Seen a Demo of Inventor 2008

February 25, 2007

I have seen a demo of a prerelease version of Inventor 2008 and I must admit – I was impressed. There are so many new features. By the way, the demo was done on Windows Vista and despite I cannot give an exact performance comparison, all run very smoothly.

The first thing I have noticed are the new toolbar icons. Only then I realized how ugly are the old icons in Inventor 11. A very good thing are the keyboard command aliases – like in AutoCAD, you can now type in Inventor commands.

A major new feature is the DWG format for drawing views, Autodesk calls it DWG TrueConnect. You can still use IDW or choose to use directly DWG files for Inventor drawings. They are still associative to the 3D model. These DWG files should survive post-editing in AutoCAD so it opens new and simpler workflows for production documents.

There are lots of sheetmetal improvements (sheetmetal is not important for me). What is important and useful for me are the Design Accelerators – I like most the Roller chain generator. The STEP export/import now should be faster – probably is but I have not done any benchmarks and it is now possible to export surfaces to STEP.

Already looking forward to April 🙂

Direct3D accelerates Inventor in Vista

February 19, 2007

As I wrote a week ago – I don’t believe that 3D CAD software is that much slower in Windows Vista. Now upFront.eZine cites Autodesk officials – Inventor 2008 runs in Windows Vista at the same speed as in Windows XP. I would rather test it myself but generally I agree that as long as the particular 3D application doesn’t use OpenGL (and Inventor uses Microsoft’s DirectX) there is no reason for slowing down in Vista.

So maybe some 3D CAD applications are slower in Vista but Inventor 2008 seems to tick deftly there.

Windows security kills Inventor texts

February 14, 2007

Tonight I spent several hours solving a major problem – Inventor suddenly stopped displaying text in my drawing views. I have tried all possible settings, reinstalled Inventor, played with the graphic card settings…. nothing, no success. It was after business hours so my dealer was not at help.

Then my RSS Reader beeped with a new tip from CAD Forum – and I was saved. Automatic Widows Update has messed something in Inventor and this was the cause of the problem. As I have seen after that in discussion forums I was probably not the only one suffering from this problem. Microsoft or Autodesk, please fix it ASAP.

In any case, my thanks to CAD Forum – here is that tip:

Inventor 2008 announced

February 13, 2007

Just after publishing of my previous post Autodesk has announced the new products – all named “2008“.

The list of Inventor 2008 new features is probably not yet published completely – in the press release Autodesk mentions:

  • DWG Interoperability – using DWG TrueConnect users can read and write DWG files without translators while maintaining full associativity with     the 3D Inventor model and increasing reuse and sharing of 2D manufacturing data.
  • AliasStudio Interoperability – new capabilities for importing AutoCAD surface and solid data – combined with new DWG export from Autodesk     AliasStudio – provides a quick and reliable way to transfer concept designs into Inventor.
  • Sheet Metal Design Tools – upgrades improve productivity when designing sheet metal parts and provide support for manufacturing information including flat pattern modifications and punch tool data.
  • Ribbon Cable Design Tools – full control over the shape and routing of ribbon cables simplifies the design of electrical wiring and reduces  manufacturing errors by ensuring that all types of wiring can be included in the digital prototype and subsequent documentation. (this will be probably only in Inventor Professional 2008)
  • Sketch Productivity Tools – an updated 2D sketch environment reduces the learning curve for new designers and improves productivity for existing designers with clearer constraint status information and sketch geometry formatting tools.

Not mentioned is the 64-bit support (I still hope that it will be there) and support for Windows Vista. As Inventor can use DirectX it will be probably not slowed down in Vista – unlike other 3D CAD programs based on OpenGL.

Inventor 2008 shall arrive in April.

What I’m looking forward in Inventor 2008

February 12, 2007

There is not much known about the new Inventor version but its name will be Inventor 2008, not Inventor R12. One of its new feature is said to be the support of 64-bit native mode.

This is something I am really looking forward to as some of my assemblies are suffering from the 3MB memory limit in Inventor R11. I am also curious about the overall speed of the 64-bit version. What I am still not decided about is whether I will install the new version on Windows XP x64 or rather on the new Windows Vista 64-bit. Probably the Vista will win as I don’t believe the rumours of unbelievable slow performance of 3D CAD programs on Vista.

Free Design Review

February 2, 2007

Autodesk web site now offers the DWF markup application, Design Review 2007 for free. Before you (or rather your partner) had to buy it for about 220 €.

This unlocks new ways of communication in the review cycle. Of course I prefer to receive the comments and markups in an electronic form to read directly into Inventor or AutoCAD but I could hardly imagine forcing the customer to buy a piece of software for this. Now it will be much simple.

Plus, the customer can measure the model or drawing in the DWF file. It was not possible in the DWF Viewer and not even in the DWG Viewer.

The Design Review web is