How does Inventor work?
Inventor has an impressive armoury. It automatically dimensions geometry as you sketch, building a model that is parametric, i.e. retaining relationships between components, so amendments to specific areas generate automatic adjustments in the whole model, following rules that operators can manipulate. Its extensive analytical capacity includes integrated motion simulation and frame analysis and it provides interoperability between industrial designers and mechanical engineers. Santiago Diaz, a modeller at Canadian design-and-build contractor StructureCraft, explains the use of Inventor in architect Cannon Design's Richmond Olympic Oval for the 2010 Winter Olympics. 'We used Inventor
to make the concept model, final model, construction documents and shop drawings and to indirectly drive the automated production of roof panels by producing and sending fabrication data from the model to programmable logic controller machinery, which we had customdesigned for this project. We also used it to create material take-offs and determine information about the design, such as centre of gravity, total area of material, etc.' Southampton drafting and modelling specialist Graitec Professional Services used Inventor's ability to detect compatible elements and snap-fit them together to create a detailed inventory of the components of one of French designer Jean Prouvé's prefabricated Maisons Tropicales, originally designed
in 1951, which was assembled outside London's Tate Modern in 2008. It's also used by manufacturers, including KONE and Boon Edam. Inventor, which is available in a range of suites, benefits from its integration with other Autodesk software, including AutoCAD and Revit Architecture but, according to Bhatt, despite the superficial resemblance of its interface to these packages, 'it's not for the faint-hearted'.

maison Tropicale
Left Autodesk Inventor was used to document the components of Jean Prouvé's Maison Tropicale in front of London's Tate Modern Right Maison Tropicale beam as built

Assembly Drawing
How does Digital Project work?
Digital Project (DP) was developed by architect Frank Gehry's technology company, Gehry Technologies, using Dassault Systèmes' CATIA as its core engine. It has up to 400 modules and a range of add-on packages, so users can tailor it to their requirements. It's used extensively by Zaha Hadid Architects, for example on its 340,000m² Galaxy Soho mixed office and retail project in Beijing and its Seoul Dongdaemun Design Plaza project in Korea, comprising a museum, a library and educational facilities. Associate Cristiano Ceccato says: 'These innovative structures, and the mechanical and other services they house, are modelled in 3D using DP,
which becomes a central reference point for the design and all data associated with it, an ideal repository for data from multiple sources, providing access from a single unified platform.' He explains that it's appropriate 'because it operates parametrically, enabling speedy multiple iterations while automatically updating the central model geometry'. Associate Nils Fischer adds that DP is used more for its capacity to handle large, detailed models than for its analytical functions. Abdulmajid Karanouh, senior designer in Aedas London's Intelligent Systems section says it used DP to model the envelope of its Abu Dhabi Investment Council project 'because it's the only package able to efficiently handle this amount of data [...] and to construct complex dynamic components with all their parts and consider them in relation to the rest of the structure and environment'. Its kinetic solver was used to test the solar shading screen's performance.
Click here to see this article on the Architects' Journal website.
Maison Tropicale
1. No. 08 plate on outer beam
2. No. 03 support brackets
3. IS o 4032 – m14 nut
4. IS o 4032 – m39 nut
5. IS o 4014 – m20 x 80
6. IS o 7089 – 20 – 140 hv nut
7. No. 03 threaded rod short, Diameter 14 x 350
8. No. 03 structural beam. outer variation (shorter)
9. IS o 4032 – m12 nut
10. No. 01 structural beam

PDF Download, Click Here for the full Architects Journel Article
What can Digital Project do?

Base product Add-on products
  • Design review and quality assurance
  • 4D construction, planning and coordination
  • BIM attributes, quantities and translator
  • Architecture and structures
  • Assembly design
  • Solid modelling
  • Freestyle shape design
  • Generative shape design
  • Drawing production
  • Knowledgeware fundamentals
  • Automation
  • CAD translators
  • Real time rendering
  • CATIA Infrastructure
Primavera Integration Links construction scheduling information with the project's 3D geometry
MEP/Systems Routing Allows system planners to optimize designs for M & E and plumbing systems in an environmental, 3D context to avoid conflicts.
Imagine & Shape Facilitates provide quick and intuitive translation of ideas into 3D models
Specialised Translators File exchange products
Photo Studio Advanced rendering
Specialised Translators File exchange products