This article will highlight some of the the improvements in the Inventor "Import" command when used to import an AutoCAD 2D drawings. This command is a part of the "AnyCAD" functionality which was first seen in Inventor 2016. The command functions in basically the same way but new functionality has been added in Inventor 2017 making the process easier and more useful.
One of the main features, of using the command with AutoCAD drawings that has not changed, is the adaptive linking between the Inventor part and the AutoCAD drawing. This linking may be suppressed or broken at anytime.
The first improvement is in the "Translation" command. This function is in both versions and allows the re-positioning of the imported AutoCAD drawing in relation to the part origin or an existing part model. An improvement has been added to the "Location" sub-function within the command. A drop down box has been added with an additional function "Location to Origin".
This allows the moving of the AutoCAD drawing views to the origin of the model or model key points in one step. In Inventor 2016 this process was accomplished in two steps. Simply select the "Locate to Origin" sub-command, click on the green dot on the origin icon and then select the point on the AutoCAD drawing you want to move. the AutoCAD drawing will instantly move to the origin.
The command "Project DWG Geometry" is the same as in Inventor 2016 and allows you to project single, connected and block geometry into your sketch. All projections establish the adaptive link back to the original AutoCAD drawing. The next big improvement is the change in the method of adding another instance of the base AutoCAD drawing. This is needed when you are creating features on different planes or model surfaces. In Inventor 2016 you would have to use the "Import" command to bring in the AutoCAD drawing for the second time. In Inventor 2017, right click on the first instance of the AutoCAD drawing and choose "Add Instance". It request the plane or surface you want to place the instance and then request the origin point which in identical to Inventor 2016. Using the new "Locate to Origin" sub-command makes for easy alignment of the drawing to the select origin. The availability of on screen rotational drag are the same.
The "Visibility" and "Layer Visibility" are a part of both Inventor versions but Inventor 2017 allows the ability to "Crop" the under lying AutoCAD drawing in the model. This has uses in the model but the main purpose of this command is to allow special views in the Inventor model drawing.
Once the drawing of the model has been created, you discover another new feature, the ability to "Include" any instances of the AutoCAD drawing into the Inventor drawing view. Used with the "Crop" and the "Layer Visibility" commands back in the model, you can get some interesting drawings very quickly.
For example, by including the first AutoCAD drawing instance, all of the drawing views are automatically dimensioned. These dimensions were in the AutoCAD drawing and since the drawing instance in included, they appear. You can get different results by manipulating "Layer Visibility" and the "Include" command.
I hope you will take a look at this new functionality in Inventor 2017 and find out just how easy it is to use AutoCAD drawings in your designs. One final note, please do not forget that the AutoCAD drawing is adaptively attached. Unless this feature is required, it may be a good idea to either suppress or break the link.