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Friday, 23 October 2009

From your iPhone to Inventor

As regular readers of this and others blogs will know, Autodesk recently released SketchBookMobile. This is a version of the very popular sketching tool SketchBookPro used by digital artists, designers and engineers to sketch their designs in a digital format so that it can be re-used downstream. SketchBookMobile allows iPhone and iTouch users to have the same intuitive digital sketching tools right in the palm of their hand, wherever they are!

As a design engineer, you can't control when you come up with an idea or solution, you could be having dinner with the family, watching the match, taking a walk or even at work! Wherever you are SketchBookMobile will allow you to sketch your ideas, thoughts and designs using just your iPhone and fingers.

Now how does this help a design engineer or manufacturer I hear you cry......

Well watch this video that has been posted up onto YouTube and watch how you can skecth your designs and then quickly and easily transfer them to Autodesk Inventor to start fleshing out the Digital Prototype in 3D to include the plastic housing, PCB, wires, motors, drive etc.

It's a great bit of weekend watching.....

Autodesk Announces Support for Windows 7

In a continuing effort to support the latest technology, Autodesk have been hard at work to test, certify and provide support of nine key Autodesk solutions on the new Microsoft Windows 7 operating system. The newly supported applications that affect us in Manufacturing are:
  • AutoCAD LT 2010
  • AutoCAD 2010
  • Autodesk Inventor 2010
  • AutoCAD Electrical 2010
  • AutoCAD Mechanical 2010
  • Autodesk Algor Simulation 2010
AutoCAD Architecture 2010 and AutoCAD MEP 2010 are also supported on Windows 7.

The full press release can be read at:


Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Subscription Advantage Pack for Autodesk Inventor 2010

It's that time of the year again when all those Autodesk Inventor users on subscription get their hands on the Subscription Advantage Pack for Autodesk Inventor 2010.

Last year's release was really successful and gave users of Autodesk Inventor a number of enhancements to help them to further increase productivity. This year's set of tools is the same and offers even more productivity enhancements including:

DWG™ Block Browser: Save time reusing data from AutoCAD® software. Browse for various blocks in DWG™ files and precisely insert them into an Inventor drawingwithout ever needing to open the AutoCAD drawing.

Chain Dimensioning:
Create chain dimensions quickly and easily by placing or creating a base dimension, and then selecting individual points from the drawing view to insert and align each additional dimension to the chain dimension.

Multi-View Create: Easily create multiple views simultaneously, rather than one at a time. Specify several views to be created in a single command, reducing the number of steps required to place drawing views.

Materials Assignment for Simulation: Save time by easily selecting several components in the materials browser using the Shift or Ctrl button to simultaneously change the material properties. In addition, all the selected components are highlighted in the graphical display as well as the stress analysis browser to help users identify all the components affected by the material property changes.

Plus more!!

The Advantage Pack works with:
  • Autodesk Inventor 2010
  • AutoCAD Inventor Suite 2010
  • AutoCAD Inventor Routed Systems Suite 2010
  • AutoCAD Inventor Simulation Suite 2010
  • AutoCAD Inventor Tooling Suite 2010
  • AutoCAD Inventor Professional Suite 2010
Note: You much have Inventor Service Pack 1 installed prior to installing the Advantage Pack.

To get hold of the Advantage Pack for Inventor 2010, just log in to the Autodesk Subscription Centre and download the 32bit or 64bit version. If you don't know your log-in details, either speak to your company CAD Manager or to your local reseller where you purchased the software who will be more than happy to help.

You can view a video of the Advantage Pack for Autodesk Inventor 2010 on Rob Cohee's YouTube Channel:


Thursday, 15 October 2009

New addition at Autodesk in Farnborough

I got a very excited email yesterday from a colleague to tell me about the addition we now have in the Autodesk office in Farnborough. We've just taken delivery of a new Dimension uPrint Personal 3D Printer!

This addition allows us to take any 3D design created in AutoCAD, Inventor, Revit, 3DSMAX, Maya, Mudbox etc and quickly and easily produce a 3D print made from ABSplus™.

The 3D prints are tough enough for functional testing under real-world conditions and can be drilled, machined, sanded, painted, even chrome-plated. They're perfect for taking your 3D Digital Prototype created using Autodesk Inventor and taking it that next step in experiencing your design before it is real.

For more information about the uprint 3D printer, have a look on the Dimension web site:


Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Autodesk Algor DesignCheck for Inventor

Every Autodesk Inventor user can experience the power of FEA simulation by downloading the free Autodesk Algor® DesignCheck software.

This free version of Algor® is an engineering simulation tool that provides linear static stress analysis of individual parts, allowing you to perform a first pass of design validation and optimization before manufacturing.

Algor DesignCheck includes:
  • Direct CAD/CAE data exchange and full associativity with each design change for single parts from Autodesk® Inventor® software
  • Automatic 3D hex-dominant (hybrid) solid meshing with refinement
  • Surface pressures, surface forces, and surface constraints
  • Linear static stress analysis
  • Displacement, von Mises stress, and factor of safety contours and deflected shape
  • Professional design reports, including images and animation
More information and downloads are available on:


Thursday, 8 October 2009

Visual Basic for Inventor and Performance

I picked this article up from Brian Ekins and found it particularly useful as I have noticed that a lot of customers are using embedded Visual Basic projects in there Inventor documents to automate certain tasks.

Brian Ekins gives advice how you should automate certain tasks so you don’t get performance issues but have maximum flexibility.

The problem is a resource issue with VBA. People were creating document projects that used automatic macros and were using these Inventor documents that contained these projects as their templates. That meant that every file they created had a VBA document project. When a large assembly is loaded all of the referenced documents are also loaded, and in the case of these documents also meant loading the embedded VBA projects. It turns out that VBA has a limit to the number of VBA projects that can be loaded.

There is also another problem that recently came up with document projects and 64 bit Inventor. His advice is: DO NOT USE document projects. The one exception to this is if you're writing a program that is very specific to a single document. For example if you have a part and write a specific program to work with only that part. In this case it's convenient to package the program with the document rather than worry about passing an additional file with it.

For the full article and advice how to program and automate Inventor go tp Brian's blog.


Friday, 2 October 2009

Some weekend reading with Experience Manufacturing

The latest edition of Experience Manufacturing is now available for download from the Experience Manufactruing website!

The quarterly free publication for users (and also non-users) of Autodesk Manufacturing technology such as Inventor, Alias and Showcase is packed full of news, reviews and tips. This quarters edition includes:
  • Sustainable design using Autodesk Alias
  • Inventor Fusion Preview
  • Inventor 2010 Simulation and Analysis
  • Autodesk Inventor Tips & Tricks
  • New Workstations
  • Plus plenty more...
Subscription for Experience Manufacturing is free and you can have your own copy delivered to your door or desk or download it in PDF format from the website. For more details, and to download the latest edition, just visit the Experience Manufacturing website: