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Friday, January 06, 2017

Autodesk A360 and Your Own Private Wiki

One thing I've learned from my aircraft maintenance classes, as well as from my various aviation mentors, is that the information surrounding a design can be every bit as critical as the design itself.

For example, aircraft have extensive logbooks recording all maintenance and inspections that have been performed on the aircraft.  At any time, your friends from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), can drop in and say.

"We're from the FAA, we're here to help.  May we see your aircraft maintenance logbook?"

A typical aircraft maintenance logbook.  This is not to be lost! 

Needless to say, if you don't have an accurate and updated logbook, you may feel a few beads of sweat on your forehead.

The point of my little anecdote is that when working with an aircraft, product, or design, the information that drove your design in a given direction can be every bit as important as the design itself.

That information may come in the form of spec sheets, vendor quotes, or meeting notes.

What would you do if you were asked, "What information drove you to make the decision you did?

In my experience, these documents are often misplaced or even worse, lost forever.  Meeting notes get thrown out, spec sheets get dropped in "a network drive somewhere", and vendor quotes are left in "an email from a few months ago".  

As I've taken a deeper dive into Fusion 360 and Autodesk A360, I've found that A360 provides a nice tool that can help with that very thing.

A360 has a "Wiki" folder that let's you create documents letting you keep the information you need with your project.

The "Wiki" folder hidden in A360.

It's a special folder where you can add information and add links to whatever information you deem important to your project.

Here you can create multiple documents, share them with other members of your team, and allow them to comment, and update the documents.

A sample of my A3t60 Wiki.  I only have one page started

In my initial test, I created a Wiki page with links to important documents that I might need.  These references are documents from the FAA, links to important technical documents, and helpful instructional videos.

The Wiki page I created for my Fusion 360 project.

Now is that all you can do?  Hardly!  Personally, I've only just waded into the shallow end of the pool.

But it's something I intend to make further use of, and if you're using Fusion 360, I think that it's worth taking a look at what this Wiki folder in A360 can do for you.

After all, if you don't record it, it's like it never happened in the first place.

So what do you think you could use this Wiki page for?

Share your thoughts!  In the spirit of collaboration, let's all learn together!

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