Ansys DesignSpace V18.2 downloaded and installed

FEA – Ansys DesignSpace V18.2

Nova have recently upgraded our ANSYS finite element analysis (FEA) software package to ANSYS DesignSpace V18.2, the latest release of the engineering simulation technology suite, designed to optimise our client’s product development processes. This ensures our finite element analysis (FEA) and engineering design team keep the latest in engineering design tools at their disposal, in order to provide a reliable, high quality service.FEA - Ansys Designspace - Finite Element Analysis

Built on an existing platform that accurately streamlines workflow among simulation applications, ANSYS DesignSpace V18.2 delivers critical multi-physics solutions, enhancements to pre-processing and meshing capabilities as well as a new parametric high performance computing (HPC) licensing model to make design exploration more scalable.

As part of our in-house engineering design consultancy, we offer finite element analysis (FEA) as part of our design service. We use ANSYS DesignSpace to carry out our finite element analysis (FEA) work and this forms a crucial part of many of our client’s projects. In modern times we feel that the growing importance of finite element analysis (FEA) cannot be understated.

Ansys DesignSpace V18.2The importance behind finite element analysis (FEA) lies in its ability to perform tests on a virtual concept model before it is manufactured, reducing the time and cost needed to foster product innovations. This can potentially save thousands of pounds in design and manufacturing stages, by using finite element analysis (FEA) tests as the design stage progresses. ANSYS DesignSpace V18.2 allows our design engineers to perform a number of real world simulations such as thermal, structural, weight optimisation and more.

ANSYS DesignSpace software is an easy-to-use simulation package that provides designers with tools to conceptualise, design and validate their ideas right on the desktop. ANSYS DesignSpace V18.2 software, a subset of the ANSYS Professional product, enables real-world, static structural and thermal, dynamic, weight optimisation, vibration mode, and safety factor simulations to be performed on designs without the need for advanced analysis knowledge.

FEA - Finite Element Analysis - Ansys DesignSpace V18.2Existing native CAD geometry can be used directly with ANSYS structural analysis software — with no translation, no IGES and no intermediate geometry formats. ANSYS has provided native bidirectional integration with the most popular CAD systems for more than a decade. Integration directly into the CAD menu bar makes it very simple to launch world-class simulation directly from a CAD system.

Since the ANSYS geometry import mechanism is common to all CAD systems, the user has the flexibility to work within a single common simulation environment while using multiple CAD packages.

The latest release from ANSYS supports all of our existing mechanical design CAD software packages including AutoCAD, Inventor, Creo, Unigraphics NX, Solid Edge, SolidWorks and Catia.

Once the geometry has been imported, ANSYS structural software tools automatically detect and perform setup for contacts or joints between parts of an assembly. The contact settings and options can be modified, and additional manual contact definitions can be added. Joints for flexible/rigid dynamics are automatically detected. Each contact or joint is easily identified using the graphical tools provided in the environment.

ANSYS structural analysis software offers a large library of out-of-the box equation solvers. The library contains the sparse direct solver, preconditioned conjugate gradient (PCG) iterative solver, Jacobi conjugate gradient (JCG) solution and more. In addition, the distributed versions of PCG, JCG, and sparse solvers are available for use in large-scale computing via parallel processing. By combining our parallel algorithms with the power of GPUs, you can further reduce the solution time required for large models.

Variational technology from ANSYS allows accelerating computation of normal modes for cyclic structures, especially when a large number of harmonic indexes are required. Frequency sweeps such as those found in harmonic analyses benefit from variational technology as well. Typical speedup factors range from three to 10 times. Transient thermal runs and certain classes of nonlinear structural transient problems are computed in a shorter time using these same principles.

Ansys DesignSpace V17.0 FEAANSYS finite element analysis (FEA) software provides a comprehensive set of post-processing tools to display results on models as contours or vector plots to provide summaries of the results (like min/max values and locations). Powerful and intuitive slicing techniques allow the user to get more detailed results over given parts of geometries. All results can be exported as text data or to a spreadsheet for further calculations. Animations are provided for static cases as well as for nonlinear or transient histories. Any result or boundary condition can be used to create customised charts.

ANSYS DesignSpace V18.2 provides a great number of new and advanced features that bolster product performance and integrity through deeper design insight. The many new features in ANSYS DesignSpace V18.2, combined with ANSYS Workbench, deliver additional physics depth and breadth that can be scaled to meet the changing needs of customers.

For further information on our finite element analysis (FEA) and the other services offered by Nova, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 01384 400044 or via

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Posted in Autocad, CAD Software, Catia, Creo, Design, Engineering Design, Inventor, Nova Design News, Pro Engineer, Simulation, Software Updates, Solid Edge, SolidWorks, Unigraphics (NX)

Nova Expand Internal Visualisation and Animation Division

As engineering design and recruitment consultants Nova Design are delighted to announce that we have expanded our internal visualisation department in our West Midlands based office, and will now be offering increased capacity for our visualisation and animation service. Visualisation is a modern tool used to bring a concept to life, through the use of animations or illustrations. Nova Design’s visualisation team can bring your idea to life to impress potential investors.

In addition to our existing in-house design team of forty engineering design staff, we have successfully recruited an additional two visualisation experts, who have significant previous experience in producing high quality visuals. Utilising Autodesk 3D Studio Max and Siemens Tecnomatix VIS Mockup software, our experts will be producing high quality 3D walkthroughs, 3D animations and photo realistic renders for our clients. Nova’s visualisation experts will allow the finest details to be tweaked, from layouts and lighting to shadows and optical effects, in order to cater to their client’s exact requirements. The final product will aim to engage the end viewer and give them an emotional experience.

3D Studio Max | Nova Design Visualisation Division | Animation and VisualisationAs a family run business, established in 1988, we will be looking to attract new clients who are aiming to close sales with eye catching proposals, or develop their marketing materials. It is an exciting time for Nova as a West Midlands based company, as we expand this service amidst the continued growth of our internal engineering design and recruitment departments. Nova will now be heavily marketing the visualisation department to add another dimension to our existing client base.

Business Development Director Simon Parry said “Many companies want to make their products or proposals stand out from their competition. Our visualisation service is a unique and professional way in which to do this. Many of our existing clients have previously had visualisation requirements on top of their design requirements, and we are now able to offer them the full service. With the tools and expertise we have at our disposal, we can offer state of the art visuals to give our clients the all important ‘wow’ factor.”

3D Studio Max software is used in various markets, from video game developers to graphic artists, through to architects, engineers and product designers. The powerful software is provided by Autodesk, who also supply AutoCAD and Inventor 2D and 3D packages, which form an integral part of Nova Design’s engineering design solution.

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Posted in 3DS Studio Max, Autodesk, Engineering Design, Nova Design News, Visualisation

Why Outsource Your Design Engineering ??

Have you ever considered using an outsource engineering design office ?

Outsource engineering design | Nova Design | Design EngineeringMany engineering companies may not see or fully understand the benefits of using an external resource to outsource their design work to, or may not like to consider it as an option. There is often fear of not having control over a project once it has been outsourced, but with a company such as ourselves, you can relax knowing it will be in safe hands. See below for some of the main benefits you can gain from sub contracting your design work.

Benefits of outsourcing include :

  • Improves reliability and service quality
  • Lessens potential impact of any risks that are taken e.g. taking on new staff in a hurry
  • Your business will become more flexible to change
  • Frees up human resources, allowing your staff to focus on their main responsibilities
  • Reduces overheads

Why outsource engineering design projects ? 

  • You don’t have the required resources e.g. hardware, software and expertise
  • You have a project deadline approaching fast, and need extra assistance in order to meet it
  • You fear a competitor is about to release a rival product sooner than you
  • To avoid frequent training costs
  • No need to worry about costly CAD software updates, which can be due on an annual basis
  • Allows you to call upon the skills and expertise of dedicated, experienced design engineers
  • Total flexibility to use someone only when you need them

Why outsource to Nova Design ?

  • Our professional approach is fully geared towards achieving a total quality solution
  • We possess over 29 years of engineering design experience across several industries
  • The invaluable experience of our 40 person strong internal engineering design team
  • We use the latest tools and technology, all housed inside our modern design facilities

We do not outsource any of our work and all of our projects are kept in-house in our modern design office based in the West Midlands. This is to allow us to monitor quality levels and ensure our work is kept at a consistently high level.

For further details on our engineering design services, why not press the outsource button and make contact with Nova to see how we can assist with your outsource engineering design requirements.


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Posted in CAD News, CAD Software, Engineering Design, Manufacturing, Nova Design News, Recruitment, UK Manufacturing

Nova Design reach 29 years old – Happy Birthday to us :-)

August 1988 – A quick review

1 August 1988 saw beer priced around 91p per pint with the average lager around 98p per pint compared to around the £3.00 per pint mark nowadays.

Trouser pockets also got slightly fuller with coins around this time as the UK pound note was removed from legal tender.

At this time, petrol was hovering just below the £2.00 per gallon mark compared to around £5.05 per gallon in August 2017.

In the UK music charts, pop sensation Kylie Minogue was taking the UK pop charts by storm with hits including “I should be so lucky” and “Locomotion”, whilst new British boyband Bros took five singles into the Top 5 this year including “When Will I Be Famous?”.

The thing that most people were watching was the property prices – around that time even the most modest of flats or houses was creeping up at the rate of at least £1000 per month in places like London.

Somewhat closer to home in Kingswinford, West Midlands, 1 August 1988 saw the first day of trading for a new supplier of sub contract engineering design services based in the West Midlands – Nova Design was born 🙂

1 August 2017 sees Nova Design celebrating 29 years in business, all this time providing subcontract engineering design services to a variety of industries across the West Midlands, the UK and into Europe.Nova Design - Happy 29th Birthday

Nova was started by Dave Parry (Nova’s Managing Director) and business commenced on the second floor of Pensnett House in Kingswinford around 500 metres from our current location.

Early Mechanical Engineering Design

In those early days, engineering design was still very much a manual industry and at its inception Nova consisted of 10 drawing boards, one typewriter, a card index for sales and a simple phone system along with Dave, Julia and a small team of design engineers and draughtsmen. The total number of design engineers employed by Nova Design both internally and externally was around 15.

Drawing Board - Early Autocad

Early clients were mainly in the aerospace industry with turbine blade tooling projects comprising a large percentage of the internal project work together with projects in the construction industry based around curtain walling and cladding.

Mechanical Engineering Design Software

As technology moved on and IT hardware / software became more commercially available, Nova Design were one of the first mechanical design offices to invest in this modern design tool called CAD – Computer Aided Design. To put things into perspective, Nova’s first CAD workstations ran on Windows 3.1.1 (the last .1 being the network edition of Windows 3.1), had <300MB hard drives and a massive 4MB of RAM ! As a measure of the progression of technology, the current iPhone 7 has 2GB of RAM and a minimum of 32GB internal drive capacity.

Expanding the floor area of Nova and running alongside the drawing boards, Nova initially invested in 6 seats of Bentley Microstation 2D software. At this time, Nova were providing mechanical engineering design services for a company called Haden Drysys who were heavily involved in the mechanical handling and trim & final areas for Land Rover (now Jaguar Land Rover) in Solihull.

The use of CAD took off quickly within the mechanical design industry and AutoCAD became the industry standard for mechanical design, something Dave realised early on and Nova invested in a number of seats, allowing more design work to be achieved in less time than traditional manual methods.

Over the years, Nova Design have invested in additional CAD systems and associated design tools including Mathcad for calculations, Ansys DesignSpace for Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and a variety of CAD libraries to speed up the design process.

Nova Becomes A Family Business

In 1995, Dave’s youngest son Nick joined Nova. With a HNC in Mechanical Engineering gained from his apprenticeship at Dowty Aerospace in Wolverhampton, Nick bought many years of mechanical design experience to Nova. Now Engineering Director, Nick is responsible for the smooth running of the internal design office from project quotation through to final delivery of manufacture drawings / 3D CAD models as appropriate.

September 1997 saw Dave’s eldest son, Simon join the family business. Working his way up to Business Development Director, Simon is responsible for all areas of sales and marketing together with Quality Assurance and IT.

Nova Design | Management Team | Organisation Chart | Engineering Design Office
Around 2001, the CAD market was undergoing a revolution – higher end 3D CAD software was becoming commercially available and more importantly, coming available on a Windows software platform. Autodesk Mechanical Desktop was one of the first 3D mechanical design systems Nova Design invested in and the first project undertaken was the detailed design of stainless steel guarding systems for Cadbury’s in Bourneville, Birmingham.

A New Location – Expansion

May 2005 saw Nova Design move from Pensnett House to our current location in the Innovation Centre on Pensnett Trading Estate. This move allowed Nova to expand the number of seats in our mechanical design office to the current total of 40. With our design engineers working around 50 hours a week, Nova’s internal design capacity is around 2000 hours per week. Internally and externally, the total number of employees has now exceeded the 60 mark.

Mechanical Design Office - Nova Design

The pace of technological change has meant a constant series of upgrades both in CAD systems, associated tools and in the services offered by Nova. We now offer 3D laser scanning services3D animations and visualisationsrecruitment (both contract and permanent) together with other drawing office services such as paper to cad conversions and the writing and compilation of technical manuals.

Current CAD systems now include :

Autocad / Autodesk Inventor / SolidWorks / Solid Edge / Unigraphics NX / Catia and Creo.

Quality Assured – “Right First Time”

From a business management perspective, Nova’s management team is committed to the future and our vision statement including the line “Right First Time”.

ISO 9001:2008 Certification - Nova Design

To this end, Nova have successfully implemented and run a quality system for a number of years. Beginning with BS5750 and now running a regularly audited ISO 9001:2008 system, Nova are certified for the “Provision Of Engineering Design Services”. Internally and with the assistance of our external consultants, our current goal is to be certified to the latest 9001:2015 standard by Xmas 2017.

Nova’s client portfolio has grown considerably over the years and now includes both OEM and first tier suppliers to industries including AutomotiveAerospaceProcess Equipment and Nuclear.

Recent engineering design projects successfully completed include :

  • Design and detailed design of ‘Body In White’ tooling / Robot cells for a number of new vehicles – end clients Jaguar Land Rover / Volvo Cars / Mercedes Benz
  • Design and detailed design of Ground Support Equipment for gas turbines (civil aerospace) – end client Rolls Royce plc
  • Detailed design of automotive paint plant – end client Chrysler Motors, Mexico
  • Design and detailed design of new engine pallet systems – end client Ford Australia / Ford China
  • Detailed design of water treatment projects – design and detail of new screening systems – end client Severn Trent and Anglian Water Boards
  • Design and detailed design of Ground Support Equipment for gas turbines – industrial power generation – end client Industrial Turbine Company UK Limited – UK and North America sites
  • Site surveys, layouts, design and detailed design of mechanical handling equipment – trim and final area of vehicle production – various sites – end client Jaguar Land Rover
  • Detailed design of a number of new cranes – end client – Nuclear Decommissioning Authority – Sellafield Limited

An Eye On The Future

From a recruitment perspective, Nova Design are continually looking for additional staff to join our ranks, ranging from graduates looking for their first employment through to more experienced engineers looking for a change of career direction. Working closely with Dudley CollegeWolverhampton University and Birmingham University engineering departments Nova are committed to assisting the next generation of students into the world of engineering design and manufacturing.

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Posted in Engineering Design News, Manufacturing, Nova Design News, UK Manufacturing

Rolls Royce Trent XWB Engine Assembly

Trent XWB Engine Assembly

Showcasing their engine assembly process, Rolls Royce plc have recently released this video showing one of the latest generation Trent XWB gas turbine engines being assembled.

A large number of the engine assembly tools for these procedures were designed by Nova either using previous engine tools as typical examples or from scratch as blank sheet engineering design projects.

The Trent XWB engine is currently in service with a number of airline carrier companies and flies on the Airbus A350-900 aircraft.

For those readers with an interest in the aerospace industry, the XWB engine installations on Airbus A350-900 aircraft can be tracked on with Aircraft code ‘A359’.

Although unprecedented, the Trent XWB’s performance is not unexpected. It’s the 6th generation engine in the Rolls Royce Trent family, and has evolved from over 70 million hours of Trent family experience.

Drawing on the Rolls Royce plc unique three-shaft design, advanced materials and the latest fan system technology, the Trent XWB balances fuel efficiency and life cycle costs while delivering weight savings and improved aerodynamics.

With a 15 per cent fuel consumption advantage over the original Trent engine, it hits current and future emissions targets, goes further on less fuel and offers world beating performance and noise levels.

Such is the demand for the Trent XWB that Rolls-Royce have recently officially opened a new engine assembly line for its Trent XWB engines in Dahlewitz, Germany, complementing its main engine assembly production line in Derby, UK, and marking the first time that complete large civil engines have been assembled in Germany.

Trent XWB Engine Assembly Tooling

Rolls Royce Trent XWB 97 Civil Aerospace Engine

The new engine assembly line will help meet the exceptional demand for Rolls-Royce’s Trent XWB engines by delivering up to two engines per week by the end of the year. Combining this with the capacity to deliver up to five Trent XWB engines from its main production line in Derby means that Rolls-Royce will be able to deliver one Trent XWB engine per day at peak.

The factory is an important production and development facility in the global Rolls-Royce group, assembling both the successful BR700 engine family and the V2500 engine. The Dahlewitz site also plays a role in the development of the next generation of aircraft engines, hosting a test centre for the power gearbox system which will feature in Rolls-Royce’s UltraFan® engine slated for delivery in the middle of the next decade.

For further images of the Trent XWB engine assembly process, why not view the Rolls Royce Trent XWB Flickr image library.
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Posted in Design, Engineering Design, Engineering News, Manufacturing, Nova Design News, UK Manufacturing

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

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Posted in Autodesk, CAD Software, Design, Engineering Design, Engineering Design News, Inventor, Nova Design News, Software News, Software Updates