Extra Vault Viewing Options

One of the comments I often hear when discussing Vault with somone is that the viewing tab within Vault doesn't give them enough space to really view a drawing well. There are a couple of other viewing options including:

1) The View button (Launches a separate viewing window)

2) The "Open in DWF application" right click option

Check out this video for a demonstration:

Contributed by Ben of the INCAT CAD Geeks

Power Snaps.....Not just for Rock Stars anymore!

Well, Twas the night before Christmas and all through the shop not a Geek was working including the boss.

From all of the CAD Geeks may you have a wonderful Holiday Season and A Happy New Year.

Well let's talk Power Snaps:
Just like AutoCAD, AutoCAD Mechanical has all of the same functionality for object snaps but AutoCAD Mechanical has more tools as usual.
Power Snaps:
These are object snaps with bonus functionality to them.
There are multiple settings that can be stored for use over and over.
Filter settings allow you to remove out objects from selection when using a snap.

Check out this quick video:

Jim....Another INCAT CAD Geek!

Stretchy Parts in Inventor and Productstream

Sometimes you must wear stretchy pants... Is just for fun...
Jack Black - Nacho Libre

Well this isn't the movies but in Inventor the phrase might go like this...
Sometimes you must use stretchy parts... Its just for the best Digital Prototype...

The problem with stretchy parts like springs or oRings in Inventor is that you may need to show them in different stretched positions, maybe even on the same drawing sheet. By placing multiple part variations in your assembly we have the ability to document these type of parts in the context of a mechanistic assembly drawing. Just tweak a BOM setting, create a View Represtentation, and you'll be all set to create just the right assembly drawing views with your "stretchy parts".

I have created a video of a stapler with a spring that must be extended in any view where the stapler is open. In addition, with a BOM setting changed, Productstream will even display exactly the right BOM for the design as well.

Contributed by Ben of the INCAT CAD Geeks

AliasStudio - CV Tracing

In this tutorial I will demonstrate CV Tracing. The concept of CV Tracing allows the user to duplicate changes to surfaces across a center line without losing construction history.

Click HERE to watch the video...

Created by Aaron... Your Alias CAD Geek

Wire Tags AutoCAD Electrical

When configuring your AutoCAD Electrical one area that can be confusing is setting up your wire tag information so that all your wire numbers read the way you want them too. First thing first is where do we configure your wire tags. This can be accomplished in two areas the first being under the properties for a given project or you can do this by a sheet by sheet basis when selecting the drawing properties. Just remember the %N must always be part of the wire format string. Below is a little cheat sheet to help better understand what parameters you have to work with.

Let's take a look

Created by Dave one of the Cad Geeks

Rapid File Edits - Script Generator

Script Generator:
This is a great tool when you need to perform the same function to a bunch of files and don't want to take the time to manually sit and open each file and make the change and save the file.

I worked at a company that made a lot of the same equipment for different people. I would routinely use this command to save me hours of time changing title block information for a new customer and job.

Check out this video:

I hope you find this tool useful, I know i did.

Jim.......Another INCAT CAD Geek

Labels for Tracking Project Milestones

One common feature in Vault and Productstream that is commonly overlooked is the ability track a project milestone with labels. Labels will allow you to revert back to a files snapshot as it was when the snapshot was taken, or to export the label as a "Pack & Go".

Take a look at an example here:

Watch Video Here

Contributed by Ben of the INCAT CAD Geeks

Renaming Column Headings in Reports – AutoCAD Electrical

I was talking with a new user of AutoCAD Electrical yesterday and he was in the process of configuring the look and feel of AutoCAD Electrical. One area that he needed to change was how the column heading information appeared on the Bill of Material. So let’s quickly run through the steps:

1. Run your BOM report as usual
2. When the report is displayed click on – Change Report Format

3. From the left window pane select any of the fields in my example – Catalog
4. In the middle of the dialog box near the bottom you will find Change Field Name/Justification, here you will see the field you selected to change
5. Type in the new text you want the column displayed as
6. Click OK

Let's take a look
Created by Dave one of the Cad Geeks

Power Copy and View in Mechanical Drawings

For this post I wanted to highlight a couple of commands that are a great reason to be using the AutoCAD Mechanical software.
Power Copy: This command allows you to copy Mechanical objects that are placed in your drawing all at the same time and all of their intelligence goes with each copy.
Power View: This command allows you to create a projected view of Mechanical objects based on their intelligence.
Jim ... INCAT

What File is That?

A seemingly simple question was asked today by one of our long time clients. The question - When a view is created, how do you know where the file is (directory) so you can locate the file or files? Well, that seems like it would be easy. Let's take a look at some of the ways that you can determine where the file is located....

Thanks to Dave Phillips at Advanced Design Solutions

John With the INCAT CAD Geeks

Vault without extra CAD work

What would it be worth to be able to go back to earlier versions of files? Easily re-use existing designs and drawings without spending hours gathering and relinking design files or re-creating Inventor drawings? All without any extra Vault overhead while using your Autodesk CAD software of choice.

Thats the topic of today's blog post: NO OVERHEAD VAULT USE

By utilizing the Vault options within the Autodesk CAD applications, you can configure Vault to be almost completely transparent to the CAD user (they will only see a brief splash screen when files are automatically check out or checked in). Take a look at this video for an example of this Vault workflow in Autodesk Inventor and the settings in the options dialog box to configure it to work this way.

Contributed by Ben of the INCAT CAD Geeks

AliasStudio Conform Rig

The Alias Conform Rig is a very useful for placing geometry on a surface. Not only is the geometry moved to the target surface, it takes on the contour of that surface! This makes the task of placing badges, buttons, surface details, etc quickly and easily. Click the link below to see a brief video of this tool in action.

Click HERE to see video

Posted by Aaron... your Alias CAD Geek

Swapping Blocks with AutoCAD Electrical

Many of us working with AutoCAD Electrical go through design changes or even work with existing designs that do not use AutoCAD Electrical blocks. The swap/update block command makes making changes to existing blocks easy and hassle free. You can use this tool for updating blocks on a pick by pick basis, drawing wide or even project wide. You can even use this command for swapping out standard AutoCAD blocks for AutoCAD Electrical blocks.

Guidelines for the Swap/Update Block Tool

1. Catalog assignment values are lost when the swapping process changes the component family type.
2. If a drawing already contains the block definition for a symbol, any additional copies of this same block name will match the existing block definition.
3. Wire connections are maintained if the new symbol is slightly wider or narrower than the original, although the wire reconnection may not occur if the symbols are too different in size.

Lets take a look

Created by Dave one of the Cad Geeks

Standard Material List for BOM's

No this is not a list for parts to build a BOMB.

It is a list to keep things very organized and build uniformity in the engineering department.

I was thinking of all of the times that I looked at parts lists and BOM's in my past and it seemed like everyone always had a unique way of listing things.

Well we all know that everyone has their own way of abbreviating things, and not all are right. I thought about that and from a company view, it is better to do it all the same. Using the BOM tools in AutoCAD Mechanical, you can create very detailed and controlled standards.

Check out this video:

In the video I took a list of common materials that our company would use and created a list so no one has to type them in ever again.
It is very easy to do and will save tons of time down the road.


May the Force be With You

Let's take a look at how Inventor's Dynamic Simulation can help you determine the amount of force needed to power a mechanical device. In this case, we'll use a windshield wiper mechanism with force put on the blades to act as resistance. We'll determine how much force is needed to adequately propel the device. Let's take a look.

John with the INCAT CAD Geeks

Current Work saved Vault Search

One of the great uses of Vault searching is the ability to see all the files you currently have checked out (and thereby actively working on). If you are like me, you can't remember what you were working on Friday when you start your day on Monday. A simple saved search folder in Vault can make Monday mornings a little less painful. Check out this video for an example:

Contributed by Ben of the INCAT CAD Geeks