Woodwork For Inventor - CAD Software for Wood Furniture Design
Woodwork for Inventor (W4I) is a fully integrated application for Autodesk Inventor, which solves problems specifically faced by woodworkers, making it the ideal CAD software for wood furniture design, cabinet design and joinery design.
With the built in industry functionality and a specialist toolset, Woodwork for Inventor addresses the industry challenges faced by all in today’s market as clients are increasingly demanding more choice, customers are wanting to personalise the products they buy and industry strives to increase productivity, drive down manufacturing costs and improve bottom line profit margins.
If you design Kitchen Cabinets, Joinery, Millwork or Custom Furniture, W4I can help enhance and improve your existing workflows and processes by helping you created your designs intuitively and flexibly whilst at the same time embedding the data required by your downstream manufacturing, procurement and CNC teams?
CAD Software for Woodworking
The introduction of CAD (Computer Aided Design) and CAM (Computer aided manufacturing) has allowed Furniture Designers, Cabinet makers and Joiners to decrease their time to market for bespoke furniture designs.
This has allowed manufacturers in the woodworking trades to increase their business value by broaching a new market. Instead of simply manufacturing a standard product line, a bespoke design service can be offered.
Design becomes the service customers are paying for. Manufacturing the end product becomes a given.
However, the introduction of 3D furniture design software has raised the bar. Now our customers have got used to the speed and flexibility of our design development process. Our customers’ expectations have increased. They want even more flexibility, and they don’t want to wait for their designs!
This special woodwork add-in addresses these problems by building functionality directly on top of Autodesk Inventor’s parametric design engine allowing us add data to our 3D CAD designs in an intuitive fashion, without losing the flexibility to change the design as our customer’s needs are revealed.
The extension supports the automated production of downstream manufacturing information. W4I includes an extensive library of fixings and materials required by the woodworking trades, along with automation tools for Cutting Ticket Creation and CNC toolpaths.
Woodwork for Inventor is recommended for you if:
• You design complex furniture.
• Your designs are bespoke, or are customised from existing designs to suite your customer.
• Your design time tales up most of your production lead time.
• You require cutting tickets to include laminates, veneers and edge banding (Including trimming allowances and grain direction).
• You require a parts list for procurement.
• You require the generation of multiple CNC cut files for production.
• You need the flexibility to make late changes to your design, without causing huge amounts of re-work in the preparation of your design for manufacture.
Furniture Design With Inventor Examples
Woodwork for Inventor CAD software is available in English, French, German, Russian, Polish and Italian languages.
- Built On Autodesk Inventor
- Dedicated Woodwork Hardware Library
- Dedicated Woodwork Material Library
- Automatic CNC Toolpath Generation
- Export to Sheet Optimisation
- Integration with ERP
- Integration with Data Management
Woodwork for Inventor is based on Autodesk’s manufacturing design 3D CAD application - Autodesk Inventor.
Autodesk Inventor is 3D parametric design software, created specifically for the manufacturing market.
Autodesk Inventor allows us to create Parts (Geometry), Assemblies (Location and relationships) and drawings along with the associated data needed for Parts lists and CNC.
‘Parametric’ design simply means that our design intent can be imbedded into our 3D CAD models and as a woodwork plugin for inventor, specialised woodwork industry design functionality is directly available within the Inventor application making this probably the best software for Cabinet Makers, Furniture Designers or anyone doing modern design in wood.
We can make changes in to our woodwork designs by changing the value of a Parameter and we can build in the design intent to make our changes predictable.
For example, by building a cabinet around parameters call ‘Overall Width’, ‘Overall Height’ and ‘Overall Depth’, we can quickly change the size of an entire design, just by typing in our new values.
Our 3D model is the ‘single source of truth’. All data (Including drawings) are views of the 3D model. Any changes to the 3D model update in all related views, meaning that our drawings and data will always be consistent. This can significantly reduce errors on the shop floor.
Autodesk Inventor includes additional tools for rendering, simulation and stress analysis. We can use our 3D model as a complete ‘Digital Prototype’ of our design to ensure that all requirements have been meet before manufacturing even starts.
Autodesk Inventor has a full set of tools for delivering Building Information Modelling (BIM) models and data for your construction projects.
The woodworking extension comes with an extensive library of knock down fittings, connectors and fixings, including Confirmat, Minifix, dowels and screws.
Each fitting contains its own cutting data. After placing fixings from the W4I library, holes can be generated for each fixing automatically.
The holes are generated in both components at the same time and are co-ordinated by the fixing component itself.
If you need to move a fitting - no problem. Simply move the fitting and re-generate the holes.
Each part can now be assessed by Woodwork for Inventor’s CNC module to create tool paths for your CNC machine.
The same technology can be used to add standard woodworking joints such as mortice and tenon, or grooved housings by relating joints across parts.
Not only does this allow you to create matching features across parts quickly, it allows the matching features to be easily updated – reducing fit errors in the workshop.
The W4I library includes approximately 150 fixings and fittings, representing over 200 hours of modelling time that you won’t have to invest in before you start using Woodwork for Inventor.
The fitting and fixings library contains:
Gas stays, Concealed hinges, Minifix, Dowel, Screw, Confirmat, Stays, Handles, feet & Shelf pegs.
You can add your own components to the W4I library. You can also download 3D models of components from your supplier’s website and include your own cutting information and data for inclusion in your W4I Library.
Extensive materials Library for the woodworking trades.
The W4I materials include information such as ‘A’ Side, Grain direction, Trimming allowance and Coating. This allows you to add information to your Autodesk Inventor Part Models, without having to physically model facings, edgings and coatings in 3D.
The material information can be extracted using the W4I ‘Bill Of Materials’ (BOM) editor, which can be used for creating cut list data for core boards, facings and edge banding, along with total quantities of materials required for procurement.
You can add your own materials to the W4I Library, including complex laminated composite boards.
The challenge for many woodworkers is the creation of CNC tool paths such as drilling and milling for multiple simple components.
Although each individual component is simple, there are many components in a typical cabinet, and each must be programmed for CNC individually.
This can make CNC programming a real bottleneck to getting your parts into your workshop for finishing and assembly.
W4I has an optional CAM (Computer Aided Machining) module, which supports feature recognition and machine operation matching, to allow automated generation of tool paths for export to your CNC machine.
At the click of a button, W4I will automatically cycle through all the parts in your design, recognising features and generating the G-Code for output to your CNC machine.
Woodwork for Inventor supports post-processors for the following systems:
• Hops (.hop)
• BiesseWorks (.cix)
• WoodWOP (.mpr)
• AlphaCAM (.dxf)
• CNI Informatica (.cni)
• AutoCAD (.dxf)
• TpaCAD (.tcn)
• EdiCAD (.tcn)
• IMAwop (.fmc)
• MasterWood (.tlf)
• TwinCAM (.dxf)
Working out how much sheet material is required for you project isn’t a simple process.
How we choose to cut our panels from a sheet can have a huge effect on the yield of panels we can cut from a single sheet, and the amount of waste we throw away.
Functions are included that help us calculate the minimum number of sheets of material such as MDF, Plywood or Laminate by exporting the panel data to sheet optimisation software.
The software also supports the export of BOM (Cutting ticket) data such as size, location and grain direction to Excel, ready for import into panel optimisation software such as Cut Rite.
The panel optimisation software then works out the best way to arrange the components to get the best yield from the sheet.
The optimisation software can also generate sticky labels from the W4I Part numbering tool. These can be printed and applied by your CNC beam saw to help with component tracking through your production facility.
To save time in our manufacturing process, we never want to do the same task twice. To prevent errors, we never want to have two people doing the same task!
Many of you will have an integrated database of manufacturing information for your company, to allow you to manage and track information through the lifecycle of your product.
To save time and reduce errors, we don’t want to manually produce part lists for our designs. We definitely do not want to have to manually type these parts lists into our database.
The Bill of materials (BOM) manager can produce all the reports you need and export them to Excel format.
Typical reports may include a parts or materials list for procurement, a cutting list for the beam saw, or a list of components to be cut on the CNC machine.
The part numbering tool in the W4I BOM manger can be used to generate unique part numbers for every purchased or fabricated part in your design, allowing the whole list to be imported into your ERP, MRP or PLM application.
In addition, the Woodwork for Inventor API (Application programming Interface) allows you to programmatically automate the extraction of data from the Inventor model to be ‘pushed’ seamlessly into your manufacturing management database.
Manufacturing data is complex and complicated. Keeping track of the current version of a design, including all its referencing and referenced data can be a headache.
Woodwork for Inventor is fully integrated with Autodesk Vault, the data management application for Autodesk Inventor.
Vault can be used to maintain your design audit trail, manage 2D and 3D CAD data, copy CAD designs and manage your design through the approval, production, installation and maintenance lifecycle.
Vault allows you to manage access to the design data, by setting permissions per user. Vault can optionally use a web interface to allow access to design data while with a client, or on site during installation.
Vault has integrated 2D and 3D CAD file view, and measuring tools allowing all members of your team access to the design data they require, without having to train non CAD users to use CAD tools.
Woodwork for Inventor is extremely powerful and productive 3D Cad Software for Furniture design and production, and was created for Autodesk Inventor users who design and fabricate Cabinetry, Joinery, Millwork and Furniture.
W4I makes the best use of Inventor’s most powerful 3D parametric modelling, design and drawing tools, while adding in additional functionality specifically built for those in the woodworking trades.
Woodwork for Inventor can help you to create digital prototypes of your bespoke furniture designs, including all manufacturing data, quickly and simply – while allowing for last minute changes.
Please click on the link below to request more information or to get a quote, or give us a call on 023 8086 8947.