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Friday, 28 August 2009

Autodesk at Offshore Europe 2009

From Tuesday 8th September to Friday 11th September Autodesk will be exhibiting at the premier Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition in Aberdeen, Scotland - Offshore Europe 2009. This is one of the largest gatherings of the offshore oil and gas industry with over 1,500 exhibitors and in excess of 40,000 visitors over the four days.

As well as being a sponsor of the exhibition, Autodesk will have a stand just inside the entrance showing how Autodesk technology will benefit those working in the offshore oil & gas industry be more productive and competitive using Digital Prototyping tools such as Autodesk Inventor, AutoCAD P&ID, Navisworks and Showcase. There will be live product demonstrations on the stand that will demonstrate how Autodesk technology will help in three key areas - Equipment Design, Plant Design and Visualisation. There will also be opportunities to speak one to one with technical engineers to ask questions learn more about the technology.

The Autodesk stand is a huge 105 sq meters, packed full of software and hardware technology! We have partnered with UK based HoloVis who have provided all of the screens and displays exclusively for Autodesk.

At the entrance to the show HoloVis have created a huge 7 meter high Jupiter Wall; this is a mosaic of 18 x 42in high-definition plasma screens that will play a show reel of how Autodesk has helped companies within the oil and gas industry. The show reel will feature designs and visualisations by a number of key Autodesk customers.

The Autodesk stand will not only have a number of high-definition plasma screens that can be used for the one to one sessions, there is also a huge 65in display on the side. The centrepiece of the stand is a 2 meter wide Apollo Wall supplied by HoloVis. The Apollo Wall is a projection screen that uses two of the latest high-definition projectors to display the live presentations but also has stereo and tracking so that visitors to the stand can immerse themselves into the 3D environment with Autodesk Showcase! It really is awesome.

If you are visiting Offshore Europe, come and see us on stand F10 to see how Digital Prototyping can take you beyond 3D using tools like Autodesk Inventor, AutoCAD P&ID and Showcase.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Reducing the disk size of Inventor part files

If you want to share an Inventor part file (.ipt) with colleagues, clients or suppliers and you want to keep the file size down, there’s a little tip that can help.

Once you have finished the design and are ready to send it out, before you save the part file move the Inventor End of Part feature from the bottom of the feature tree to the top. This will suppress all of the part features within the tree and the part model will disappear from the modelling window.

Don’t worry though, you haven’t lost any data, you have just suppressed the features in the part file ready for sending out. How does this help? Well, for one it will reduce the size of Inventor part file on disk so that you can fit more on a CD\DVD or memory stick, but more often it helps when emailing part files and you have a restriction on the size of attachments.

Even better yet, if you publish the Inventor part file as a DWF document that can be viewed using Autodesk Design Review the file size is reduced even further still!

For an example part I have just tested, these are the results I got:
  • End of Part at the bottom = 355KB
  • End of Part the top =180KB
  • DWF file = 130KB

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Using Autodesk Inventor Content Libraries

Autodesk Inventor ships with over 1.1 million standard library parts – nuts, bolts, bearings, pins, frame, tee’s, elbows, pipes etc, they are all there for you to use within your designs quickly and easily.

All of the standards parts are categorised into their own Content Centre library by international standard, there are seven libraries available:
  • ANSI (American National Standard Institute)
  • BSI (British Standards Institute)
  • DIN (Deutsches Institut für Normung (German))
  • Feature (Part features library)
  • GOST (Gosudarstvennyy Standart (Russian))
  • ISO (International Standards Organisation)
  • JIS & GB (Japanese Industrial Standards & Guobiao(Chinese))
  • Other (Components that don’t fall into any of the other library’s)
  • Parker (Hydraulic hose components)
  • Routed Systems (Tube, Pipe, Cable & Wire harness components)
  • Sheet Metal (Sheet metal fasteners)
Each library is a database file that contains all of the relevant information for the components and their families. You don’t need to know anything about managing databases though as we make it easy to use the libraries either as Desktop Content or via Autodesk Data Management Console (Vault).

If you launch Autodesk Inventor and go to the Content Centre tab of your application options you will see whether you are using Desktop Content or managing your libraries via Autodesk Vault. You can also switch between the two at this point if you want to.

Desktop Content uses a file stored on the local users workstation and are designed to be used by one engineer, whereas libraries managed by Autodesk Vault are managed via the Autodesk Data Management Console and can be shared amongst many design engineers.

To see which libraries you have installed, log in to the Autodesk Data Management Console and in the Libraries folder see if you have all the libraries you require. If you don’t use the installation DVD to install the required libraries.

Once you do have all the required libraries installed, all you need to do is check that your Inventor project can see all the libraries you require.

Select Projects from the Get Started ribbon, and click on the ‘Configure Content Centre Libraries’ button towards the lower right of the dialogue. This will allow you to see which libraries you have access to and which libraries are available in this project. Make sure they ones you require have a tick next to them.

You will also be able to see if you are using Desktop Content (with the folder location of the library database files) or if you are using Autodesk Vault to manage your libraries.

Theres also a whole host of supplier content available to use via the on-line Autodesk Supplier Content Center:


You can access the above web page directly from within Inventor using the Team Web tool on the Tools ribbon.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

How do I subscribe to this blog?

If you want to automatically receive any of the blog postings that we post here regarding Inventor, Showcase, Vault etc, you can quickly and easily subscribe so that the new posts are delivered to your favourite RSS reader or directly into your email inbox.

All you have to do is either:

a) click on where it says Subscribe to: Posts (Atom) towards the bottom of the page (or just click here)

b) click on the orange RSS logo in the web adress bar of your browser

You will then be taken to a page where you can choose which reader you would like the posts to be delivered to e.g. MS Outlook, Google, Yahoo etc.

Whenever a new blog is posted by one of the team, it will automatically be delivered to your reader\inbox. How easy is that!

Friday, 14 August 2009

Updating Part & Assembly Mass Properties

Did you know that when using Autodesk Inventor, a part or assembly's mass properties can be automatically updated when the document is saved?

This is a tip that is part of a Tips & Tricks presentation that I recently updated and have found to be very useful.

All you need to do is access the General page of your Application Options which is located on the Manage ribbon bar and put a tick in Update Mass Properties on Save. You can then choose whether you want to update the mass properties for just parts or parts & assemblies.

With this selected, each time you Save your document the mass properties will be updated. Great!

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Alias 2010 performance issues on Nvidia cards

If you are using Alias Design, Surface or Automotive 2010 make sure that you have set the Global Preset in the graphics driver to AliasStudio. This will make a significant stability and performance improvment.

For further infomation on hardware configuration please refer to the Qualification charts below.


Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Interview with new Inventor Simulation book author

Wasim Younis, the author of new book "Up and Running with Autodesk Simulation 2010: A Step-by-Step Guide to Engineering Design Solutions" has done a two part interview with Autodesk to tell us all about the book, what it contains and what his motivation was. He also discusses the value of the book for both beginners and more experienced Inventor software users and ends with a discussion of the dataset/exercises provided in the book.

The two part video can be viewed on YouTube:



Monday, 10 August 2009

Intermittent Crashes in Inventor with a 3DConnexion space mouse

If you are using a 3DConnexion controller with Autodesk Inventor (as many of you are) you might have experienced a crash when you use the device in conjunction with Inventor 2010's Ribbon Bar Interface. After you’ve actively used the 3D mouse for a period of 10 to 20 minutes, moving the 2D mouse over the Ribbon can cause Inventor to terminate.

This issue has mainly been experienced when using Windows XP (32 & 64bit) but has also been reported to happen on occasion on Windows Vista.

The good news is that the guys over at 3DConnexion have today released a new driver - 3DxSoftware v3.7.18 contains a fix for this issue and you can download the driver from the 3DConnexion website:


You can also get more information from the Autodesk Services & Support pages:


Thursday, 6 August 2009

Digital Mark-ups and Drawing Comparison

Rob Cohee, Industry Solution Evangelist for Autodesk's Manufacturing Industry Group got a bit of a shock on his YouTube Channel earlier this week. I managed to infiltrate 'Rob Unscripted' to bring viewers a 5 minute video on how to get the most from digital red line markups using Autodesk Design Review and Inventor:


The video also shows you how you can compare two DWF documents to visually see the differences!

It's Alive in the Lab!

Have you been over to Autodesk Labs yet to see what technology is available?

Autodesk Labs is home to innovative new technologies that you can download, use and feedback to the development team with your comments, thoughts and suggestions. This gives you a direct involvement in the development of Autodesk software.

Technologies available for Autodesk Inventor include:
Have a look at whats alive in the lab - http://labs.autodesk.com

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Manufacturing Gallery on Flickr

If you want to see examples of the kinds of design engineering that is being done using Autodesk Inventor, AutoCAD Electrical and Showcase, have a scoot over to the Autodesk Manufacturing Gallery on Flickr.

I posted this image this morning - it was designed and visualised using Inventor and based on a schematic that was originally created using AutoCAD Electrical.


And we have lift off.........

Thanks for stopping by and reading our blog, we hope it provides you with some useful information, tips and tricks.

Over time, seven of the sharpest minds (sharpest in the loosest sense of the term) from across Northern Europe will provide insight and knowledge of the Autodesk Digital Prototyping solutions with a view to helping you become more productive and more competitive with the tools you use.

The team will focus on products such as Inventor, Showcase, Alias, AutoCAD Electrical and Moldflow but every now and again we will post information on other Autodesk solutions and technologies that we think you might find useful.

Please feel free to get in touch any time should you have any questions, comments and\or suggestions.


The Autodesk MFG Tech Team