Inventor 2018 What's New - Part 1: MBD & 3D Annotations

May 18, 2017 By Ron Jones Leave a comment

Model-Based Definition and 3D Annotations Overview

For decades, the accepted form of communicating design intent has been 2D drawings. Inventor 2018 changes this with the addition of Model Based Definition or MBD. MBD allows users to annotate 3D models to convey design intent. These models can be supplied in addition to 2D drawings, or in lieu of, given Inventor 2018’s ability to notate GD&T, surface finishes, and other dimensions that are traditionally only available in 2D drawings. Advancements in CNC machining and Additive Manufacturing are eliminating the need for 2D drawings to be supplied in addition to 3D files. MBD allows for both the 3D model and the important geometric constraints to be contained in one file. Inventor 2018 supports 3D PDF creation natively as well as STEP AP242 allowing for data to be exported and consumed in many different CAD and CAM platforms.

Inventor 2018_MBD_May 18 2017.png

How Does It Work?

Inside of the Inventor 2018 Part Environment, you will notice a new ‘Annotate’ tab. Activating this tab allows dimensioning and tolerancing right in the 3D model. Leader and general notes can be added to help communicate design intent downstream to data consumers. From this environment GD&T can also be added, once finished the Tolerance Advisor can be used to ensure the part is properly constrained. Using the ‘Section View’ tool and ‘View Representations,’ multiple views can be produced from a single model. Finally, the model can be exported to a 3D PDF where all View Representations can be leveraged to communicate different features or section views. STEP files can also be generated with or in place of 3D PDF’s, these STEP files when created in AP242 format contain all geometric constraints and dimensions defined within the .IPT environment.  

Inventor 2018_3D PDFs_May 18 2017.png From within Inventor 2018 dimensioned models can be exported as 3D .PDF’s for collaboration with non-CAD users.

Inventor 2018_GDT_May 18 2017.pngWith the addition of MBD to Inventor 2018 GD&T can be done right in the modeling environment

Inventor 2018_STEP AP242_May 18 2017.pngDimensioned 3D models can be exported via STEP AP242 format which retains all geometric tolerances and constraints

Inventor 2018_Retail all dimns_May 18 2017.png3D .PDF’s exported from Inventor 2018 retain all dimensions and allow non-CAD users access to manipulate multiple views.

Why Should I Use It?

For years’ individuals communicated via letters, letters were replaced with emails. Similarly, to contact relatives or friends, we all utilized phone conversations, this ideology has been replaced with SMS also known as text messaging. How does this all relate? In manufacturing, the same type of switch is happening. Evolution in the design process is changing how companies manufacture products. With the advent and development of CAM programs, dimensions inside of 3D models becomes more and more necessary.  Thus, the need for an additional 2D drawing to maintain and distribute becomes less prevalent. More and more companies are empowering production workers by giving them access to 3D models via hardware such as; computers, tablets, and even smartphones. Companies are replacing peg boards that contained 2D paper prints with tablets that allow users to see and manipulate all facets of a CAD model. As products manufactured become more complicated, the need to put more data at the fingers tips of production workers presents itself. This can be accomplished using Model Based Definition features contained within Inventor 2018.  

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Tagged with 3D, Inventor, digital prototyping, Manufacturing, 3D Digital Modeling, Autodesk, GD&T, geometric, MBD, model based definition, PDF, constraints

About Ron Jones

Ron is based out of Indianapolis, IN as a process improvement specialist. He worked as a product engineer in the automotive industry, mechanical designer in the automation industry, and an applications engineer in the compressed air industry. His educational background is in engineering and drafting from Purdue University. He is professionally certified in Autodesk Inventor Professional.

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