Everyone in manufacturing appreciates that for a business to flourish in a competitive market they have to stay ahead of the game, and what this inevitably means is reducing the amount of time it takes for products to get to market. Digital prototyping helps deliver on this issue as once created in a virtual world, designs can be analysed, simulated and validated using real world constraints before physical prototypes need to be manufactured.

Viewing digital prototypes on screen by spinning, rotating, and zooming gives a clear insight into how the product will look when complete, and by additionally using a photorealistic software package such as Autodesk Showcase, the product can be rendered and previewed to customers at the early stages of the product cycle. This capability allows for design amendments and mark-ups to be implemented quickly and efficiently without having to incur any of the high costs and knock on effects typically associated with modifying a physical prototype.

By creating 3D digital prototypes, all information required for manufacture is captured during the initial design phase using design intent. Design intent is the key to a successful and profitable design, as correct utilisation will provide a stable and robust CAD model that will parametrically update when edits are performed. Drawing files associated with the model will automatically update themselves to reflect the changes, and so unless you specify to defer updates, the drawing will always display the current state of your design.

Prior to the release of Autodesk Inventor 2008, the drawing file format for Inventor was exclusively limited to an IDW, which meant that if you wished to share a drawing with AutoCAD, you would have needed to have saved it as a non associative drawing file. This meant that there was no direct link between the AutoCAD drawing and the 3D CAD model, and placed the onus on the designer to manually keep the AutoCAD files up to date. Sharing AutoCAD drawings with Inventor was also a cumbersome exercise, as for each DWG file required would need to be brought in separately via the import wizard.

DWG TrueConnect technology allows the capability to directly share drawing files in with both Autodesk Inventor and AutoCAD, and was first introduced to the CAD community in the 2008 suite of products. This release saw Autodesk Inventor given its own DWG format and meant that AutoCAD could for the first time open Inventor drawing files directly without requiring them to be converted from an IDW first. This functionality meant that Inventor DWG’s opened in AutoCAD would always be up to date, for they would remain parametrically linked to the 3D model.

Autodesk Inventor could also open AutoCAD drawings directly, and in addition to being able to view, plot and measure, drawing geometry can be copied and pasted from the AutoCAD file and used in Inventor sketches as the basis for feature creation. This powerful functionality also allows for dimensions to be copied at the same time which can be used to control the sketch geometry. This makes converting 2D data into 3D models a fairly straight forward process without requiring the geometry to be redrawn from scratch.

If you have a requirement for leveraging legacy 2D data and transforming it into fully parametric 3D digital prototypes, then why not let RubiTech Design Services carry out the task for you. Simply e-mail or post your 2D legacy data and I will be happy to supply you with a quick lead-time and a cost effective price for carrying out your conversion.