TechniCon Product Configurator Generates Autodesk Inventor® Models

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Online configurator creates 3D Inventor models on-the-fly as customers specify product options.

TechniCon today announced the integration of CustomCommerce, its Web-based guided sales and product configuration platform, with Autodesk Inventor®, the world's best-selling 3D design software.

Manufacturers of industrial components can offer thousands of products with millions of variations. CustomCommerce streamlines the selection and configuration of these products, allowing customers to quickly and easily locate the right products for their requirements.

For purchasers of these components, documentation of the product selection process ideally comes in the form of 3D CAD models that they can incorporate in their designs. Based on a recent survey, a majority of engineers not only expect their component suppliers to provide CAD models via the Internet, but select suppliers based on the availability of this service.

Using a proprietary automation module, CustomCommerce programmatically drives Inventor to generate accurate 3D CAD models on-the-fly using the options and dimensions specified during product configuration. Confident that the models represent the exact products that they require, engineers can easily design these parts into their assemblies.

For optimal online viewing, DWF™ files are generated from the Inventor models. Integrated into the configuration system, the Autodesk DWF Viewer allows customers to zoom-in and examine the models from any angle before downloading them.

For furniture and architectural component suppliers, CustomCommerce can render images of the models in Inventor and insert these images into photographic backgrounds so customers can see how their selections will look in their proposed environment.

TechniCon has long been a leader in integrating product configuration and the delivery of CAD models on the Web. In 2000, TechniCon developed the E-Tech Web site for SMC, the world's largest manufacturer of pneumatic components. Over one million dynamically-generated CAD models have been downloaded from this site.

Until now, the configurable 3D models available online for Inventor users were typically provided in non-native or "neutral" formats. Manufacturers who use Inventor for product engineering had to create configurable models in alternate formats to accommodate online 3D part catalog services.

"Manufacturers need systems that support the CAD tools that they use," said Mark Keenan, TechniCon's CEO. "With TechniCon's support for Autodesk Inventor, manufacturers can leverage their in-house CAD models for e-commerce and dynamically generate models in the most widely used native CAD format for parts."

"By integrating its products with Inventor, TechniCon enables our joint customers to extend the reach of their CAD data beyond its initial engineering purpose," added Jim Quanci, head of Autodesk's worldwide developer network program. "We are pleased to have TechniCon's strong support for Inventor."

About TechniCon

Founded in 1987, TechniCon is a leading provider of e-commerce solutions for complex products. Combining over a decade of experience developing product specification and sales automation software with leading-edge Internet and visualization technology, TechniCon has developed interactive sales and build-to-order systems for a wide range of manufacturers, including DaimlerChrysler, Motorola, and Steelcase. TechniCon (http://www.technicon.com) is headquartered in Emeryville, CA with additional offices in St. Louis, MO.

TechniCon is a service mark of TechniCon Corporation.

Autodesk, Autodesk DWF Viewer and Autodesk Inventor are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc.

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Mark Keenan