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Friday, 26 March 2010

Tell Autodesk what you think of their software

Do you ever sit and think "this software is great, but I wish it could...."?

Well, if you're a user of Autodesk software such as AutoCAD, Autodesk Inventor, 3DSMAX, Showcase, Algor, Moldflow etc theres now a way you can inform Autodesk of your suggestions and feed back information about the Autodesk software you use.

Just follow the link below to the Autodesk website where you can fill in a quick and simple form to send your comments and suggestions to the relevant product team so they know what you think of the tools you use:


Happy Suggesting!

Autodesk Inventor 2011 on the web

There was so much information about the newly released 2011 products yesterday that it was difficult to keep up with at times.

Anyhow, to make a bit easier for all you people wanting to find out why everyone is raving so much about the new and updated Digital Prototyping solutions, I have attempted to bring as much content sources together in one place so you can sit back in the comfort of your chair to read and watch all about the new 2011 Autodesk Digital Prototyping solutions. So here goes.....

Autodesk Inventor:

Autodesk Inventor 2011 What's New:

Autodesk Inventor 2011 Product Brochure:

Buzz Kross comments on the new 2011 product portfolio (also below):

Rob Cohees YouTube Channel:
(10 videos all about Autodesk Inventor 2011)

Autodesk Northern Europe YouTube Channel:
(videos being posted regularly)

Autodesk Manufacturing Gallery:
(screen shots and images from Inventor and Showcase)

Develop3D Autodesk Inventor 2011 Blog article:

In the Machine Blog:

Inventor 2011 on Inventor Tales Blog:

Imagint Inventor 2011 Blog:

Deelip Menezes Autodesk Inventor 2011 Blog article:

Under the Hood Autodesk Vault Professional 2011 Blog:

*New Additions*

Stefaan Boels Inventor Wizard Blog:
(Dutch, English & French languages)

CADProfessor - Autodesk Inventor 2011 Blog:

mCAD Forums:
(lots of user discussion about Inventor 2011)

Here's a video of Autodesk Senior Vice President, Manufacturing Industry Group Robert 'Buzz' Kross introducing the new 2011 solutions:

If you have a blog, gallery, channel or site that you think would be useful having on this list, just drop me a comment and I will add it.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Autodesk Inventor 2011 Screenshots

I've added some screenshots of some work done using Autodesk Inventor 2011 to the Manufacturing Gallery on Flickr.

This one is of my sons toy fork lift truck that I modelled in Inventor R10 a few years ago and recently used it in a video all about Autodesk Inventor Publisher.

There are more on there now and I will be adding some more this evening.

Autodesk Inventor 2011 is here!

Todays the day that Autodesk Inventor 2010 users on subscription have been looking forward to - the release of AutoCAD Inventor Suite 2011!

I've been busting to write a blog about all the good stuff Inventor 2011 has to offer but have had to wait until now to be able to tell you about all the great new and updated tools that we have added into the product.

The first thing we must talk about is the new visual experience that Inventor 2011 offers design engineers. The modeling environment has been updated to have real-time photo-realistic visuals of your parts and assemblies. You don't have to set up cameras, lights, backgrounds etc, just tell Inventor that you want a realistic view and choose if you want to show shadows (object, ground and \or ambient) as well as reflections and hey presto you have a model that looks like it would in real life.

However, this isn't just a static rendering you can carry on working on the model to develop your digital prototype!

This leads me onto the next great addition to Inventor 2011 which allows users to spend their time concentrating on their digital prototype in the Inventor window and less time thinking about which icon to choose.

The heads up display (HUD) in Inventor 2011 allows users to work with some of the most commonly used tools in Inventor right at the mouse cursor. For example, just click on some sketch geometry and right at your mouse cursor you will get three icons to choose from - Create an Extrude, Create a Revolve or Edit the sketch you have just created. If you choose to create an extrude or revolve, you will have all of the options to complete that task at your mouse cursor:

Once you choose what you want to create, the HUD updates to give you the relevant options for that operation e.g. extrude depth, termination, type etc:

Add to the great new visualisation and HUD the fact that we have direct model manipulation and real-time model feedback means that changes to existing 3D digital prototypes and development of new designs is quicker than ever before.

If you want to add a fillet or chamfer to one or more edges, just select the edge(s), use the HUD to select Fillet or Chamfer and then drag the edge to create the desired result - no need to move outside of the model window once! The results can be seen in real time on the model so you know that what you are doing is actually what you want to end up with.

Users have the same real-time experience when creating extrusions, revolves, holes etc that add, remove or interect material. This again means that users know exactly what they are going to achieve before they commit to it.

There so many other great enhnacements to Inventor 2011 which include:

  • Frame Analysis
  • iLogic Integration and new iLogic rules
  • iCopy
  • Catia v4 translator
  • Enhanced AEC\BIM Exchange tools
  • 3D Printing enhancements
  • Assembly Design enhancements
Over the coming days I will add more details on the blog on each of these areas so that you can learn more about what Inventor 2011 has to offer, I'll also be adding some videos to our YouTube channel as well but here's one to get you started:

Happy Inventor 2011 Day!

Sunday, 21 March 2010

New Images & Group added to the MFG Galley

Sunday nights are fast becoming my night for updating Flickr and 'playing' with my camera. Mainly becasue my wife likes to watch Dancing on Ice which doesn't really appeal to me. Therfore I take up my perch on my PC and add photos to Flickr and edit some of pictures that I've taken throughout the week.

Anyway, I digress.....

Last week whilst out in Munich one of my Autodesk colleagues from Poland alerted me to a design contest that had taken place in Poland where manufacturers could show off the work they have created using tools like Autodesk Inventor, AutoCAD and 3DSMAX.

We have been kindly given permission to add these examples to the MFG Gallery on Flickr, one of the entries by a Polish manufacturer is shown here.

I've also created a new Flickr group - Autodesk Digital Prototyping Solutions. This is a group that design engineers and manufacturers that use Inventor, AutoCAD, Algor, Alias, Moldflow, Publisher and Showcase can add examples of their work for other Flickr users to see:


If you are a Flickr user and want to show others the work you have done, feel free join the group and add some images.

Looks like Dancing on Ice has finished now so off to reclaim the TV.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Dynamic Structures named as Inventor of the Year

The Inventor of the Month (IOM) program began in 2006. Each month, Autodesk selects an Inventor of the Month from the more than 700,000 users of Autodesk Inventor software. Winners are chosen for engineering excellence and groundbreaking innovation.

Each year since the launch of the Inventor of the Month program, Autodesk has invited the manufacturing community to choose which of their favorite IOM recipients should be named Inventor of the Year.

This year, Dynamic Structures has been named as the Autodesk Inventor of the Year for 2009. Members of the Autodesk manufacturing community chose the Canada-based provider of dynamic, complex structures as the 2009 Inventor of the Year by voting on the Autodesk Manufacturing Community website.

Dynamic Structures—which designs all types of complex structures from ski jumps and bridges to astronomical observatories—was originally named Inventor of the Month in March 2009 for its work designing the enclosure that will house the world’s largest telescope, the Thirty Meter Telescope. The company is also using Autodesk Inventor software to raise the bar on what consumers expect from theme parks by creating bigger and more thrilling rides.

“Our company motto is ‘Anything you can dream, we can build,’” said Craig Breckenridge, senior designer at Dynamic Structures. “Inventor software has played a big role in helping us make good on that promise, and we’re honored to have the innovative work that we do recognized with the Inventor of the Year award.”

Digital Prototyping Creates Next-Generation Thrills

The company has successfully been using Inventor software to expand the offerings of its entertainment division, which designs attractions for the multibillion-dollar international amusement ride industry.

Notably, Dynamic Structures specializes in adding robotics to entertainment rides. This takes the form of roller coasters that operate on articulated arms, so that riders experience more unexpected motion and positions than on a regular rollercoaster track; motion theaters whose seats have programmable pitch and heave, so that audiences feel the sensations that they are viewing on the movie screen; and automatically guided vehicles that can navigate indoor and outdoor attractions in a pre-programmed fashion, without requiring a track.

Since these large amusement rides are difficult to physically assemble and test during the prototype phase of product development, Dynamic Structures relies on digital prototypes created in Inventor software as well as collaboration with Autodesk reseller and training partner IMAGINiT Technologies. Digital Prototyping enables the company to put all the mechanical and structural components in motion to simulate performance.

For example, this dynamic analysis helps the company identify corners that are too sharp or drops that are too steep long before the ride is built. The company can even check to see that it is not exceeding the acceptable G-force that a passenger is subjected to on a ride, helping to allow thrills and safety to go hand in hand.

Additionally, Dynamic Structures participates in a mentoring program with the engineering departments of 17 universities as part of the Association of Canadian Universities for Research in Astronomy’s involvement in the Thirty Meter Telescope project. As part of the program, Dynamic Structures provides student engineers with hands-on experience helping develop rides and structures.

“Dynamic Structures’ innovations are bringing a whole new level of entertainment to theme parks, and Inventor software is helping them design, visualize and simulate even the most audacious of ideas,” said Robert “Buzz” Kross, senior vice president, Manufacturing Industry Group at Autodesk.

For more information about Inventor of the Month and Inventor of the Year, visit the Autodesk Manufacturing Community:


Thursday, 11 March 2010

Dominator III

I received some images of Dominator III from the design engineer that used Autodesk Inventor to design the robot that competed in the BBC Robot Wars.

I've added these to the MFG Gallery on Flickr so you can all see what was done in Inventor.


Autodesk Inventor used to create robots!

Make sure you're watching Channel 5 at 8pm on Monday 15th March as Autodesk Inventor will featured on The Gadget Show!!

Gadget Show presenters Jason Bradbury and Ortis Deeley have been set the challenge of designing a new robot to battle against the current Robot Wars European Champion Beauty 2.

The robot, named Satans Mutt, was developed specially for the challenge with the help of the shows dedicated designer John Reid from agency teamhurtz.com, and the choice of Autodesk Inventor to help create Satan’s Mutt was a straightforward one.

“Inventor supports Digital Prototyping and I see it as the industry standard software for this type of design,” John said. “I knew that using Autodesk Inventor for Satan’s Mutt would give the Gadget Show team the strongest possible chance of winning the challenge".

“The ability to integrate all the design data into a single digital model enables you to streamline the design process without compromising the quality of design,” he added.

Shortening the design cycle in this way allowed John to complete the whole development from concept to execution in just six weeks.

This isn't the first time that Autodesk Inventor has been used to design a Robot Wars robot. The robot Dominator which was featured in 4 series of BBC's Robot Wars was also designed using Inventor. Dominator was a semi-finalist in each of series they competed in and was one of the fastest and stongest robots in the contest due to the sleek design and powerful axe.

Have a watch of Dominator in action as it beats Wheely Big Cheese in series 5 of BBC's Robot Wars:

There's also some images of Dominator that were created using Autodesk Inventor in the MFG Gallery on Flickr.

So make sure you tune in to Channel 5 on Monday at 8pm to see Autodesk Inventor in action.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Autodesk Inventor LT Suite Launched in the UK

FARNBOROUGH, UK: 2 March 2010 - Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK), a world leader in 2D and 3D design and engineering software, has announced the availability of the AutoCAD® Inventor LT™ Suite in the UK. AutoCAD Inventor LT Suite helps manufacturers compete more effectively by adding the benefits of 3D design to their development process by combining AutoCAD LT® and Autodesk® Inventor LT™ software in one affordable package.
The solution is available to end users at a recommended reseller price of £1,400.

AutoCAD Inventor LT Suite lets you choose the right tool for the job. Seamless DWG™ interoperability between AutoCAD LT and Inventor LT software allows you to leverage your 2D expertise and data to begin designing parts in 3D. Modelling your parts in 3D with Inventor LT enables you to create and update production-ready drawings faster than with manual 2D methods. Even manufacturers who are not themselves designing in 3D need to communicate in 3D with customers, partners, and suppliers. Inventor LT gives you the ability to import and export 3D part models in common file formats without relying on expensive file translation software, helping to improve communication with your extended supply chain. And it also enables you to work with most 3D CAD data formats.

“Autodesk believes that users need both 2D and 3D tools, and the popularity of the Autodesk® Inventor® family of products is a testament to the fact that many across the manufacturing space agree,” says Jaime Herrero-Velarde, EMEA retail industry manager, Autodesk. “With AutoCAD Inventor LT Suite, customers can design and collaborate in 3D at the part level with Inventor LT, and also use AutoCAD LT when the job calls for 2D design.”

“In the current economic climate, manufacturers are battling intense competition and are looking to boost productivity. But budgets are often tighter than ever before. The AutoCAD Inventor LT Suite offers a very cost-effective way to get the 2D productivity benefits of the latest version of AutoCAD LT and provides them with the opportunity to take their first steps towards 3D mechanical design at a pace that suits them,” he adds. “Introducing 3D with Inventor LT can help you compete more effectively today, while putting your organisation on a scalable path to the full power of Digital Prototyping tomorrow.”

For more information about the AutoCAD Inventor LT suite, please visit:


Happy Inventing!