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How do you manage file names in Inventor or AutoCAD?

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I seem to constantly get into discussions with companies about how they should manage their file names and part numbers, but there is usually never a clear cut best practice. Usually different approaches are needed for multiple document types, and this usually leads to confusion in most environments. Once a naming convention is decided, the File Naming tools in Vault Workgroup or Collaboration 2010 can be used to ensure each new CAD document has a unique file name.

This tool can be configured in the Administrative Options area:

When in the Numbering Schemes dialog, multiple schemes can be created and saved for different purposes. If you would like one of the schemes to automatically be assumed for your CAD files, just set it as the default.

A Numbering scheme can consist of several different elements including auto-generated sequences, fixed text, drop-down lists, free text and delimiters.

When saving files in the CAD software, a default naming scheme will automatically suggest the file name.

Contributed by Ben of the Tata Technologies CAD Geeks

Avoid duplicate files in Vault – Tools to remember

Most companies I run across all agree that they want to have completely unique file names for their CAD and engineering data, but few actually use the proper tools to achieve this. Lets look at the “find duplicates” tool and the related “Enforce unique file names” setting in Vault.

If your company already has a naming convention and every time you save a file you know what the final file name should be, you could likely turn on the “Enforce Unique File Names” option so that nobody accidentally uses the same file name. This setting would usually be used in conjunction with some time of “file name log” that is being tracked through another database, spreadsheet, or business system.

On the other hand, if your company adds descriptive file names into Vault and renames them later, the “Find duplicates” tool might be just what you need. This tool will allow you to immediately see a list of all the files in the vault that have the same file name used in multiple vault locations. After seeing this list, the rename tool can easily be used in Vault to remedy the situation.

Contributed by Ben of the CAD Geeks

Vault Workgroup – Automatic File Naming

One of the features in the new Autodesk Vault Workgroup is the ability to create multiple predefined file numbering schemes. These can be used within the Vault client to rename existing vaulted files, or to suggest unique names for new components created in Inventor.
File names can contain a variety of elements including Auto-Generated sequences, fixed text, free text, or predefined lists.

When saving new files in Inventor, or using Save As, a unique file name can be automatically assigned. There is even an option within the Inventor Vault settings to only assign file names for parts and assemblies. The drawing and presentation file can then default to the part or assembly name it is documenting.

Contributed by Ben of the INCAT CAD Geeks

Trouble with file naming in Autodesk Inventor?

INCAT Labs has has a NEW Solution for you!

Does your company chase its tail defining file names with Inventor? Due to the nature of 3D modeling today, this has become a challenge we at INCAT have often heard from many of our business partners. Some companies reserve part numbers with archaic systems, or others have to tediously rename files in Inventor before being logged into a business or ERP system.

INCAT has developed an automated method to assign, manage, and track the assignment of Inventor file names to match a whole range of part numbering schemes.

Check out this Video for an example:
Watch Video Here

For more information or to discuss how a INCAT’s File Naming Tools can ease your pain, please email us at
Contributed by Ben of the INCAT CAD Geeks
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