Cadalyst All-Star Awards Honor the Best and Brightest, Part 4

6 Jun, 2007 By: Cadalyst Staff

Today's spotlight shines on Autodesk Inventor 2008.

Cadalyst All-Star awards honor the best of the best -- the most outstanding among all software and hardware products that earned Highly Recommended ratings from Cadalyst Labs in the past six months. Four software systems and five hardware products earned the latest Cadalyst All-Star awards, announced in the June 2007 of Cadalyst magazine. Today's spotlight shines on Autodesk Inventor 2008.

Bill Fane's review of Autodesk Inventor 2008 noted that Inventor 2008 has finally made the great leap forward in AutoCAD compatibility. Some have said that it's now so AutoCAD-compatible that it's finally a full member of the family.

By far, the biggest news in Inventor 2008 is its support for a new file format when creating 2D working drawings from a 3D part or assembly. It still supports its native IDW format, but users can use the new DWG format as well.

Inventor 2008 will let users create a 2D drawing file in DWG format. Better than that, it isn't just a onetime translation when you're finished. Inventor DWG files remain fully parametric and associative back to the Inventor solid model. If a user changes a model, the DWG file will update; if he or she changes a dimension in the drawing that was retrieved from the model, the model changes. Inventor DWG files can be opened in AutoCAD 2008 with an interesting twist. Each sheet of the Inventor DWG file becomes a flat, 2D layout in paper space in AutoCAD. There are no model-space or 3D objects in the file.

Not all of Inventor 2008's improvements lie in the AutoCAD and look-at area. Several hundred additions and enhancements were made in virtually every area.

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