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What is an IDW file?
An IDW file is a 2D vector drawing created using Autodesk Inventor, a program used to prototype and test mechanical products. It contains one or more views of a part or product. Inventor users create IDW files to show finalized versions of Inventor parts (.IPT files) and assemblies (.IAM files) to others.
Engineers and product designers use Autodesk Inventor to design 3D prototypes of mechanical products. These prototypes are referred to as assemblies. After a user has finished an assembly, they can create a drawing that shows multiple views of that assembly, as well as its component parts. Other engineers and manufacturers use these drawings, saved as IDW files, to review a product's specifications.
Some of the views an IDW file can contain include:
- Base view: The first view added to a drawing, which serves as the source for subsequent views
- Projected view: An orthographic or isometric view generated from the base view
- Auxiliary view: A view projected perpendicular to a user-selected line or edge
- Section view: A view created by sketching a line that defines a plane used to cut through a part or assembly
- Detail view: A zoomed-in version of another view
- Overlay view: A single view that shows an assembly in multiple positions
- Draft view: A view that allows users to add additional lines and details to their assembly
- Exploded view: A view that shows how each part fits into an assembly
NOTE: IDW files can be exported as .DWG files, for use with Autodesk AutoCAD and Autodesk Fusion 360.
How to open an IDW file
You can open an IDW file in Autodesk Inventor (Windows), Autodesk Fusion 360 (cross-platform), and Autodesk Viewer (Web). Note that if you open your IAM file in Fusion 360, you will not be able to edit the drawing your file contains. You can, however, use Fusion 360 to convert the file to an editable DWG file.