Autodesk Inventor 2018: Model Simplification

Product News

Engineering models often carry a high degree of geometric detail since they’re used for manufacturing and production purposes. While this creates a very accurate representation of the design, there are several reasons why it’s sometimes useful to simplify models:

  • Reduce large assembly complexity for better performance
  • Remove proprietary information before sharing designs externally
  • Simplify models in accordance with architectural standards (BIM LOD 350 or lower)
  • Reduce complexity for use in simulation and other analyses

Inventor 2018’s Shrinkwrap capability makes it far faster and easier to simplify models. Depending on the amount of detail you want to remove, part count and file sizes can easily be reduced by more than 50% in a few clicks.

Inventor has had the Shrinkwrap simplification capability for quite a while, and it has been incrementally improved over the years.  Shrinkwrap enables you to automatically remove detail and quickly create a simplified version of a model. It’s been significantly upgraded in Inventor 2018 with a focus on addressing customer requests for easier component removal, better feature detection, and improved visual feedback. With the new Shrinkwrap you can now:

  • Remove all internal components and any that are smaller than a given size
  • Toggle between excluded and included component views so you can see what’s being removed
  • Preserve any critical components that need to be kept
  • Remove holes, pockets, fillets, and chamfers or within a specified size range
  • Interactively select certain features you need to keep
  • Edit the Shrinkwrap definition and have it be automatically re-applied whenever the original assembly is updated

There are three ways to use the new Shrinkwrap tool: a basic Shrinkwrap, a Shrinkwrap Substitute, and a BIM Shrinkwrap Substitute. A basic Shrinkwrap creates a separate file representing the simplified model. It’s perfect for sharing designs externally or creating a quick simplified model for simulation. Shrinkwrap Substitute works in a similar way but also creates a simplified level of detail (LOD) within the top-level assembly. This is great for when the detailed model is still changing and you want to re-apply the simplification or if you want a lightweight representation of an assembly. BIM Shrinkwrap Substitute takes this a step further by allowing you to not only create a simplified model, but also add BIM-specific data like omniclass information, orientation, and connectors that carry into Revit or IFC exports. It’s perfect for preparing Inventor models for BIM.

The new Shrinkwrap capability can be used to create one-off simplified models, a custom Level of Detail within an assembly, or BIM-ready content for Revit and other architectural design applications.

See this help article for a step-by-step guide on how to create a shrinkwrap part using the new capabilities.  There’s also a hands-on ‘Shrinkwrap for General Use’ tutorial now available in the Tutorial Gallery which you can access from the Get Started tab. If you need to create simplified versions of your models, be sure to check it out!

Sanjay Ramaswamy, Product Manager, Inventor Product Line,

Jon den Hartog, Sr. Product Manager, Inventor Product Line,

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