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March 27, 2014

Inventor 2015 - What's New

Now is the time to learn about the released details about latest enhancements that are added to Inventor 2015. I am going to focus on some of the more popular enhancements, you can read about the rest of the enhancements when I post the What's New document later.


Application Options dialog box is now resizable

Select any corner of the Application Options dialog box to resize.

Exciting workplane improvements make modeling easier

  • Take control of workplanes: You can now rename the workplane in the browser.
  • The name of the workplane now also displays in the graphics window.

Create midplane work planes from parallel or non parallel faces

Using Plane on the ribbon 3D Model tab, Work Features panel, you can create a midplane work plane between two parallel or non parallel faces in a part or assembly. In an assembly, it is required that the faces be on separate components. The resulting work plane is oriented to the coordinate system, and has the same outward normal of the first selected plane.

Enhancements to the Ribbon

Simplification of the 3D Model and Sketch Tabs

The ribbon is simplified to display by default the most commonly used commands. This enhancement reduces clutter and makes it easier to get to the most frequently used commands. Here are the highlights:

3D Model and Sketch Panels streamlined

Several commands were moved from a main panel to the subpanel, or to a drop-list on the panel. For example, in a part file (.ipt) the Modify panel on the 3D Model tab is now streamlined to display fewer commands by default. The other Modify commands are moved to a drop-down menu or to the Modify expanded panel:

More Panels Hidden by Default

Panels with less frequently used commands or commands with duplicate access points are hidden to optimize space in the workspace. You have more room to view and work with models. For example, on the 3D Model tab, the panels Primitives, Parameters, Measure, Plastic Part, Harness, iPart/iAssembly, Simulation, and Convert are now hidden by default.

Sketch Tab always Available

The Sketch tab is now always available on the ribbon in part (.ipt), assembly (.iam), and drawing (*.dwg/*.idw) files. Also, the Draw panel is renamed to Create when you are in Sketch mode in a Part (.ipt) file.

General Modeling Improvements

Performance Improvement in Wrap to Surface/Face

Dramatic performance improvements are made in Wrap to surface of Project Curve to Surface, and Wrap to Face of Emboss. In the following example of a custom spring, the sweep operation in Inventor 2015 is 50 times faster than in Inventor 2014 since Wrap to surface creates the custom helix curve as a lightweight, and yet more precise, curve. In this example, the file size is seven times smaller.

Modeling Robustness

The robustness of Shelling and Tapered Extrusions is improved. They now handle more complicated geometries. For example, in Inventor 2014, you can extrude the following profile with proper tangent constraints with a taper angle of up to only 27 degrees. In Inventor 2015, the taper angle can be anywhere from 0 through 90 degrees.


Model with Freeform

The 14 new Freeform tools provide an alternate modeling approach to explore and create freeform shaped models using direct manipulation. Start with a freeform shape (Box, Sphere, Cylinder, Torus, or Quad ball) that best represents the desired geometry. Then use the freeform edit tools to change and adjust the shape. Use freeform along with parametric modeling to create a more visually compelling design.

Direct Edit

Edit parts quickly with Direct Edit. You can adjust size, shape, and/or location of model features by directly manipulating the geometry. Use Direct Edit when you want to:

  • Quickly modify a complex model that you did not create originally.
  • Modify imported base parts.
  • Easily modify only what you choose while avoiding unintended changes due to complex relationships.
  • Rapidly explore design alternatives.

Sheet Metal

Use a window to select points to place punch

A window cross select is available to select multiple points when placing a punch in a sheet metal part. The previous single select functionality is still available.

  • To include in a selection all items that touch any part of the area selection box, window(cross) select right to left.
  • To include in a selection only items contained within an area selection box, window select left to right.
  • To remove some points in a selection set, or remove some points and add others, make subsequent selections either left to right or right to left.
Selection in Punch Tool behaves as though you are holding down the CTRL key. If you select something in the set, you can remove it without holding down CTRL.

Apply sheet metal punch features across bends

You can cut simple or complex hole shapes in a face of your part, including across a bend, using sheet metal punch tools. When you create or edit an instance of a placed sheet metal punch iFeature, you can specify whether to apply a punch feature across a bend.

Use Cut Normal in the Cut dialog box

In the Cut dialog box, the option Cut Normal is added. It projects a selected profile (sketch, and so on) onto the surface, and then cuts perpendicular to the faces that the projection intersects.

Enhanced orientation control in flat pattern

In the Cut dialog box, the option Cut Normal is added. It projects a selected profile (sketch, and so on) onto the surface, and then cuts perpendicular to the faces that the projection intersects.

Select the A-side for flat pattern and punch tool

The A-Side of a sheet metal part indicates the face that is Up in the flat pattern (punch machine). A new command, A-Side Definition , is added to the ribbon in the flat pattern group. With it, you can select the A side of a sheet metal part to indicate the punch direction. If you do not select an A side, when you create the flat pattern, the software creates the A side for you, and adds a browser node entry. You can still change the A-side by flipping the Base Face when you edit the Flat Pattern definition in the browser.

You can delete the current A side as long as no flat pattern exists. You can change the orientation of the flat pattern, which reflects on the A side that highlights when you select the browser node. If a change causes the compute of the A side to fail, you can right-click the A-side browser node and pick a new A side, which results in a new A-side browser node.

When you start the placement of a punch tool, the A-side designation of the flat pattern highlights in the graphics area. Use options on the right-click menu to highlight the A side, and adjust the orientation, punch representation, and bend angle measuring. If you click the command Show A-Side, you place all A-side faces into the preselection set of the document.


New constraint tools and settings - Last one wins with the new Relax Mode

You can use the new Relax Mode to modify geometries and apply new constraints to geometries that are already constrained.

With Relax Mode turned ON, when you add new constraints or dimensions, conflicting constraints are removed. You can modify constraints of an existing model by dragging the selected sketch geometry freely, even when they are already constrained.

You can remove all conflicting constraints except Coincident, Smooth, Tangent, Symmetry, Pattern, and Project by adding new dimensions or constraints. When you cannot add new constraints successfully, remove conflicting constraints manually.

Improved access to 2D sketch constraints settings

All 2D sketch constraints-related settings are reorganized into one new command called Constraint Settings. The new setting Display constraints on creation provides clear feedback on the constraint as you create it. The new setting Show constraints for selected objects highlights constraints for geometry that you select in the graphics window. When displayed, you can select any constraint to delete it.

Delete Constraints and Delete Coincident Constraint

When geometry is selected, you can access the new Delete Constraints option from the context menu to remove all constraints. Delete Constraints does not remove Coincident constraints . You can remove coincident constraints with the Delete Coincident Constraint command.

Sketch Behavior Improvements

While creating sketch geometry, endpoints are created on the mouse down/click action instead of mouse up/release. Now it is easier to connect endpoints and close sketch loops.

Sketch Offset improvements

When you create sketch geometry with the Sketch tab >Modify panel > Offset command, line, arc, or ellipse segments of the offset geometry are automatically removed as soon as they reach zero length. As a result, no flipped or degenerated geometry segments are created, and you can use wider intervals of offset distances.

Create point at virtual intersection of two sketch elements

You can now capture the virtual intersection between two elements in 2D sketch, and autocapture the virtual On Curve inference in a 2D sketch. The existing constraint inference for real intersect elements can be applied to virtual intersections as well.

Look at behavior enhancements

Two new settings are added to the Application Options - Display tab:

  • Perform Minimum Rotation Rotates the sketch at a minimum angle to make the sketch plane parallel with the screen and make the X axis of the sketch coordinate system horizontal or vertical.
  • Align with Local Coordinate System orients the X axis of the sketch coordinate system horizontally/right positive, and the Y axis vertically/up positive


Express mode improvements

You can now edit parts and sub-assemblies in place without opening them in a separate window.

The following are more commands that are enabled in Express mode:

  • Create Component (in place)
  • Use the section view command
  • Create / Edit Work Features
  • Create / Edit Sketches
  • Pattern Component
  • Copy / Mirror Component
  • Assemble
  • Point Cloud commands
Express data now makes drawing views much faster.

Create the joints you need

New context menu options, Between Two Faces and Offset Origin make creating joints easier and more flexible:

  • Create a joint origin using Between Two Faces. Specify a virtual midpoint between two faces, by selecting two faces and one point.
  • Offset a joint origin using Offset Origin. Drag the manipulator arrows or input offset value to change the Origin location. Pick a reference geometry to align the Origin with.

You can now align the part orientation by using work geometry. If Align 1 is point selection (sketch point or work point), Align 2 must also be point selection.


Fast drawing views for large assemblies

Any Express mode data in an assembly is used to generate faster preview and view placement for both precise and raster views. Legacy assemblies and parts must be migrated to Inventor 2015.

When creating drawing views, if you select the Raster View Only option, views of large assemblies that contain Express mode data generate in a fraction of the time. Significant performance gains are subject to the size of the model and require that both parts and assemblies be migrated to the latest version.

Foreshortened Dimensions

Create linear, angular, or arc length foreshortened dimensions. Run the Dimension command, select two reference lines or edges, or select an arc, and right-click to display the menu. In the Dimension Type list, select the desired type of foreshortened dimension, and place the dimension in the drawing.

 Double-click anywhere on a balloon to edit

You can double-click to edit a balloon to override the balloon objects, or to edit or override the value displayed.

Move a split table to another sheet

You can use the browser tree to move split drawing tables (generic, hole table, and parts lists) to another sheet.

Keep your parts list sorted automatically

A new option, Auto Sort on Update, is added to the Sort Parts List dialog box. When selected, your sort settings persist for a particular parts list. The option executes when you click OK in the dialog box. After you turn on Auto Sort on Update, it is not necessary to resort the table manually after you add or remove parts.


  1. 1,800 plus members of CADCAM Technology Leaders group now know about Inventor 2015 thanks to your blog post. More details on how the new direct modeling works as well as the new T-Splines surfacing would be nice.

    Jon Banquer
    CADCAM Technology Leaders group on LinkedIn

    1. Once I receive more information about these, I will definitely be posting about these enhancements.

  2. What about the rendering improvement?

  3. I really hope the rendering works flawlessly, especially when showcase is removed!!!!