Inventor 2016: Is it the best Inventor release ever, I say YES!!!

I cannot remember exactly when I started using Inventor. I think it was around the November-December 1999. Since then, there have been regular releases of Inventor almost every year. Some have had good feedback from the customers, some not. It all came down to how many new features and functionalities did the release have that the customers were interested in.

So for all those users who are waiting to hear how many new features and functionalities are in 2016, let me HEAPS. I actually read somewhere that out of all those enhancements, around 32 enhancements are based on user request.

Does this make 2016 the best ever Inventor release, I say NO!!!

So what makes it the best ever release??

I say the features and functionalities that are in 2016.

I wanted to create a post with some of the “major enhancements” of Inventor 2016. However, I could not cover even those “major enhancements” in one post. I will be creating four separate posts to cover those.

The following is my post 1 of 4

Autodesk Inventor 2016 What’s New (Post 1 of 4)

Sketching, Part Modeling and Sheet Metal Enhancements
The following are some of the “main enhancements” in the sketching, part modeling and sheet metal environments of Autodesk Inventor 2016.

Sketching Enhancements

1. Controlling the Visibility of the Dimensions of all Visible Sketches: This is something that I was asked during my recent customer visit. In the past, you had to go to individual sketches and turn off their dimension visibility. Now, this can be controlled using the View ribbon tab > Object Visibility ribbon panel.

2. Tangent Dimensions between Circles: This is something that the users who have migrated from SolidWorks would love.

3. New Point Snap Options while Sketching: There are some new point snap options available that you can utilize while sketching in Inventor 2016:

4. Silhouette Curves Enhanced in 3D Sketches: While creating the silhouette curves in the 3D sketches, you can now exclude the faces from which you do not want to create these curves.

More enhancements available on the What’s New page of Inventor 2016

Part Modeling Enhancements

1. Ruled Surface Tool: This tool is a long time coming. Really handy to create normal as well as tangent surfaces. You can also create sweep surfaces using a vector and a path sketch. Below are the examples of creating a normal surface and a tangent surface.

Normal Surface

Tangent Surface

2. Rectangular Pattern of Solid Bodies along a Curve: While creating a rectangular pattern along a curve, you can now select a solid bodies as well. In the past, you could only select features to pattern along a curve.

3. Freeform Environment has a Tab now: While creating freeform shapes, you will now see a contextual ribbon tab and ribbon panels, making it a lot more user-friendly to work with various tools.

More enhancements available on the What’s New page of Inventor 2016

Sheet Metal Enhancements

1. Sheet Metal Thickness Detection: This is one of the most favourite enhancements that I find in the sheet metal environment. In the past, every time you imported a model in Inventor and converted it into a sheet metal part, you had to manually measure the thickness and enter it into the sheet metal default settings. But now, when you click on Convert to Sheet Metal, you are prompted to select a face. Inventor then automatically calculates the thickness of that face and enters it as the sheet metal thickness, as shown below.

2. Multi Body Support in Sheet Metal: This is one of the enhancements that caught my eye straightaway. I can think of so many uses of this enhancement. The figure below shows three sheet metal lofted flange bodies created by sharing sketches. Remember that you will not be able to create flat pattern in this file. You will have to make parts or make components out of this file to be able to create flat patterns of each of these bodies.

3. Zero Bend Radius: You can now create sheet metal styles with bend radius value defined as zero, as shown below.

More enhancements available on the What’s New page of Inventor 2016

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