Inventor Fusion Technology Preview 2 – Part 2

Before I crash out for the night I would like to leave you with my brief view of Inventor Fusion Technology Preview 2. This is what I wrote in a post titled “COFES 2009 – Inventor Fusion Is Coming” after I met Buzz Kross, Senior Vice President of the Manufacturing Solutions Division at Autodesk, along the sidelines of COFES 2009.

So this is how I understand it. We have Inventor 2010 and there will be Inventor Fusion on Autodesk Labs, two separate applications. Say an Inventor 2010 user creates a parametric model and saves it as a part file (.ipt). Inventor Fusion will be able to open the part file and let the user push/pull and mess around. When he saves his changes to the same .ipt file and opens it back in Inventor 2010, the feature tree will stay intact, as will the modifications made to the model when it was in Inventor Fusion. In time, this functionality will be integrated into Inventor.

While I was at COFES I asked a few attendees what they thought of Autodesk’s vision of uniting history and direct modeling approaches into one like they said they would. Everyone I met said that Autodesk had set out to do the impossible and would believe it only after they saw it. Some called it a gimmick and that Autodesk would simply add move face features to the bottom of the history tree.

So this means that tonight I just witnessed the impossible. I think you should witness it too. Given below are four screenshots I took today from Kevin’s presentation while he was fiddling around with Inventor 2010 and Inventor Fusion. Click the images to open then in a new browser window to see a larger view. You will need to see the details.

Screenshot 1

This screenshot shows a history based parametric model, an Inventor 2010 part (.ipt) file, of a casting from one of Autodesk’s customers in the airline industry. You cannot see the history tree in Fusion but it is there. Notice the four holes towards the bottom and the pocket towards the left of the holes.

Screenshot 2

This screenshot shows the four holes removed and the pocket extended to take their place. The holes were removed by simply selecting them with the mouse and hitting ‘Delete’. The pocket was extended by selecting the face in green and moving it radially. Both these operations are direct modeling operations. You cannot see the history tree, remember.

Screenshot 3

The model was saved as a DWG file (shall explain more about that in a later post) and was opened in Inventor 2010. This screenshot shows something called the “Change Manager” (the list of items on the left) and the changes highlighted in the drawing view. The Change Manager window has two very interesting buttons “Apply All” and “Apply Treatment”. There is a lot to say about them. I will save that for a future post.

Screenshot 4

After the “Apply All” button is clicked we find ourselves at the original history based parametric model with the features automatically modified and/or deleted. And here is the impossible part. There are no new features added to the end of the tree. No move face features, remove face features, nothing whatsoever.

In fact, if you look at the history tree there is no way you would know that this history based parametric model was sent to Inventor Fusion, trashed around there and then came back to Inventor 2010.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is what many (including me) had said was impossible. Stay tuned. There is a lot more to come.