2011-11-28

Announcing Inventor Fusion - it's on the Mac

Although my work is multidisciplinary (MEPFP), I try to post generic tips and tricks for AutoCAD that anyone can use, but, my writing is always coming from the perspective of someone in the AEC industry. I do love manufacturing, though. At one of my earlier Autodesk Universities, I got to play with Inventor in the AUGI Playpen and fell in love. Later on, I even helped to prepare the presentation of the first Inventor Wishlist at AU2005 in Orlando. Too bad I've never needed to take a class on it, because the software is pretty darned neat and a far cry from the type of work I usually do.

So, what's the big news? The thing that made me carve out a sliver of my day to pepper Senior Product Line Manager, Kevin Schneider, with questions?

That would be the launch of Inventor Fusion.

 Those of you who keep an eye on the Autodesk Labs have likely heard of Fusion, since it's been in a Beta state for a couple of years now (from January 2009 through Fall of 2011), where it has been downloaded over 150,000 times.
While Fusion can be used on it's own, it will also work with AutoCAD, Inventor, Algor, Moldflow and AliasDesign. 

Schneider explains that Fusion is not intended as a replacement for Inventor, but, rather a tool that folks can pick up and use without a lot of extensive training and experience, something geared toward intuitive editing of existing models. I did not remember to ask for a list of filetypes, but, the intent is being able to use models from disparate sources, so I'd imagine the main players would be represented.

Don't get me wrong, there are model creation tools in Fusion as well, they are slightly more suited than AutoCAD for creating flexibly editable 3D shapes. This product is not intended for heavy engineering work currently done in Inventor, but, for small businesses and hobbyists and students who want to explore. There will also be some sort of simple connection 'to the cloud' for sharing.

I haven't used Fusion myself, but, I did download 123D when it was on the Labs, because I thought my 3rd grader would get a kick out of it (which he did). As Kevin was demonstrating the ease of use of Fusion, I asked him if there was a connection between the products, because I'd found 123D so simple and intuitive and they had a lot of similarities. He did say that that was the type of thing the teams were going for, sharing the ideas of usability and what was working for users and what wasn't... in the half a dozen releases of Fusion to Labs, different approaches to intuitive manipulations of models were tried and either vetted or rejected.

images Courtesy Autodesk
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