Digital Prototyping Software Accelerates Design

Autodesk has introduced its 2D and 3D design and engineering software line-up for manufacturers seeking to digitally design, visualise and simulate their products before they are built. The technology integration offered by Autodesk Inventor 2011 software and the complete Autodesk Digital Prototyping software portfolio is claimed to help designers and engineers to compete more effectively and carry out more work in house. Autodesk has enhanced its specialised tools for product development professionals focused on conceptual design, design visualisation, engineering and manufacturing disciplines.

At the same time, the company embedded key functionality from these tools within its core Autodesk Inventor 3D mechanical design and engineering software. New direct manipulation capabilities in Inventor 2011 software improve the mechanical design process, helping accelerate design times compared with Inventor 2010 software by approximately 40 per cent on common tasks such as assembly modelling. Inventor 2011 software also incorporates Autodesk's design visualisation capabilities within the CAD application so users can better conceptualise and communicate designs with clients.

Shading, lighting and material properties give users a photo-realistic representation of their designs, with Inventor software rendering designs as the user works. With added frame analysis, users of Inventor 2011 can test responses of frame models to gravity and other loads and record animations of displacement and stress results. The software guides users through the steps required to define the best testing scenario, making simulation more accessible to CAD users. Inventor Tooling 2011 improves performance for a number of key operations by more than 50 per cent, supports dynamic simulation of mould assemblies and helps users to automatically generate the mould core and cavity for a broader range of plastic parts, whether using native Inventor or imported files.

Inventor Ilogic technology is now integrated into Inventor 2011, simplifying rules-based design. The Icopy feature enables customisation of commonly used assemblies by automating the process of copying and positioning similar components. Autodesk Alias Design for Inventor 2011 is a new product that integrates freeform shape-modelling capabilities in the Inventor parametric modelling environment. Along with Inventor software, new applications within the Autodesk solution for Digital Prototyping offer capabilities spanning conceptual design, engineering and manufacturing workflows.

Autocad Electrical 2011 software helps electrical controls designers to quickly create control system designs and more easily access catalogue information for large electrical controls projects. Autocad Mechanical 2011 software's streamlined design environment gives users improved access to power dimensioning functionality, which automatically aligns part dimensions with the rest of the drawing properties, without ever opening a dialogue box. Autodesk Algor Simulation 2011 mechanical simulation tools now feature integration with Autodesk Moldflow 2011 software, allowing engineers to utilise Moldflow simulation results and the Moldflow material database when performing structural simulations on plastic parts.

The Autodesk Alias 2011 range - Alias Sketch, Alias Design, Alias Surface and Alias Automotive - delivers surfacing capabilities supported by sketching, modelling and visualisation tools. Autodesk Alias Sketch software's hybrid paint and vector workflow helps creative professionals transform ideas into design iterations more quickly. Autodesk Inventor Publisher makes its commercial debut after its recent technology preview on Autodesk Labs. The software for creating product documentation helps manufacturers to provide customers with clearer and more comprehensive technical instructions by using the same digital model in the design to manufacturing process.

Autodesk Moldflow 2011 software helps users validate and optimise plastic part and injection mould designs before manufacturing begins. Users can now easily export their Moldflow simulation results to Autodesk Showcase 2011 visualisation software to expose defects and see how the part will look in real life, helping to assess part quality and make better design decisions. The Autodesk Vault 2011 range, a workgroup solution for managing the complete digital prototype, now features a visual experience for graphically mapping Vault information directly to Inventor models to streamline workflows, improve the reporting and decision-making process and accelerate model selection and interaction.


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