Inventor Pro 2016 Unveiled, MultiCAD and 3D Printing Features Lead the Release

Inventor Pro 2016 includes greater support for multi-CAD functionality and 3D printing, among other new features. Is it worth the upgrade?

Today, Autodesk unveiled the latest version of its flagship engineering product, Inventor Professional.

While there are 387 enhancements in Inventor’s 2016 release (Autodesk proudly claims that 32 of them were customer driven), the two most important features are the improved MultiCAD functionality and the new 3D printing support.

AnyCAD Enhances MultiCAD

With designers increasingly working with multiple CAD file types, Inventor 2016 introduces Autodesk’s most robust MultiCAD technology: AnyCAD. With AnyCAD users can work selectively and associatively with a number of non-native CAD formats like never before.

Beyond simple feature recognition, imported parts can now be integrated into assemblies and modified to ensure fits. Rather than just translating an imported part, though, AnyCAD allows a part to be modified in its native software and updated immediately in Inventor.

“The new AnyCAD technology in Inventor alone is worth moving to the 2016 version, but we’re also improving every part of the product workflow from concept through product delivery to help companies meet the challenges that lie ahead,” said Autodesk’s Robert Kross.

3D Print Studio Brings Large Components Under Control


The second major improvement to Inventor 2016 is the inclusion of a dedicated 3D print environment called Print Studio. Within 2016’s Print Studio users can orient and modify components to fit within a host of supported 3D printers.

Although this type of native 3D printing setup is helpful, the Studio’s most important feature is its ability to separate a model into sub-components so that it can fit within a single print job. To help users assemble the pieces of the component, Print Studio allows users to define the placement and size of additional guide pins.

Is Inventor 2016 Worth the Upgrade?

You may be wondering, is upgrading to Inventor Pro worth the money? For me, the answer is a cautious yes. Without having tried the software (I’ll likely get my hands on it later today) I’d have to say the 3D printing features alone would probably be a welcome addition to my workflow.

Multi-CAD interoperability has become increasingly important in my design work too, so the ability to import files (most often from SolidWorks) could prove to be a big bonus.

In the coming weeks I’ll be spending some hands-on time with Inventor Pro 2016, so expect an in-depth follow up with my thoughts and impressions.

Source: Autodesk