In an earlier post titled “Autodesk’s Plans For Inventor Fusion” I wrote:
“Inventor Fusion will be the application that will be targeted to the “Do It Yourself” market… [snip] …These people are not very CAD literate, if at all. So giving then a history based parametric modeling system like Inventor may not be the best way to go about it. Inventor Fusion seems to be the perfect solution for them.”
So it comes as no surprise to me that Autodesk is busy polishing Fusion to become a standalone powerful direct modeling solution for conceptual design. The free Inventor Fusion that is shipped with AutoCAD 2012 and Inventor 2012 now comes with Alias Design surfacing technology built in. Previously this functionality was installed as an add-in to Inventor when installing Alias Design, a $4,000 product. Now AutoCAD and Inventor users can get this technology for free.
The Inventor Fusion Technology Preview 4 from Autodesk Labs that is installed on my computer does not have the Alias Design surfacing technology.
But the Inventor Fusion 2012 that got installed along with AutoCAD 2012 and Inventor 2012 has the Alias Design surfacing technology. Notice the “Edit Edge” command in the figure below.
Now whether Autodesk keeps this functionality in Fusion, or whatever it is called when it becomes a standalone product, is left to be seen. For obvious reasons, I think they should.
If you read my previous post on “Direct Modeling In AutoCAD 2012” you may have noticed that I created a box in AutoCAD, took it to Fusion and messed around with the four edges of the top face. I did that using the “Edit Edge” command in Fusion. In order to do the same thing in Inventor, I would select a solid body and click a button called “Edit Form“. This would freeze Inventor and start up Fusion along with the solid body where I could then use the “Edit Edge” command along with Fusion’s other direct modeling commands. When done I would click the “Return To Inventor” button to close Fusion and revive Inventor. The original model in Inventor would be replaced by the changed model that came from Fusion. This would be done by adding an Alias Freeform feature to the bottom of the feature tree. And thanks to the wonders of history based feature modeling, suppressing the Alias Freeform feature would give me back my original solid body.
For a brief overview of how the Alias Design surfacing technology works you can read my four part series on “Alias Design For Inventor“.