Create 3D models from measured data

April 29, 2007

A friend of mine, working for a dental protetics company, asked me (he takes me as an Inventor expert…) about a way to transfer measured 3D data into Inventor (10) to create non-geometric irregular solids. He has a set of X/Y/Z points in a text file and want to use these points to make a 3D surface and volume.

The best way we have found for Inventor 10 is a small VBA utility by a Czech company CAD StudioImportcoord. This VBA macro reads a coordinate set from Excel and interprets it as a 2D or 3D sketch, either open (good for paths) or closed.

Translators in Autodesk Inventor: Parasolids and UG-NX

April 24, 2007

I have just received a notice from our dealer that Autodesk has released new free add-ons for Inventor 2008. From you can download the Parasolid and UG-NX plugin module. It adds the ability to read and write Parasolids x_t and x_b files and read UG-NX prt files directly from Inventor. We have quite often inquiries about various file formats we can handle so this will help us a lot. Thanks, Autodesk!

Converting foreign 3D formats in CAD world is always a big pain so anything that help us poor users is welcome.

SpacePilot – a must for Inventor

April 19, 2007

Two weeks ago I have got a new input device for my Inventor workstation – the SpacePilot.

It is a very nice piece of hardware and plugs perfectly into Inventor. It took me nearly a week to accustom to use this 3D mouse. At first all my movements were erratic and it was difficult to set the requested view. But once you master this device, it is a real time saver allowing to instantaneously get to any 3D view or zoom you want. But be prepared to spend more money than you plan for a “mouse”.

Vista and 64-bit update

April 3, 2007

I have just learned that Inventor 2008 runs fine in Windows Vista but Autodesk will not officially support it in Vista though. And there will be no native 64-bit Inventor yet. We have to wait.

I don’t know why Autodesk doesn’t fully support Inventor in Vista. In any case I will probably use Vista on my Inventor 2008 box. What I have seen makes me confident that it will run fast enough – and much faster than e.g. Solidworks in Vista which is slow as hell (which is claimed to be Vista compatible btw).

Inventor 2008 should be out next week.