7 Oct 2014

Can't move, promote or demote Inventor Content Center Part

When you insert certain content center parts in to an assembly you may find that there are certain functions not available to use on these parts. Inserting a tube and pipe fitting for example will insert an instance that has the restructuring commands disabled, promote/demote typically. Why? 
These parts are intended to be used in a tube and pipe assembly where these commands will break the functionality so are automatically limited. What happens though when these parts have been inserted as dumb components not in a tube and pipe assembly and you want this functionality.
This is where you can take advantage of the Inventor API and macro functionality.
The simple code below the image will loop through all the components in the assembly and remove any reorder command restrictions - be careful you don't run this on an assembly that is a tube and pipe run assembly though.  
Public Sub removedisabledcommands()

Dim odoc As AssemblyDocument
Set odoc = ThisApplication.ActiveDocument
Dim oOcc As ComponentOccurrence
For Each oOcc In odoc.ComponentDefinition.Occurrences
    If oOcc.DisabledActionTypes = kReorderAction Then
    oOcc.DisabledActionTypes = kNoAction
    End If
Next oOcc
End Sub
Alt+F11 for the Macro Editor to add this code (application project not document project)
Alt + F8 for the Macros list to access to run it in the application
Graham Harrison

Automatically Save Inventor Drawing to PDF

Want to save your Inventor drawing to PDF on every save? or DWF, DWG, or DXF?
Want the option to automatically save it to a different folder and add the revision, or any other property, to the name.

You can. All you need is Micro Concepts Inventor Tools installed and you can configure this functionality.
An add in to Inventor, Inventor Tools will add a new Micro Concepts ribbon to your toolbar.


You will find the configuration settings in the options - the button with the tick!

On the Drawing Options tab you can set the option to always create, on save, any combination of DWF, PDF, DXF, DWG. There is also an option to prompt you to create when save rather than automatically, or you can set it to manually create which will create the files when you select the Auto Snapshot command.

Nice and straightforward it remembers the last manual save options for these file types and uses those settings. So if you need an AutoCAD 2000 DWG format file automatically saved every time, just save it once manually and it will then be remembered as the format to use.

But how do you control where the PDF file is saved to?
Just go to the general options tab and here you can control the file location copying the existing folder hierarchy, or keep it in the same folder as the drawing file.

You have the option to replicate the file name exactly or you can append the revision, or any other property combination to the end of the filename. You can completely replace the Inventor filename with a different name for the PDF, if you have properties you want to use instead.

As well as drawings, there are also options on the assembly and part tabs to save out dwf and step files.

Available since Inventor 7 the Inventor Tools grow and evolve from the feedback of users. Any feedback is welcomed and encouraged.

Micro Concepts Inventor Tools is provided in the UK as a benefit of the Micro Concepts Support Contract.

Graham Harrison

16 Sep 2014

Inventor 2015 Service Pack 1

Autodesk have released the first service pack for Inventor 2015.

There are various fixes listed in the Readme, but the list extends beyond this as several of our customer reported issues which are now fixed although they haven't been documented

As always, Micro Concepts recommends to update to the latest version at your earliest convenience.

You can find the download here:


9 Sep 2014

Vault 2015 R2 - Subscription Release

Autodesk has just announced the R2 subscription release of Vault 2015 Workgroup and Professional.

The main improvements to the vault functionality are:

Copy Design

New workflows and productivity enhancements, including reference-based copy, property and file behaviour management, automatic file numbering, and performance improvements.

Vault Office
A new client is avaliable which allows non designers to participate in document release and change order management 

Unified Lifecycles

Items can now have a company defined lifecycle path in the same manner as files. Categories, Numbering Scheme and Revisions can now be controlled.

For the full list of changes see the link below:

This new release should be regarded as an upgrade to the vault (the same as 2014 to 2015) not an update. Major changes to the Vault API means a full migration is needed after the install.

It should also be noted that some Vault Professional functionality has been removed:
  • Compare Bill of Materials
  • Item Import
  • Item Export
  • Item Package Service API’s
  • Purge Item
  • Purge
  • Purge All
  • Item Restore
  • Item Rollback Lifecycle State Change
  • Item Effectively
  • Restricting Item Lifecycle State Change to Change Orders
We recommend that you fully read the whats new information before committing to the upgrade.  

It is also good practise to install any version upgrades, such as this, to a test environment prior to upgrading your production Vault. You will need to test how your workflow procedures and processes will be affected and understand any changes that may be required. Further user instruction may be necessary on the new version.

14 Aug 2014

MC TOOLS - 2015.1

Within Inventor, MC Tools is an add in available to all our Support subscribers. A New version is now released and is available for download from the Support section of our website:


One of many useful functions in MC Tools is the Open Explorer tab. This button allows the user to browse straight to the windows folder where the model or drawing is saved without having to locate it - a much quicker and easier method if you're looking to get back to the same folder!

1 May 2014

DWG files - which version of AutoCAD?

You have been sent a dwg to work on and must send it back in the same format it was received, but you do not know which version of AutoCAD it was last saved in.

- Right-click on the DWG and Open With Notepad
- Read the first 6 characters and match them to the following versions:

AC1027 - AutoCAD 2013, 2014, 2015
AC1024 - AutoCAD 2010, 2011, 2012
AC1021 - AutoCAD 2007, 2008, 2009
AC1018 - AutoCAD 2004, 2005, 2006
AC1015 - AutoCAD 2000, 2001, 2002
AC1014 - AutoCAD Release 14
AC1013 - AutoCAD Release 13
AC1009 - AutoCAD Release 11, 12
AC1006 - AutoCAD Release 10
AC1004 - AutoCAD Release 9
AC1003 - AutoCAD 2.6
AC1002 - AutoCAD 2.5

You can now save back to the nearest format.


25 Apr 2014

Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems

In F1 one of the technologies uses is the KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems) also known as Hybrid Power System. The KERS are used within the automotive racing industry in order to reuse the kinetic energy under braking. This recovered energy is then stored in a flywheel or high voltage batteries. This is why when the system came into F1 the engineers were all spotted wearing protective gloves when attending to the cars. These systems are now also incorporated into public transport (such as the Cambridge Passenger/Commercial Vehicle Kinetic Energy recovery System.

KERS has tended to be at the higher end of the Motorsport industry, however now seems to be slowly moving towards making road going cars more green. GKN is to acquire the Williams Hybrid Power and re brand it as GKN Hybrid Power.

This change could offer up to 30% reductions in emissions simply by harvesting the energy that is lost through heat under braking. Another great example of how an often scrutinised sport is really the driving force and leader for what we may next see in our everyday cars (Perhaps not 120kW of addition power though)! 


Williams F1 have also been utilising Autodesk Simulation CFD motion to great use on the aerodynamics of the vehicle. Check out the improvements to the software in the 2015 release.


23 Apr 2014

Speedback GT

David Brown Automotive, a company started by the British entrepreneur David Brown one time owner of Aston Martin and Vosper Thornycroft shipbuilders has unveiled their next creation: The Speedback GT

As you'll all see it's fairly pretty and I wouldn't complain about owning one, although I may need a second job as at £1.5 million its not cheap!! The car is hand crafted and built in Britain by the Coventry based company, the chassis and power train both coming from the Jaguar XKR. David Brown believe that the success of the XKR credentials make it the perfect match for the Speedback GT where reliability is paramount.

Those who enjoy their cars will see a history of classic cars incorporated into the design. DB are keen to once again reintroduce a vehicle into the British line up of 'high quality, automotive coach building.'

The Important bits:
5.0 V8 510 Supercharged
Capacity (cc) 5,000
Maximum Power EEC-PS (kW) 510 (375)
Maximum torque EEC-Nm (lb. ft.) 625 (461)
Transmission 6-speed automatic
Performance & Economy
Acceleration 0-60 mph (0-100km/h) 4.6 (4.8) seconds
Top speed mph (km/h) 155 (248)
Combined mpg (l/100km) 23.0 (12.3)
Carbon dioxide emissions (g/km) 29