by Eric Paul, June 13, 2017

Import AutoCAD Drawings to Inventor

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Two-Dimensional tools aren’t going away any time soon. AutoCAD started the trend of computer-aided design, and a large portion of the CAD userbase still uses it to design parts and assemblies.

Autodesk’s 3D modeling solution, Inventor, allows users to utilize existing 2D data to quickly generate 3D models, using the DWG Underlay Technology in Inventor. No longer does one need to choose between a 2D or 3D workflow. Instead the two can co-exist, allowing users to benefit from the simplicity of a 2D drawing, or the power of a 3D model.

Join Nathan Eliason, Senior Technical Specialist, for this session of Autodesk Virtual Academy as he demonstrates how to bring 2D AutoCAD drawings into your Inventor models and quickly generate associative 3D data – increasing design efficiency and expanding your workflow options.

Watch the Session

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Using 2D Data to Drive 3D Models

Starting in Autodesk Inventor 2016, you can import your DWG files from AutoCAD to have your 2D drawings drive 3D models in Inventor. And the best part is this DWG Underlay tool keeps associativity to the original file, meaning any changes to your 2D drawing will be reflected in your new 3D Inventor model.

Whether you’re working in a mixed 2D/3D environment, revieve 2D drawings from clients, or you want to update your older models to new Inventor files, the DWG Underlay tool gives you the best of both worlds so you can design however is easiest for you.

Importing to Inventor

After giving an overview of the DWG Underlay tool, Nathan starts by showing how to import your DWG file and the best practices to prepare your drawing. Once the drawing is prepared you can see how to use this geometry to create a sketch in Inventor using your data for each plane and create a 3D model.

Nathan also covers how you can use the DWG geometry and combine it with regular Inventor type features like Holes and Patterns. You can also use the original DWG dimmensions in your Inventor drawings to speed up your documentation. Finally, we cover how the Inventor model maintains associativity by editing the original DWG and updating the Inventor model with a single click.

Using DWG Underlay in Assemblies

Now, in Inventor 2018, you can use these DWG Underlays directly in assemblies as well. In previous versions you needed to create a seperate part and then add that part to the assembly. We cover both workflows as well as showing how associativity works in assemblies too.

So What Next? 

Try it for yourself! Do you have legacy 2d data? Or even a mixed CAD environment between yourself and your team? Use the DWG Underlay technology in Inventor to bridge the gap between two seemingly differing tools. Let us know what you want to see next. Our team is constantly trying to improve, and any feedback or support is certainly welcome. Catch us at the next Autodesk Virtual Academy webcast, and let us help you build better products!

For more Autodesk Inventor training, register for Autodesk Virtual Academy

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