System requirements for Inventor 2013

March 18, 2012

With an impending release of Autodesk Inventor 2013, here are the system requirements for this new version. From what I can see, they are quite similar to the previous version 2012 so there are no surprises this time:

  • Windows 7 (SP1) (32-bit or 64-bit) Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate, or Enterprise edition (recommended; Win7-64 recommended for large assemblies), Windows XP Professional (SP3), or Windows XP Professional x64 Edition (SP2); no Vista!
  • Intel Pentium 4, 2 GHz or faster; Intel Xeon, Intel Core, AMD Athlon 64, or AMD Opteron or later processor
  • 2 GB RAM (min. 1 GB for Inventor LT; 8 GB for complex models – more than 1.000 parts)
  • Microsoft Direct3D 10 (recommended) or Direct3D 9 capable graphics card
  • 1,280 x 1,024 or higher screen resolution
  • Internet connection for web downloads and Subscription Aware access
  • Adobe® Flash® Player 10
  • Microsoft Mouse-compliant pointing device
  • Internet Explorer 6.x through 9
  • Excel 2003 through 2010 for iFeatures, iParts, iAssemblies, thread customization, and spreadsheet-driven designs
  • Microsoft .Net Framework 4.0

Autodesk Inventor 2013 free (for Mechanical users)

March 2, 2012

We have been informed that our AutoCAD Mechanical (with subscription) will be changed to Autodesk Product Design Suite 2013 this year – a gift similar to that from the last year. The Product Design Suite will include both AutoCAD Mechanical 2013 and Autodesk Inventor 2013! So we will get Inventor 2013 for free. This is a welcomed way for us to increase the number of Inventor seats without any investment.

Plus we get Autodesk Showcase (also part of the Suite) that seems to more and more a better and easier way to visualize 3D designs that using 3ds Max or Inventor Studio.

Thank you in advance, Autodesk!

Inventor and Solidworks compared – who is the winner?

August 5, 2010


I have received a PDF document with a deep comparison study performed by TechniCom Group. This study is dated August 2010 so it must have been done quite recently.

The TechniCom whitepaper compares Inventor Professional 2011 and Solidworks Premium 2010 in 15 functional areas (161 individual questions), using a group of experts for each software product.

As an Inventor user and as a participant of frequent disputes with my school-mate Sergio (he is a Solidworks fan) I am very proud that Inventor has won this comparison in astonishing 15 cases (of 15)!

They were comparing the functions included in the following packages, with no third party add-ins – i.e. Inventor 2011 Professional Suite with Inventor Fusion, Autodesk Vault for Workgroups, AutoCAD Electrical, Inventor Publisher, and Showcase vs. SolidWorks 2010 Premium, SolidWorks Workgroup PDM, SolidWorks PhotoView 360, and 3DVIA.

The 15 key areas included in the comparison were (and the point score for Inventor vs. SWX):

  1. Part Modeling (2.8 > 2.5)
  2. Assembly Modeling (3.1 > 3.0)
  3. Simulation (2.6 > 2.4)
  4. Mixed Modeling – parametric+direct (3.2 > 2.7)
  5. Plastic Part Design (3.6 > 2.3)
  6. Sheet Metal Design (2.9 > 2.8)
  7. Interoperability (3.4 > 2.6)
  8. Documentation/Drawings (2.2 > 1.8)
  9. Visualization (3.4 > 2.9)
  10. Design Automation (3.4 > 2.9)
  11. Mechanotronics (2.3 > 1.7)
  12. Mold Design (3.0 > 2.1)
  13. Routed Systems (3.0 > 2.1)
  14. BIM – Building Information Modeling (2.3 > 0.8)
  15. Data Management (3.0 > 2.7)

You preferences and weights for the individual areas may vary, so you can perform your own comparision, but this is what experts are saying.

Sergio, do you listen ? 🙂

Inventor supported on Mac

July 24, 2009

Autodesk now officially supports Inventor (and AutoCAD and Revit and 3ds max) on Apple Mac. Great title, isn’t it?

And what about e.g. “Autodesk now officially supports Inventor on Acer computers“? Not so great? Any yet both these titles talk about the same thing.

The only support announced by Autodesk is the support for Inventor and AutoCAD running on Mac hardware, not on MacOS. And Intel Macs are just one brand of hundreds of IBM-PC-compatible computers. So if you forget Mac OS X, shell out some money for buying a Windows license, install and configure it on your Mac – yes, then you can run Inventor (plus there is the “Boot Camp” dual boot utility – it allows you to eventually return back to Mac OS).

If you take the fake Acer announcement, such announcement should make more fuss as there are definitely more users of Acer computers than Macs in the CAD area. But strange enough, the Mac-marketing sounds always so “sexy”.

Print your 3D CAD models on a $750 3D printer

June 30, 2009

Maybe you thought – like me – that a 3D printer which could produce 3D models by printing layers of plastics cost ten thousands of dollars. Well, not neccessarily.

A group of enthusiasts invented an “open source” 3D printer which you can build yourself. And it will cost you a mere 750 USD in parts (or 2.500 USD as a complete assembled version if you are lazy enough to not do it yourself). They call it “MakerBot“. This miracle uses the same technology – layered drops of melted plastic – as the commercial 3D printers. MakerBot can use the plastic materials ABS, HDPE or PLA. The maximum size of a 3D object it can print is 10 × 10 × 12 cm with the resolution of 0.085 mm.

From the software side, it understands the STL file format so you can directly use 3D parts from Inventor or AutoCAD.

And now an obvious question – if MakerBot can produce (“print”) really any 3D model, with its internal structures, can it also produce a … MakerBot?

See the MakerBot video:

Inventor Fusion – free download

June 26, 2009

The long awaited moment has arrived – Autodesk Inventor Fusion – is now available for download on the Autodesk Labs web (the original address is now redirected).

This technology preview version of Inventor Fusion is free and it is time-bombed to January 2010. It seems that it is not available for everyone – the download is limited to the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and United States (yes, Italy is there this time).

I am delighted that my blog posting Inventor Fusion – almost nuclear is listed as press coverage on the Fusion homepage. But back to the software.

The download is surprisingly small (178MB!, compare it to the 7GB of Inventor setup) and the installer runs smoothly. I have installed it on my Inventor machine but I think that Fusion does not require Inventor to be installed. In any case, Fusion is not an addon for Inventor, it is a separate piece of software which does not alter your existing Inventor installation (if any). I have tried the direct manipulation tools on some models and it seems to work right. The application interface is quite different, a little bit cryptic at the first glance, and you must change some of your habits to use it properly (e.g. mouse right press instead of click) but I agree that it allows to move forward very quickly. The transparent browser tree makes more space for your design on screen.

Full integration (“fusion”) of the parametric and direct modeling is still not there in this first version but the development is clearly going this way. A truly bi-directional fusion of these two methods will help a lot. I will be curious to test the combination of these methods on some larger and more complicated models. With the feature-free (history-free) editing methods working on any dumb solid, it also makes more sense now why Autodesk added all the import file formats to Inventor.

Inventor Fusion (developed for two years under the codename Freeway) is a very promising 3D CAD software which has good chances to change the way we use Inventor today. And I really hope Inventor Fusion functionality will eventually fuse into standard Inventor.

Autodesk Inventor Fusion – almost nuclear

December 4, 2008

Inventor Fusion

One of the new technologies just introduced on the annual Autodesk University 2008 is the Autodesk Inventor Fusion Technology Preview. The more complicated name, the less complicated user interface used in the Inventor Fusion. The new user interface used for object selection and direct modeling seems to be really minimal and could speed up working in Inventor. It will also use photorealistic visualization in the editing mode. It is about time for such functions in high-end CAD software as every 3D computer game can already do so.

Lear more about Autodesk Fusion at