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Vaulted file viewing for "Trusted" individuals

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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

What Can DWF do for you?

One of the central aspects of visualization with the Vault products is the usage of the DWF viewing format. You may not be aware of many of the capabilities available with DWF so I will just list some of them here:

  • DWF / DWFx published by Autodesk CAD software
  • 2D Viewing
  • 3D Viewing
  • Exploded Views and Assembly instructions
  • Sectioned 3D viewing
  • Measure / Markup / Print
  • Overlay markup data in CAD applications
  • Control amount of detail in a DWF
  • Disable “Measure” and “Print”
  • Locked down settings useful for customer and vendor interaction
  • Integrated email transmittal
  • Free Autodesk Design Review (comprehensive viewing software)
  • Free “Print” to DWF (for formats other than CAD)
  • Merge multiple documents into one DWF file (CAD, Specification and spreadsheet for example)

If you haven’t seen how this viewing technology works in action, you can find an interactive overview of the free Design Review HERE.

Also… for those who missed it, I recently presented a Data Management User group and covered the topics of Vault Security and DWF if you would like a more in depth look with demonstrations included. The DWF content is in the second half of the presentation that you can access HERE.

Contributed by Ben of the Tata Technologies CAD Geeks

Extend Vault Viewing with Design Review

When viewing Inventor or AutoCAD data in Vault, basic viewing controls are included right in the Vault interface. If you want to be able to do more than simply view or print the file, use the “Open in Autodesk Design Review” right click option to launch Autodesk Design review. This right click option is available when viewing the DWF files in Vault or the Vault web client that comes with Vault Collaboration or Manufacturing.

Some extra things that can be done from the full Design Review application:

  • Redline and markup with Callouts, Dimensions, and more
  • Compare DWF sheets for changes
  • Play animations published from Inventor presentation files
  • Section 3D models for internal viewing

Take a look at a video of this in action HERE.

Contributed by Ben of the CAD Geeks

Vault – Double Click View or Open?

Depending on your workflow, you may want to change one of the default settings in Vault or Productstream that controls the double click response. The default response is to Open the file in its native application, but some people would rather get a better View of the design or drawing without taking the time to open it in the CAD software. Try changing the double click setting in the options dialog box if you want to change the behavior.

Check out this video for an example:

Watch Video Here

Contributed by Ben of the INCAT CAD Geeks
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