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Anyone using Autodesk Inventor with Windchill?

Anyone using Autodesk Inventor with Windchill?

My company is currently implementing Windchill with our primary CAD software being Autodesk Inventor. I am starting to wonder if we are the first implementation ever. There are 2 questions I have right now.

1. How reliable is the Theorem Solutions Inventor to Product View adaptor? Can we have confidence in the accuracy of thetranslated files?

2. Is it better to utilize the idw or dwg file type for Inventor drawings that are going into Windchill?


Anyone using Autodesk Inventor with Windchill?

There are only a few companies that are running Inventor together with
Windchill. I thought that PTC has about 5 or 10 customers like us.

We are using Windchill 8M040 together with Inventor 11 (and also ProE
Wildfire 2). There are some major missing functionalities in the
workgroup manager (e.g. iPart functionality) and sometimes we're having
trouble to check out / check in large assemblies but you get used to it
and live with these missing functionalities!

We're now starting with the migration to Windchill 9.1. Some missing
functionalities are now standard in the next release but new Inventor
functionalities are on the other hand not included in the new workgroup
manager (e.g. iAssemblies). So you can only use a certain percentage of
the functionality of Inventor because the workgroup manager can't handle
all the functionalities of Inventor. It seems that PTC is always a
release too late...

I also have a problem with the time between a new release of Inventor
and the supported workgroupmanager although PTC promised us they would
release the workgroup manager 6 months after a new release of Inventor
(most of the time it's a year). You must also be aware that you can't
upgrade Inventor because you're stuck with the workgroup manager
(supported versions)! We wanted to migrate our 55 Inventor seats to
Inventor 2008 or 2009 a year ago because of some helpfull/desired
functionalities for our engineers but it was not possible because of the
workgroup manager on Windchill 8M040...

We also investigated the possibilities of Theorem. We are convinced this
solution works but the cost was too high. We have now developed
ourselves a routine that publish our Inventor drawings to pdf and upload
them to Windchill. The next step is to publish also the Inventor models.

Kind regards,
Olivier Everaert
IT PLM & Doc Mgt Specialist
Hansen Transmissions International nv
De Villermontstraat 9
2550 Kontich

T +32 3 450 5936
M +32 478 23 45 00

Anyone using Autodesk Inventor with Windchill?


1. I'm talking about 800 unique parts. I know this is not a "large"
assembly but when you are using a lot of constraints and other
functionality Inventor needs to compute all these configurations and
that's where the workgroup manager hangs. We also have very detailed
parts (castings with a lot of fillets). It should be handy when you can
check out your drawings or assemblies with a specific defined
configuration. Our end users have already problems when opening those
assemblies or drawings locally without using Windchill...
2. we are using the idw format because the dwg format has some
limitations e.g. regarding the iProperties. When opening those files
directly in Autocad we can't update our iProperties programmatically. I
agree that the Inventor dwg format is handy when end users don't have
Inventor but still are able to open such drawings in Autocad. I think
this is the only pro for using inventor dwg format because changing
stuff in Autocad can cause more problems in Inventor and that's
something you rather want to avoid...
3. we are using an in-house developed program on Inventor to generate
the pdf files. We also using Adobe Livecycle in order to generate
secured pdf files from other applications. Our long term vison is to
integrate all our applications on the Adobe Livecycle platform but on
this moment they don't support Inventor idw and ProE drw format. When
this functionality would be supported it's our intention to generate
pdf's from all our corporate business applications through Adobe

Regarding the Theorem solution: do they update/push the metadata of
Windchill to the titleblock of your Inventor drawings before publishing
those drawings? When e.g. a drawing will be checked in and it gets
approved, the status of your drawing will change to released. This
status is propably linked with the titleblock of your drawing. When
opening the published drawing you want those metadata updates be
reflected in a correct way. So you don't want to see a released drawing
with a status "In work".

Olivier Everaert

Anyone using Autodesk Inventor with Windchill?


Sorry for the late response - things have been hectic...

We are still working to get Theorem going right now - having an issue
with the idws not wanting to publish. Once we get worked through this I
should be able to answer your question better because I do intend to
show a state of some kind on the drawing. I think that you can probably
trigger a publish based on a state change but not sure yet. I believe
that product view can slap a watermark on the drawing and that watermark
can reflect the State. While having the state in the title block is
useful, if a drawing is not "released" I think that we will want to have
the watermark to show this also because it might be easy for someone to
not notice the state in the title block.

I'm sorry, I probably have more Questions than Answers right now, but as
we move along, hopefully I can provide you with some information that
might be useful. Don't want it to go all one way!!!