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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Did You Know You Can Use the End of Part Marker to "Compress" an Inventor File

“The question is, what's the best way to do this? There may not be a one-size solution to the question.”
 Peter Gore

Today I wrapped up some basic benchmarks for extruded text versus sketched text in an Autodesk Inventor part model, and I was getting ready to e-mail them out for some testing on external systems.

First, what did I use for the test?

The files I created were from an instrument panel for light sport aircraft from the RV series.

I recreated the panel from an image, and created the instrument identification first as extruded text.

The panel with extruded text

In the next panel, I created a panel with the same text, but this time, the panel the text was created as sketches, and not extruded into 3D extrusions.

The panel with sketched text.  You can tell by the projected sketch lines, which are magenta.

The challenge?  The panel with the extruded text was nearly 13 MB!

12.7 MB.  That's big! 
By comparison, the panel using just sketches was less than 2 MB!

1.64 MB.  Nearly a tenth the size!

First, let's take a moment to ponder that.  If you're creating a lot of text, consider leaving it as sketches. These two models show a big difference in the size, and that can affect performance, especially if there's a lot of them.

But there was also another challenge I was facing.  How can I e-mail the files?  Together, these files are flirting with 15 MB.  That's big enough to cause problems with some e-mail systems.

Sure, I could zip the files, but there's another way to "compress" an Inventor file.

Locate the End of Part marker.  It's also known as End of Folded if you're using a sheet metal part.

Right click on the marker and choose Move EOP to Top (or  Move EOF to Top for sheet metal parts).

Locate the End of Part marker.
This pushes the marker to the top, and all the a feature in the part are suppressed.

The EOP at the top, and the features suppressed
After compression, the part with extruded text was a mere 2.41 MB.

A big change from 12.7 MB

By comparison the panel using Sketches was 1.01 MB.  Not as drastic as the larger file, but substantial nonetheless.

A smaller change, but still about a third. 
Having that trick can make it much easier when moving large part files back and forth.

When the recipient gets the file on the other end, just right click on the EOP/EOF marker and choose Move EOP/EOF to End.

How to get it back. 
This can be a nice way to "compress" an Inventor file without having to use zip files.  So when you're sending part files around, take a look!  It's worth a glance.

Oh!, And if you have an unsuspecting coworker, rolling the EOP to the top of their part when they leave their computer unattended has been known to be an "April Fools Trick" in the past.

Not that I condone that..... Or I've ever done that....

*************************Edit 17-November-2014*************************

Thanks to Clint Brown of Cadline Community for sharing a nice bit of iLogic code that will rollup the EOP marker and put it in an email for you.

It's definitely work taking a look at!

Have a look by clicking here! 

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