Interactive Instructions with Forge
by Bastien Mazeran, Designated Support Specialist, at Autodesk on October 26, 2018
In the first article [Digitizing your manufacturing business with Forge] of our Forge manufacturing series, we touched on how important it is to digitize your business to stay competitive. We highlighted three initiatives, powered by the Autodesk Forge Platform, you can take today to accelerate your journey to digital transformation:
- Digital cataloging [Recorded Webinar] [Digital Cataloging Article]
- Virtual Operations [Recorded Webinar]
- Interactive Instructions [Recorded Webinar] [Interactive Instructions Article]
In this article, we will discuss the third initiative Interactive Instructions and how the Autodesk Forge Platform can address the challenges and the needs of line workers, service technicians, and engineering in the following areas:
- Maintain current paper / PDF deliverables
- Re-create graphical data quickly and easily
- Have the ability to use multiple CAD authoring tools
- Eliminate misinterpretation as it results in errors, rework and scrap
If you prefer to watch the recorded webinar on the same topic, please go to this site, otherwise please read on.
The key benefits, this Forge solution is trying to address, are:
- Lower the cost of quality
- Shorten documentation authoring time
- Capture and retain “tribal knowledge”
- Gain insight into manufacturing processes
- Reduce IT and Engineering costs by eliminating data silos
- Reduce onboarding for new and temporary workers
The proposed solution workflow for Interactive Instructions can be summarized by the below diagram.
With storyboards and animations created in the CAD authoring tool, the CAD models and their respective animations are uploaded to Autodesk Cloud storage, to be translated next to a web-viewable file format (.SVF file format) and made available to all stakeholders via the web.
If you have never created animations in CAD, please watch this YouTube video from Lars Christensen: Absolute Beginner for Animations in Fusion 360. Lars does a great job at showing the steps to create a new animation in Fusion 360 and I was able to create new animations in Fusion 360 from an Inventor model very quickly.
If using another CAD authoring tool, please refer to its documentation.
Because Forge is a web platform, all the instruction animations and storyboards are now accessible to all stakeholders through a web browser.
If you are a developer, I encourage you to read this Forge blog article “Show Animation and CAM Content” as it documents which Forge Viewer extension to use to support animations.
Last but not least, we also have a code sample available at this GitHub location that will help you get started quicker.
This Forge sample app runs on NodeJS and displays a thumbnail for each animation available in the CAD model.
Users can click on the thumbnail to load the model in the Forge Viewer and then play the corresponding animation.
This concludes this article, and I hope you’ve learned a new way to bring your assembly instructions to the web and digitize your business further with the Forge Platform.