Autodesk 2011 Overhauls Digital Prototyping Lineup

DN Staff

April 2, 2010

2 Min Read
Autodesk 2011 Overhauls Digital Prototyping Lineup

Autodesk hasoverhauled its digital prototyping software portfolio with its 2011 release whichbrings a consistent look and feel, more integrated simulation functionality,along with improved visualization capabilities to manufacturing customers.

At the core of Autodesk's new Manufacturing 2011 lineup isInventor 2011, which features new direct manipulation capabilities designed toimprove the mechanical design process. The features, which allow engineers todirectly manipulate component parts within the parametric MCAD environment, canhelp accelerate design times on common tasks such as assembly modeling by asmuch as 40 percent, according to Autodesk officials. In addition, the softwarefeatures new design visualization capabilities, including Autodesk Alias Designfor Inventor 2011, a new addition that integrates freeform shape modelingfunctionality within the Inventor environment. Using Alias' shading, lightingand material properties capabilities, engineers can create a photo-realisticrepresentation of their designs.

Any time a design tool can offer more realisticvisualization capabilities, there are dividends in terms of bettercollaboration, customer engagement and "general delight" in using tools thatbetter embody the physical world, according to Roy Wildeman, a senior analyst withForrester Research Inc. "With Inventor2011, Autodesk is starting to capitalize on the synergies between its recenttrail of acquisitions, offering connections to Alias Designer and other designautomation tools," he says.

For example, Inventor 2011 now incorporates the InventoriLogic technology for simplifying rules-based design. The new iCopy feature,for instance, lets engineers customize commonly used assemblies by automatingthe process of copying and positioning similar components.

Beyond new visualization and automation capabilities,Inventor 2011 has improved simulation functionality, including new frameanalysis features that let users test responses of frame models to gravity andother loads, while recording animations of displacement and stress results. Thecomplementary AutodeskAlgor Simulation 2011, part of the extended digital prototyping suite, isnow integrated with the Moldflow 2011 software, allowing engineers to leverageMoldflow simulation results and the Moldflow material database when performingstructural simulation on plastic parts.

There are also enhancements to Inventor Tooling 2011,supporting dynamic simulation of mold assemblies and the ability toautomatically generate the mold core and cavity for a broader range of plasticparts, whether within the native Inventor environment or using imported files.

As part of the 2011 upgrade, Autodesk also announcedthe commercial debut of InventorPublisher, new easy-to-use software that is compatible with multiple 3-DCAD tools and can be used to create assembly instructions or repair andmaintenance manuals. The new tools let users leverage the same digital model tocreate interactive, 3-D product documentation in the form of exploded views orfull-motion animations.
Autodesk 2011 Overhauls Digital Prototyping Lineup

Autodesk 2011 Overhauls Digital Prototyping Lineup_A

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