31 Jul 2012

Setup an AutoCAD WS Folder on Your Desktop

A quick Autodesk tutorial on how to create an AutoCAD WS folder on your desktop from which you can upload and download files from your online account using simple drag & drop.

30 Jul 2012

Batch Update Out of Date Vault Visualisation Files

For one reason or another it may be useful to do a batch update of Visualisation files (DWF/DWFx) inside Vault Professional. Below are steps to complete this on more of a batch level, rather than file by file, utilising the Job Server.
  • The first step is to Enable Job Server, go to Tools Administration Global Settings > Integrations TAB, then tick on the option as below.

27 Jul 2012

Expand All Levels in Inventor Vault Browser

Situation: You are working on a bigger Assembly in Inventor and if you look at the Vault Browser you do not see All Levels of the Assembly structure expanded:

26 Jul 2012

3ds Max Design 2013 Tabbed Layouts

Easily create and switch between a number of Viewport Layout configurations, in order to have efficient access to the views required for a particular task. Layouts can include both 3D and extended viewports. Selecting a different layout is as simple as clicking on its icon, or pressing a hotkey. Artists can share customised View Tabs with other users by saving and loading presets.

25 Jul 2012

Update or Service Pack

We have had quite a few questions on this subject since the release of the Autodesk 2013 products. So, when we stumbled upon this Autodesk article, we thought it was worth sharing:

"We have seen a couple of questions come up on the Inventor newsgroup around the new Update mechanism that the Inventor team has initiated and whether Updates replace Service packs going forward.
Let it be clear that Inventor will still have Service Packs going forward! As its name implies, Updates are intended to deliver critical updates (formerly Hotfixes) on a more predictable schedule. Think of it as a bundle of Hotfixes.

Service Packs allow us to deliver more complex changes but require more time to produce and verify than Updates. Like Hotfixes, Updates only affect targeted areas of the product associated with particular issues.

There are a couple of other differences between Service Packs and Updates:
  • Service Packs can be included in deployment images, Updates can not
  • Service Packs increment the build number, Updates do not
  • After applying an Update you will neither see a difference in the build number nor a change to the release name in the About dialog.
For example, if you apply Update1 to Inventor 2013, you will still see in the About dialog a build number 138 and a Release: 2013 RTM.

In order to verify if you have Update1 installed, you need to go to the Windows > Control Panel and use Programs and Features and View installed updates."

This is an extract from the Being Inventive, Manufacturing Community Blog

24 Jul 2012

LABS - Inventor Fusion for MAC

The free Autodesk Inventor Fusion Technology Preview showcases intuitive direct manipulation capabilities for unrivaled ease of use, provides direct modeling for rapid design changes without limitations, and unites direct and parametric workflows within a single digital model created in Autodesk Inventor.

This updated technology preview of Inventor Fusion offers two new exciting capabilities:
  • Surfacing support - Users can now work seamlessly between solids and surfaces, expanding their confidence and capabilities to tackle design changes. By enhancing the existing translators to read surface data and adding new Parasolid, Rhino, IGES and AliasDesign .wire file import capabilities user have access to an even larger number of design formats.
  • Simplification wizard - Simulation users now have one button simplification of designs. This makes simplifying common geometry fast and easy and ensures that mesh and solves times are as fast as possible.
  • Ease of use improvements - New marking menus, sketch ease of use and modeling ease of use, make this release of Inventor Fusion the easiest to use yet. Did we mention it was easy?
Inventor Fusion Technology Preview 2013 is fully interoperable with AutoCAD and Autodesk Inventor software, enabling customers to choose the modeling approach that is right for the task at hand.


  • The Microsoft Windows compatible technology preview executable expires on April 1, 2013.
  • The Apple OS X compatible version of the technology preview expires on January 1, 2013.

You can find the download on Autodesk Labs at:


11 Jul 2012

Edit Complex Inventor Positional Representations in Excel

Positional Representations capture kinematic "snapshots" of assemblies to allow for motion studies and evaluation of an assembly in various positions. Positional Representations are saved in the parent assembly and can be retrieved at any time for further analysis or modification.

10 Jul 2012

Linked or Embedded Files Inside Inventor Files

From time to time we come across issues with files that are linked or embedded in an Inventor model or drawing. This could be an image, Excel spreadsheet or perhaps a simulation file. You may want to find out where these files are linked from, or perhaps when you open a file in Inventor it warns about a missing file and you want to break the Link.

Using the Link command in Inventor we can do both of the above:
  • Open your Inventor file
  • Then go to the Tools TAB > Links

  • Once in the Links and Embeddings dialogue you will see a list of any associated files to the file you have open. Selecting one of the Links will show you where Inventor is looking for the file, what type of file it is and the option to Break Link if required.

9 Jul 2012

View AutoCAD Layers Individually

All geometry and information on AutoCAD drawings will be on a layer, this may be just one, but in most cases this will be several. It may be useful to find out, or look at what information is on each layer to isolate the information.

This could be done via the Layer Properties Manager dialogue, turning the visibility of layers on or off as required.

However, there may be an easier way of doing this, by using the LAYWALK command.
  • Open your drawing in AutoCAD, notice that the different colours and line types are represented by geometry being on different Layers in the drawing.

6 Jul 2012

Copy AutoCAD Geometry to Another Layer or New Layer in One

As we are all aware it is very easy to copy geometry in AutoCAD to create another view etc. What if you wanted to not only copy the geometry but put it on a different Layer or perhaps a new Layer?

Well there is a way:
  • Open your drawing in AutoCAD
  • Type COPYTOLAYER at the command line
  • Now select the geometry you want to Copy, then type N, which will show the Copy to layer dialogue

  • Here you can either choose a Layer from the list to Copy the geometry to or type the name of a new Layer. Hit OK to complete, if you have chosen to create a new Layer you will be prompted to create it.
  • Now simply click down where you want the new geometry to go.

5 Jul 2012

Free Online Image Editing and Sharing Tools from Autodesk

Pixlr products are free online and mobile image editing tools and utilities for creating, editing, and sharing images. From full-featured image editors for people who want to quickly create a custom image for a website or Blog, to fun apps that apply retro filters to your photos, to simple utilities for fetching and sharing images, Pixlr provides a variety of tools that start up fast and are simple to use:
  • Pixlr Editor - A free, online, full-featured image editing and creation tool.
  • Pixlr Express - A simple and immediate online tool for quick image adjustments.
  • Pixlr Grabber - Fetch images and screen grabs from your desktop and browser.
  • imm.io - An image sharing service that allows you to upload an image and share it with friends via a link in just one click or with social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and more.
  • Pixlr-o-matic - A fun and playful post-process darkroom where you can experiment with different effects, overlays, and borders. Get Pixlr-o-matic on the web or from the Apple iTunes Store.

4 Jul 2012

Autodesk Vault Idea Exchange

It is Autodesk's mission to make Autodesk Vault the world’s best Data Management solution. But they can not do it without you.

Do you have a great idea for a new feature or enhancement you would like to see in Autodesk Vault? Share your wish list directly with the Autodesk Vault Development Team, and let them turn your ideas into reality.

The Autodesk Idea Exchange is a forum dedicated to improving Autodesk Vault software by sharing product improvement ideas directly with the developers. The Vault Team is listening. If you have a great idea, they will consider it for inclusion into the development plan.

Post your ideas, see what your peers are thinking, and give kudos to the ideas you like the best. The more kudos an idea receives, the better the chance of it making it into the product. At the Idea Exchange, you can even track the status of ideas as they grow from initial concept to ultimate release!

Share your ideas now at the Autodesk Vault Idea Exchange.

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

3 Jul 2012

Microsoft SharePoint Integration in Vault 2013

Microsoft and Autodesk have seamlessly integrated the latest technology in Microsoft SharePoint collaboration software and Autodesk Vault product data management software, building a crucial connection between design teams and the extended business enterprise. Use familiar SharePoint workflows to work directly with design data, helping to simplify business intelligence, content management, search, and sharing for intranet and Internet sites.

2 Jul 2012

Preset Import Settings for File Types in Showcase 2013

In previous releases of Showcase you had one Import dialogue which appeared during Import, giving a short list of quality settings. After which you would then have to change the Environment, the Up Axis, Create your Shots to your liking.

In Showcase 2013 you can now preset your Import Settings for particular file types, i.e. .STP, .IAM, .IGES. Allowing you to not only choose the Import quality, but also the initial Environment, preset Shots, Up Axis amongst others.

To modify your presets see below:
  • Open Showcase and go to the File menu > Settings > Import Settings
  • You will then be presented with the Import Settings dialogue where you can start to tweak the default Import Settings for particular file types to your liking.