28 Feb 2012

How to Correct Inventor Models Importing Side Ways in Showcase

When importing Inventor data into Showcase you may have found that it appears on its side. There are ways of rotating the geometry to the correct orientation, however there is an easier way.
  • Import your Inventor model as normal into Showcase, using default Inventor templates, it will generally appear on its side.

27 Feb 2012

Understanding Content Center Locations

We often get calls about Content Center, where it is located and the best method for organising.

With Content Center, there are two elements, the Library and the Generated Parts. Because the Content Center contains over a million parts, it is easier to contain these in a database, which you access upon hitting Insert from Content Center. Once you select a size and place in the Assembly, it then creates the Generated Part.


There are two options for hosting the Content Center libraries, Inventor Desktop Content or Autodesk Vault Server.

By default Inventor will install Desktop Content Libraries, which by default are copied to the following locations:

XP - C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Autodesk\Inventor 2012\Content Center\Libraries

Win7 & Vista - C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\Inventor 2012\Content Center\Libraries

These options are set during the installation and stored inside Inventor under Tools > Application Options > Content Center TAB.

If you are running Vault within the company, then it is likely that the Libraries will be hosted on the Vault Server, so to access these you will need to set the Content Center option in Application Options to Autodesk Vault Server

24 Feb 2012

Create a Bolted Connection Library

For those of you using Inventor's Bolted Connection, it might be useful to know that there is a Templates Library feature within Bolted Connection to store away your regularly used fastener arrangements. See the steps below:
  • Insert a Bolted Connection as normal, selecting the arrangements of Bolts, Nuts and Washers etc. Then click the >> button at the bottom, if it is not already. Select Add to put your arrangement into the Template Library.

23 Feb 2012

Error Updating File Links

When performing certain Vault commands such as a Get / Checkout you may come across this message.

This can happen when a Vault client is installed, but there is no software registered with the Operating System for viewing Inventor files.

If Inventor is installed on the machine, run the application and close it before re-trying the Vault command.

If Inventor is not installed on the machine run Inventor View close it and retry the Vault command.

This is an extract from the Cracking the Vault, Manufacturing Community Blog

22 Feb 2012

Speed Up Your Server

There are lots of ways to speed up servers, from a general tidy up to new hardware components.

However one area that is often overlooked as a speed trap on servers for moving, copying or general tasks is Antivirus software.

Generally all Antivirus software has a live scan element, which scans each file being accessed, moved, copied etc. This is of benefit, but if you are running Backups of large Vault Filestores or large Assembly Checkin/out. Then each file is not only transferring across a potentially slower network (when compared with moving files around on your local machine), but could be getting a live scan at both Client and Server end of the transaction.

So, one thing to try is to add Autodesk file extensions to your Antivirus's exception list, i.e. not to live scan. File types to try adding are:
  • .IPT
  • .IAM
  • .IDW
  • .DWG
  • .DWF
  • .DWFX
  • .DXF
  • Also, .LDF and .MDF for SQL Databases
We would suggest you discuss this with IT Administrators first to get their approval, but it might be worth testing to see if this alleviates any speed issues you might be having.

21 Feb 2012

Quick Block Count

If you have a drawing with numerous Blocks, you may want a quick tally of how many of each Block the drawing contains.

20 Feb 2012

Burst to Maintain Attributes in a Block

It is quite normal to have Blocks with Attributes inside of them, but sometimes you may want to explode the geometry for some reason, whilst maintaining the Attribute Value, rather than the Attribute TAG. Which will be the result if you use the traditional Explode tool.

18 Feb 2012

LABS - AutoCAD Isometrics WS

The AutoCAD Isometrics WS free technology preview is an Autodesk Cloud service for creating, storing, viewing, and sharing isometric drawings. You can design and collaborate on isometrics across multiple platforms - desktop, web, and mobile devices - with full DWG reliability and compatibility. Simply upload PCF files from AutoCAD Plant 3D, Autodesk Inventor, or 3rd party applications, and then generate isometric drawings without running any desktop software for isometric generation. You can then easily share and view the isometrics with your colleagues through the AutoCAD WS web and mobile applications.

17 Feb 2012

Autodesk Inventor Interface - Give Autodesk your Feedback

Autodesk want to know what you think of the Ribbon Bar interface, Marking Menus, Mini-Toolbars and how you interact with the interface and how it helps you. This is your opportunity to tell the Product Managers and Developers of the product what you think and influence the future development of the Autodesk Inventor user interface.

To help collect your thoughts, the Autodesk Inventor team have put together this quick on-line survey for you to provide your thoughts and opinions. Click on the link below to provide your feedback and thoughts:


Thanks for your time.

7 Feb 2012

How to Cleanup Background Colour from Logo Images

In Showcase it is quite common place to want to place a Logo or Image onto your design as a Decal. These images can come from various sources, including the Internet.

If you have access to the image in question, it might be in a BMP or JPG format with a coloured background surrounding the logo itself. Not such a good look when you are trying to make your design look as real as possible.

Again, there are lots of ways to remove this, some easier than others. However, I prefer to turn these types of files into PNG files, which can carry a transparent background.

If you have one of the new Product Design Suites, then you already have a tool to help, SketchBook Designer. The following steps, take a JPG file, remove the background colour and export to PNG, take a look yourself.
  • Start by opening SketchBook Designer, then go to File > Open > find your Logo or Image.
  • The image file will appear on a Paint layer in SketchBook Designer, use the Wand tool, then click inside the coloured background area. This area will highlight with a dashed outline to tell you what is selected.

6 Feb 2012

Derive and Move Bodies Within a Part

Most people will be aware that Inventor has a Derive tool, allowing you to Derive a Part or Assembly into another Part file.

This can be a useful tool for many different reasons, including creating Mirrored components, Scaled components or a Multibody Solid of different parts.

If you Derive parts into a file it is likely that they will not arrive in the right place, so the steps below will highlight a method for adjusting the geometry to suit your needs.
  • Firstly open a Part file into which you want to derive another Part into, or start a new Part file to Derive various Parts into.
  • Now click Derive on the Model TAB. You will be presented with the Derived Part dialogue, where you can change various settings, including Derive style, Status, Scale factor, Mirror part etc. The important elements in this exercise are to set Derive style to Solid Bodies and select Solid Bodies as the information we want to bring in. Then click OK to Derive the part into the open file.

3 Feb 2012

Add In Differences Between Inventor and Inventor Professional 2012

Please find the table below to see which Add In's are part of Autodesk Inventor and Autodesk Inventor Professional:

Default Add In's for Autodesk Inventor:Default Add In's for Autodesk Inventor Pro:
BIM Exchange BIM Exchange
Assembly Bonus Tools Assembly Bonus Tools
Autodesk DWF Markup Manager Autodesk DWF Markup Manager
Autodesk iDrop Translator Autodesk iDrop Translator
AutoLimits Autodesk IDF Translator
Content Center AutoLimits
Content Center Item Translator Content Center
Design Accelerator Content Center Item Translator
Drag & Drop Interoperability Design Accelerator
ESKD Support Drag & Drop Interoperability
Frame Generator ESKD Support
iLogic Frame Generator
Inventor Studio iLogic
Inventor Vault Inventor Studio
Translator: Alias Inventor Vault
Translator: CATIA V4 Import Routed Systems: Cable & Harness
Translator: CATIA V5 Import Routed Systems: Tube & Pipe
Translator: CATIA V5 Part Export Simulation: Dynamic Simulation
Translator: CATIA V5 Product Export Simulation: Stress Analysis
Translator: DWF Translator: Alias
Translator: DWFx Translator: CATIA V4 Import
Translator: DWG Translator: CATIA V5 Import
Translator: DXF Translator: CATIA V5 Part Export
Translator: IGES Translator: CATIA V5 Product Export
Translator: JT Translator: DWF
Translator: Parasolid Binary Translator: DWFx
Translator: Parasolid Text Translator: DWG
Translator: PDF Translator: DXF
Translator: Pro/ENGINEER Translator: IGES
Translator: Pro/ENGINEER Granite Translator: JT
Translator: Pro/ENGINEER Neutral Translator: Parasolid Binary
Translator: SAT Translator: Parasolid Text
Translator: SolidWorks Translator: PDF
Translator: STEP Translator: Pro/ENGINEER
Translator: STL Translator: Pro/ENGINEER Granite
Translator: UGS NX Translator: Pro/ENGINEER Neutral
 Translator: SAT
 Translator: SolidWorks
 Translator: STEP
 Translator: STL
 Translator: UGS NX

2 Feb 2012

Assign Items to Multiple Files With The Same Part Number

If you are trying to Assign Items to files that share the same Part Number you may have noticed a peculiar behaviour. Consider the following Assembly...

1 Feb 2012

Improving Time to perform a Vault Server Backup

There have been reports that automatic Vault Server backups (Windows Scheduled Tasks) are taking several hours longer after moving Vault Server to a Windows Server 2008 operating system. However the performance when backing up through the ADMS console is much better!

Background: In Windows Server 2008 Microsoft has changed the behaviour of tasks and there is also a change of the priority of each process. In Windows Server 2003 a scheduled Windows task is created with Priority "Normal". However in Windows Server 2008 the priority of the tasks is "7" which is below "Normal" Priority.

The solution is to make sure that the scheduled Windows task is running with a higher Priority.

The Priority can not be set on a task directly but there is a workaround:
  • Go to Start > Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Task Scheduler
  • Find the task which is executing the Vault Server backup
  • On Action Menu go to Export... > Save the file as *.xml
  • Open the .xml file in Notepad
  • Find the line <Priority>7</Priority>
  • Change the value of the Priority from 7 to a higher value like 4 or 5
  • Save the .xml file
  • Delete the Scheduled Task for the Vault Server Backup
  • In the Actions Menu go to Import Task and choose your modified .xml File
Your task will now run with a higher Priority and speed up the Vault Server backup time.

This is an extract from the Cracking the Vault, Manufacturing Community Blog