Our Technical Director Rob Hargreaves takes a look at what's new for Inventor 2021

Experience

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

Workflows

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.

Customer Driven

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 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.

Experience

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.

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.

Insight

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.