Find us on Google+ May 2011 ~ Inventor Tales

Monday, May 30, 2011

Setting Default Project in Autodesk Vault 2012

“Instruction does not prevent wasted time or mistakes; and mistakes themselves are often the best teachers of all.”
James Anthony Froude

Like so many of us, I'm guilty of ignoring instructions. 

When I installed Autodesk Vault 2012, I used the same migration procedure I've used for the last few releases.  Surely nothing could change, right?

Wrong!  I used Vault quite happily for the first couple of days.  Then I needed to use the Copy Design tool.

Poof!  I get this new error I've never seen before.

Hello.  What's this?

Projects?  I need to set a default project?  Since when?

I finally break down and read the directions.  As your typical male.  This is difficult for me.  As a matter of fact, I may deny this at a later date.  

Well, since the new version of Vault allowed us to enforce a default project!  If I had read the directions, I would have learned that!  

So what does the default project let us do?  It allows us to choose a project that is going to run our Vault.  It helps prevent us from having file associations get confused, as can happen when multiple project files exist in Vault, and makes sure all our users are on the the "same page" as it were.

It can be set in Tools>Administration>Vault Options

Setting the Default Project at an administrative level

Now that it's set, I like this tool.  It helps me keep things more consistent, and predictable.  But the first time I saw that error, it was unnerving indeed!

So what is the moral of the story!  Read the directions!  You'll avoid surprises! 

Here's a video on my experiences with this particular function!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

This Week's Blog Post Delayed for the Holiday

This weekend is Memorial Day in the United States. 

So we're taking a long weekend to honor those who served the country over its history.    

As a result this weeks post will be pushed back a few days (it'll be up by mid week, check my Twitter feed for the announcement).

I hope everyone is having a great weekend!

And as a final note, thanks to all those soldiers how served, and thanks to all those soldiers from other countries, who have stood as our allies. 

The famous "Missing Man' formation.  Image courtesy of David C. Copley

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Using Positional Representations in Autodesk Inventor Drawings

“Painting is the representation of visible forms. . . The essence of realism is its negation of the ideal.”
Gustave Courbet

For this week's blog.  I decided to continue last weeks blog

Last week I showed a video on how to create Positional Representations in an Autodesk Inventor Assembly.  But did you know that you can also show those Positional Representations on a drawing as an overlay view?

An example of a Positional Representation Overlay on a shaded view.

It comes in handy when you need to show alternate positions, such as extended vs retracted, or open vs closed.  Inventor will even create the overlay as reference lines for you, and you can dimension to either positional representation, so you can show the dimensions of each position.

It's a really hand way of bringing things full circle!

Here's the video!  Happy Inventing!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Updates Have Arrived - Service Pack 2 for Autodesk Inventor 2011

Chaos reigns within.
Reflect, repent, and reboot.
Order shall return.
~Suzie Wagner, 1998

I found out that Service Pack 2 for Autodesk Inventor is out today.  You can download it from the link:  HERE

Installing is usually pretty easy.  But there are a few things to know before you get started.
  • There are different Service Packs for 32 bit and 64 bit installations.  Make sure you download the correct one for your operating system
  • Autodesk Inventor Service Pack 2 is an "Incremental Update".  Translation:  You'll need to download and install Service Pack 1 before installing Service Pack 2
  •  If you've installed the Subscription Advantage Pack, there's a different Service Pack 2 for you.
Don't worry, they're all located at the same link above.  It's just a matter of knowing which one to get.

If you don't know the answer to any of the above questions, you can check at at Help>About Autodesk Inventor

Finding the "About" screen

You'll see this dialog box come up, and this contains a lot of information about Inventor's current "Build". 

Autodesk Inventor information screen.  Note the "64 Bit" & Build Numbers

I've circled the Build Number and 64 Bit areas of my screen.  These are the ones worth noting.

Are you wondering which build number corresponds to which Service Pack level?  Autodesk has a tech document at the link HERE.  It's a great reference to help you out.

 Lastly, if you try to install the service pack, and you get this error:

This isn't as scary as it looks.  Typically, the "Wrong Version" or "Missing Program" the Windows Installer is referring to is caused by one of the following:

  • You're trying to install a 32 bit patch to a 64 bit system
  • You haven't installed Service Pack 1 yet
  • You're trying to install a Subscription Advantage Pack SP2 on a system that doesn't have the Advantage Pack installed, or vice versa.
That's it!  Once you know the tricks, it's pretty straight forward!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Using Positional Representations in Autodesk Inventor

“Everyone is jockeying for position in a rapidly changing world and industry.”
Jeff Kagan

I have discovered that I can sometimes have a memory like a steel sieve. 

Not that long ago, I was teaching in class, and the question came up: "How can I show alternate positions, like fully extended and fully retracted, inside Inventor.

"Positional Representations are perfect for showing exactly that."  I say. "I have a video for that!"  I continue triumphantly. 

Those of you who've been in a class, or in one of my presentations have probably heard me say that. 

Sometimes I even imaging myself in that "Captain Morgan's" pose.

I go to locate my video, and suddenly I feel a bit sheepish. 

I don't have one.  I must have never created the video I swore I had created! 

So, in order to rectify that particular situation, here you go, a video on creating positional representations in Autodesk Inventor.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Planes of Fame Airshow - Blog Delayed.

“Lady, you want me to answer you if this old airplane is safe to fly? Just how in the world do you think it got to be this old?.”    ~ Anonymous

This weekend I spent nearly every waking moment at the Planes of Fame Airshow, getting my warbird fix.  

Which means after one heck of a cool weekend, I don't have much of a brain left for blogging. 
 Look to a little later this week for my technical post.  It's coming.  But until then, enjoy some pictures from the show!  

Two Corsairs flying in formation

A rare WWII PV-2 Harpoon

A collection of Douglass aircraft from over the years, an SBD Dautnless, an AD Skyraider, and an A-4 Skyhawk

Two P-40 Warhawks

The N9MB Flying Wing.  The only one of its type flying.
Two F7F Tigercats and two P-51s in the twilight after the show was over.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

How's Your Form - iLogic Forms in Autodesk Inventor 2012

“I know it may seem surprising to people, but learning dialog that has a conversational flow to it is not that difficult.”
Deidre Hall

I'm not a Visual Basic programmer.  That much is apparent pretty quickly.  I can create a dialog box in VB, but it can be a process of determination winning over skill.

Now, in Autodesk Inventor 2012 iLogic provides the ability to quickly create a form (read dialog box), without having to be a Visual Basic genius.

So one night, I sat down and tried creating a form on a Inventor 2011 template I created.

The template changes the joints on the end of a wooden board from a tenon (tabbed) joint, to a regular joint.

All I can say is that I was amazed at how easy it really is.  I had it done in a few minutes.

I'm not joking, it really is that easy.
Here's my finished form.  I'm not kidding.  Less than 5 minutes!

So here's the video everyone.  Don't be intimidated by it!

Sunday, May 01, 2011

New for Autodesk Inventor 2012 - Rotate Sketch with View

 “You can't do sketches enough. Sketch everything and keep your curiosity fresh.”
John Singer Sargent

Subtle, but significant.  I've used the term before.

I like to use it for tools that don't necessarily have a lot of flash or pizazz, but are good steady tools that are really useful when needed.

One of these 'hidden gems' of a tool is the ability to attach sketches to your drawing views, and then have them keep their orientation relative to those views, even when the views are rotated.

So did everyone get that?

It's tough to describe in a few words, so here, of course, is a video.