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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!