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Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Merry Christmas......

From all here in the Northern Europe Manufacturing team we'd like to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and all the very best for the New Year.

Thanks for reading the Autodesk Manufacturing Northern Europe Blog, we hope it has been useful and informative since we launched in August this year. We plan to continue with the tips, tricks, news and updates in 2010 on this blog and have a few other projects on the go to keep everyone up to date on what's going on in Northern Europe (and beyond).

Have a great break - see you in 2010!

Monday, 21 December 2009

iLogic for Autodesk Inventor

iLogic for Autodesk Inventor 2010 provides powerful rules based design automation built directly into the application. What’s even better is that for Subscription customers, iLogic is available as a free download from the Autodesk Subscription Centre.

Using iLogic as part of your design engineering process will allow engineers to automate tasks that would have to be done be done manually as well as build rules into designs to avoid making errors. iLogic uis built directly into Autodesk Inventor and allows a design engineer to work with new or existing designs to build rules within the easy to use and intuitive interface. You don’t have to be a programming genius to build the rules, just have a basic understanding of If, Else statements and then use the tools within iLogic to build the rules you want.

iLogic provides help all the way along the process by providing easy access to parameters and features so that they can be included within the rules to change the size, suppression etc. iLogic rules can also be used on assemblies so that when inserted into an assembly they can be quickly and easily updated using the rules based automation. This is a great way to automate standards based design or health and safety requirements within the design to ensure they don’t get missed.

Have a watch of this Introduction to iLogic for Autodesk Inventor which goes through the creation of some rules within a part design to control size, features and material:

If you are an Autodesk Inventor user on subscription you can download iLogic free of charge from the Autodesk Subscription Centre.

Keep reading as we'll be adding more iLogic videos and articles in the near future.

Happy Automating!

Friday, 18 December 2009

BIM loves DP!

Theres a real buzz at the moment around BIM, Building Information Modeling and DP, Digital Prototyping - whats the buzz all about I hear you ask?

Many architects are seeing the benefits of moving to 3D and in-particular using BIM as a way of creating complete projects in one model. Just like Digital Prototyping for manufacturers where everything (2D, 3D, controls, analysis, simulation, visualisation etc) is included within the 3D digital prototype; architects are able to include everything they need for the project inside one Building Information Model. All of the required geometry, MEP, structure, schedules, reports, analysis etc is contained within the one model.

Manufacturers that work within the architectural industry providing things like lighting, HVAC, furniture, staircases, fabrications, window frames, curtain walls, hardware etc need an easy way to share their Digital Prototype so it can be used within the Building Information Model.

Autodesk Industry Solution Evangelist Rob Cohee has put together a 10 part YouTube video series that shows exaclty how a manufacturer working within the architectural industry can quickly and easily share their 3D Digital Prototypes so that they can be included by the architect in the Building Information Model. Using tools like Autodesk Inventor and Autodesk Revit makes this collaboration quick and easy.

Head on over to Robs YouTube channel to see exactly how this process is benefiting manufacturers and architects across the globe and bring BIM and DP even closer togetether.


Happy Collaborating!

Monday, 14 December 2009

Bugatti Veyron W16 in Autodesk Inventor

Have you ever wondered what powers the world's fastest and most expensive production car to produce the reported 1020bhp with a top speed of 253.8mph?

A student from HBO Autotechniek Rotterdam in Holland has modelled and visualised a Bugatti Veyron 8-litre W16 engine using Autodesk Inventor! All 16 cylinders in two rows of eight have been modelled and then visualised using Inventor Studio to show it in action.

Very impressive!

Autodesk Inventor Beta 2

It's that time of year again when as users of Autodesk Inventor we start to get excited about the availability of the latest Inventor beta. This years beta program is codenamed Sikorsky (more details on that later).

The beta program gives Inventor users an opportunity to have a first look at future technology that may (or may not) ship in the next release of the software. It also gives users an opportunity to trial and test the beta to provide feedback to the development team.

If you are an Inventor user and would like to get your hands on the latest beta version (beta 2) it's quick and easy to do so. Just send an email with the following details:
  • "SikorskyB2" in the subject
  • Your first and last names
  • Your company name
Give it a day or so and you should receive a reply with details of how to access the beta program, download the beta software and provide direct feedback on your experiences.

Why Sikorsky?

If you're wondering why this beta program is codenamed Sikorsky, all Autodesk Inventor beta programs are named after famous engineers or inventors - this year it is the turn of Russian engineer Igor Sikorsky who was a pioneer in the development of helicopters and fixed-winged aircraft.

For more information about Igor Sikorsky visit Wikipedia.

Happy Inventing!

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Autodesk University is over for another year, or is it?

Although the event in Las Vegas has been and gone and everyone is now hopefully over their jetlag, there’s still lots of opportunities for those that were unable to attend the event (and those that could to re-cap) to view a number of classes, interviews, keynotes and reports

From Friday 11 December those registered at Autodesk University Online can access the class handouts, presentation materials, data sets, and screen-casts of more than 500 AU 2009 conference and AU Virtual sessions, you can access them anytime, anywhere, all year long via AU Online - http://au.autodesk.com/?nd=home

You will need to register for AU Online, which is quick, easy and free of charge to access the class handouts, presentation materials etc.

And if you like planning early and want to get the dates for next year’s Autodesk University into your diary, here are the details:

Autodesk University 2010
Tuesday 30 November to Thursday 2 December 2010
Mandalay Bay Hotel Resort
Las Vegas, USA

Friday, 4 December 2009

Autodesk University Third and Final Day

The third and final day of Autodesk University 2009 certainly didn’t disappoint!

First class of the day was a great session all about integrating Autodesk Vault Manufacturing with SAP and the benefits that the integration offers. The speed at which the material master, documents and bill of materials can be transferred from Vault is amazing. Especially when you consider that currently it is usually done by hand!

After a quick coffee break I joined the packed room to see Autodesk Product Manager Kevin Schneider give a great presentation and demo of Inventor Fusion. This technology preview that is available to download from Autodesk Labs is full of great new UI features as well as some great new tools like tags, breadcrumbs and direct editing.

Tags allow users to add text information to geometry so that you can search for the tags and then create saved searches that can be used whenever required. For example, if you wanted to remove all of the holes with a diameter less that 2mm just use the search tool to search the tags to select them.

The change manager within Autodesk Inventor allows an engineer to investigate the changes to a part that have been made using Inventor Fusion to see how they should be propagated (if at all) onto the original Inventor part file.

If you’ve not seen Inventor Fusion yet, have a look on Autodesk Labs for more information.

During lunch the exhibition hall was open once again and I wanted to spend some time investigating 3D printing. After seeing the 10ft turbo prop earlier this week I wanted to get some more information so spoke to both Dimension and Z-Corp to understand a little more about their solutions. Z-Corp offers multi colour powder based printing where as Dimension offers single colour (the print cartridges determine the colour that is printed) printing using ABS plastic. Both offer great tools and hardware for Inventor users wanting to print their designs.

The last session of the day with was Industry Evangelist Rob Cohee whose passion is all about combining Digital Prototyping and Building Information Modelling (BIM). Robs session went through a great workflow of re-using existing 2D AutoCAD blocks in Inventor to create a fully details window frame assembly and supporting documentation in a short space of time. He created it using intelligent tools within Inventor that allowed him to create one assembly of the window frame but then using iCopy for Inventor (another Autodesk Labs tool) used that one single assembly to create all other variants that were required for the curtain wall. Reuse of data was one of the themes of the class and Rob showed how to take a 3D building model created in Revit into Inventor, create the different sized window frames and then send the data back to Revit!

After a quick run around to say goodbye to colleagues and some of the new people I’ve met over this week it was a quick taxi ride down the Las Vegas strip to the airport where I am sat now with colleagues. Hopefully the flight will be on time and hopefully I won’t be subjected to the same film 4 times again.

Thanks AU2009, it’s been a great first trip to Autodesk University!

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Autodesk University Day Two

Day Two of Autodesk University 2009 started a little more civilised than yesterdays early kick-off, I even managed to sleep through until 6.30am which pleased me. Although I realised that now I’m acclimatised to being in a different time zone, I’m going home tomorrow and will have the same problem all over again. Never mind, at least we managed to get to the Mandalay Convention Center for a nice cup of tea before the first class this morning.

The first class for today was a sneak peak of the future of Autodesk Data Management and unfortunately like yesterdays sneak peak at Autodesk Inventor I can’t tell you very much. What I will say though is that there is some awesome new data management technology in planning that may one day make it into the product.

After spending a bit of time catching up on emails and phone calls it was time for the Manufacturing keynote presentation. Senior VP Robert ‘Buzz’ Kross began proceedings with case studies of how manufacturing companies are currently using Autodesk technology to produce Digital Prototypes of their products using tools like Inventor, Alias, Algor and Moldflow. Buzz also awarded the first Autodesk Community Award to long time Inventor user Charles Bliss in recognition of the work he has done to promote Inventor and help make it a better product. Congratulations Charles.

Buzz then introduced the sessions guest speaker, Dr Peter H. Diamandis who is the founder of the X Prize Foundation and initiated the $10million race to design and build the world’s first re-usable manned space flight. Dr Diamandis gave a superb overview of his passion (space travel) and the initiatives that the X Prize Foundation is now developing to challenge design engineers worldwide to solve problems in education, the environment, science and space travel.
To finish the Manufacturing keynote session, Autodesk Senior Director Amy Bunzel gave some snippets of what the Autodesk developers have been developing over the past months and where current technology could possibly go. There were some really cool new technologies that hopefully we will see added into the portfolio in the not too distant future.

Buzz closed off the session with a Happy Birthday message for Autodesk Inventor as it is 10 years since R1 shipped. It seems just 5 minutes ago but how the product has developed since those early days.

The next session was something that’s reasonably new to me; it was all about the Autodesk Moldflow technology and how it can be utilised in multi-shot and in-mold assembly processes. I’ve got to admit that this was some very clever stuff. The way you can use the tools to take your 3D models from Inventor and then analyse the flow of material within the mold to simulate the multi-shot processes is superb!

The final event for today was the Cut & Paste Design Slam – take three design professionals, put them on a stage in front of a workstation with their software of choice and give them 20 minutes to design and model their take on a particular design challenge. Not too bad I hear you cry, however, the pressure is on as everything they do can be seen on three giant screens behind them by the crowd watching. Add into the mix a DJ keeping the tempo high and adding the music for the night and you’ve got a designers nightclub!

Finally, I just want to tell you about one of the coolest things I have seen whilst here at AU2009 – it’s a fully functioning 10ft turbo prop engine that was designed and developed using Autodesk Inventor and then printed using a 3D printer! Just take a look at the video below of the turbo prop in action, yes believe me, that is a 3D print!

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Autodesk University Day One

What a first day we’ve had at Autodesk University!

The day started early for me as I had a 6.30am conference call back to the UK but once that was over it was time to make our way over to the Mandalay Convention Centre. Luckily we got there just in time to grab a quick cup of tea and a muffin:

The first session on my agenda was all about integrating AutoCAD Electrical with Autodesk Vault to manage 2D electrical projects. Vault is very intelligent when it comes to working with AutoCAD Electrical and just by checking the electrical project file (.wdp) all of the associated DWG files are automatically checked into Vault and can be revision controlled using the tools inside of Vault. Where it gets even more exciting is when you start to use the tools inside of Vault Manufacturing to manage the electrical Bill of Materials. Vault Manufacturing will automatically read all of the intelligent component data that has been inserted as footprint into the electrical project or drawing to create an itemised bill of materials that can be associated with other 2D, 3D and non-CAD data!

After a quick visit to the Autodesk Manufacturing Lounge (below) on the third floor it was time to follow the thousands of other AU 2009 attendees for the main stage presentations that were given by Autodesk Evangelist Lynn Allen, Autodesk CEO Carl Bass and Autodesk CTO Jeff Kowalski. There were also two very special guests that gave amazing presentations in their field of expertise.
Amory Lovins gave a very compelling presentation on how Whole System Design can revolutionise the way that manufacturers can save money and be green by thinking about optimising the whole design and the integrated systems rather than just individual parts.

Jon Landau
, Producer of the soon to be released movie Avatar presented how Autodesk Media & Entertainment tools gave Avatar Director James Cameron the ability to visualise the characters and set using a virtual camera that shows character and scene animation in real time.

After having lunch with 6000 others (it was very difficult trying to get someone to pass the salt!) it was off to a sneak peak of the next release of Autodesk Inventor. Unfortunately I can’t tell you about anything that we saw but..........

The final session of the day for me was a very timely one as it was all about the newly released Autodesk Inventor Publisher, what a great tool this is and one that is really going to help take a lot of the time and effort away from producing technical manuals. If you didn’t see it, have a read of my earlier article about Inventor Publisher and download it for free from Autodesk Labs.
Some of the classes are just finishing off and the Autodesk University 2009 Exhibition will shortly be open where some of the event sponsors will be exhibiting their technology so I think I’m going to have a wander down there to see what’s on show.

Thanks for reading, will keep you updated on tomorrows activity on here and on Twitter.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Autodesk Inventor Publisher now available on Labs

It’s the first day of Autodesk University and if there’s not enough going on already Autodesk has today released Autodesk Inventor Publisher on Autodesk Labs!

Inventor Publisher allows manufacturing companies using Autodesk Inventor (and other 3D tools) to quickly and easily re-use their 3D assembly data to produce interactive 3D documentation for instruction manuals, assembly instructions, maintenance documentation etc. With automatic and manual assembly explosions and snap shots in an interface that takes many of the great features that the Inventor Fusion GUI has, this new tool will allow Technical Illustrators and Authors to re-use data created by the design engineers as opposed to taking time and effort to re-create it. Once the required snap shots, explosions etc have been created they can be output in a number of different formats including DWF, PowerPoint, Word and Flash.

You can download Autodesk Inventor Publisher free of charge from the Autodesk Labs website:


Happy Publishing!