Autodesk Inventor 2018 – What’s New ?

Autodesk Inventor 2018 is released

The Wait Is Over !

Autodesk Inventor 2018 is now available to download and having done so and undertaken a couple of software installations, here’s Nova’s first look at what’s new.

Autodesk Inventor 2018 - What's New ?Inventor 2018 is built for the continually evolving needs of the modern engineering design professional and this year, the Product Managers at Autodesk have included over 50 user requested ideas into this release with much of their efforts having being focused on adding professional grade design enhancements, an expansion to interoperability, and general improvements to the user experience.

Building on its breadth of 3D modelling capabilities and powerful design automation tools, Inventor 2018 marks the next step forward in professional grade 3D mechanical engineering design. Interoperability enhancements enable distributed, multi disciplinary teams to work together more efficiently with data from a variety of sources.

These efforts will allow our design engineers to design, engineer and collaborate faster and more effectively than ever before.

Inventor 2018 - professional grade design engineering software

Professional Grade Engineering Design

Design engineers constantly need to drive innovation in their design work for better products and more efficient processes. To stay ahead, we need ever faster, more powerful tools that help our engineers to release better performance and productivity. Inventor 2018 appears to deliver just that.

Improvements have been made in several core functionalities our engineers use on a daily basis. Projecting geometry in sketching, multi-body sheet metal parts and part modelling workflows have all been enhanced. Inventor 2018 delivers key performance improvements to large assembly and drawing workflows. Integrated Model Based Definition has been added giving our design engineers the ability to add Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T) and 3D Annotations (3DA) to their models streamlining documentation and enable downstream use of the 3D designs for manufacturing and quality processes.

The Autodesk Inventor 2018 Experience

Customer driven enhancements throughout Inventor 2018 have improved core workflows and model interaction. Commands like Chamfer, Assembly Interference Analysis, Extrude and Hole have added useful options, in addition, both the Browser and Measure have been refreshed to deliver a more feature rich experience for all Inventor users.

Model Based Definition

Model Based Definition (MBD), is a powerful new set of tools for adding annotations, Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T), and other manufacturing information directly to a 3D model part.

Model Based Definition -Autodesk Inventor 2018 - Engineering Design SoftwareThe integrated Tolerance Advisor checks the health of the tolerance scheme and lists any potential problems, errors, and other information in the Tolerance Advisor browser.

Once the 3D CAD model has MBD and 3D Annotations applied their can be carried through to the 2D  manufacture drawings, exported in a 3D PDF or STEP file.

The Inventor interface has been fine tuned based on real-world user feedback. Searching and filtering is more robust. New tabs make navigation quicker.

Autodesk Inventor 2018 - Interface Improvements

Information rich interactive panels save design engineers from digging. More drawing data on-screen means fewer clicks. Commands like measure have been refreshed to streamline workflows and provide you more data, more quickly.

Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerancing

Geometric Dimension & Tolerancing Integration - Autodesk Inventor 2018

Autodesk Inventor 2018 now has integrated Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerancing (GD&T) and 3DA so that users can finally include important information in the 3D model space and accelerate traditional 2D drawing production.

GD&T Integration in 3D CAD Models - Autodesk Inventor 2018One of the best parts about it is the fact that Inventor automatically recognises tolerance features such as holes, and will use the correct GD&T symbol for that particular definition.

Tip: Go to the Get Started tab > Tutorial Gallery and download the GD&T guided tutorial to get familiar with the new commands.Autodesk 2018 - GD&T Integration in 2D drawings

Sheet Metal

Multibody sheet metal parts now support unique rules and thickness for each body. Multi-body rules can be applied to bodies in the browser, or while creating new bodies within the Face, Contour Flange, Contour Roll, and Lofted Flange dialog.

Autodesk Inventor 2018 - Sheet Metal Improvements 

Tip: The Sheet Metal 3 v2 guided tutorial includes the new unique thickness workflow.

Drawing Improvements

After selecting an assembly document to place in a drawing, if the preview can display in under 3 seconds it will do so. If it takes longer a Preview progress dialog box displays. The dialog box is the only element you can interact with during its display.

Autodesk Inventor 2018 - Drawing ImprovementsFrom the Open dialog box you can:

  • Defer drawings
  • Turn off model preview
  • Recover mesh bodies, surface bodies, and all model dimensions

Export to PDF

  • The From and To values specified for Sheets in range are no longer session based.
  • The new option, Display Published File in Viewer, when selected, displays the sheets in Adobe Acrobat Reader after clicking Save.

Autodesk 2018 - Export As PDF

BIM Content

BIM Content has been enhanced for simplification, authoring, and publish workflows. Inventor 2018 lets you publish directly to IFC and Revit (.rfa) file formats.

Inventor 2018 - BIM Compliancy - Autodesk Revit

Delivering content for use in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry is a key business opportunity for many of Autodesk’s customers. With Inventor 2018, design engineers and CAD operators can remove information and publish their 3D models directly to Revit (.rfa) format – simplifying all CAD models, whilst protecting intellectual property, and reducing file size and complexity.

Expanded Interoperability

Autodesk has made the difficulty of working with foreign CAD files a thing of the past. AnyCAD was released in Inventor 2016, and has seen improvements in both of the last two major releases. Inventor 2018 brings in one of the most requested improvements to that workflow – backwards compatibility. Design engineers can now work between 2017 & 2018 seamlessly, whereas previously the entire engineering design team would need to be on the same version of the software to collaborate. This allows early adopters to take advantage of the newest features, while some can remain in the previous release if needed.

Expanded Interoperability - Inventor 2018

Of course Inventor 2018 can open Inventor 2017 files. But the latest version introduces backwards compatibility allowing Inventor 2017 users to take advantage of AnyCAD to use Inventor 2018 files in their designs. That means when you move to Inventor 2018, your collaborators and suppliers on Inventor 2017 can still reference your data.


With Inventor 2017.4, AnyCAD has been expanded to allow design engineers and CAD technicians to leverage Inventor 2018 files in your Inventor 2017 designs. This means you can now work with others who are on versions of Inventor that are earlier or later than the version you are working in. To help you identify the version of an Inventor file, the Open dialog now displays Inventor version a file was last saved in.

AnyCAD - Inventor 2018 gains backwards compatibility

Starting with Inventor 2017.4, engineers can reference future (newer) versions of Inventor part and assembly files in an earlier version of Inventor. For example, with Inventor 2017.4 you can reference an Inventor 2018 part file in Inventor 2017.

Inventor 2018 / Inventor 2017 Backwards Compatibility

All in all, the latest mechanical engineering design offering from Autodesk appears to offer lots of improvements over previous software releases. We’ll be providing additional feedback when our engineers have pushed the software further in the mechanical engineering design projects undertaken by our internal team of design engineers.

2018 What’s New Topics

Direct links to Autodesk Website