This product produces an 'educational watermark' on all printed documents. Only unopened box returns are accepted for this product.Autodesk Inventor software takes manufacturers beyond 3D to Digital Prototyping by giving engineers a comprehensive and flexible set of tools for 3D mechanical design, simulation, tooling, visualization and documentation.
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Bandwidth utilization is reduced by up to 99% AutoCAD 2010 network operations are 22 times faster
Autodesk AutoCAD 2010
Riverbed Steelhead Appliances Accelerate Autodesk AutoCAD 2010 and prior versions
AutoCAD provides state-of-the-art software used by leading architecture, engineering, and manufacturing firms across a wide range of industries. Firms use AutoCAD to design drawings and products and convey them visually to clients and collaborating parties. While the application provides an outstanding tool for organizations to standardize on for design purposes, the size of the drawing files often exceed Our files and data now move hundreds of megabytes in size on larger more than 70 times faster projects and can impact employees abilbetween offices, giving us ity to collaborate effectively. For firms with distributed offices or a global presence, sharing and collaborat Bruce Bartolf, CTO, Gensler ing on large CAD documents can often lead to significant delays in accessing drawings during normal file open and save operations. Many firms estimate that design engineers can spend one-quarter to one full hour a day on remote file operations, dramatically reducing the available working time per person. These delays impact productivity and overall time-to-market for customers, and ultimately, delivery to the client.
AutoCAD operations were tested using the 2010 DWG format and the AUGI (AutoCAD User Group International) Gauge Benchmarks Net test. This kit is an independently-created test tool that executes the most common operations that the typical AutoCAD user would perform over the WAN, including opens, saves, and file edits. For more information, visit www.augi.com. The test environment to obtain the results described in this brief consisted of a WAN with a T1 connection, and 100 milliseconds of delay between locations. This scenario would be typical of a WAN link between Los Angeles and New York offices. This test was performed using Windows XP Professional as the client, Windows 2003 server, and AutoCAD 2010. NOTE: The 2007 DWG format used by some recent versions of AutoCAD and Civil3D scrambles the file data during save operations even if no changes have been made to a drawing. As a result, all data de-duplication technologies are unable to recognize the newly reorganized bytes of data. Customers using Autodesk products that use the 2007 DWG format will see deteriorated performance from the test results presented in this brief. The tests results described were obtained through testing with the 2010 DWG format. AutoCAD 2010 has resolved these issues, giving the strong results shown.
the ability to complete projects more quickly.
Steelhead-Enhanced AutoCAD 2010
Deploying Riverbed Steelhead products along with AutoCAD 2010 software can greatly reduce the amount of time required to open, save and transfer CAD documents across the wide area network (WAN). As a result, organizations can achieve LAN-like access speeds of centralized design documents and improve the collaboration and productivity of their design specialists. This gives firms the opportunity to source people on projects regardless of their location and enables real-time collaboration on designs across distributed teams. The Riverbed Optimization System (RiOS) utilizes industry-leading data streamlining, transport streamlining, and application streamlining to provide data de-duplication, compression, transport layer and application protocol optimization. These optimizations can cut AutoCAD traffic on the WAN by as much as 99% and accelerate access times by up to 22x.
When we tried using Steelhead appliances, the results were dramatic. Transfers for an edited file took about two minutes the same amount of time that it takes us to access the file on a LAN.
Chris Pinckney, CIO, Psomas
PERFORMANCE BRIEF: Autodesk AutoCAD 2010
Deployment BENEFITS Deploying Riverbed in conjunction with AutoCAD 2010 provides multiple benefits, including: Productivity gains. By dramatically reducing the amount of time needed to complete basic CAD file operations, engineers can save an hour per day or more. Reduced bandwidth utilization. Steelhead appliances reduce bandwidth utilization from remote offices that rely on accessing CAD documents located on networked file servers in other offices, reducing IT costs. Better, faster collaboration. By reducing the time to transfer AutoCAD files by an order or magnitude or more, Steelhead appliances enable users in multiple offices to work collaboratively on large design documents. Work can be shifted to offices with downtime, or the right person can work on a task regardless of their location. Remote office server consolidation. LAN-like WAN performance means that server consolidation becomes a reality, and remote IT infrastructure can be reduced or eliminated. IT maintenance costs can be reduced, and the tasks of upgrading and patching servers can be greatly simplified.
AUGI Gauge Benchmark Net Test Operations (100 ms delay) Time to Complete (in seconds)
Warm Run Cold Run Without Steelhead More than 7x faster
AUGI Gauge Benchmark Net Test Operations (20 ms delay) Time to Complete (in seconds)
These results are based on the testing scenario presented in this paper. Your results may vary based on the conditions of your own network and the specifics of your own use cases.
Riverbed Steelhead appliances accelerate AutoCAD 2010 tasks in the AUGI Gauge Benchmark Net test (see sidebar) by 22x. Steelhead appliances can accelerate tasks up to 100x in certain scenarios see the reverse side for more detail. Simultaneously, bandwidth utilization was reduced by 99%, implying 99% of the data previously traversing the WAN was redundant information that was eliminated by Riverbeds scalable data referencing techniques.
Riverbed Optimization System (RiOS) Features
RiOS software combines patent-pending data reduction, TCP optimization, application-level latency optimizations, and remote office file and management functionality. Together, these technologies provide a comprehensive solution for enterprise wide-area data services, scaling across a range of applications and network topologies to accelerate applications from 5 to 50 times, and sometimes up to 100x. RiOS consists of four key components: Data Streamlining RiOS data streamlining works across all TCP applications to reduce bandwidth consumption by 60% to 95%. Data streamlining works across Windows file sharing, Microsoft Office, Email (including MS Exchange and Lotus Notes), SSLencrypted applications, CAD, ERP, databases, and all other applications that use TCP, to ensure the same data is never sent more than once over the WAN. Data Streamlining also supports rules-based policy administration of optimization classes and packet marking for QoS and route control.
Transport Streamlining RiOS transport streamlining reduces the number of TCP packets required to transfer data by 65% to 98%. Transport streamlining overcomes TCP limitations by adapting transmission characteristics such as window scale, loss handling, congestion notification, and more. Transport streamlining also allows SSLencrypted applications to be accelerated as well. RiOS Transport streamlining also enables greater utilization of high bandwidth, high latency connections with HighSpeed TCP and MX-TCP. Application Streamlining RiOS application streamlining provides additional order-ofmagnitude application performance improvements by reducing application protocol chattiness up to 98% and minimizing application overhead. By minimizing application demands on the network such as application protocol round trips and required network connections, RiOS can provide massive throughput increases to applications including Windows file sharing (CIFS), Exchange (MAPI), Web (HTTP and HTTPS), and Database (MS-SQL). RiOS also includes important features for maximizing branch office productivity, such as file server capabilities and transparent pre-population of popular data.
Typical Deployment Architecture
Steelhead Windows File Server(s) Steelhead
Remote Office AutoCAD Workstations BRANCH OFFICE
Steelhead Products Accelerate a Broad Range of Applications
Most Likely range Peak Performance 5 5
File Sharing - Windows (CIFS) File Sharing - Unix (NFS) Mail - Exchange (MAPI) Mail - Notes SharePoint Web - HTTP, HTTPS, Intranet ERP - Oracle 11i, SAP NetWeaver FTP Backup & Replication Document Management Software Distribution - SMS Database - MS-SQL Database - Oracle SQL ERP - Fat Client 0
100x or more ->
Riverbed Technology is the IT infrastructure performance company. The Riverbed family of wide area network (WAN) optimization solutions liberates businesses from common IT constraints by increasing application performance, enabling consolidation, and providing enterprise-wide network and application visibility all while eliminating the need to increase bandwidth, storage or servers. Thousands of companies with distributed operations use Riverbed to make their IT infrastructure faster, less expensive and more responsive. Additional information about Riverbed (NASDAQ: RVBD) is available at www.riverbed.com
2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
Riverbed Technology 199 Fremont Street San Francisco, CA 94105 Tel: +Fax: +www.riverbed.com Riverbed Technology Pte. Ltd. 391A Orchard Road #22-06/10 Ngee Ann City Tower A Singapore 238873 Tel: +65 6508-7400
Riverbed Technology Ltd. Farley Hall, London Road Binfield Bracknell Berks RG42 4EU Tel: +44 (0) Riverbed Technology K.K. Shiba-Koen Plaza Building 9F 3-6-9, Shiba, Minato-ku Tokyo, Japan 105-0014 Tel: +5419 1990
2009 Riverbed Technology. All rights reserved. Portions of Riverbeds products are protected under Riverbed patents, as well as patents pending. Riverbed Technology, Riverbed, Steelhead, RiOS, Interceptor, Think Fast, the Riverbed logo, Mazu, Profiler, Atlas and Cascade are trademarks or registered trademarks of Riverbed Technology All other trademarks used or mentioned herein belong to their respective owners.
Making the Leap
from AutoCAD to Autodesk Inventor
10 Easy Steps from CADENCE Magazine Columnist
Making the Leap from AutoCAD to Autodesk Inventor
So here I am, one of the biggest fans of AutoCAD, writing a booklet on Autodesk Inventor.
Why would I want to do that? Well, I must admit I was skeptical at first that this 3D modeling product could really be as easy and powerful as everyone said it was, not to mention the fact that Autodesk Inventor isnt even based on AutoCAD! What about all those years of AutoCAD knowledge Ive acquired? How could I possibly draw faster in any other CAD package than I do in AutoCAD? In this booklet, I hope to convince you that, believe it or not, its actually easier (and faster!) to draw in 3D Autodesk Inventor than it is in 2D AutoCAD. Im a believer, and I hope to turn you into one as well. This booklet is intended to be an easy read and a friendly introduction to the world of Autodesk Inventor. Delivered in 10 easily digestible doses, it covers the basics in a way that I hope makes you feel comfortable taking your first steps into this robust and exciting 3D modeling package. Youll even discover that if you arent ready for the world of three dimensions yet, Autodesk Inventor is an amazing 2D program as well. The parametric modeling capabilities in Autodesk Inventor kick the IQ of the program up so many notches youll find that it does much of the work for you! In fact, Autodesk Inventor is so smart and so easy to use that youll keep thinking there must be a catch (I certainly did!). Theres no catchits just a remarkable program thats built on tomorrows technology. And why shouldnt it be? Its written by the company youve trusted with your designs for over 20 yearsAutodesk! So lets begin our journey into the world of Autodesk Inventor software
Discover the Difference Between AutoCAD and Autodesk Inventor
There are many differences between AutoCAD and Autodesk Inventor software. Were going to take a look at five of the biggest and most apparent differences between the two products to make sure were off to a good start.
AutoCAD is geometry-driven design; Autodesk Inventor is dimensiondriven design. In AutoCAD, we create our geometry and then place our dimensions. If we make changes to the existing geometry, the associated dimensions update (hopefully!). Wouldnt it be nice if you could change the value of the dimension and drive the shape and size of the part? Well, thats exactly how Autodesk Inventor works. You roughly sketch the part you want to create, and then you control the exact size and shape of the part with dimensions. Imagine how easy it would be to make changes to your part later by simply changing the dimension values. Need to change the length of a plate from 30 mm to 35 mm? Simply change the dimension! Why does Autodesk Inventor work this way and AutoCAD does not? Autodesk Inventor has the added intelligence of being a parametric modeler. Autodesk Inventor is a feature-based modeler. As you create your 3D parts, each extrusion, hole, chamfer, fillet, and so forth, is stored as an independent feature in the Autodesk Inventor browser. This makes it extremely easy to make changes down the road. If you decide that
hole should have been 10 mm instead of 12 mm, its not a problem to make the change. In AutoCAD we often find ourselves deleting and re-creating a specific feature. Such changes in Autodesk Inventor are as easy as changing the dimension value. Autodesk Inventor supports adaptivity. One of the features that separates Autodesk Inventor from other 3D modelers is the ability to create adaptive parts. These smart parts maintain a physical relationship so that if you modify the geometry of the base part, the adaptive geometry knows to update as well. This could be as simple as creating a hole that adapts to the size of a rod. As you change the size of the rod, the hole gets larger or smaller to accommodate the new diameter of the rod. Autodesk Inventor doesnt use layers! There, I said itand if you can handle that concept, youre a prime candidate to learn Autodesk Inventor. Lets face it, none of us really likes dealing with layers in AutoCAD, but were forced to because of linetypes, lineweights, and so on. What if you could set up all your parameters once and have Autodesk Inventor automatically assign them to your parts from that point forward? Let the software do those tedious chores for you so you can focus on the important aspects of your design.
Autodesk Inventor was built specifically for the manufacturing industry. AutoCAD was built (nearly 20 years ago) to be all things to all people. It must take into consideration the needs of all disciplines: AEC, Civil, FM, Plant Design, and so forth. Autodesk Inventor was created with one and only one industry in mindManufacturing. From the ground up, Autodesk Inventor was built to think the way you think and act the way you expect it to act. Last but not leastrepeat after meAutodesk Inventor is not AutoCAD! You will have a much happier life if you realize this early on and dont try to equate the AutoCAD world and processes to Autodesk Inventor technology.
Get Comfortable with Autodesk Inventor
First and foremost, you need to feel comfortable in the Autodesk Inventor environment. Lets take a quick tour of the user interface and point out some of the similarities with and differences from our familiar AutoCAD environment.
What happened to my command line? We depend on it in AutoCAD. In fact, to some of us its practically a religion, but in Autodesk Inventor you wont even miss it. We dont use commands in Autodesk Inventor, we use tools.You can easily access each tool from four different areaspull-down menus, toolbars, context-sensitive shortcut menus, and the panel bar. Of these, only the panel bar should be unfamiliar to you. While AutoCAD still relies on countless keyboard options for many commands, here youll find a variety of friendly, dynamic dialog boxes to input data. A message segment of the Standard toolbar helps guide you along, but it does not accept input like the AutoCAD command line does. Youll also find that the status bar located in the lower left corner of the screen often contains pertinent information.
What is a panel bar? Imagine if AutoCAD were smart enough to display the appropriate toolbar, depending on where you were in your design process. If you were dimensioning, the Dimensioning toolbar would automatically appear. If you were editing your drawing, the Modify toolbar would appear, and so forth. Well, Autodesk
Inventor is smart enough to supply you with the tools appropriate for the particular mode you are in. On the left side of the screen (by default), youll find the panel bar acts much like an intelligent toolbar. If you are sketching in 2D, the panel bar displays the 2D tools. When you are ready to turn your 2D sketch into a 3D feature, the panel bar switches to display your 3D tools. You spend less time looking for commands and more time focusing on the design. How do I use the Autodesk Inventor browser? In the lower left corner of the screen, a browser panel displays a history of how your geometry was created. As you select the items in the browser, youll find that the designated geometry highlights on the screen. Its easy to edit your file by selecting the desired geometry from the browser. In AutoCAD we select our geometry by using the Crossing and Standard Window selections (which, incidentally, also works in Autodesk Inventor). Youll find that the browser is a nice addition for selecting those hard-to-reach parts. What happened to my UCSICON? The UCSICON has been replaced with a color-coded 3D indicator. The red arrow indicates the X direction, green indicates the Y direction, and blue indicates the Z. Were extremely dependent on the UCSICON in 3D AutoCAD, but in Autodesk Inventor I think youll find your reliance on the 3D indicator is minimal. You can turn on a variety of snap and grid settings as well as an origin point if that makes you feel more comfortable. In fact, if you insist on using coordinates while drawing, you can turn on Precise Input (but Ill try to talk you out of that). Take a spin through this simple and logical user interfaceit wont take long for you to feel right at home in the Autodesk Inventor environment.
Learn to Love Autodesk Inventor File Types
In the world of AutoCAD software, we spend most of our time dealing with just one file typeDWG. Paper space, model space, 2D, and 3D all exist in the same file. The Autodesk Inventor world is quite different in this respectyoull be dealing with a minimum of four different file types on a regular basis. Your first response to that statement is probably not a good one. How will you keep track of them all? The good news is that you dont need toAutodesk Inventor is so smart it does all the work for you. And since these files are all associative, any change you make to one affects all of them. So if you choose to change a component while in an assembly file, the software automatically updates the part file as well as the 2D drawing file. Try not to equate this flexibility to the sometimes frustrating external references in the AutoCAD worldthis is a much more sophisticated (and reliable) system. And Ill do my best to help you feel comfortable with each of those four file types by the time you finish Step 3!
IPTInventor Part File I tend to equate the Autodesk Inventor IPT file to AutoCAD model space. Here youll create one 2D or 3D part at a scale of 1 to 1. If you choose to create a sheet metal file, youll also notice the extension is that of an IPT file. Incidentally, Autodesk Inventor has some fantastic tools for creating sheet metal parts and flat patterns! I typically begin drawing in the IPT file.
IAMInventor Assembly Model When youre ready to put multiple parts together into a final assembly youll create an IAM file. Here you might find a mixture of parts, subassemblies, and assemblies. You can also, however, create part files in the IAM environment. Each part you create is saved to an IPT file.
IDWInventor Drawing File If the IPT file is equivalent to model space, then the IDW is equivalent to an AutoCAD layout (or paper space). Here you create your final drawing file for output. An IDW file can contain views of parts, assemblies, or presentation files, or all three. Its also super easy to create section views, detail views, and projected views (all of which can be painful in AutoCAD). Youll also find that dimensions and balloons are practically automatic in the IDW.
IPNInventor Presentation File Theres no better way to effectively communicate how parts are assembled or disassembled than in a presentation file. Anyone who has had to write up pages and pages of assembly instructions can appreciate that a picture is worth a thousand words (sometimes literally!). The IPN file is used to effectively display an exploded assembly. By tweaking the various components of the assembly, you can easily create a simple animation thats saved as an AVI file. Remember that all these files are associated. So if you change a part in an assembly file, Autodesk Inventor automatically knows to apply the update in the part, drawing, and presentation files, thus ensuring that all your files are up-to-date. And it does this without additional input from you!
Build a Part: Start with a Sketch
Weve got some of the basics downso now where do we begin? The process for building parts with Autodesk Inventor is simple: Select a plane to sketch on Make a sketch Constrain the sketch Dimension the sketch Convert the 2D sketch into a 3D part Thats it. And, believe me, its just as easy as it sounds.
Getting Started It all starts with a simple sketch, just like youve been drawing on a napkin all these years. All sketches must be drawn on a sketch plane (makes sense), and when you start a new part file a sketch plane is automatically set up for you. The next step is determining the shape for your base sketch. Take a look at the part you want to create and determine the shape that best resembles the overall part. Try to start with a flat face, since theyre much easier to work with. After determining your base sketch, youre ready to begin drawing.
Sketching Made Simple There are so many great sketching features in Autodesk Inventor there is no way I could possibly cover them all in this bookletso Im just going to highlight a few key aspects of the part-building process.
To start off on the right foot, youll notice that the smart panel bar automatically knows were in Sketch mode, so the only tools available are those you use to sketch. Here youll find familiar tools to choose from such as lines, arcs, and circles. As you start to draw the sketch, youll find that Autodesk Inventor automatically makes some basic geometric assumptions (known as constraints) such as horizontal/vertical or parallel/perpendicular. Little icons, called glyphs, display, representing the type of constraint that will be added to the geometry. This is similar to working with AutoCAD Ortho mode. As with Ortho, you can turn these constraints off by holding down the Ctrl key. Well take a closer look at these constraints in the next step. Youll also see that Autodesk Inventor helps you along by displaying inferred tracking points as dashed lines that work off existing geometry endpoints. This can be compared to AutoCAD object tracking (for those elite few who were able to figure it out!). You may also come across some implied object snaps that help you through the sketching process. Sketching Made Even Simpler When you start to sketch, make it easy on yourself by simply approximating the overall size and shape of the base sketch. Later, well add some constraints and dimensions to create the exact sketch were after. And make the sketch simplethe simpler the better. Well add holes, fillets, chamfers, and more later. Youll also want to make sure that all the endpoints are coincident (meet at the endpoints), with no gaps or overhang. One last tipAutodesk Inventor has multiple Undo and Redo. Dont we wish AutoCAD had that! Youll find the Autodesk Inventor sketching tools are more intuitive and simpler than those in AutoCADbe sure to try them all!
Constrain That Sketch!
So youve drawn your sketch, and at this point its probably looking a lot like youve drawn it on a napkin. How do we get it to be the right size and shape? To make sure your sketch has the right size well add dimensions, and to ensure the sketch maintains the right shape, well add geometric constraints. Were used to working with dimensions in AutoCADbut what exactly are constraints? Rules to Live By Think of constraints as geometric rules by which your sketch must abide. You can place a vertical constraint on a line that forces that line to be vertical regardless of what you do to the sketch. You may tell two circles that they are always to be concentric. You might force a line and an arc always to be tangent to one another. Youre essentially setting up a relationship between the various objects in your sketch. Constraints dont stop with sketchingyoull find that you can also place constraints in assemblies to control placement of components, direction of movement, and so on. After drawing your sketch, you can easily add constraints by selecting them from the Sketch panel bar or by selecting Add Constraints from the right-click shortcut menu.
You can see all existing constraints by selecting the Show Constraints tool from the panel bar. Rows of constraint glyphs (I just love that word!) appear. To delete a constraint, simply select the constraint, right-click to display the shortcut menu, and select the Delete option.
A fully constrained sketch is one that cant move at all (which means that at least one fixed constraint was added). Youll find that a fully constrained sketch turns a darker color. Some people insist on fully constraining their base sketch, some do notthe choice is yours.
Dimensioning Dimensioning, technically another form of a constraint, is used to control the size of your sketch. The dimensioning feature in Autodesk Inventor is one of my favorites because its so easyyou need to use only one dimensioning tool for all your dimensions (imagine that!). Autodesk Inventor is intelligent enough to choose the proper dimension type depending on what you select. Pick General Dimension from the panel bar and select the desired geometry. If for some reason the dimension that appears is not what you were after (for example, Diameter rather than Radius), simply right-click and switch to the desired type. After you place the dimension, the Edit Dimension dialog box appears and you can input the desired value. If the Edit Dimension dialog box doesnt appear, simply double-click on the value to edit it. This is where the real power of Autodesk Inventor beginsyoull find that you can change the size of your sketch at any time just by changing the dimensions. Objects: A Smart Collection of Sketch Entities A funny thing happens when you add dimensions to a fully constrained sketch. The addition of the dimensions and constraints turns the lines and arcs in the sketch into a smart object. Now when you make changes to any one entity in the sketch, all of the remaining entities know exactly how to update to maintain the implied shape and size. Autodesk Inventor technology is based on dynamic and associative relationships. A good understanding of constraints is definitely key to your success in Autodesk Inventor!
Turn Those 2D Sketches into 3D Parts!
We have our constrained and dimensioned 2D sketch, and now were ready to make the leap to 3D part modeling. In Autodesk Inventor lingo that means youll move from Sketch mode to Feature mode. Now youre ready to take your base sketch and turn it into your base feature.
Id say that 9 times out of 10 youre going to use the Extrude tool first. This tool adds depth to your sketched feature. All the Feature tools have easy-tofollow dialog boxes that dynamically change depending on the input youve provided. There are two types of features in Autodesk Inventor softwaresketched features and placed features. A sketched feature consists of a sketch drawn on a plane (an existing face or a work plane), transformed into a 3D feature by extruding, revolving, sweeping, or lofting it. A placed feature doesnt require a sketch and can be added directly to an existing feature. Fillets, chamfers, and holes are examples of placed features. In your browser you can find all your features displayed in the order you created them. You can edit them at any time by simply right-clicking on the desired feature and selecting Edit Feature from the shortcut menu. You can even reorder features from the browser. Taking a Good Look To survive in 3D youll need to learn how to control your viewing angle. It wont take you long to realize that you can zoom in and out of the current display by using the wheel on your mouse. (If your mouse doesnt have a
wheelrun out right now and get one that does!) But heres the glitchin AutoCAD were used to pushing the wheel forward to zoom in, and pulling the wheel toward us to zoom out. Its the exact opposite in Autodesk Inventor, and this will drive you crazy at first. Think of it like this: as you push the wheel forward, youre pushing the object further away, as you pull the wheel toward you youre pulling the object closer to you. Its an easy adjustment, but it takes a little getting used to. There are seven different viewing commands on the Standard toolbar. The first two, Zoom All and Zoom Window, work exactly as they do in AutoCAD. The Zoom tool works the same as the wheel on your mouseas you move your cursor up, the part moves farther away, and vice versa. The fourth tool is Pan (which you are a pro at). This leaves us with three tools that require just a little more explanation. Zoom Selected: You pick a face and Autodesk Inventor fills the screen with the selected face (or faces). Rotate: Similar to AutoCAD 3DORBIT, this option dynamically rotates the part. Pressing the space bar while in this mode displays the Glass Box as an additional viewing aid. Look at: This option changes you to the plan view of the selected face or edge. More Display Controls Two function keys are worth mentioning at this point. F4 can also be used to dynamically rotate your part. F5 performs the equivalent of a Zoom Previous. If you press F5 too many times and want to step forward again through your zooms, simply press Shift F5. I use these three options often while designing in Autodesk Inventor (and I wish AutoCAD had the same function key setup!). Finally, life in Autodesk Inventor would not be complete without the frequently used Isometric View option. Its easy to switch to a standard isometric view by right-clicking and selecting Isometric View. I do this all the time. If you dont like the default isometric view, its easily changed to a view of your choice.
Create a Drawing from the 3D Part
No More Lost in Paper Space So youve made your part and are ready to create a final 2D drawing with multiple views of your part. Youll want it to contain your title block and border as well as one or more fully dimensioned views. Start by creating a new IDW file. A sheet appears with a default border and title (both of which you can modify to suit your needs). Now were ready to create our views!
Base View Lets start with the base view. Select the Base View tool from the panel bar. Then select the part or assembly file you want to view, along with the scale factor and orientation. Selections you make in the dialog box appear dynamically in the graphics area. Finish by selecting a point in the graphics area to place your view. Now youre ready to create some projected views. Projected Views Use the Projected View option to create isometric or orthographic views. You can place multiple views at one time. The process is simple: Select Projected View from the panel bar and pick the base view to work from. The direction you move the mouse controls which projected view appears. Horizontal or vertical movement generates orthographic views, and diagonal creates an isometric view. After placing the various views, right-click and select Create from the shortcut menu.
Section Views Section views can be painful to create in AutoCAD but are generated instantly in Autodesk Inventor. Simply pick Section View from the panel bar, select the view you want to section, and draw the line that defines the plane that cuts through the part or assembly. Then right-click to continue and complete the Section View dialog box. Complete the command by placing the final view. Even More Views Autodesk Inventor supports many different view types, from Detail views to Broken views. All are easily found in the Drawing Views panel bar. Note that you dont need to wait until a part is completed to create your drawing file. Since the Autodesk Inventor files are associative, the drawing file always updates to accommodate the most recent view. Would you like to grab the dimensions you placed while creating your model? Just right-click in the desired view and pick Get Model Annotations.To add dimensions, right-click in the panel bar to switch to the Drawing Annotations panel bar. Here youll find the wonderful General Dimension tool we used in Step 5, along with several other dimensioning tools. Are you worried about layers, text styles, dimension styles, and so forth? No worriesyou can duplicate all your familiar AutoCAD settings in the Standards dialog box. There are many drafting standards available for you to use (ANSI, ISO, JIS, and so on), or you can create your own. If you arent ready to make that jump to 3D, try creating your 2D drawing in the Autodesk Inventor drawing file.The added intelligence of the Autodesk Inventor parametric-based modeler takes you further and faster than AutoCAD. You can still set up constraints between the views so that if you change the hole in one view, it updates in the corresponding views. Its amazing! Comparing the IDW to working with AutoCAD paper space layouts doesnt even begin to do it justice. The IDW is exponentially more intelligent, eliminating so much of the tedium we face with paper space layouts.
Put It All Together
Its doubtful that youll spend your life creating solitary partsmore than likely youll need to combine these parts in an assembly. This takes us to the Autodesk Inventor assembly file (which we now know is the IAM file). The assembly file holds the information necessary to put the parts together. There are three types of assembly design: bottom-up, top-down, and middleout. When you insert existing parts and subassemblies in an empty assembly file youre designing from the bottom up. Creating all your components within the assembly space is top-down design. Middle-out assembly design is a combination of the two (and the route you will probably take). There is no right or wrong way to do it; you determine the best method for yourself.
Bottom-Up Assembly If possible, insert your components in the order you want the manufacturer to assemble them. The first component should be a fundamental part of the assembly on which the rest of the assembly can be built. The first component you insert becomes the base component, and it is grounded or fixed. Top-Down Assembly If you need to create a component while in the assembly mode, simply select the Create Component option from the Assembly panel bar. Youll be asked to select the face or plane you want to work from (just like sketching), and the existing assembly becomes translucent. Dont be fooled; you are still creating a part file (IPT), youre just doing it from inside the assembly file.
Assembly Constraints Once you have more than one component in your assembly, youll want to ensure that they fit together correctly by placing a variety of assembly constraints. For example, a screw fits inside its corresponding hole. If you need to move the hole, youd like that screw to follow. There are many different types of assembly constraints: Mate, Tangent, and Insert, to name a few. As you add constraints to the components, youll find that youre reducing their freedom to move. You can also simulate mechanical motion with the Drive Constraint tool. This allows you to view such motions as a gear being rotated by a pulley, a handle turning, and a piston sliding back and forth. These motion constraints can help you view the overall function of the assembly. Autodesk Inventor can even do interference checking (so you wont get unhappy calls from the shop floor!).
Adaptive Assembly As I mentioned earlier, one of the things that differentiates Autodesk Inventor from other 3D modelers is its adaptive technology. Adaptivity allows you to create relationships between parts in an assembly. Once you make a part adaptive, moving or changing adjoining parts forces that part to adapt. This is just a very quick overview of the Autodesk Inventor assembly modeling functions.There are so many amazing capabilities in the assembly mode that it is difficult to stick with a few of the basics. I especially wish I had time to dive into one of the newest Autodesk Inventor featuresweldments. In the weldment assembly environment you can do weld bead specification, weld edge preparation, and postweld machining (ahhhanother booklet, another time!).
Put Your AutoCAD Drawings to Work
I know, you have all these AutoCAD drawings lying around that youve worked very hard on. Is that data wasted? Absolutely not! Who better to understand all the nuances in translating AutoCAD data than the company that made the product? Autodesk Inventor contains an Import wizard that makes it easy to take designs created in AutoCAD into an Autodesk Inventor part or drawing file. Your 2D data comes in as a sketch, ready to be turned into a 3D part!
Options, Options, Options Youll use the Open menu to import AutoCAD drawings into Autodesk Inventor. In the Open dialog box, change the file type to DWG. Now dont jump the gun and hit Openits very important that you click the Options button first (in fact, this button should be in bold type in bright red letters so you cant miss it!). We AutoCAD veterans are programmed to ignore additional buttons in the Open dialog boxlet this be an exception! The Options button takes you to the Import wizard. Here you can select the layers you want to translate (as shown in the figure) and set up some basic parameters such as the units and desired destination file type. Be sure the Constrain End Points option is selected; otherwise, you could end up with gaps in your AutoCAD data. You dont want to have to run around tidying up all those unconstrained endpoints! You can also decide whether youd like your DWG data to land in an Autodesk Inventor drawing or part file. After answering these basic questions, click the Open button.
The associative dimensions you brought in from AutoCAD are not the smart dimensions we have in Autodesk Inventor. Autodesk Inventor automatically migrates the AutoCAD dimensions to the smarter driven dimensions. This raises the IQ on those AutoCAD dimensions and gives them the intelligence weve grown to know and love. Now you can drive your AutoCAD geometry by changing the dimension valueif only it were that easy in AutoCAD! What About Blocks? AutoCAD blocks are brought into Autodesk Inventor as sketched symbols (the equivalent of a block). You can then insert additional instances of those symbols into your drawing (much like blocks). What about your title blocks and borders? Heres a little tip for yousplit your title block and border into two different AutoCAD drawing layers. Use the Import wizard twice, bringing the title block in as a Title block and the border in as a Border. That way you wont have to re-create them in Autodesk Inventor.
The Export Wizard What if you want to go the other way? Perhaps you need to send an Autodesk Inventor drawing to someone who only has AutoCAD. Now youll turn to the Export wizard. You can save your Autodesk Inventor file to AutoCAD Release 13 and up. In fact, you can save it as a DXF file should you have a client whos still on Release 12. I hear theyre still out there! The Export wizard also enables you to save your Autodesk Inventor objects to specific layer names. You may also choose to associate a specific template file to the drawing. Autodesk realizes that you have made a huge investment in AutoCAD drawing files and has made it easy to bring this data into Autodesk Inventor.
Get into the Autodesk Inventor Groove
Youve read the booklet and feel compelled to give Autodesk Inventor a try where do you go from here? You have several options. Start by contacting your local Autodesk reseller (800-964-6432). Resellers have manufacturing experts on hand who will be happy to guide you to a solution that is just right. If youd like to try Autodesk Inventor (for free!) before purchasing it, you can request a test-drive CD. Many Autodesk manufacturing resellers offer free seminars where you can see Autodesk Inventor running live. The only way to purchase Autodesk Inventor is to purchase the Autodesk Inventor Series. What does that mean? Well, this is the best news yet, because the Autodesk Inventor Series consists of AutoCAD, AutoCAD Mechanical, Autodesk Mechanical Desktop, and Autodesk Inventor software! This gives you a chance to learn Autodesk Inventor while youre still using AutoCAD. With all those products built into one package, youre probably thinking it must be very expensivenot so! The Autodesk Inventor Series isnt much more expensive than any one of those products. Take Some Training So youve bought the Autodesk Inventor Series; now where do you begin? Though this booklet is enough to get you off the ground, I recommend taking the route I didenroll for some hands-on training. I took an Autodesk Inventor class from a local Autodesk Authorized Training Center to make sure I had all the fundamentals under control. Youll save lots of time and effort in the long run by learning design and modeling techniques from those who have already spent countless hours using the product.
Explore the Help System Its fantastic! I used many of the animations in the Design Support System to familiarize myself with the product and occasionally to get me out of a bind (the Constraints animation is my favorite!). We often forget to try the obvious help file while were learning. Give this one a try. The Autodesk Inventor team considered a robust help file to be a priority, and it really shows! Read a Book Even if you take a class, it doesnt hurt to have a good book by your side for reference. There are many good Autodesk Inventor books out there. My personal favorite is Autodesk Inventor from the Top. The pages of my copy are dogeared and highlighted (and you could never get it away from me). Youll find a list of excellent books about Autodesk Inventor in the training and tips section of www.autodesk.com/inventor. If Ive done my job properly, youre now convinced that Autodesk Inventor is not only robust but easy to use. A 3D modeler doesnt have to be complicated to be extremely powerful. Give it a try. I believe youll never want to go back to AutoCAD again!
Autodesk, Inc. 111 McInnis Parkway San Rafael, CA 94903 USA Autodesk, AutoCAD, Autodesk Inventor, Mechanical Desktop, and DXF are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., in the USA and/or other countries. All other brand names, product names, or trademarks belong to their respective holders. Copyright 2002 Autodesk, Inc. All rights reserved.
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