17 Sep 2010

Increase Inventor's Performance and Capacity

Performance


Performance refers to how long it takes Autodesk Inventor to complete an operation on your computer, including loading files.

There are many reasons for performance issues on a CAD system. You can resolve some of them by upgrading to a faster computer or adding more RAM. Keep the CAD system Tuned Up by performing regular maintenance, such as defragmenting the hard drive, also resolves performance issues.

This section covers hardware requirements, best practises, and techniques to use when you have reached a performance impasse. The following information is a guide to areas you can fine-tune to have a positive impact on performance. You can employ only a few of the tips provided to improve performance, or you can employ all of them as your assemblies approach a million parts!

There are options you can configure in Autodesk Inventor that strictly go to improving performance. For example, if you open a drawing file with Defer Updates enabled, you increase performance, but you do not change what Autodesk Inventor loads into memory.

Capacity


Capacity refers to how much memory is required to do an operation combined with how much memory is being used by your computer at any single moment.
Note on 32-bit operating systems: Microsoft Windows has a limit of 4 GB of memory for every process or application such as Autodesk Inventor. By default, Windows reserves 2 GB of that space for the operating system, thus leaving 2 GB for tasks performed by applications.

If you routinely work with large data sets or can resolve performance issues by adding more RAM, consider upgrading to a 64-bit computer which can access terabytes of RAM.

2 GB of memory is not enough for users who commonly work on extremely large assemblies and consume the full 2 GB of virtual memory space. It is important to keep this concept in mind when working with large files, and to determine whether the 3 GB switch feature is an option your computer may benefit from. By changing a few system files, you change the default, so that 1 GB of memory is used by the operating system, and 3 GB are available to applications.

There are also options that can help with both performance and capacity. In an assembly file, after achieving the appropriate result using the assembly selection filters, create a design view representation. When you open a model with a design view representation displaying only the components needed for the immediate design session, you save on both capacity and performance. The graphic data of the components set to invisible are not loaded into memory (thus not sacrificing capacity), and the model opens more quickly.

The following table compares the memory capacity of a 32-bit system with a 64-bit system.

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General Memory Limits32-Bit64-Bit
Total virtual address space (based on a single process)4 GB16 Terabytes
Virtual address space per 64-bit processN/A8 Terabytes
Paged pool470 MB128 GB
Non-paged pool256 MB128 GB
System Page Table Entry (PTE)660 MB to 900 MB128 GB

Here are some other general considerations:

Defragment the hard drive on a regular basis by scheduling a Windows Task. If Autodesk Inventor files are fragmented, they take longer to open. Run Disk Check before you start.

Plan your folder structure and assembly hierarchy before you begin. Create sub assemblies to improve performance over Flat structures. We recommend you place all subassembly components or related files in the same folder. This does not mean you should put all your files in one large folder. Autodesk Inventor searches all files in a folder. Create as many folders as required. The fewer files in a folder, the faster required files are found. If possible, use a single project file for simplicity and a local hard drive for edits.

 

Use sketch blocks in a 2D part skeleton sketch to create a schematic layout of your mechanism. Create flexible, nested blocks and apply sketch constraints to define subassembly kinematics. Derive sketch blocks into component files and create other features to develop your 3D models. The components remain associated to their corresponding blocks and update to reflect any changes in block shape.

Create a multi-body part to define an assembly. Use Make Components to convert the individual bodies into parts and create an assembly with all components grounded.

For further reading in regards to these subject areas, please visit the Autodesk Wiki Help site.

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