Inventor 2018 What's New - Part 2: AnyCAD Improvements

July 26, 2017 By Ron Jones Leave a comment

Inventor AnyCAD Overview

Collaboration shapes the way businesses operate and how CAD models are constructed. Email revolutionized the way we communicate and share information. Inventor 2018’s AnyCAD platform has changed the way users collaborate and interface with other CAD systems. Traditionally cross platform collaboration had been completed using a .STEP or .IGES file. This workflow is; cumbersome, error prone, and downright annoying when you get 40 hours into a project only to hear that your vendor has an updated revision of their content that you need to slip into your main assembly. AnyCAD gives Inventor users the ability to natively open; Solidworks, Catia, Creo, and NX.

Inventor 2018 Blog-Part 2_AnyCAD Overview_July 26 2017.pngInventor 2018’s AnyCAD technology allows for drawings created in other platforms to be imported natively


To Reference or Convert?

To open a non-native Inventor file, users will execute an open command searching from the file type that they are trying to import. Once the file is selected an AnyCAD dialog box will greet the user, this box gives multiple selection options. From changing the default units of the part to including or excluding surfaces and planes. The biggest decision to make is determining whether to Reference the model or convert it to an Inventor part or Assembly.

 Referencing the model/assembly will maintain the link to the native CAD platform that the part or assembly was created in. If a change is made in the native CAD software, the Inventor model will update to reflect the changes made. This tool is key for collaborating with users on different CAD platforms.

Converting a model or assembly will transform non-native Inventor components into .ipt or .iam files. Using the feature recognition add-in, such as, extrusions, revolutions, holes, chamfers, etc. will be recognized and added to the part, allowing changes to be made to the overall design intent of the model. Direct edit also allows for more complex modifications to be completed utilizing the ability to push or pull faces.

Inventor 2018 Blog-Part 2_AnyCAD Reference-Convert_July 26 2017.png 

AnyCAD’s user interface allows the model to be referenced inside Inventor. If a change is made to the native files it will be reflected inside of Inventor 2018


BIM Content Upgrades

Inventor has had the ability to export designs for use in Architecture programs like Revit for years. Inventor 2018 gives this workflow a facelift. Tools in past releases have been scattered through different menus and panels are now ‘under one roof’ so to speak. From the BIM Content menu users, can Shrinkwrap assemblies, giving the ability to exclude product specific IP. Speaking of Shrinkwrap, it got a facelift too. Improvements to this tool make it quick and easy too; include/exclude parts, select views, and even features. Keeping with the theme of increasing collaboration with AnyCAD Inventor 2018 also adds the ability to export files into Revit .rfa format. Combine this with Configurator 360 and users can download models from the web and insert directly into Revit.

Inventor 2018 Blog-Part 2_AnyCAD BIM_July 26 2017.png

Shrinkwrap gets a facelift in Inventor 2018, boasting an easier to use interface, and the ability to quickly remove IP or decrease the complexity of a 3D model


Backwards Compatible

Since its inception, Inventor has had no backwards compatibility, leading to frustration in the workplace when one of our co-workers decides to upgrade without telling anyone else. In the past, if we wanted to use files created in a later release of Inventor it was impossible and forced everyone to move to the new software release. Inventor 2018 & 2017.4 change this mentality and makes it possible. Inventor now supports the ability for a user to reference Inventor 2018 files into an Inventor 2017.4 assembly. This addition now allows companies to phase in new releases of Inventor without sacrificing internal collaboration across the design process in Inventor.


What else can AnyCAD do?

Inventor 2018’s AnyCAD platform eliminates the need for re-drawing existing CAD data or spend crucial time trying to get a .STEP or .IGES file. With just a few clicks the non-Inventor native file is ready. But what do we when we need to import multiple cad models? Get a pot of coffee and clear the calendar for the day? Call all over the office intern? Not quite. Utilizing the Autodesk Inventor Task Scheduler users can import hundreds of non-native CAD files in bulk, importing those files can even be set to run on nights or weekends allowing users to continue working. AnyCAD and Inventor 2018 continues to change the way users design and collaborate.

Inventor 2018 Blog-Part 2_AnyCAD Task Scheduler_July 26 2017.pngTask Scheduler allow importing models among many others tasks to be automated and ran at non-peak times


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If you have any questions, Contact Us and we'll make sure you know how to take advantage of these powerful new Inventor features!

Tagged with 3D, Autodesk Revit, Inventor, BIM, digital prototyping, Manufacturing, 3D Digital Modeling, Autodesk, SolidWorks, GD&T, geometric, constraints, STEP, IGES, Catia, Creo, NX, shrinkwrap, task scheduler, AnyCAD, compatibilty

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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