Autodesk Redefined

Autodesk recently unveiled it’s new branding and new logo. I personally like the new look. It’s certainly a change from the boring old white letters on black background. I’m looking forward to seeing this integrated onto their website and products. Actually, I’m quite confused as to why it doesn’t appear on their website yet. I’m sure it will make it’s appearance soon.

What do you all think of the new look?


Read more about the change here.

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Rock, Paper, Autodesk.

Sometimes the best discussions start with a single tweet.

You can follow the entire Twitter conversation here. Shaan and a few others were emphasizing how paper prints really can’t go away due to the harsh environment of a machine shop, fabrication shop or in-field location and how paper would be the most reliable. Granted paper copies of drawings may have their place… but in my opinion, not anywhere you plan on making something from them.

So what’s the process companies that print drawings follow?

  1. Engineer makes a CAD drawing.
  2. Drawings gets reviewed and promoted to released in whatever system or process they may use.
  3. Drawing gets printed by either engineering or shop for fabrication.

Sounds simple enough, right? Sort of. What happens when engineering needs to make a change?

  1. Engineer revises CAD drawing.
  2. Drawing gets reviewed and promoted to being revised.
  3. Paper copy is re-printed with changes.

Now how do you go about gathering all the printed copies and copies of copies that may have been made? How do you communicate effectively and timely to the person at the CNC mill that he is using the wrong print to make that widget? When using systems such as Inventor with drawing files stored on network drives, Autodesk Vault or a full blown PLM system, you always have to remember that the second you print a drawing, that drawing could be obsolete.

In the next few blog posts I’ll be discussing this topic and issues and how you might approach solving them using readily available solutions. I hope this spurs some additional great debate like Shaan’s tweet did.

Thanks to @Twiceroadsfool, @ScottMoyse, @BluRaja, @Kellings, @IrishMJ, and @ShaanHurley for the Twitter discussions so far.

Viewing drawings can be done on almost any device. Here's a manufacturing drawing on the $69 Kindle from

Viewing drawings can be done on almost any device. Here’s a manufacturing drawing on the $69 Kindle from

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Driving Constraints From Workplanes in Autodesk Inventor

Another good video from Scott Moyse and Design & Motion

I discovered you can’t flip work plane normals in Autodesk Inventor in the assembly environment. Since you can in parts I was surprised, here’s my workaround

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Updated: AUGI adds membership levels

AUGI is introducing three new membership levels to be able to bring more benefits to its members.

Each level will bring you more content and expertise to share with fellow members, plus provide an expanded, more interactive website, publication access, and much more!

The free membership will now be known as “basic membership” with continued access to the AUGI forums. if you wish to post to the forums, you will need to be at least a basic member but read only access will be available   to everyone even without being an AUGI member.

[important]David Harrington (AUGI):

“Correct, and to a large degree no change from the previous free membership.”[/important]

Premier membership at $25/year will include all the benefits basic members receive with the addition of access to an expanded site archive and early access to some publications. “This level is really designed for users who may still use older products and want access to historic AUGI hosted content.”

[important]David Harrington (AUGI):

“Correct, but the Premier membership also includes additional forum features. Active forum members from prior to the roll out have not lost any forum features – we “grandfathered” nearly 50,000 members into this group.”[/important]

Professional membership at $75/year for a limited time ($100/year normally  expands upon the other two membership levels by including a print edition of AUGI World magazine and an opportunity to receive a standard Autodesk Developer Network membership (ADN). Normally, an ADN membership is $1,400/year so this a very good deal.

[ Upgrade Information ]

When I first read this email from AUGI, I was skeptical. If it wasn’t for the addition of the included ADN membership with the professional membership I would have no reason to subscribe to any of these paid membership levels. But reading further into the fine print… I still am skeptical  The free ADN membership is only offered to those not already an ADN member and is only a trial membership for 2013. Most likely meaning you will need to purchase an ADN membership ($1400/year) for 2014.

[important]David Harrington (AUGI):

“Correct. What 2014 will hold for AUGI members will depend on how this promotion is used by the membership. Suffice to say we are actively looking for additional benefits at all membership levels, such as discounts on training, services, and hardware. We are striving to make the $100 dues for Professional membership a “no-brainer” for those considering it.”[/important]

This is a free trial ADN membership at the Standard level for 2013.  Your ADN Membership will start on or after January 1, 2013 and terminates on Dec. 31, 2013.

I do feel that AUGI provides valuable services to its members through the forums and publications which has been free since 2001. Now that AUGI is trying to restrict some content to paid members, my initial thoughts are that people are going to simply go elsewhere to get the information they want. There is plenty of other forums, blogs, websites and publications that offer free content that would be more than willing to fill in for what AUGI is trying to charge for.

[important]David Harrington (AUGI):

“This is subjective. We believe we offer a great community and have enough membership to support both a large volume of free members who will have access to same benefits and services. For example, we are not charging for the magazine – it is still free. We are simply adding a paper version to those members who want it.”[/important]

Only time will tell as to how this will pan out for AUGI, I look forward to hearing the comments from current AUGI members as to how they feel about this change. If you want to tell me what you think, please comment on this article or you can post to Google+, Facebook, or Twitter (use hashtag #AUGImemberships)


[important]David Harrington (AUGI):

“Correct. But to our surprise we are actually seeing more members opt for the Professional level than Premier than originally estimated. The cost is simply a non-issue for those inclined to want everything AUGI has to offer (and will offer in the future). If we get 1% of the membership at any higher level, then that represents a sizable revenue stream that ultimately will benefit all AUGI members worldwide. And that 1% will get more access, more recognition, and more benefits going forward for their investment in their organization.

Regarding the past history, under NAAUG (North American Autodesk User Group), membership dues were $35/year. For that the member received a quarterly newsletter of about 32 pages, a CD of LISP routines (much like AutoCAD Bonus Tools), and a T-shirt. I think we can do better (we didn’t have forums either).”




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