Many people use Computer Aided Design, CAD, software for product design and various forms of manufacture, specifically using AutoCAD, the industry standard CAD package. Over time, AutoCAD has been extended to provide 3D Modeling capability, but this functionality is limited because the software was originally developed to be an extension of 2D drafting.
Starting from the ground up, the makers of AutoCAD have developed AutoDesk Inventor, a 3D modeling software package specifically designed to meet the needs of 3D Computer Aided Manufacture, or CAM. The basis of Inventor is that it uses parametric modeling, a powerful design innovation that allows parts to defined by their dimensions instead of dimensioned after the design process is complete. The use of parametric modeling in AutoDesk Inventor is similar to another software package, Solidworks.
However, the challenge of using a tool as powerful as AutoDesk Inventor is that because it uses a new design paradigm, it can be challenging to learn. To facilitate training in the many features of Inventor, representatives from AutoDesk and members of TechShop have started this Meetup here in Pittsburgh PA. Our goal is to bring together members of the design community to form a study group to learn this powerful software.
The structure of the study group is to work through an Inventor training manual covering one topic per week as described in the syllabus. For members of this group, portions of the study guide will be posted in advance of each meeting. There will be no fixed lecturer, instead members of the group are encouraged to sign up to speak on the weekly topic, and every member is encouraged to share their expertise. We will meet in the computer classroom at TechShop at Bakery Square, one of the premier makerspaces nationally, now with nine locations across the country.