Category "Autodesk"

When considering an upgrade to a network deployment of software, there are a lot of steps involved.  Without a proper plan, significant disruption of engineering systems can occur.  Let’s take a look at a plan for upgrading an Autodesk network deployment of software.

Autodesk licenses (for those with an active contract) allow the use of the current version as well as the three previous versions.  The three version consideration for FlexLM actually involves the license files themselves and not the version of the license manager.  Here is some clarification:

  • When Autodesk issues a license file to a customer on subscription / maintenance, it will be for the current version (2017) and the three previous versions (2014-2016).  So when you request a NEW license file, you will be able to run any combination of 2014 to 2017 software with that NEW license file.
  • Old versions of the Autodesk Network License Manager often can’t read new license files.
  • New versions of the Autodesk Network License manager (FlexLM) can still read old license files.  This means that you can still use an existing license file (for your 2013-2014 software) while you are upgrading to newer software editions.  This is permitted for up to 30 days during a software transition.

Here are a set of steps that can be used to upgrade an Autodesk networked software environment (example for 2013 to 2017):

  1. Upgrade your license manager to one compatible with 2017 software while continuing to use your existing license file.
  2. Create software deployments for the 2017 versions and prepare to roll them out on workstations.
  3. Obtain and test (status enquiry) a new 2017 license file for use in the upgraded license manager (LMTOOLS to configure and verify).  For the time being, this license file will be a merged version of the previous license file and the new one.  This is done by simply copying the contents of the newly obtained license file into the existing one.  This will allow users to continue utilizing their existing version of 2013 software while the newer 2017 is deployed and tested.
  4. Roll out and test 2017 deployments on user’s workstations.  This can be done while leaving existing 2013 software on their workstations for production use during the transition.
  5. After testing of 2017 software is complete and rolled out to all users workstations, the old license file content (for 2013) will need to be removed from the merged and combined license file.  Once the old content is removed from the license file (keep a copy for reference), do a Stop, Start, Re-Read in LMTOOLS for the changes to take effect.  This step is critical to comply with the license agreement, and is a common oversight that gets companies in trouble in the case of a software audit (if they fail to disable the old software).  I would do this within 30 days of obtaining a 2017 license file to be safe.
  6. After you are sure there are no serious problems with 2017 on users workstations, the 2013 edition can be uninstalled.

Hopefully this adds some clarity to an often confusing process.

Over the next few days, we’ll be sharing a variety of promotions and specials for the month of December. Check out these offers from Autodesk and Tata Technologies, which expire December 30th.  It truly is the best time of year to purchase software for all of your manufacturing and design needs!

Autodesk Promotions:Autodesk and Training End of Year Specials

  • Lock in your price and save on multi-year subscriptions. You can save up to 10% on 3-year subscriptions of most Autodesk products, including AutoCAD Mechanical, Product Design Collection, Inventor Professional, and more.
  • For a limited time, get AutoCAD Mechanical for the same price as AutoCAD.  AutoCAD Mechanical includes all the functionality of AutoCAD, plus libraries of standard-based parts and tools to help accelerate your mechanical design process. This offer starts as low as $1400/year.
  • If your subscription contract renewed or is due for renewal between November 1st and April 2017, you are eligible to add new subscriptions to Vault Professional and receive a 40% discount.  In addition, you can add new subscriptions to Product Design Collection and receive a 15% discount.

Terms and conditions apply. Please contact us here or email us at autodesk@tatatechnologies.com to inquire about an offer.

Tata Technologies Specials:

Training and i GET IT promotions

 

  • Get a free Kindle Fire HD Tablet or a 3D Connexion Space Navigator mouse when you attend the Inventor Essentials class.  Click here for more details and to have a sales representative contact you.
  • Our self-paced online learning platform, i GET IT, is now more affordable than ever.  Get 30% off annual subscriptions and learn the latest features and enhancements of Autodesk software and more. Explore what package is right for you and purchase your subscription right online.  Make sure you use the coupon code CYBER2016 – valid through Dec. 31st.
  • Buy Now, Pay Later! Take delivery of your software, and let it generate revenue before making any payments.  We’ve partnered with Complete Capital Services to offer clients 12 – 60 month terms on financing products as well as training, maintenance, and implementation services. Don’t forget that IRS Section 179 tax savings can also help.  Let us know you’re interested here.

Inventor 2017 R2 has introduced some useful new ballooning functionality in addition to some techniques you may not have been previously aware of.  Balloon sorting has been introduced this release, and works very well in cases where multiple balloons have been attached into one grouping.  Let’s take a look at the steps to accomplish this:

balloons1

1. Typically, balloons might look like this to start.

 

balloons2

2.Right click the balloon you want the others attached to and select one of the “attach” options.

 

balloons3

3. Pick the other items you want attached.

 

balloons4

4. Right click the balloon group and select “Sort Balloons”.

 

balloons5

5. The result should look something like this after deleting the previous balloons.

ilogic-snipSometimes CAD can be used to start establishing PLM practices. Since PLM systems rely on data to be effective, ensuring consistent and correctly-entered information is paramount. Things like classification with properties and meta-data can rely on CAD very heavily to be effectively used. For example, let’s consider the classification and data for a machined part. If the part is going to require machining, we could assign it a classification of “Machined.” Since the part is going to be machined, we would want to ensure that “Stock Size” is one piece of meta-data to be tracked. Most CAD systems have a way to ensure this “Stock Size” is at least filled out, and some could even be automated to calculate the stock size without any user intervention. Of course a repeatable logic would need to be utilized, but once that is done, time spent completing stock size calculations and potential errors would be eliminated.

 

Case in point: Utilize iLogic in Autodesk Inventor to calculate stock size for machined parts. Once this is done, users can forget about manually checking all the measurements; all they need to do is flag the part as “Machined” and the system does the rest!

boltvolume

au-2016Autodesk University 2016

November 15th – 17th

There is no better way to connect with your peers across the world than attending a conference like Autodesk University. It’s a valuable chance to talk with people about your circumstances face-to-face. With attendance of over 10,000 users, you have an opportunity to meet up with people who may have already solved your dilemma – or at least understand it like you do. After the conference ends, you’ll walk away with some insight to the question “Are we doing the best we can?”

I’m a 25-year veteran of large user groups like this one, and I still find them very useful. It’s true that they are costly in terms of time and money invested; however, with the right attitude and an agenda in hand, you will reap plenty of rewards. The key is to do your homework prior to attending.

Your company has invested a lot in your software, and attending a conference provides valuable market insights into where your industry and its technology are going. There are thousands of classes, roundtables, and industry-specific events running, not to mention all the main stage presentations. In addition to all the above, there are always vendors attending to show off solutions designed for the technology or products you are most likely utilizing. Walking the floor and uncovering technology you did not know existed is a valuable investment of its own.

So how can you make sure you’re getting the most out of your trip?

Make and document a plan

It’s going to be a fast-paced event and each day is full from breakfast to late evening. Make a schedule and have a checklist – it’s easy to get sidetracked. Also take an hour or so off, away from the event, each day to recharge.

It’s a company event

Have meetings before you leave and again after you get back. What did everyone learn? What were the most valuable sessions? Give attendees a chance to share lessons learned with their team members who didn’t get to attend.

Have the checklist with you

Make sure you are achieving all you set out to do and track your progress.

Document

Take a lot of notes and pictures, and don’t be afraid of networking and exchanging information, even if you think you’ll remember it later. Don’t be the guy that gets home and says “I wish I had asked for a business card!”

Follow up after you get home

Develop a professional relationship with the people you met. Connect via email, LinkedIn, and stay connected.

If done right, you and your company will truly benefit from the investment; it’s an opportunity you can’t afford to pass up.

Oh, and one more thing…

Come see Tata Technologies at Autodesk University!

We’ll be at Booth #1644 with product experts, i GET IT online training, and lots of goodies. If you’re attending the conference, stop by and say hello. And if you haven’t registered yet, we have a Halloween treat for you: through October 31st you can register here and put in our special discount code – 300AU16REFAT – to attend at a discounted rate of $1,875!

The AutoCAD 2017 Essentials for New Users online training course will teach new users on how to effectively get started with AutoCAD 2017. After completing this course, you will be able to navigate the interface and perform basic commands, create basic drawings, manipulate objects, organize drawings and inquiry commands, alter objects, work with layouts, annotate drawings, work with dimensioning, hatching objects, work with reusable content, create additional drawings objects, plot your drawings, and create drawing templates. This course is also good for experienced users to freshen up on their AutoCAD skills plus used in our Tata Technologies classroom sessions and used to prepare students for the AutoCAD certifications.

The training is available in one comprehensive course AutoCAD 2017 New User Essentials or broken into smaller courses in  the AutoCAD 2017 Essentials Learning Path.

Subscribers to i GET IT Basic and Professional Subscriptions have access to this material automatically. For plan information visit https://www.myigetit.com/plans.

ilogic-iterateA while back, I was visiting a customer with an interesting design challenge. They happened to be a specialty fastener manufacturer, and a big part of their design work includes the development of the part geometry (and associated tooling dies) as it goes through the forging operations to produce the final part. Just imagine that every change of the component from one forming operation to the next must maintain the same part volume. If the bolt’s head is shortened, then it must also increase in diameter to maintain the same volume. When making a bunch of design changes, you can only imagine how many attempts must be made at changing parameters to get the volume correct.

Since this customer is using Autodesk Inventor, there is an automation environment called iLogic that can be used to solve this challenge. With a bit of minor customization in iLogic, an iterative process can be developed to automatically adjust one parameter when another changes.

The following code could be adapted in iLogic to satisfy many similar situations:

Parameter.UpdateAfterChange = False
Dim CurrentVolume As Double
Dim VolumeDelta As Double
Dim OldVolume As Double
Dim PercentChange As Double
'reset the percent to a high value so the routine runs
PercentChange = 10

If HeadDepthChange <> 0 Then
    OldVolume = CDbl(iProperties.Volume)
    HeadDepth = HeadDepth - HeadDepthChange
    'iterate until volume nearly matches
    While  Abs(PercentChange) > .00000000001
        RuleParametersOutput()
        InventorVb.DocumentUpdate()
        ThisApplication.ActiveView.Update()
        
        CurrentVolume = CDbl(iProperties.Volume)
        VolumeDelta = OldVolume-CurrentVolume
        Percentchange = VolumeDelta / OldVolume
        HeadDia = HeadDia + HeadDia*PercentChange/2
    
    End While

    CurrentVolume = CDbl(iProperties.Volume)
    VolumeDelta = OldVolume-CurrentVolume
    Percentchange = VolumeDelta / OldVolume
'    MessageBox.Show(PercentChange , "Final Percent of Change")
    MessageBox.Show("Original Volume = " & OldVolume & "  New Volume = " & CurrentVolume & "  Volume Difference = " & VolumeDelta, "Volume Change")
    
    HeadDepthChange = 0
End If

For those companies struggling to create a 3D Digital Factory, the process can be daunting. NOT modeling the entire factory is the key to achieving your goal. Companies are now adopting the use of a hybrid file with both scanned data and vector objects. “Model what you need, leave the rest in the point cloud.” Although not commonplace yet, it is the direction industry is taking.

Hybrid models offer many advantages. Get the plant on your screen in 3D now! Right now the fastest and most economical way is to scan all of it. From there you can model what needs to be in CAD for other analytic solutions such as ergonomics, robot fit & function, process simulation, and material flow.

chemie22Starting with the laser scan provides a “single point of truth.” Improve overall layout processes by creating drawings and models where none previously existed. Engineers can analyze plant designs, check for clashes between existing conditions, and new design elements by evaluating scanned and vector data together.

Most importantly, the hybrid file democratizes the space in a “single point of truth.”

I regularly go on-site to scan facilities for our customers. Need help developing a plan for your hybrid factory? Leave a comment and let me know.

People are wondering about their workflows now that Product product-design-collection-badge-256Design Suite and Factory Design Suite have been combined into the new “Product Design Collection.” Many of my customer visits in the last three weeks have included the same question: “How is upgrading to Product Design Collection going to affect us?” All of my customer visits the last three weeks were also factory layout users. They have moved from AutoCAD to Factory Design Suite, or FDS. Having made the transition once already, they find themselves faced with the same task: move again.

The discontinuation of FDS and the new subscription model by Autodesk can be daunting for managers and IT departments – not to mention hardware requirements, OS support, developing new workflows, and retraining users. It’s no wonder that some of our customers feel the best course of action is to do nothing for right now.

In actuality, the best strategy at this point is to get informed. Establish three basic realities for your company.

  • What operating system will my company be running in 2017, and on what hardware?
  • What will be the data requirements for transferring files between customers and suppliers 24 months from now?
  • What new technologies and standards will come into play, like 3D Laser Scanning, BIM requirements, cloud access, mobility, licensing models, industry requirements such as energy savings. The list can go on depending on your work environment.

Take back control: develop a three-year plan. It’s actually not as unnerving as many people think.

  • Take a look at Autodesk’s Product Design Collection and what’s included here.
  • Understand the difference between a perpetual license and a subscription
  • Get help from the people who live it: an Autodesk reseller like Tata Technologies. We recently ran a webinar for our Autodesk customers explaining the transition from Suites to PDS, and have since made it available to the general public in the i GET IT Live archives. CLICK HERE TO WATCH OUR PRODUCT DESIGN COLLECTION WEBINAR.

Getting someone like us involved to help clear things up is not the only way to avoid feeling alone or overwhelmed; there are great websites to get information. One of them is the Autodesk Community. I use it a lot, especially lately because of all the changes.

GOOD LUCK, EVERYONE! Please do not hesitate to call us at 877-668-8282.

Tangent Select1Autodesk Inventor now includes a new selection filter.  It can be accessed the same way as many of the other selection filters using the “right-click” Tangent Select3menu in Inventor.  Let’s look at an example and the associated steps and results:

  1. Set “Faces and Edges” as your selection filter.  This is typically the default while editing individual components.
  2. Select a face, right click, and pick “Select Tangencies.”
  3. Perform an operation (such as changing color) to all the faces at the same time.

 

Use the selection set of tangent faces to:

  • Delete the selection set with Delete Faces.
  • Assign an appearance to the selection set.
  • Add or remove thickness to faces, or create an offset surface from a part face with the Thicken/Offset command.
  • Copy a set of faces from one component to another (handy for tooling development)

The “Select Tangencies” option can also be used to select a continuous set of tangent edges on a component.

Use the selection set of tangent edges to:

  • Fillet or chamfer the preselected edges.
  • Review or check for tangency conditions or closed loops.

© Tata Technologies 2009-2015. All rights reserved.