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    By Clint Brown

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    Inventor 2018 adds some exciting new functionality in Model Based Definition or MBD.

    MBD uses annotated 3D models, to convey design intent. While these annotated models may be seen as a replacement for 2D drawings, in many cases they are supplied as supplemental information along with 2D drawings. With manufacturers moving more towards technologies such as 3D printing and CNC machining, 2D drawings are becoming less relevant. Using MBD, the geometry is contained within the 3D model, so does not necessarily need to be detailed on a 2D drawing. MBD allows for the addition of GD&T notations and surface finishes, which traditionally would have been communicated via 2D drawings.

    The Part modelling environment in Inventor 2018 now contains an "Annotate" tab, which contains the new MBD annotation tools. 

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    Annotated models can be exported as 3D PDF's, as well as in the STEP 242 format, which complies with the ISO standard for MDB.

    Have a look at the video below for more information.

    UPDATE: After posting this, Autodesk published the following article offering some more in depth insight into MBD an their approach to it.