FireFox, Chrome etc.

The macro code is very simple and you can easily change it for different web sites if you want, here’s an example:

Public Sub Autodesk()
Input_URL = "http://www.autodesk.com"
ShellExecute 0&, vbNullString, Input_URL, vbNullString, _
vbNullString, SW_SHOWNORMAL
End Sub

The name of the Sub is the name that is shown on the ribbon, so in the example above Autodesk() = Autodesk on the ribbon text.

And then you just need to edit the URL to go wherever you want it to go.

If you want to change the icons you will need to .bmp files – one 32 x32 pixels and one 16 x 16 pixels.

Save them in C:\Users\Public\Documents\Autodesk\Inventor 2011 (or wherever the .ivb file you have used is) and give them a name of:

• modulename.macroname.Large.bmp - for the 32 x 32 image
• modulename.macroname.Small.bmp - for the 16 x 16 image

For example, I have called my icon images module1.autodesk.Large.bmp, module1.youtube.Large.bmp, module1.facebook.Large.bmp etc

You will have to have both small and large images in the folder.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Digital Prototyping Forum Video

Did you attend the Autodesk Digital Prototyping Forum at The Belfry Hotel last Noevmber?

Did you plan on attending but unfortunatley didn't get to?

Well, for those that were there and those that didn't get chance to attend we have created a video of the days events that features plenty of feedback and comments from those that were there mixed inbetween the presentations from the day.

Have a watch of the video to see if you are featured in it and to also see what the event had to offer:

http://www.autodesk.co.uk/uk/dp_forum_2010_videos/DP_Forum_highlights.html

Friday, 7 January 2011

BIM Family Toolkit available on Labs

If you are a manufacturer of products ir equipment that is used in buildings, you might well be interested in the new Autodesk Labs release - BIM Family Toolkit for Inventor and Revit.

This new Labs tool allows design engineers using Autodesk Inventor to share iPart and iAssembly data with architects and designers using Autodesk Revit for the design of the building.

Manufacturers using Autodesk Inventor to design, visualise and simulate their products can use the new Export Building Family Table option in the AEC Exchange environment to export iPart and iAssembly data (parameters, file properties & component visibility) to a file that can then be imported into Autodesk Revit using the Import Building Family Table option.

This new tool brings manufacturers using Autodesk Inventor and architects using Autodesk Revit closer together and provides a workflow for architects to re-use data created by manufacturers.

You can download this new tool from Autodesk Labs at the link below:

http://labs.autodesk.com/utilities/bim_family_toolkit/

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Where did 2010 go?

Is it just me or did 2010 just rocket by? I don't think my feet touched the ground for more than a few minutes over the past 12 months - but do you know what, it was great, every minute of it!

During 2010 I travelled more miles and spent more time sat in the car than I think I ever have done. But the upside of the travel is that I was meeting manufacturers, design engineers and users of the Autodesk Digital Prototyping solutions.

I saw some amazing 'stuff' being designed and manufactured whilst out on my travels, some really high-tech innovative new designs and some huge dirty great big power house structures that just simply dwarf you when stood next to them.

Although there were lots of highlights during 2010 for me, one that sticks out was spending time up in Aberdeen with a number of Autodesk Inventor users in the offshore oil and gas industry.

I visited one customer who had created an assembly of over 70,000 parts of their deep sea pipe laying equipment using Autodesk Inventor! It was huge, not just the number of components but the physical size was immense. As you'd expect the design contained a lot of steel structure which was created using the frame generator tools in Inventor as well as using interference analysis to find clash issues before they went to manufacture.

On the same day I visited a customer that was using Autodesk Inventor to design their underwater ROV's but then used the same data within 3ds Max Design to produce a 3D interactive underwater environment that is used to train the ROV pilots. It was a great example of how the 3D Digital Prototype data is being used not just for the design & manufacture of the ROV but also used downstream for other uses such as training. Re-using the data in this way meant the new trainees were able to have a near real experience to speed up their training and also meant the manufacturer was able to role out the training before any physical prototypes were created.

I could probably go on all day with similar types of stories and examples of the Autodesk Inventor users I met with in 2010, but for now I shall leave it at just those two examples.

No doubt 2011 will just as hectic - I can't wait!

Happy New Year :0)