For those of you that downloaded Project Factory Modz Preview 1, you may of noticed the message on or after September 1st telling you that the software had time bombed.
As of now Preview 2 is available on Autodesk Labs.
If you haven't already tried it out, it's a nice add-in preview to the 2013 Product or Factory Design Suite that helps simulate the processes within a Factory layout. You can simply simulate a conveyoring system, visually demonstrating the transport and transfer within a process. Powered by Autodesk® Kynapse® there is even artificial intelligence, so if obstacles are placed in the way of a product transfer (such as a person coming across a safety fence) it'll automatically change it's path to go around that obstruction.
Go to the following link to take a closer look. http://labs.autodesk.com/utilities/factory_modz/
This technology preview is available until February 28, 2013.
Autodesk this week named Ellis Furniture, a U.K. based furniture company in business for more than a century as the Autodesk August Inventor of the Month for using Autodesk Inventor as part of Autodesk Product Design Suite to offer greater levels of product customisation in significantly less time.
This speed enables Ellis to rapidly explore a number of design options for its customers — ranging from luxury hotels to government institutions — and create high-quality furniture that not only fits their precise needs, but is designed to last a lifetime.
“We have a number of standard ranges for our products, but within these ranges, our customers have the flexibility to customise the product as they wish,” said Tom Ellis, director of Ellis. “We see the market increasingly heading in the direction of providing more custom elements, and Autodesk software is helping us meet that need in a timely manner. When all is said and done, we’ve cut our time to market by half.”
Using Autodesk software, the company estimates that it is able to clarify initial product design concepts with customers 20 percent faster and establish material sources and material costs 30 to 40 percent faster. Ellis’ manufacturing process — including generating a bill of materials (BOM) and preparing design files for computer numerical control (CNC) machine tools with Autodesk software — takes 80 percent less time.
A Continuous Digital Workflow
Ellis worked with Autodesk Platinum Partner Symetri to purchase and implement Autodesk Product Design Suite, which includes Autodesk Inventor and other digital prototyping tools such as Autodesk Vault data management software and Autodesk 3ds Max rendering software. Ellis then integrated the Autodesk software with its corporate enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.
The rules-based design automation capabilities of Inventor software enable an efficient workflow where intelligent data behind each furniture design is fed into Ellis’ ERP system. This fully digital process eliminates manual data entry, reduces errors and speeds up turnaround time — even as the company gives its customers greater freedom to express their design intent and personalize their furniture offerings.
When one of its larger university customers required a vast array of size and color permutations for a new range of furniture, Ellis was able to develop a base model in Inventor software and tailor it until the university was satisfied. Likewise, when one of its military customers urgently needed a new range of bedroom furniture, Ellis was able to complete the models in Autodesk Inventor within a week and go straight into manufacturing with total confidence and without delays on the shop floor. Two weeks later, the units were being shipped to the other side of the world.
“At the heart of every successful business is the ability to quickly meet customer needs and deliver a great experience,” said Brenda Discher, vice president, Manufacturing Industry Strategy and Marketing at Autodesk. “With the help of Autodesk Product Design Suite, Ellis Furniture now delivers more customized products in less time, outpacing its competition.”
About the Autodesk Inventor of the Month Program
Each month, Autodesk selects an Inventor of the Month from the users of Autodesk Inventor software, which takes manufacturers beyond 3D to Digital Prototyping. Winners are chosen for engineering excellence and groundbreaking innovation. For more information about Autodesk Inventor of the Month, visit www.facebook.com/adskinventor.
For users taking advantage of the benefits Factory Design Suite offers when generating layouts, an update to the Factory Asset Warehouse has now enabled the possibility to create Custom Chain Assets.
In four simple steps you can use the 'Build Asset Chain' tool to convert your Factory Asset Warehouse content to a chain item. Once completed this is now ready to use in AutoCAD as a chain asset, upon Inventor Sync this content will then generate and be layed out inside Inventor.
See the updated wiki help for more detail on this topic.
For those of you not lucky enough to use this product, one advantage when using Factory Design Suite is the simple way you can create a 2D layout in AutoCAD. This can then be synced into Inventor which generates the 3D representation. With 2013 this functionality was extended to include Chain Asset functionality, which effectively allows the user to define a polyline representation of a repeating asset such as a conveyor. When synced back to Inventor a repeating 3D connected assets will be placed.
Demir Ali has joined the Autodesk Northern Europe Technical Sales team to provide guidance, advice and expertise to engineers, designers & manufacturers across the UK & Ireland on their use of design, visualisation, simulation and data management technology.
Demir brings with him a great amount of industry knowledge and expertise; he has extensive experience of working with the Autodesk Digital Prototyping solutions and working with manufacturers in various industries.
Demir joined Autodesk from Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) where he worked in the Professional Graphics division for the last 2 years. During that time his main focus was Technical Pre and Post Sales - carrying out the activities required to support all levels of customer engagement from the initial meeting through to successful roll out and on-going relationship management. These engagements covered a wide spectrum of users, from city based financial institutions through to broadcast providers and Formula 1 teams.
Prior to Demir’s 2 years with AMD, he was part of the UK Autodesk channel working for the distribution team at Man & Machine where he provide pre and post-sales support to channel partners and customers on products such as Inventor, Showcase, Publisher and Vault Professional. His experience with Autodesk Inventor stretches back to 200? and whilst working with distribution he regularly presented at many end user & customer facing training events and conferences.
Demir is based in the UK, close to the Autodesk office in Farnborough and lives with his wife Maria and their two children. I asked Demir if he could share with us what he gets up to in his spare time, this is his response…..
“Well what do I enjoy doing…..changing nappies obviously, never ending DIY although this is more out of necessity rather than enjoyment, playing golf….although again the way I play it can’t really be called enjoyment. Mountain biking / cycling when I have 5 minutes and running…… although you wouldn’t be able to tell looking at my waist line! Oh and the odd Rugby match plus good food and wine; which actually does explain the waistline.”
I’ve managed to convince Demir to set up a Twitter account so you can now catch his 140 character updates via @deali12 and he will also be posting to this blog along with his colleagues from the Northern Europe Technical Sales team.
Great to have you on board Demir!
An ambitious British expedition to Lake Ellsworth in Antarctica is using Autodesk digital prototyping software to help discover new answers about the evolution of life and effects of climate change.
British Antarctic Survey (BAS) engineers will transport equipment overland for three days to the sub-glacial lake, where they will use a hot water drill to melt a 2.2-mile hole in the ice covering the submerged lake to extract water samples. The team will have a very short window of 24 hours to gather their samples before the hole re-freezes.
This exploration of one of Antarctica’s subglacial lakes has been planned for 15 years, but the team lacked the right tools to adequately try and test their plan to ensure they could gather the samples they need in the timeframe allowed. Through the use of Autodesk’s digital prototyping and simulation technology for sustainable design; BAS engineers can create a digital model of the drill; simulate the conditions under which they will work; test and analyse their approach; and make necessary adjustments before they embark on their expedition.
“This is hot water drilling on a scale never achieved before,” said Andy Tait, the BAS engineer managing the design of the hot water drill. “Because everything will have to be done so quickly, it is vital that we create an accurate 3D model of the entire drilling operation and simulate its performance because there will be no room for error once we are out on the ice.”
As a participant in the Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program, designed to help groundbreaking environmental projects such as this, BAS received Autodesk’s digital prototyping portfolio, including Autodesk Showcase, a visualisation tool, and Autodesk Inventor Publisher for technical documentation. Tait will use Autodesk Inventor Publisher to visually and interactively communicate how the drills and its components work to colleagues and partners. Andy also believes that Autodesk Showcase will be invaluable for developing stunning presentations and other visualisations to help explain the technology to wider audiences.
Autodesk Inventor automatically coordinates changes across the digital model, streamlining the analysis, experimentation and eventual optimisation of a design. This has been important to this project, not just because of because of need to carry out the operation within a tight timeframe, but also because of size, weight and strength parameters. The equipment must be transported over great distances and, therefore, needs to be strong, lightweight, and capable of withstanding extremely low temperatures.
“When our technology is being used to make this ambitious project successful, it gives me great confidence in the collective power of talented people working together to solve problems that otherwise could not be solved in isolation,” said Lynelle Cameron, Autodesk’s senior director of sustainability. “We’re delighted to be partnering with the BAS team on their unprecedented expedition.”
For more information about the project see www.ellsworth.org.uk
I received an email yesterday from one of our Autodesk Inventor Product Manager's who is looking for your thoughts and feedback on the changes made to the Autodesk Inventor user interface over the past 4 years.
We want to know what you think of the Ribbon Bar interface, Marking Menus, Mini-Toolbars and how you interact with the interface and how it helps you. This is your opportunity to tell the Product Managers and Developers of the product what you think and influence the future development of the Autodesk Inventor user interface.
To help collect your thoughts, the Autodesk Inventor team have put together this quick on-line survey for you to provide your thoughts and opinions. Click on the link below to provide your feedback and thoughts...
Thanks for your time.
Today we have kicked off the the official Inventor of the Year voting process. Autodesk is encouraging members of the Autodesk Manufacturing community to visit the community website and choose one of the 2011 Autodesk Inventor of the Month winners as Inventor of the Year.
The Autodesk Inventor of the Month program recognses the most innovative design and engineering advancements made among the hundreds of thousands of advancements users make using Autodesk Inventor software - technology that enables Digital Prototyping. A digital prototype helps users design, visualise and simulate product performance before it is built, helping reduce costs, speed time to market and enhance competitive advantage.
Community members will select the next Inventor of the Year by voting for the best of the monthly award winners from 2011. The company with the highest rating from community members will be named 2011 Inventor of the Year. Voting is under way and closes Feb. 29 at 5 p.m. Pacific time.
The Contenders: 2011 Inventor of the Month Winners
January 2011: Valiant Corporation, a global provider of manufacturing solutions, uses the advanced dynamic simulation functionality in Autodesk Inventor to increase load capacity while reducing costs, and to minimize design weight while meeting customer performance requirements. In a recent project for The Boeing Company, Valiant designed and engineered a portable cargo loader 30 percent more efficiently.
February 2011: Nitto Sangyo, a Japanese playground equipment manufacturer, uses Autodesk Inventor to develop Link Mini rocking toys. The toys are designed to be safer and more durable than standard commercial playground equipment. Eliminating reliance on physical prototyping shortened Link Mini development time by almost two months, reducing overall costs by nearly US$6,000 (500,000 yen) per product.
March 2011: Weatherhaven provides portable shelters, camps and systems for remote sites around the world. Using Digital Prototyping in Autodesk Inventor, Weatherhaven has significantly shortened product development time from concept to manufacturing, while reduced the number of more expensive physical prototypes typically necessary to explore and validate designs.
April 2011: Federal Equipment Company, a supplier of specialized military replacement parts, used Autodesk Inventor to design an advanced elevator system for the U.S. Navy. The new system enables efficient transport of munitions on board new aircraft carriers. Testing is costly, but with the help of Autodesk software, FEC can simulate the elevator’s shock response in just one $400,000 test, enabling the company to quickly identify and fix potential problems and avoid often costly retesting.
May 2011: Hawkes Ocean Technologies (HOT) designs and builds manned and remote vehicles for deep-ocean exploration. Autodesk Inventor enables HOT to create entirely new ideas and change the way submersibles operate, transforming them from “underwater balloons” to underwater crafts capable of flight.
June 2011: Carousel Works is the world’s largest manufacturer of custom wooden carousels for zoos, parks and the world’s largest cruise ships, including Royal Caribbean’s “Oasis of the Seas” and “Allure of the Seas.” With Autodesk Inventor, Carousel Works marries old-world craftsmanship with 3D design, and creates its custom wooden carousels up to 50 percent faster.
July 2011: Pankl Aerospace Systems uses Autodesk Inventor LT software to more effectively manufacture helicopter rotary systems, increasing the performance and reliability of critical components, while significantly improving pilot and passenger safety. Autodesk software helps Pankl save time, reduce manufacturing costs and increase customer quality, all while operating at optimal performance.
August 2011: Illini Prosthetic Technologies, a nonprofit organization, uses Autodesk Inventor to develop more affordable and more easily fitted prosthetic arms for below-elbow amputees in developing nations. Digitally exploring and refining its ideas, IPT provides access to affordable prosthetic care, helping amputees around the world regain use of their limbs, return to work and better care for themselves and their families.
September 2011: PMB Façade, a Malaysia-based company, uses Autodesk Inventor to develop architectural façades for some of the world’s most astonishing buildings, including Qatar’s 43-story Al-Bidda Tower, also known as Tornado Tower. The ability to digitally simulate and predict real-world performance before construction has helped PMB Façade reduce material cost and waste by as much as 15 percent, and deliver projects up to 30 percent faster.
October 2011: Kelly Racing, an Australia-based racing team, uses Autodesk Inventor to precisely design and validate new car components that give the team a racing edge. After a race weekend, designers modify existing car parts with Inventor, increasing traction and grip by as much as 8 percent, which leads to faster lap times and increased performance.
November 2011: A-dec, a leading manufacturer of dental chairs and equipment, uses Autodesk Inventor to more effectively design and develop products, cutting time to market. A-dec also uses Autodesk software to generate user manuals and service guides for its popular dentistry products, enhancing usability and reducing translation costs.
December 2011: Green Structures, a UK-based clean technology company, uses Autodesk Inventor and a range of other Autodesk Digital Prototyping technology to create award-winning energy-efficiency systems. The firm’s latest innovation, a heat recovery ventilation system called Ventive, provides a faster and less expensive alternative for retrofitting buildings with the latest green technologies.
About the Autodesk Inventor of the Month Program
Each month, Autodesk selects an Inventor of the Month from the users of Autodesk Inventor software, which takes manufacturers beyond 3D to Digital Prototyping. Winners are chosen for engineering excellence and groundbreaking innovation. For more information about the Autodesk Inventor of the Month Program, contact us at IOM@autodesk.com.
I thought I'd share with you these couple of images that I created using Autodesk Product Design Suite.
I didn't have to apply any colours or materials in Showcase, they were automatically applied to the model based on what was assigned by the design engineer in Inventor; and there was no rendering time as Showcase has a real-time rendering engine. All I did was set the environment, which is a 360 degree HDRI environment (High Dynamic Range Image) so contains all of the relevant lighting information, and then make a couple of tweaks to the camera angle.
So all in all, I spent about 60 seconds creating these images in Showcase:
PS: If you noticed the new header image of the blog, you'll see why I created these images :-)
How many of you use the Autodesk Inventor Task Scheduler? It's one of those tools that in many cases only sees the light of day a couple of times a year - but it's got some great tasks in there can save you lots of time!
The Autodesk Inventor Task Scheduler is installed as part of the Autodesk Inventor 2012 installation folder and can be found in the Tools sub-folder on your Start Menu (along with some other cool and useful tools):
When you launch Task Scheduler there is a list of tasks in the bottom left corner, this is just a list of what you can automate using the tool. The pane at the top lists the tasks that you have run, the pane at the bottom shows the details of the selected task and the pane at the top right is a log of all tasks run:
That doesn't mean I dislike the others in the list, its just that these three have helped me out most of the years - in particualr sequential task!
Using sequential task you can group any number of tasks into one task for example:
In one automated task you could have a package of simplified 2D & 3D DWF files that you can share with your supply chain.
Have a great weekend!