August 4, 2015

Mark your calendars!

Mark your calendars!  Applied Software is hosting a webcast on Aug 20 that is entitled “Do you need more Plant 3D piping supports?”  In this webcast, I will be showing some of the additional supports we have created via Python Scripting for various clients and why you need to stop stick-building auxiliary steel supports and using non-intelligent and non-parametric 3D blocks of hangers and guides just like they did.  This is not a session on how to create Python Scripts on your own but more of what all goes into the work that Applied Software can do FOR you!  Feel free to register at

April 16, 2015

Inventor 2016 Improvements!

I have been looking for the new items in Inventor Professional 2016 and found some really great enhancements!  These come from the "What's New in 2016" but if you don't have it loaded yet, you may not have seen these.  This is not all of the enhancements either, but these are the ones that made me want to check it out further.
Copy Parameters to User Parameters
While working with Parameters, you can now copy an existing parameter, including all its settings and multivalues, as a User Parameter. Previously, recreation and manual entry was required for each value.

Import and Export External Rules Configuration for iLogic (not available in Inventor LT)

You can now import/export iLogic configuration settings (as an XML file) to be shared between different users and machines. Once configured, externally mapped folders appear beneath a Standards Directory tree that will update/refresh immediately when content changes (sub folders and rules). In the past, external paths had to be manually added.
External rules configuration settings can also be leveraged and mapped during creation of deployments.
Global forms can now be refreshed through a right-click context option to reflect the most up-to-date form.

Redesigned Format Text Dialog Box

The Format Text dialog box is simplified and refined to be clear and easy to use. Size of the dialog box is reduced to provide more space for editing in the graphic window.

Text Preview in the Graphic Window

Text in a drawing file is dynamically previewed in the graphic window when you create or edit it. You can refine the appearance of text before you close the Format Text dialog box.

In-Canvas Text Rotation

Select a text object, and drag the blue rotation grip point to rotate text to the desired position.
Sheet Metal Multi-body
The multi-body part environment is extended to include sheet metal parts. You can now use a top-down workflow to create multi-body sheet metal parts. Use the Make Components or Make Part command and then open the derived components to create flat patterns for each part in a multi-body part file.

Thickness Detection  (yes!)

When you convert a part to sheet metal, you are now prompted to select a base face. This pick allows Inventor to measure the material thickness for you. After you select a face, the Sheet Metal Defaults dialog box appears. The measured thickness is displayed in the Thickness value box. Click OK to accept the measured thickness value.

Convert to Freeform

Use the Convert command to copy solid body or surface faces to the freeform environment. Use the freeform edit tools to manipulate the shape.

Create Tangent Dimensions Between Circular or Arc Geometry Within a 2D Sketch

You can now create tangent dimensions between circular or arc geometry within a 2D sketch. This workflow will allow you to fully constrain a circle using tangent dimensions instead of a traditional diameter dimension, or the use of the center point of the circle.

The Show/Hide All Constraints Display Setting Persists (yes!)

The selected Show All or Hide All Constraints display setting remains active as you sketch and throughout your editing session. Previously the show or hide setting did not persist when you created new geometry or when you started a new sketch.
Large Assembly Performance
The Disable Automatic Refinement option is added to the Application Options, Display tab. Disabling automatic refinement provides a coarser model display and improves graphics performance in large assemblies such as when changing a level of detail. Coarse faceting is used until you select the Refine Appearance command in the View tab.
Assembly Pattern (yes!)
The Midplane option is added to the assembly Pattern command. Select the Midplane option to create a pattern distributed on both sides of the original component.

Fast Drawing Creation

A new Create Drawing View command merges several steps to one, so you can quickly create drawing views from a model file. In the model file, arrange the model as desired. Then right-click the root component in the browser, and click Create Drawing View.
The following model properties are automatically propagated from the model to the drawing:
·         All active representations (design view, position, and level of detail representation)
·         Current camera including Orthogonal/Perspective setting
·         Active iPart/iAssembly member

Centralized External Sketch Symbol Library Features

You can now easily access and share your collection of sketch symbols through a new external Sketch Symbol Library. This library is an Inventor drawing file that, by default, is located in a subfolder of the Design Data location of your project.

Work Features Can Now Be Projected Into a View Sketch (this is in the DWG)

You can now create a view sketch on a model with included work features and select those work features with the Project Geometry command. This capability in a drawing view sketch allows you to reference, constrain, or annotate other sketch geometry to projected work features that were included in the view.

Hidden Line Views for Standard Fasteners

A new option is available to exclude all standard fasteners from hidden line views.

Model Orientation in Base Views (this is good!)

When you create a base view, View Cube is displayed next to the upper right corner of the base view. Click a View Cube face, edge, or corner, or click the rotation manipulators to set the desired orientation of the model.

Revised Drawing View Dialog Box (this is much better!)

The Drawing View dialog box is streamlined to support new workflows with direct interaction in the graphic window.

Projected Views

Use the direct interaction tools to create multiple projected views with the Base View command, and to place projected views in the drawing.
To create an orthographic or isometric projected view, click a triangular icon on the base view border. The projected view is placed in a default location.

Align To Edge Option

A new To Edge option is available to align balloons. You can select any linear edge on the drawing sheet to specify direction of the aligned balloons.

Increased Performance When Opening Files from Other CAD Systems

Multithread support is enabled. Multithreading allows Inventor to use multiple processors if the hardware you are using contains a multi-core processor. As a result, performance is increased when working on files from other CAD systems.