DWG TrueConnect Object Enablers

May 25, 2007

As I have just learned from my favorite CAD Forum site, Autodesk has released DWG TrueConnect Object Enablers allowing to open and edit native Inventor 2008 DWG files in AutoCAD 2007 and older. We have now some cooperating companies using older AutoCADs and AutoCAD Mechanical so it may be benefical to give them our DWG files from Inventor.

You don’t need this Enabler for AutoCAD 2008 or AutoCAD Mechanical 2008 as it is already included in them from Autodesk. Without this enabler you cannot manipulate (delete, insert, edit) the Inventor view blocks in Inventor DWG files – they are proxies only. Don’t be surprised, an Inventor DWG have an empty modelspace – the drawing sheet is in the paperspace (layout).


Inventor compatible graphics card or compatible driver?

May 23, 2007

Autodesk Inventor is known to be touchy to the quality of the graphics cards. It squeezes the performance of graphics cards to the limit and uses them differently than usual 3D applications the cards are made (optimized and benchmarked)  for – computer games.

From my experience I will recommend to always pick a card from the Autodesk Inventor compatibility list for your Inventor workstation. Otherwise you will probably get failures, strange display artefacts, misplaced drawing texts and other problems running Inventor.

But it is not only the card type and model but also and even more important – its driver version. Autodesk always certifies a specific combination of graphics card – driver version – Inventor version. So you’d better to stick with this combination. Card manufacturers usually release driver updates. But not always newer means better.

We are using nVidia cards in all workstations. Recently, nVidia has released a new driver update (91.85) which should fix memory leak problems in OpenGL applications. This seems to be an important update but I will rather wait for Autodesk to certify this driver version for my Inventor 2008.


Saving RAM on an Inventor machine

May 9, 2007

I have just learned a nice trick how to save RAM on a machine with Autodesk Inventor.

If you are running Content Center or Vault locally, it is not neccessary to have it running when you are working in other applications and Inventor is not launched. The SQL Server engine (MSDE) takes a substantial amount of your system memory and this memory can be saved. You can start the SQL services just before you launch Inventor. To automate this, start your Inventor session with a batch file, not by the default desktop icon (shortcut).

Create a textual .BAT file:

net start "Autodesk EDM Server"
net start MSSQL$AUTODESKVAULT
net start MSSQL$INVENTORCONTENT
"C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Inventor 11\Bin\Inventor.exe"
net stop MSSQL$INVENTORCONTENT
net stop MSSQL$AUTODESKVAULT
net stop "Autodesk EDM Server"

Create a desktop shortcut to this batch file and start all your Inventor sessions with this new shortcut. You will have much more RAM available for your other Windows applications.


Inventor LT – a free Inventor version

May 1, 2007

It looks like we have spent unnecessarily much money for our Inventor licenses – Autodesk now gives Inventor for free. Well, not full Inventor but an almost full one.

The labs.autodesk.com server now offers “Inventor LT” preview for free download. Autodesk Inventor LT seems to be based on Inventor 2008. But some important functions of Inventor 2008 are not present in the LT version – 3D modelling, sheetmetal, standard parts library and Vault. Also you won’t be able to install add-on applications. But still you can create and edit 3D models, convert file formats, make 3D renderings, create and process genuine DWG format drawings.

There are some other free 3D CAD applications but they are far from being based on an established technology and standard file formats – so this free Inventor is a very generous offering by Autodesk (for limited time).

The only drawback for me is that Inventor LT seems to be available only in a predefined list of countries (Italy not included).