Our Technical Director Rob Hargreaves takes a look at what’s new for Inventor 2021
Each major recent release of Inventor has included a step forward in what we know as the Inventor Experience. A few years back you saw updates to the application frame and 4K support, followed later by a dockable browser with quick search capabilities, and then last year with multimonitor support and new theme. While the “Light Theme” introduced last year gave Inventor and a few other products a fresh look and a common design language, we heard from many of you that you were also eager to have a dark option too. Some of you got a preview to the Dark Theme during the Design and Manufacturing Keynote at Autodesk University. We worked with many of you in the Feedback Community in developing and fine-tuning Dark Theme for Inventor 2021.
In addition to Dark Theme, we continue to upgrade commands to the modern command panel framework. With Inventor 2021 you will see more and more panels for commands throughout part modeling, tube & pipe, and frame generator environments.
Based on input from many of our users, performance is as important as ever. We’ve continued to go farther in the 2021 release with further optimized performance in parts, assembly, frame generator, and tube & pipe workflows. You will experience faster open, update, compute, and graphic navigation workflows with your designs in this release. Inventor 2021 isn’t simply faster. We optimized the occurrences computing process and memory loading for invisible components. This means you will also experience less memory usage, therefore, higher capacity to handle larger assemblies.
Image courtesy of Feige Filling GmbH
Inventor has been supporting associative workflows with non-native data since Inventor 2016 with our AnyCAD technology. Simply choose the ‘reference’ option upon import, and then be able to easily accommodate changes in your Inventor assembly, drawings, simulations, etc without having to manually re-import. In recent years we added formats like STEP, SolidEdge, and Fusion 360 as well as refined associative 2D-to-3D connections with AutoCAD.
A significant portion of our Inventor community works with companies in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction industry. In these accounts, they often need to create custom designs in the context of a building. With Inventor 2021 we are introducing AnyCAD associativity for Revit data. Now you can take advantage of the new Revit AnyCAD workflows to bring in just the data you need from a Revit file, and have it update associatively within your Inventor design. What’s more, when the Revit data is brought in, appearance information is carried over and you get a nicely organized representation of the building in the browser making it all easy to navigate.
Drawing productivity and workflows have been enhanced with new Sheet Format workflows and expanded iLogic drawing functionality. Inventor 2021 will enable a new level of drawing automation to help you create, modify, and complete your 2D drawings. With Inventor 2021 your 2D drawing creation will be faster than ever before.
In addition to all of this, Inventor 2021 has over 60 enhancements driven directly from your feedback and requests on top of all of the enhancements that were rolled into the incremental updates last Summer and Fall. We focused these enhancements on areas you discussed with us in Inventor Forum and Feedback Community, areas you highlighted on the Ideas page, and in our many in-person and online meetings over the past year. Customer driven enhancements are represented throughout Inventor in parts, assemblies, and drawings. For a complete list of customer driven enhancements, be sure to read the Inventor 2021 online help.
Over the next few weeks, the Inventor team will do a few more posts to dive into some of the details of the Inventor 2021 release.
Update to the Inventor 2021 Public Roadmap
As you can see from reading about the Inventor 2021 release, many of the things listed in the initial Inventor Public Roadmap were delivered with this latest update. This means it is time for us to share an update on what we are working on for upcoming Inventor updates and releases.
This roadmap may make statements regarding future events and development efforts for our products and services. These statements reflect our current expectations based on what we know today. Our plans are not intended to be a promise or guarantee of future delivery of products, services, or features, and purchasing decisions should not be made based upon these statements. We do not assume any responsibility to update this roadmap to reflect events that occur or circumstances that exist after the publish date of this roadmap.
We continue to look at how we can deliver Experience, Automation, and Insights to you with Inventor development and enhancements. Many of the areas of development come directly from you, our users, via Inventor Ideas page, Inventor Forum, and the Inventor Feedback Community.
With the delivery of Dark Theme as a preview in Inventor 2021, we will continue to listen to your feedback on Dark Theme and make enhancements and improvements as needed. In addition to theme work, we will continue to move commands to the modern panel architecture to improve functionality and increase your productivity. We are looking at more complex commands that are used often; like Fillet, Chamfer, and Loft that require additional selection filters and framework enhancements within the panels.
Driven directly from your feedback, we will continue to focus on implementing Inventor Ideas. These enhancements will surface in a variety of environments and edit, create, save, and export workflows. These Inventor Ideas enhancements are voted on by you, our Inventor users, and are the type of continuous improvements you have come to expect from Inventor with each update. We continue to listen to you, and add your Ideas into our development backlog. This includes improvements anywhere from additional Frame Generator enhancements, to customizing middle-mouse button functionality, and everywhere in between.
Inventor 2021 Automation
We see more and more of you working with Revit and Inventor together. With Inventor 2021 we introduced the ability to associatively use Revit data within your Inventor design. We have worked with many of you and heard your need to use Inventor data in Revit in much the same way. Based on the feedback and research, we are working closely with the Revit team to ensure we can help build similar functionality for Revit users that need to leverage Inventor data in their Revit designs. We also are focusing on how we can help Inventor users prep their designs to be used in Revit before sharing. It’s all focused on helping those in Building Products and Custom Fabrication use the power of Inventor for engineering design alongside Revit for large scale building models.
Those of you that participate in Inventor alpha and beta testing may have noticed that we ask you for your feedback on Inventor when you close your session. The feedback has been incredibly valuable as we developed toward the final Inventor 2021 release. Going forward, we are looking at ways to enable you to provide feedback directly to the development team on the Inventor you are running to do your daily work. Our goal is to use this feedback alongside all the other channels you use to provide feedback directly to the Inventor team.
For more information about Inventor 2021 and how to get the most from it contact us.
The What’s New in AutoCAD 2021 page in the rest of the AutoCAD 2021 online help is live along with the new LISP and Developer help. As of this writing only some of the rest of the ACAD 2021 ToolSets online help is yet live. That may change before you read this.
View and access your blocks content from AutoCAD on desktop or within the AutoCAD web app.
The Blocks palette has been enhanced to provide more convenient access to blocks anytime and anywhere. Use your Autodesk account with a supported cloud storage provider (Box, Dropbox, or Microsoft OneDrive) to get quick and anytime access to your recent blocks and block library drawings.
Revision Cloud Enhancements
Revision clouds are now a distinct ACAD object. They now include a single value for their approximate arc chord lengths, the distance between the endpoints of each arc segment.
Break Objects at a Single Point
With the new BREAKATPOINT command, the Break at Point tool on the ribbon can now be repeated by pressing Enter. This command directly separates a line, arc, or open polyline into two objects at a specified point.
Streamlined Trim and Extend Option
Instead of having to first select boundaries for the Trim and Extend commands, the default Quick mode selects all potential boundaries by default.
Measure Geometry Option: Quick Measure
The Quick option of the MEASUREGEOM command now supports measuring the area and perimeter within a space enclosed by geometric objects in the plan view of a drawing.
Performance and Connectivity
Experience faster save and install times. Leverage multicore processors for smoother orbit, pan, and zoom operations.
The speed of panning and zooming in 2D has been enhanced with a technique that takes advantage of objects with similar properties, and another technique that displays appropriate levels of detail at different levels of magnification.
When panning and zooming in real-time in 2D, AutoCAD-based products automatically perform regeneration operations as needed. Normally, this operation is not noticeable except in very large drawings. In those cases, you might want to turn off the RTREGENAUTO system variable to prevent automatic regeneration.
When working with 3D models, navigation generates higher or lower fidelity graphical representations of the 3D geometry in some circumstances. The program’s responsiveness when using 3D orbit, pan, and zoom operations has improved significantly by making use of multi-core processors. This improvement is most noticeable on complex 3D models using visual styles that render curved surfaces.
Cloud Storage Connectivity
Access any DWG file in AutoCAD with Autodesk’s cloud, as well as with leading cloud storage providers. Support for Google Drive is new. One Drive, Dropbox, and Box are supported.
More and Better Compares
Drawing History Compare
Compare past and present versions of a drawing and see the evolution of your work.
Enhanced DWG Compare
Compare two versions of a drawing without leaving your current window.
See the changes made to your current drawing from changed external references (Xrefs).
Our capacity to deliver high-quality and complex Altium PCB design services are continuing to grow. So we thought we’d share with you some of our thoughts about the skills required to achieve outstanding Altium PCB designs.
1. A strong understanding of PCB manufacturing processes
Our Altium design team not only has over 8 years experience of Altium PCB CAD package experience, they also have mechanical design experience including the use of Autodesk Inventor. Understanding the mechanical constraints as well as the electronic is critical to a successful PCB design.
2. Huge depth of knowledge and experience
A PCB design is only as good the basics being done right. All our of our design team are IPC CID Trained, with experience of more complex areas such as differential pairs routing, flat, flexi and semi-rigid interconnect design and High-speed digital design.
3. Understanding of Constraints
From the creation of all files required from a PCB design, Circuits, Gerbers to considerations about thermal constraints, high-density designs and numerous layers our designers are familiar with the challenges that come with challenging board designs.
4. Capacity to deliver
As one of the largest PCB design bureaus in the UK, with IPC CID+ accredited designers, we are able to ensure the highest standards of design are delivered. A major advantage of working with Quadra is that we can help you achieve those tight deadlines and save money.
5. A comprehensive overview of the project
Below are just some of the areas we cover include:
Have you encountered problems printing to PDF in Autodesk Revit? It seems to freeze and not continue with the print command? Does it want to create numerous files in an unbreakable script, even though you have specified ‘Combine multiple selected view/ sheets into a single file’?
This is currently an ongoing issue, which has been confirmed with the Autodesk development team. But within this blog, we have suggested a couple of workarounds which can help you get everything running smoothly.
Users reported that in Revit 2016 R2 and newer, print to PDF by the Adobe PDF driver may return the following results:
The PDF file will be generated after an unusually long time.
No PDF files will be created.
A PDF file will be created for the first print job, but no PDF files are created for subsequent print jobs in the same session.
The progress bar in the dialog box stops/ hangs.
The dialog box will be unresponsive.
PDF files can only be created one sheet at a time.
When printing large sets of views, the first views are processed, but eventually, the Adobe Acrobat processing dialogue stops updating, even after Revit has finished sending all of the views to the printer.
Note: While this was originally reported as an issue specific to the Adobe Acrobat printer, there have been some reports of similar behaviour with Bluebeam PDF printer.
To resolve the issue, use one of the following workarounds:
Option 1: Use keyboard shortcut CTRL+P to enter the print dialog box Option 2: Click Print Preview prior to printing Option 3: Specify PDF Output directory; Do not “Prompt for File Name”.
I came across this piece of research whilst looking for how resilient the manufacturing industry will be during Coronavirus and even though it was written back in 2013, it raises some interesting points. I thought I would summarise them.
Here are some of the interesting takeaways from this research;
Manufacturing retains a distinctively valuable and important role for the UK in economic, political, cultural, technological and cultural terms.
A central concern for manufacturing in the UK is its productivity, relative competitiveness and growth potential into the future to 2020-50.
A robust manufacturing sector contributes towards
Output: Producing gross domestic product (GDP)
Employment: Creating direct and indirect employment and incomes
Productivity: Producing value-added and providing the highest potential for productivity growth
Innovation, research and development: High levels of expenditure on applied research and innovation generating wider diffusion and spill-over effects to the broader economy
Trade: Generating export earnings from overseas sales and maintaining positive trade balances
Supply chains: Purchasing goods and services generating direct and indirect multipliers for investment, growth and employment within the wider economy
Manufacturing-service linkages: Creating demand for high value-added and specialised services such as accountancy, advertising, legal, marketing and research
Training and skills development: Developing a highly skilled workforce and creating training opportunities for new labour market entrants
Tax revenue: As a sizeable and productive economic activity producing output and employing people, manufacturing is a substantial contributor to national tax revenue.
Need Support during the Pandemic with working from home or with software? Please contact us.
Manufacturing’s role in Economic Resilience
As a result of its pivotal role as a vibrant sector of economic activity, manufacturing makes the following vital contributions to resilience:
Recovering lost output, employment and productivity: In the wake of disruptive change, manufacturing can contribute to generating GDP, jobs and value-added as part of regaining previous growth trajectories both directly and indirectly through its wider supply chains for goods and services
Generating new and replacement employment: Manufacturing can create new kinds of job opportunities in new and growing activities to replace those lost, for example in recession and economic downturn
Innovating for growth: Periods of disruptive change can stimulate what Joseph Schumpeter called ‘creative destruction’ with manufacturing demonstrating high innovation potential for product and process advances
Motor of recovery especially in export-led sectors: As UK economic growth has stuttered and fallen into a double-dip recession, the export orientation of manufacturing has meant it has outperformed the national economy in making a positive contribution to economic recovery
Upgrading the workforce: The role and position of manufacturing in training and skills development is vital in upgrading the existing workforce for example in learning new skills as well as producing portable transferable skills of use in different activities, enhancing the flexibility of the labour market in response to shocks
Focus of sectoral rebalancing: As part of the UK government’s policy of ‘rebalancing’ the sectoral and spatial structure of the UK economy it aims to grow manufacturing rather than reduce the size and contribution of the services sector, especially financial services. This policy suggests a future role for manufacturing and its contribution to UK resilience.
5 Ways Manufacturing can Contribute towards Economic Resilience
1 ‘Smart’ industrial strategy – proactively creating, shaping and nurturing business activity rather than leaving its development to purely market-led outcomes
2. Ensuring that investment is made into technology
3. Local, collaborative and supportive production networks
4. Manu-services – Where firms combine goods and services into packages.
5. Adaptive capacity – the ability to adapt and change in the face of disruptive change.
There are a lot of good reasons to move to BIM and many are interrelated. Better design and collaboration means fewer errors and omissions, which in turn reduces clashes during construction. That’s why so many companies across the plant design and construction business are moving to adopt BIM.
The Top Challenges to BIM adoption in Plant Design Projects:
Speedy project delivery from start-up to completion
Gain more insights earlier in the process to improve project quality
Enhance multidisciplinary team coordination
Minimise data loss in all project phases to minimise costs.
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A bit about Quadra Solutions
Quadra Solutions are Gold Autodesk CAD Design Software Solutions Providers. We work with customers to provide advice and strategies for Autodesk Design software solutions for the Construction and Manufacturing industries. Inventor, Revit, AutoCADCollections and Vault software helps our customers design, visualise, innovate and implement solutions. At Quadra, we build long-term relationships with our clients who we think of as our partners, rather than customers. We are proud of our reputation for good, honest advice and friendliness. It is our policy to ensure you have all the support you need, when you need it.
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