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Friday, August 15, 2014

Help! My Autodesk Vault Icons Are Having an Monochromatic Attack!

“Simple solutions seldom are. It takes a very unusual mind to undertake analysis of the obvious.”
 Alfred North Whitehead

I know I sound like a broken record, but still, I manage to remain busy, so creating videos has been forced to the back burner.  I am hoping to change that soon!

However, I'm still going to try keeping up with some simple tips.  And here is another one for those of us using Vault.  I ran into it just today.

I fire up my trusty seat of Autodesk Inventor, and go to grab a file from Autodesk Vault using the "Open from Vault" option.  And what do I see?

Nearly all my icons are grayed out!  I can log out, and log back in, but trying that doesn't do a thing!

Wait?  What?  Noooooo! 

What causes this?  Why would my Vault suddenly prevent me from getting to my files?

The solution is often, fairly simple.  Many times, and when I say many, I mean nearly every time, it's that the project in use isn't a Vault Project.

First, close all files.  Strictly speaking, this isn't necessary, but this will save you a step or two as we journey down this particular path.

Once all files are closed, go to the Get Started tab inside of Inventor, and choose Projects.

Time to pull the cover off. 
This step opens the project screen.  Check the active project. This is the one with the check mark by it.  Look in the lower pain, and see if it says "Vault" or "Single User".

If it says "Single User", you've found your smoking gun.


The project setting of "Single User" tells Inventor that Vault isn't being used by this project.  As a result, Inventor turns off the Vault mapping and tools relating to Check In and Check Out while this project is active.

Okay.  Now that the problem is known, how is it fixed?

There's two ways, and the solution depends on what's gone wrong.

Fix 1:  If this project is indeed the Vault project.  Right click on the "Single User" setting and choose "Vault".  If the project is checked into Vault, it's going to have to be checked out.


Switching the project



Fix 2: This is probably the most common cause that I've seen.  Make sure that the project hasn't been accidentally switched to a "Single User" project.  For example, if you've recently migrated to a newer Inventor version, the project may be switched to "Default", which is by nature, a "Single User" project.

If this is the case, double click on the correct project to activate it.  If you don't see it in the Project Editor screen, you may have to browse to it in your Vault working folder.
Resetting the project.

Believe it or not, that's it.  It can really be that simple.  But I have seen it happen more than a few times, and it's befuddled more than one user.

So if you see that your Vault icons are acting in shades of gray, check the project first.  It could be as simple as one little selection!

Monday, August 11, 2014

A Little Poll. Copy Folders in Autodesk Vault? Would you like that?

It's been another busy weekend!  So I'm afraid I'm still playing a bit of catch up!

But in my travels, a "curiosity" of mine was sparked.  A thought, a question, a musing...

What is it?  Is there a need for a "Copy Folder" function in Autodesk Vault?

In other words, if I have a folder of files that aren't linked to each other via linking or assemblies, (so Copy Design won't grab them all, would a one click copy be helpful?

Would a Copy Folder command be nice? 

In my personal use, it's a "meh" question.  I've never had the need.

But perhaps someone else has?

Answer the survey below!  What are your thoughts?

I'll keep this survey open until Wednesday, 20-Aug-2014!

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world's leading questionnaire tool.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Read Only Inventor Flies Equals "Unexpected Error" in iLogic Rules

Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
Will Rogers

The last couple of days, I've been struggling with an issue, which for the moment, has been minor.  But it had potential to be more than minor.  All it needed was time....

In short, iLogic in my version of Autodesk Inventor was broken.  Rules that had created in my templates worked flawlessly before, were failing.  I would just get error message after message.

The error message

And the more info tab

It puzzled me to no end.  I searched and searched, and even tried a repair install to see if I could figure out why none of my iLogic rules weren't working.  It was a frustrating couple of hours trying to figure out why my rules were broken.

Finally, I threw up my hands and decided to ask Twitterverse if they had seen this error before.

And luckily, Twitterverse answered in the form of Clint at Cadline, and Paul at CADSetterOut.com.  Both from London, in the UK.

Paul suggested permissions and sent some links to help.  Clint asked if the rules were internal or external.  Perhaps a folder was set to  read only?

I banged away at my keyboard.  Thoughts of "Percussive Maintenance" flowed through my brain.



Clint is kind enough to ask  me to send him a file for him to check out.

Grateful for the help, I send it to him .

He responds quickly.  The files work fine for him.  My heart sinks as I realize it might be my installation.  Something deep.  Something insidious.  Something sinister may be devouring my iLogic rules.

But just when I'm about to give up for good and surrender that my iLogic rules may never be seen again, there's a faint glimmer of hope. A single sliver of silver light pierces the darkness clouding my mind.

Clint's and Paul's suggestions form into a solution.  That idea is just like Gandalf showing up at the end of every battle in Middle Earth to save the day when all is lost.  (Gandalf has great timing, BTW).

Permissions.... The word hovers in my brain....  Read only.....  That would lock the files......

Then, the AHA! moment arrives.

When I migrated to Inventor 2015, I had decided to story my template files in Autodesk Vault.  The files, sitting in my template directory, were still checked into Vault.

The files were read only!  It was permissions!  THAT WAS IT!

I quickly checked out my files from Vault, and sure enough.  My files began working again, just like advertised.

Success! 

So after all that, what's the moral of the story?

The biggest one, is apparently, files with iLogic rules, whether internal or external, cannot be read only in any way.  The rules I had my templates were all internal, but with Vault locking them down, it gave me a cryptic error.

The second? Brainstorming can be a huge help.

Without the input of Clint and Paul, I would probably still be struggling with this.  It was because of their help that I was able to look at the clues in front of me that and realize the core of the issue.

Thanks, gents.  I couldn't have done it without you!


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Showing Component Names After Constraints in Autodesk Inventor! - A Nice Little Trick!

“Hey! I know you. Ask me your name!”
 Matthew McConaughey

As many have guessed, I love a simple but effective solution.  In my post last week, I discussed showing extended file names in Autodesk Inventor's feature browser.

Extended names shown in a part. 
In assemblies, there's a similar functionality inside of assembly files, but here it applies to adding more information to assembly constraints.

This option will show which components a constraint is acted on, right next to the constraint!

But why talk about it, when a few simple screen captures can show it all!  Let's see how to turn that function on.

I'm going to start with a baseline.  Expanding the Relationships folder, the default behavior can be seen.  The type of constraint, and offset can be seen..

An example of an assembly with constraints in their "as installed" state
I'm going to add the component names to the end of the relationships.  This setting is located in Tools>Application Options.

On the Assembly tab, make sure the "Display component name after relationship names" option is checked.




Once this option is checked, click OK to close the dialog box.  Now take a look!  The component names are displayed after the constraints.

Now, I can see component names behind the constraints

Now, there's an another option to viewing components behind constraints!  So take a look at this setting and see how it can work for you!