Inventor Fusion Is Finally Out, But…

…it is not what they say it is. At least, not yet. All that marketing talk about “uniting direct and parametric workflows” is just that – talk. Inventor Fusion Technology Preview 1 is just a preview of the direct modeling workflow and has nothing related to the history side of things. And this is precisely how the brains at Autodesk Marketing appear to have planned it. According to the Autodesk press release, the “technology preview is the first step in delivering the full vision of Inventor Fusion“. So instead of releasing their “full vision”, Autodesk intends to dish it out in installments, thereby dragging this issue for as long as they possibly can. I am not sure whether this approach is designed get people like me to write about Fusion as much as possible, although it certainly looks that way. Frankly, after all that noise, I don’t think so the world is interested in seeing part of their vision, especially the part which just about every other CAD vendor has already implemented.

Don’t get me wrong. I have been playing around with Fusion for the past three weeks now and its direct modeling capabilities are great. But truth be told, Direct Modeling has ceased to amaze me, especially after seeing what SpaceClaim, Synchronous Technolgy and the other CAD systems that came before them can do. What will amaze me is the “fusion” part. The part where Inventor Fusion will let me open a history based model, let me thrash it around and then let me save it back to a history based model. This will be part of Technology Preview 2, which is due to be released late summer.
Kevin Schneider, Product Manager, Manufacturing Emerging Products and Technologies at Autodesk, could not be more explicit when he told me exactly what Fusion will eventually be able to do:
“[Technology Preview 2] will allow history free edits made in Fusion on Inventor native data to be read back into Inventor and converted into features. And this is not tweak features at the end of the tree. The changes will be to the source features. This allow users to make traditional parametric edits to their Inventor data using Inventor or use Fusion to make history free edits to the same data and then have those edits be converted automatically as parametric feature edits if they need them. This is truly giving customers the best of booth.”
Usually companies spend years on a new technology using code names and shrouded in secrecy. Then when they are ready they go ahead and make a big splash. Someone at Autodesk decided to do exactly the opposite.
This is more like a strip tease and I am pissed because I am not yet feeling horny. Wake me up when she’s about to take it all off.