The Facebook for CAD Nerds

I got an email from a website today asking to link to their site. I didn’t pay much attention to the website at first until I started looking around. is the Facebook for Engineers and CAD people like myself. I found it much more useful than I ever found

Engineering Exchange
The site is targeted to the engineering community as a whole but offer various groups to join that focus on specific aspects. For example, their is a group called the “Inventor Exchange” – for AutoDesk® INVENTOR® users and enthusiasts. Some of the other groups available are for AutoCAD, Solid Edge, Solidworks and Pro Engineer. It also offers various groups for different disciplines such as fluid power, sensors, motion control, and micro automation. also offers some good networking functionality, discussion forums, job boards and some great blogs to read on various subjects. Check out the site and be sure to “Friend” me. 🙂

Now, can we ask them to become the AUGI Manufacturing homepage?

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Design Notes (Lite)

New!The Design Notes add-in for Inventor is no longer in beta. The released version 1.0 has been renamed “Design Notes (Lite) for Inventor”. This version will remain “donation-ware”. Please, please, please keep the feedback coming. This is necessary to keep me motivated enough to make any necessary bug fixes and enhancements.

Anyone who installed the beta version should uninstall it from your add/remove control panel before installing this released version.
You can download from here:

Anyone wishing to be notified of bug fixes, new versions, etc should fill out the download request form. Otherwise, use the direct link to the file. At  minumum, post a comment so I know if you like it or not.

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Design Notes for Inventor (BETA)

I’m happy to share with you the first version of what I’m calling, “Design Notes”. This add-in for Inventor 11+ is a history based note tool that will record engineering notes, tasks and other information related to the Inventor file. The tool adds a new button to all document environments that looks like this:


Clicking the button will open the ‘Design Notes’ tool where you will be able to add notes to the file. Each note is tagged with the date and author. The author name is derived from the username field set in Inventors application options.


The application also provides a means to email (and print) the notes to your standard email application:


The email can then be edited to include additional information releated to the note:


As you can also see from the above screenshots, each time you rename the file or perform a save-as operation the application will record this as a system note. This can be useful for tracking the history of a file regardless of what the file is called.

This application will install on both 32bit and 64bit systems running Inventor 11 or higher. Still to be tested on the new ribbon interface, but if anyone wants to provide feedback on this aspect please send me an email. The application can be downloaded from this websites ‘CAD Tools‘ menu. This beta version will expire on 04/01/2009 . Currently free… (for now).

Please send me feedback via the comments form on this page: Enjoy!

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DWF for the iPhone?

iPhoneSitting here typing this post on my iPhone got me thinking. Why can’t Autodesk come out with Design Review for the iPhone so I can view and markup DWF’s on the go. I did a search of the discussion forums and found this post: Not surprisingly, Autodesk has some issues with Apple’s SDK license agreement for the iPhone as does some other well known developers.

The post suggests using Project Freewheel at to view your DWF’s. I got a “Directory Listing Denied” error message when visiting the site. I was able to visit the normal site on Safari and the DWF loaded. However, the controls are very small and hard to pick. I was able to zoom and pan fairly easy using the normal iPhone gestures. Rotating did not work at all. I was able to get the rotation cube to appear but that was as far as it would work.  It would popup an “Action” button but do nothing.

I hope Autodesk can get this working, if not a full blown app. Then at least a fully functional freewheel. You never know when you want to look at your latest equipment design while listening to some “Rage Against The Machine”.

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