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    Bio

    By Chris Smith

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    Introduction
    Autodesk Inventor is full of useful tools that allow designers to create robust designs quickly and easily. There are also a lot of tools that don’t seem to get the love they deserve. One of these tools is 3D annotations.

    3D annotations allow users to highlight critical design information, not only in the part environment, but can also be used in downstream processes. From simple dimension details to hole note, surface finishes and even general notations, 3D annotations give users a great way to provide these details in several ways.

    Drawing creation
    In most cases, we create a 2D drawing of our designs as there are some details that cannot be conveyed from a 3D model alone, especially if these models are simplified or converted to non-native formats like Step or Iges files. By creating 3D annotations in the part or assembly environment, we can quickly create the dimensions in the drawing using the 3D annotations tab in the Retrieve Model Annotations tool, saving time on drawing creation.

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    Forge Viewer
    Another good example is using the Forge viewer to share design information. The Forge viewer has made its way into several different applications in the Inventor catalogue and is a great way of sharing data with non-CAD users or people outside of your company. From Autodesk Vault thick and thin client, to Shared views and more.

    By adding the 2D annotations we can display the relevant information, so the end users do not have to use the tools in the forge viewer to take measurements as well as being able to display other information like tolerance data, surface finish etc.

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