Autodesk Inventor: Program Features

Autodesk Inventor is a computer-aided design (CAD) program for 3D mechanical modeling, simulation, visualization and documentation, developed by the Autodesk company of the same name. Inventor enables the integration of 2D and 3D data into a single environment, creating a virtual representation of the final product that allows users to validate the product’s form, fit, and function before building it. Autodesk Inventor includes parametric modeling tools, live editing, and freeform modeling, as well as multiple CAD translation capabilities in standard computer graphics DWG (DraWinG). The inventor uses ShapeManager, Autodesk’s proprietary geometric modeling kernel. This software is in direct competition with SolidWorks, Solid Edge, and Creo.

CAD software combines parametric design capabilities: direct, free-form, and rule-based. With this professional solution, you have integrated tools for sheet metal, frame, tube, cable, hardware design, layout, rendering, simulation, machine design, and much more. In addition, it supports TrustedDWG® files and has powerful model-based identification capabilities to embed manufacturing information directly into the 3D model. It is widely used by mechanical engineers who need specialized and automated tools to design and prepare for manufacture.

Autodesk inventor

Example of a template designed in Autodesk Inventor (Image credits: Autodesk Inventor)

General Features of Autodesk Inventor

Parts are the basic building blocks of an inventor. They are created by selecting features or elements, which in turn are based on graphics (two-dimensional graphics). Business drawings can also be used to produce drawings at different locations in the workspace. The advantage of this design method is that all graphics and features can be corrected later, without the need to completely repartition. This modeling system is much more intuitive than previous and older tools as it requires changing the basic dimensions starting from scratch.

To continue the process, the parts are connected to form assemblies. In this way, by modifying parts and assemblies, different shapes of the product can be obtained. Parts are joined by adding constraints between surfaces, edges, planes, points and axes. This modeling method makes it possible to create large and complex assemblies.

Autodesk inventor

The inventor has tools to control and manage data generated by large and complex assembly designs (Image credits: Autodesk Inventor)

Autodesk 3D printing inventor

Autodesk Inventor is one of the world’s most widely used 3D mechanical CAD design software for creating 3D digital prototypes that are used in product design, visualization, and simulation for mechanical design. It uses parametric solid modeling techniques to quickly modify and adapt product design engineering properties through a highly intuitive workflow.

In 3D printing, the goal is to produce properly nested models, to be exported as STL files. A 3D model created with Autodesk Inventor will result in a closed design and a perfect lattice.

Within this software is a specialized 3D printing tool. To find it, you have to go to the top bar and go to the panel called “Environment”. By clicking on this tool, you get a representation of the printing plate. From this environment we can now determine the orientation of our part, do direct modeling if we need a slightly larger part, etc. In addition, users have the option to send this part to Autodesk Print Studio, Meshmixer, or directly to the desired printer. With the Print Options tool, you can fine-tune the grid structure, units, and even color.

Autodesk inventor

Network created via software (Image credits: Autodesk Inventor)

Inventor 2023 Latest Version

The latest version of Inventor® 3D CAD software is packed with updates and improvements to help you manage your design process, speed up connected engineering workflows, and reduce repetitive tasks. This latest release provides interoperability with Fusion 360, allowing you to quickly access and launch Inventor-Fusion 360 workflows, including generative design, simulation, electronics, and manufacturing. You can also securely share data between Revit and Inventor building design software with an enhanced approach to BIM (Building Information Modeling) and MCAD (Mechanical CAD) interoperability.

Other benefits include the ability to prepare designs for manufacturing with the new “Mark” command, updates to sheet metal export, and support for dimensional tolerances in additional features. This software allows you to better control the bill of materials and manage tolerances. This release also includes performance and productivity improvements for graphics and large gatherings.

In terms of pricing, Autodesk Inventor is available as a free 30-day trial, after which it is paid by subscription. Annual subscription 2862 euros or 360 euros per month. If you are considering purchasing this software solution, you can find more information on the official Autodesk website here.

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