MCAD Tech News #212

13 Jun, 2007 By: Jeffrey Rowe

Inventor LT: On the Road to Retail

Although limited in functionality, the new version has a place in the market.

In early May, Autodesk announced a technology preview release of Autodesk Inventor LT, the newest member of its Inventor family of software products. Inventor LT Technology Preview is available as a free download from the Autodesk Labs site, currently only in English and to users in the United States and Canada.

I’d heard rumors for some time about an impending "lite" version of Autodesk Inventor (although Autodesk hates that term) before the announcement was made. I even approached a couple of Autodesk employees that I’ve known for years about substantiating the rumor, but got nowhere. It turns out that only a very small group at Autodesk was privy to the information surrounding LT development and launch plans.

Keep in mind that Inventor LT is neither the first nor only free MCAD download; other companies, such as Alibre, CoCreate and UGS also offer free 2D and 3D tools. Inventor LT also probably won’t be free forever. The product comes with a license that expires on May 1, 2008. Should Autodesk decide to take it retail (which is very likely), the company speculates that the suggested retail price will be approximately $999. I imagine retail sales outlets could be places such as Staples, Circuit City and Autodesk wouldn't officially comment about its plans for LT, but there's too much potential revenue at stake for the company to do otherwise, in my opinion. The company also reports that customers who download the Technology Preview will receive special purchasing incentives if and when it does move to the retail market. Read more>>

MCAD Modeling (Column): AutoCAD for 3D?

By Mike Hudspeth, IDSA

A few months back I made a comment in an article, and a reader took me to task for it. I said that it was possible to do 3D modeling in AutoCAD -- but when was the last time you heard of someone actually doing it? The reader informed me that there were tens of thousands of people out there who were in fact doing just that. I faced a dilemma. I had used AutoCAD in years past and had since spoken to a lot of people who still used it, and in my experience people were not overly impressed with the 3D capabilities offered by AutoCAD. The vast majority of users I spoke with used something else. Sure, when it came to 2D documentation, AutoCAD ruled, but for 3D they looked elsewhere. I suppose my comment was understandable given that experience. However, since then I have received a lot of reader feedback about 3D in AutoCAD. Read more>>

Mark Your Calendar: MCAD Events

Webinar: Optimizing Process Frameworks
June 27, 2007
2 p.m. EDT
This Webinar presented by Collaborative Product Development Associates will review a framework for transforming product development processes and summarize the basic elements of the framework and how they support accurate process modeling, root-cause analysis and consensus building to establish the on-going environment required for continuously improving and standardizing design processes. Read more

FIATECH 2007 Member Meeting
September 17-19, 2007
Minneapolis, Minnesota
"Looking Outward to Inspire Innovation & Improve Internal Operations" is this year's member meeting theme. By collaborating and sharing resources from among FIATECH's membership, its internal processes can be modified, streamlined and molded to better suit the demands within the industry within individual companies. Read more

2007 FLOW-3D World Users Conference
September 20-21, 2007
Dallas, Texas
FLOW-3D users from around the world will present their studies, analyses and results obtained using FLOW-3D, including benchmarks, case studies and research projects. The Flow Science team will present their ongoing development plans, demonstrate the new capabilities of Version 9.2 and be available to answer users' questions about the software. Read more

For Cadalyst's full calendar of events, click here.