Review: Mastering Autodesk Inventor 2016

It took me a while to absorb enough information in the book ‘Mastering Autodesk Inventor 2016 and Autodesk Inventor LT 2016’ to provide a decent enough review, and let me tell you… it has a ton of information. This instructional book by Paul Munford and Paul Normand is very thorough and detailed. It provides guidance for anyone using Inventor 2016 to explore all of the fundamental features of the software. Although I would definitely say the writing style and layout of the chapters is geared towards the beginner Inventor user or a user attempting to expand their knowledge beyond the very basic functions of the software, an Inventor user with any level of proficiency can benefit from having this book on their shelf.

The book originally published in 2008 by the “legendary Dennis Jeffrey” has been passed along over the years and for the 2016 edition, published by this generations legendary Inventor expert Paul Munford, who most people know as CADSetterOut across the internet. It now is a 1,048 page behemoth of information and accompanying dataset files that can be downloaded from the publishers website.

The functions of Inventor are broken down quite nicely into logical chapters that flow well into each other. If you’re already an avid Inventor user, you may get quite bored if you decide to read the book through because there isn’t a good guide provided to show what functions in Inventor were upgraded from previous Inventor versions. It would be nice if there was a cross reference to follow if you’re using a specific previous version of Inventor. You can still use the book to focus on areas you want to improve on or get stuck with if the upgrade is different enough from previous versions.

















I would definitely recommend this book if you’re the self taught type that wants to accelerate your learning. This book will help you do that. This is also a good buy for your companies engineering department to keep on the shelf and use as a reference for your team. If you bring new people in that don’t have a strong background in Inventor, this book would be a good starting point for them.

There isn’t much about the book I don’t like, it’s written in simplex terms and doesn’t overly confuse the reader by jumping around. The examples are straightforward and most pages include well thought out screen shots to show the reader what is being instructed and what you should be seeing on your screen. The only nuisances that I found in the book are those that I see in other Autodesk material, and of course this might just be my picky nature but I like to comply with the standards I use for drawings so it drives me a little crazy to see lowercase text on drawings.

The book is available in paperback or e-print. Where can you get the book? Click the links below:

Publisher (Wiley)



Read the Design & Motion review of ‘Mastering Autodesk Inventor 2016’

Mastering Inventor 2016 by Paul Munford






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‘Swift Prints’ updated for Inventor 2017

Inventor 2017 is making it’s way into the hands of users now and with that, ‘Swift Prints’ has been updated and refreshed for 2017. This update is mostly under-the-hood improvements which make way for some exciting new features.

Some changes you’ll notice are a streamlined toolbar. The Swift Prints command button is now called ‘Print’ on a stand-alone ‘Swift Prints’ panel. The extra button that brought you to has been removed. Hey, you paid for the app… the app is advertisement in itself.









The app also now utilizes Autodesk’s entitlement API. What that means is you’ll need to login to Autodesk360 from within Inventor to verify you have a valid license of Swift Prints in order to use it. Sorry, this is a case of one person ruining it for everyone. If you’ve already purchased multiple licenses under one email address, you can contact me so I can add the list of authorized users in your company who own a license.

There are a few cool new features already in the works, this update paves the way for those to happen. Enjoy!


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Inventor won’t reload add-in toolbars!

So here I am toiling away on making some updates to the two apps I have in the Inventor App Store, Swift Prints and Design Notes. I’ve been trying to correct an issue where if a user manually unloads the add-in the custom toolbar will be removed and then when they manually reload the add-in, the toolbar reloads.


The toolbar does currently unload but a reload does nothing and you have to restart Inventor to get the custom toolbar back again. After fiddling with the code for a few hours, looking through the API documentation, posting to all the forums I know I still couldn’t resolve the issue.






Then I found this post from 2012.

I’m  add Add button on exists inventor ribbon  tab  After reload my add-in from Inventor buttons is invisible

Please help me solve my problem

The post doesn’t contain a solution, but it did get me thinking. Certainly someone else solved this issue. I was going to try and download another Inventor add-in in the app store to try the behavior. The first one I downloaded had the same behavior as my add-ins and the toolbar didn’t reappear. Ok, fluke… right? Try another… same issue. Try another… same issue… Try another… I couldn’t find a single add-in in the Autodesk App Store (yet) that works correctly.

This is the offending API code:

oPanel.CommandControls.AddButton(m_ButtonDef, True, True)

From what I understand, Inventor does not properly destroy the button definition on unload of the add-in and a subsequent reload will fail because it thinks the button is already on the Ribbon panel.

To all of you who also develop apps, try it out on your add-ins and let me know your results. You can post a reply here or tweet me at @cadtoolbox


…for now, my OCD programming prevents me from eating, sleeping or thinking of anything else until I figure this out.


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Tip: StackExchange for 3D Printing

If you’re one of those people who is into 3D printing and are looking for a place to ask questions or lend some advice to others, I encourage you to check out 3D Printing Stack Exchange.

The Q&A community dedicated to 3D printing has 588 users and averages 203 visitors per day.

3D Printing Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for 3D printing enthusiasts. It’s 100% free, no registration required.

Some of the typical questions on the community are:

  • Is it possible to use an aftermarket controller on a MakerBot?
  • How small can I expect FDM 3d printers to print?
  • What are the best air filtration options for enclosures?


As useful as a resource as StackExchange is, it would also be cool to see a community dedicated to CAD users. Do you agree?


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