Using AutoCAD geometry in Autodesk Inventor
AutoCAD has been since 1982, and imagine those of you who have used AutoCAD to make your drawings in the field of Manufacturing, Architecture, Engineering and Construction. Since the 3D revolution, there has been a craze to move ahead in the Z Direction and I’m sure there are many companies willing or forced to move forward to the 3D world.
Many questions come to the mind of the engineers and various companies who have made their designs in 2D
- Do I need to redesign / draw those 100’s of drawings done in 2D ?
- Will I lose my digital design data during migration ?
- During migration will my settings be retained ?
- Will customers accept the 3D data that are migrated from 2D ?
There are many more questions that pop up in the crunching time like can I migrate from 2D to 3D and will there be benefits.
But trust me 2D can never be replaced in a manufacturing company but these companies can add 3D to their workflow to aid the manufacturing, like for example CNC machining process simulation developed from the 3D model, can help the shop floor engineer think better and yield better productivity.
So, if you are a company using AutoCAD for a long time, then if you are forced to move to 3D. Then I would just recommend you to migrate to Autodesk Inventor.
Another question may pop up in your mind as to why only Autodesk Inventor ? The answer is very simple – Data migration from AutoCAD to Autodesk Inventor is as easy as say moving a folder from one hard “E” to another hard drive “F” within a computer.
So let’s go technical
You can directly open AutoCAD DWG (.dwg) files in Autodesk Inventor using the open command and then view, plot, and measure the file contents. The AutoCAD objects remain as AutoCAD objects in Autodesk Inventor, and display exactly as they do in AutoCAD. In addition, all the AutoCAD data is selectable for copy and paste. You can open an AutoCAD DWG file in Autodesk Inventor, and then copy and paste AutoCAD entities into any Autodesk Inventor sketch.
Paper Space and Model Space
Model space displays data exactly as it displays in AutoCAD. Model space is a read-only environment in Autodesk Inventor and is accessed in the browser. You can change the background color and perform all viewing functions, including rotate. You can select objects in model space for use with copy/paste and the measuring commands.
Paper space layouts are displayed as sheets in Autodesk Inventor. AutoCAD data can be viewed, plotted, and measured, and is selectable for delete and copy/paste. All Autodesk Inventor drawing commands are available in sheets/layouts. You can place views and create annotations on a layout created in AutoCAD and the Autodesk Inventor data coexists with the AutoCAD data.
While Autodesk Inventor drawing data and AutoCAD data can coexist in the same file, some data is shared between both applications. Blocks, layers, and sheets/layouts are editable by both AutoCAD and Autodesk Inventor. Dimension and text styles, while not equal, are synchronized such that supported changes made in one application are duplicated in the other application
DWG interoperability is the key for the successful migration from AutoCAD to Autodesk Inventor
Can I open and save DWG files in Autodesk Inventor if yes what scenario can I think ?
- Copy AutoCAD data directly into an Autodesk Inventor sketch without opening AutoCAD. You can choose to import AutoCAD blocks as Inventor sketch blocks (see Sketch blocks) when you create an Inventor part file.
- View, plot, and measure AutoCAD data in Autodesk Inventor and Autodesk Inventor data in AutoCAD.
- Add Autodesk Inventor drawing data to existing AutoCAD files or AutoCAD data to Autodesk Inventor drawing files to make a single file containing assembly drawings, schematic diagrams, and details.
- Add Autodesk Inventor drawing data to existing AutoCAD files or AutoCAD data to Autodesk Inventor drawing files to make a single file containing schematic diagrams and details.
- If you have customers using AutoCAD, supply them with drawings containing Autodesk Inventor data containing the appropriate layers, blocks, title blocks, and borders by creating a DWG template in Autodesk Inventor.
Note Creating a DWG template in Autodesk Inventor streamlines the translation workflow.
- Reuse Autodesk Inventor data in AutoCAD:
- Create associative drawing views in architectural drawings for plant layouts, and so on. Deliver views of finished 3D design created in Autodesk Inventor for reuse in architectural drawings (AutoCAD).For example, place views of equipment designed in Autodesk Inventor into an architectural drawing for plant layouts.
- Create associative drawing views of redesigned subassemblies and place them in large, legacy 2D assembly drawings.For example, if you have legacy AutoCAD files that require updating with 3D models, you can open the file in Autodesk Inventor. Create the 3D solid, and then create a drawing of the 3D model. Open the file in AutoCAD, and create an instance of the block definition of the view. Your legacy drawing is updated with the new content.
What can happen if I open by AutoCAD Data in Autodesk Inventor ?
AutoCAD and Autodesk Inventor create their own objects in the same .dwg file. For example, open an Autodesk Inventor Drawing (*.dwg) in AutoCAD. Create some AutoCAD geometry (such as lines, arcs, and circles) on one of the sheets and save the file. Open the file with Autodesk Inventor and the geometry appears just as it did in AutoCAD.
Certain objects, including layers, blocks, styles, line types, sheet names, and sheet sizes can be edited in both applications. For example, you can edit a layer and change the line type from an Autodesk Inventor line type to an AutoCAD line type. When reopened in Autodesk Inventor, the Autodesk Inventor layer still uses the AutoCAD line type.
AutoCAD blocks are the same in AutoCAD and Autodesk Inventor. The blocks display in Autodesk Inventor exactly as they do in AutoCAD. You can place blocks in both AutoCAD and Autodesk Inventor, but you cannot create or edit block definitions in an Autodesk Inventor drawing file.
What can happen to my Autodesk Inventor data in AutoCAD ?
When you create Autodesk Inventor data in a DWG file the data is saved as Autodesk Inventor data. The Autodesk Inventor data looks the same in AutoCAD and Autodesk Inventor. Autodesk Inventor data supports view, plot, and measure and can be exploded or deleted in AutoCAD.
To support reusing Autodesk Inventor drawing data, Autodesk Inventor creates a block definition for each drawing view and sketch in the file. When drawing views and sketches change in Autodesk Inventor, these block definitions are updated. Place these blocks using standard AutoCAD commands like INSERT and DesignCenter. For example, you can copy these blocks into other drawings using AutoCAD DesignCenter or insert a block in model space so that it can be referenced (XREF) into another drawing.
What can happen to my AutoCAD data in a DWG template for Autodesk Inventor?
When you create a drawing from a DWG template, all graphical AutoCAD data is removed except for block instances. All block instances remain on any sheet (excluding model space) in a template. You can place AutoCAD title blocks or borders on a sheet and use them in Autodesk Inventor. If you want to place other AutoCAD data in a template, put the data in a block. All non-graphical AutoCAD data in a template, such as layers, dimension, and text styles, and block definitions, is left unchanged.
So, I can say with confidence that if you have an AutoCAD data (DWG file) migrating to 3D using Autodesk Inventor is easy reliable and cost effective than migrating into another CAD system as the architecture (coding) within AutoCAD and Autodesk Inventor remains the same. While this is different in other 3D CAD Systems
So why wait move ahead into the 3D World with Autodesk Inventor with confidence.
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