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Batch Saving Inventor Drawings To Older AutoCAD Formats

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Being on the latest and greatest technology of course has many advantages but at times some disadvantages come along for the ride. One I am seeing is the time needed to take you Inventor drawing formats and save them back to an earlier version of a AutoCAD dwg.

Reasons for Export:
1. Customer requires delivery of all flat AutoCAD format DWG files
2. Vendors need Drawings in AutoCAD format for NC fabrication
3. Shop floor requires AutoCAD DWG for its own fabrication drawings


What can be done:
• Inventor .idw or .dwg exported to Flat AutoCAD file
• DWG or DXF
• AutoCAD 12 DXF
• AutoCAD 2000 to 2010 DWG

Please view the video to watch and learn about the steps needed to batch process this type of conversion.

Video link: http://www.screencast.com/t/ZGQwMWM2YWU Created by one of the Cad Geeks

Vaulted file viewing for "Trusted" individuals

One of the most common topics of Vault discussion I run into is around the options for Vault viewing. Everyone I speak with usually needs some method of viewing drawings that have been checked into Vault. Sometimes this is just for viewing access by a couple key individuals who are not involved in the CAD design process, but just need to gather or reference design documentation. This seems to be quite common at smaller companies with a tight knit group of individuals. If this is the case, there is a way of producing an uncontrolled “duplicate” publish location for viewing a copy of drawings that get checked into Vault. The key word here is “Copy” and that definitely has some significant drawbacks that could be far from ideal.

What it does:

  1. Puts a duplicate DWF copy of drawings in a network folder at the time they are checked into Vault. This only occurs if the Vault user leaves the DWF option turned on.
  2. Allows individuals without CAD to view the non-Vaulted DWF files with Autodesk Design Review (free).

What it does not do:

  1. Does not re-sync with files that have been renamed, moved, or removed from Vault. This could leave non-valid DWF files sitting in the folder structure unless someone manually removes them.
  2. Does not indicate that the file is ready for viewing
  3. Does not track the revision of the viewable file
  4. Does not ensure that the viewable DWF file is the latest effective release that is safe for manufacturing to use

So this technique may be suitable as long as you understand that this is really just a file dump location that that can’t be relied upon as location of “released” data. To properly manage a release process and allow access to only “released” data, Vault Workgroup would need to be implemented instead of the free Vault.

Here is the basic setup procedure for the “duplicate” publish location:

1. Pick the “Define” button on the Visualizatin tab of the Vault Administration dialog box.

2. Turn on the “Duplicate Vault Folder Structure” and define a network path that the CAD users can publish to.

3. The files will be duplicated in the defined location as another file whenever a drawing is checked into Vault.
Contributed by Ben of the Tata Technologies CAD Geeks

Sheet Metal – Using Legacy Flat Data

Many times we need to use existing 2D data to create 3D folded models within Autodesk Inventor. This data may be living in a dwg or dxf file format. This blog consist of the steps and video that speaks of some of your options when importing this data and creating the 3D model itself.
Steps used for using legacy flat data:
1.Start new sheet metal part, start the insert AutoCAD tool
2.Select dxf or dwg file
3.Select import options
4.Clean-up imported geometry trim and extend tools
5.Finish Sketch
6.Select Sheet Metal rule to be used
7.Use Face tool, select geometry
8.Create new sketch where needed project bend lines
9.Use fold tool to bend selected areas
10.Continue steps 8 and 9 until your part is completely folded

Video link:
http://www.screencast.com/t/ZDZiYmU1MGUt
Created by one of the Cad Geeks

New iCHECK IT Release!


Look soon for the 2010 R2.0 iCHECK IT release, which will include the following new checks:

  • Isometric View on Save
  • Sketch Visibility Turned Off
  • No Design Doctor Errors and Alerts
  • No Projected Loops in sketches
  • No Projected Cut Edges in sketches
  • Only Nominal Model Dimensions active
  • End of Part not last
  • Multiple Fillet Sizes in one Occurrence
  • No Blank Sheet(s) in Drawings
  • No Unconsumed Work Features
  • No Hidden Dimensions
  • No text added to a Drawing Dimension

And enhancements to existing checks!

More about iCHECK IT for Autodesk Inventor: http://www.tatatechnologies.com/icheckitinventor

Degrees of Freedom are key in a Dynamic simulation

Every time I use the Dynamic Simulation environment in Autodesk Inventor Simulation, it seems like I have to alter my assembly constraints to get the results I want. This is usually because of redundant assembly constraints. As an example, lets consider a basic four bar linkage. If you constrain the members with all “insert” type assembly constraints, it may act like you want in the normal Inventor environment, but there is actually a redundant planer constraint in this case. Instead, one of the “insert” constraints should be changed to a “axis/axis” mate constraint.

Shown above is another potentially more troublesome pitfall. This occurs when trying to solve simulations where linkage components serve the same purpose and share loads equally. An example of this could be trying to solve both sides of a scissor lift simultaneously. A better approach would be to only use one half of the model in the simulation and simple divide the input loads in half as well. This allows proper calculation by the simulation tool and allows output of the reaction loads desired.

Contributed by Ben of the Tata Technologies CAD Geeks

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