Autodesk took the
wraps off its annual upgrade to the Inventor product line, highlighting
interoperability, ease-of-use and integrated simulation capabilities in the
2010 release of its digital prototyping suite.
"When it comes to this version of Inventor, it's really
about accelerating digital prototyping for the customer - making it easier to
build a prototype or giving them new things to do with the digital prototype
when it comes to evaluating and testing models," says Amy Bunszel,
Autodesk's director of mechanical products.
One of the highlights of the Inventor 2010 suite is a focus
on plastic parts design and tooling. With the addition of the Autodesk
Moldflow technology, Inventor users can now design complex plastic parts
along with the corresponding mold design in a single tool. "Being able to
design plastic injection molding in the same digital model saves a huge amount
of time and prevents having to reenter data, which can cause errors and
sacrifice a high degree of productivity," Bunszel says.
Integrated simulation is another main focus of the 2010
upgrade. Based on technology garnered from its acquisition
of PlassoTech, Autodesk has improved its support for motion simulation and
static and modal finite element analysis at the part level, and now at the
assembly level as well. In previous versions, this kind of sophisticated
analysis was only available on a part level, Bunszel says. In addition, a new
Sketch Blocks feature provides a logical representation of both rigid and
moving bodies that can be combined into 2-D kinematic models for detailed
The third major focus of the Inventor 2010 suite is around
interoperability and useability. The software has a new Shrinkwrap feature that
gives users better control over the simplification of large assemblies for
protecting intellectual property when collaborating with third parties. Bunszel
likened this new feature to a black box, which defines a component with enough
detail to see how it connects to other elements in the design, but without
providing access to the intellectual property when collaborating with a large
There is also an enhanced AEC Exchange capability for
simplifying the exchange of data for use in building design. Inventor 2010 also
comes with a new read/write translator for Dassault's CATIA,
a first for the Autodesk product. Inventor already has such translators for
Parasolid, PTC Pro/ENGINEER and other offerings.
Other highlights of the announcement include:
- Autodesk will now make its AutoCAD
Inventor LT Suite, which it had been offering as a free, downloadable
technology preview on the Autodesk Labs site, available as a commercial
product, priced around $1,400.
- A new streamlined design environment and bill of materials
enhancements in the AutoCAD Mechanical package, while AutoCAD Electrical
features a new "one-line" circuit symbol library to help increase productivity
for control engineers.
- The first Mac OS X support for Autodesk Alias, the
industrial design component of the 2010 suite.
- Extensive, new document management capabilities for
Autodesk Vault, the PDM component of the suite.
Details of the new release and purchase options will be
available starting March 24.