Have you heard of Autodesk Inventor? Not the guy who invented AutoCAD, but the incredible software program that will set you on your ear with its amazing product creation features. Inventor 3D CAD software is used for product design, rendering, and simulation. Using Inventor, you get professional-grade mechanical design solutions. But if you’ve never seen what Inventor can do, you may have some misconceptions like . . .
- Inventor is only for people who invent things – The first thing a person needs to invent things is not software, it’s a clear and fully functioning brain. That eliminates about 80% of us right off the bat. For those select few who are left, thankfully Inventor is one of the best products they can use to design and simulate the function of parts and products that the rest of us need to make the world go ‘round – like tires, range hoods, power plants and jewelry displays.
- Inventor is for designing robot dogs – This misconception assumes two things. One, we’re starting to fear robots. And two, robots can’t design themselves yet, but they can design robot dogs, which is way wrong. Now, if a real live chihuahua has no compunction about biting your ankle, think about what a robot chihuahua might do. It would be pandemonium from there. So fortunately there is a special user group that monitors this – DATRAB (Design Alternatives To Robotic Ankle Biters) – which has the goal of keeping Inventor OUT of the hands of delinquent robots and IN the hands of mechanical industry product developers who are making the world a better place. Another thing robots don’t have is logic. So Inventor’s iLogic is perfect for humans. Create your own easy-to-code scripts for any common task specific to your work. Even better, cut the amount of time needed to design configure-to-order and engineer-to-order products.
- Inventor is new and still has bugs – First of all, we all know that all software has bugs. It’s like the job of software to have bugs, otherwise you could write it yourself and wouldn’t be totally in awe of software engineers. But even though they are code-gods, once in a while a programmer falls asleep while writing code, and they wake up when they hear “beeeeeeeeeeeeep” meaning their face is on the keyboard and the letter “z” has filled up two lines of code. That’s kind of what a bug is. On a more practical note, the first release of Inventor was in 1999. By now they’ve gotten most of the lines of “zzzzzzzzz” code ferreted out and removed. Voila, not many bugs anymore. That’s huge for performance gains. Inventor handles large assemblies like a hot knife cutting through butter. Examples of the latest productivity enhancements include designing and locking tube and pipe lengths in the root, compliant adaptive components, improved downstream documentation, and new time-saving constraint solutions.
- Inventor is hard to learn – Au contraire, mon ami. Just the opposite. Millions of people teach themselves to use Inventor every day. Well, ok, not millions, but maybe five. The point is, it’s intuitive, so you can learn without formal training. However, if you want to design a robot dog, you will need formal training – from a robot. Aside from that specialty market, if you want to save time and shorten your learning curve, choose Applied Software for five different training options and one that’s guaranteed to work best with your work schedule. If you’re already an Applied customer, you qualify for 4D Technologies CADLearning resources, too. That’s like a coupon worth $468 annually per user, and who can’t use one of those?
- Inventor is already old technology – Sure, Autodesk may be investing in next generation technology (like Fusion 360), but that doesn’t slow down Inventor development. Autodesk is an enormous company; the development team multi-tasks all the time – and not just coding with one hand and drinking coffee with the other. Multiple releases of Inventor every year fulfill on hundreds of ideas submitted through Inventor IdeaStation from engineers like you. Well, maybe not exactly like you, but in the ballpark. And not just the crazy ideas, like designing a life-size volcano that spews beer. Some of the new features include: model-based definition, more options in the iLogic toolbox, and more performance improvements for large drawings and assemblies. The user experience is continually being updated, too, so you can produce more in less time. That gives you time to design with one hand and drink coffee with the other.
Inventor gets even better in the Product Design & Manufacturing Collection. The Collection version of the Inventor application also includes advanced simulation with a Nastran solver, 5-axis CAM, sheet metal nesting, and a tolerance stackup utility. If you know what those things are, chances are you can use them to develop products for the mechanical industry to make the world a better place.
Autodesk has posted some YouTube videos about Inventor that are narrated by a guy who can talk for at least two minutes without taking a breath. Even better, follow this link for a demo of Inventor with the real, live people at Applied Software. We empower clients, champion innovation and help transform industries.