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Monday, 8 February 2010

Using Autodesk Inventor iLogic as a web based configurator

A question I get asked about a lot when working with manufacturers and engineers who are looking to make the move from 2D CAD to 3D Digital Prototyping is "how can we automate some of the tedious tasks we have to do?". There are usually a number of reasons why they want the tasks automated but most of the time it boils down to two - reduce the amount of time it takes to complete a design and reduce the number of errors and omissions that sometimes find their way into a design.

With the introduction of iLogic into Autodesk Inventor just over 12 months ago, this gave design engineers the ability to add rules based design automation to their parts, drawings and assemblies directly from within Inventor. Rules could be added quickly and easily so that they can be re-used as and when necessary helping to reduce time, effort and errors. And rules can be built so that design engineers can run them from the rules tree within Inventor or from a custom built dialogue\form that will trigger the rule (more of that to come in the future). Either way, it's quick, easy and very effective!

The next step on from a Design Engineer running the rules from within Autodesk Inventor is to allow access to outside the engineering department so that they can input specification\requirements information into a web page and then let Autodesk Inventor with iLogic rules do most of the work before passing it to an engineer to finish off.

It's all about Paretos Law - getting 80% of the repetitive, standard design work done in a very short space of time, allowing the engineers to then spend time being more innovative and finishing off the design.

Have a look at this quick video that shows an example of a web based part configurator that uses Autodesk Inventor with iLogic. The video shows the 'clients' screen as they input the requirements, let Inventor and iLogic do their thing (on another laptop in this example) and then give them the 2D & 3D DWF right back in the web page:

And don't forget that iLogic is free to Autodesk Inventor subscription customers!

Happy rules based design.