INVENTOR SERIES 9 ARRIVES31 May, 2004 By: Sara Ferris
As we went to press, Autodesk announced the impending release of Inventor Series 9, as well as new releases of Inventor Professional, AutoCAD Mechanical, AutoCAD Electrical, and Vault. The new releases should be available by the time you read this. The Vault data management tool is now integrated in all of Autodesk's manufacturing products.
Inventor Series adds new production drawing capabilities such as styles and layers. Styles format a drawing with the specified font size, color, standards, and linetype. You can assign colors, linetypes, and visibility to objects to map layers between AutoCAD and Inventor. Work with AutoCAD drawings is also enhanced by improvements to DWG import and export, which now supports layers, text, title blocks, thread notes, and bit-maps. AutoCAD 2005 features such as file properties, OLE scaling, and mapping fields to mtext are also supported by Inventor 9 DWG import/export.
Inventor 9 s flexible assemblies help minimize errors and improve overall product function by dynamically driving multiple instances of the same assembly through indepe dent states. Positional representations let you validate the positional states of an assembly.
Autodesk's Andrew Anagnost says the enhancements reflect the fact that manufacturers still have to deal with 2D data in the form of legacy and product drawings even when they use 3D modeling software. It generally takes around five years after a company adopts 3D design for the number of 3D files to surpass the number of 2D ones. In addition, Inventor 9 imports 2D and 3D IGES wire frames.
Inventor 9 now includes 3D DWF publishing along with 2D DWF. You can download the free DWF Viewer and distribute as needed to view and print 2D or 3D information from Inventor 9 parts, assemblies, and drawings. Also new are positional representations and flexible assemblies. You can check the positional states of an assembly and create multiple instances of a subassembly, each illustrating a different position-for example, you may want to show a valve in both the open and closed positions.
Performance is improved-according to Autodesk, pattern performance is up to 20X better. The work required to copy components and mirror assemblies is streamlined.
One thing you won't find in Inventor 9 is the Mechsoft technology Autodesk acquired earlier this year. Features to watch for in future releases include a content library that contains more than 1.5 million standard parts, a mechanical engineering handbook, and calculators and design wizards for creating components such as bolted connections, gears, cams, and springs.
The main addition to Inventor Professional 9 is ANSYS technology that provides FEA (finite-element analysis) functionality for stress analysis. Based on the ANSYS DesignSpace simulation package, the FEA capability integrates with the Inventor user interface, making it extremely straightforward to set up and perform an analysis.
Inventor Professional's wiring module now supports nailboards and multiconductor cables. The piping application now includes hose design.