Being from a mechanical background before coming to Autodesk, and having been an Autodesk Inventor user since before release 1, this was one of the coolest technologies I saw at Autodesk University 2008. It was the Inventor Fusion technology from our Manufacturing division at Autodesk.
I was wandering the AU exhibit hall and saw Autodesk’s Kevin Schneider in an Autodesk Labs booth demoing something I had not seen before, so I stopped and watched. It had everyone’s eyes at the booth and in some cases jaws were dropped. It was very cool technology, exciting, and innovative. It permits the parametric modeling (history based) modeling available with Autodesk Inventor to work with the direct editing (history free) of Inventor Fusion. You are not locked into one methodology of parametric or direct editing for a project and can use either based on the tasks at hand and combine the design data, the proverbial best of both worlds.
The User Interface “UI” is new and showcases many new concepts based on customer research. The technology appeared to be presenting options based on the task and there appeared to be some predictive choices based on contextual next step/options for the selected feature. You could work all without using dialogs or the ribbon menu.
The demo of Inventor Fusion was very powerful and it will be exciting to see the industry and peoples reaction when a technology preview is available for download.
Check out the videos and details http://www.inventorfusion.com/