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Preview of Autodesk Inventor Publisher Technology Available

Preview of Autodesk Inventor Publisher Technology Available

Most documentation today is in a 2-D format and in paper form, which might explain why I recently had so much trouble following the assembly instructions for a cheap chest of drawers.

So it was no surprise to me when Samir Hanna, VP of Digital Concept, Manufacturing Industry Group at Autodesk, reported at a press conference yesterday at Autodesk University that 5 percent of all product returns are due to lousy documentation as a lead-in to the announcement of the new Autodesk Inventor Publisher technology.

According to Singh, the software, which he says is compatible with multiple 3-D CAD packages, was designed to allow users to easily create interactive, 3-D product documentation in the form of exploded views or full-motion animations for assembly instructions, repair and maintenance manuals and the like.

"You don't need to be an expert in Inventor or even a CAD user," said Senior Product Manager Abhijit Singh. Noting lots of people are intimidated by animation, he showed how in just a few clicks he could create an exploded view and a full-motion animation.

Singh likened it to using some other common software tools for the office, though how easy some of those tools actually are is debatable. One of the major benefits, he says, is the documentation can be developed concurrently during the design process, avoiding the "after-thought" mentality that often surrounds documentation.

Markups such as callouts and labels can be added to the documentation, which can be published in a variety of formats, including PDF, DWF, PPT, SWF, AVI and published to the web or electronically delivered via email. To wit, Singh waved an iPhone around displaying a 3-D image he had created just seconds before.

For engineers interested in taking a test drive, Autodesk is now offering a free download of Inventor Publisher Technology on Autodesk Labs.

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