Have an Obsolete part to replace in all your Inventor designs?

So the VP of Manufacturing just issued a memo that part 332958 is being Obsoleted, and part 423562 will we used in its place. How long is that going to take to revise all the designs it's used in? I want to go to the beach, golf course, fishing etc.

Well you might just make the beach after all if you use the "Replace component" tool in Vault.

Take a look at the "Replace" command in Vault in this video HERE.

Contributed by Ben of the CAD Geeks

Introduction to Vault for AutoCAD Users Presentation by Tata Technologies

New introduction video to educate AutoCAD users about how Vault can help them.

Parametric Design in AutoCAD Part 3: Dynamic, Reference, & Annotation Dimensions

What did you say? You added parametric dimensions to your lines but they won't show up when you plot. Well, we can fix that.

When a parametric dimension is defined, it is simply a dimension to control geometry. By changing it to an annotational dimension it will display just like a normal dimension.


Check back for Part 4: Parameters Manager

Blogged by Josh Hunt, Yet another CAD Geek

Electrical - Adding a Splice and Working with Multiple Wires

Continuing from last weeks theme of worker with point to point wiring todays post will cover adding a splice into your design and also the time saving tool that helps us work with multiple wires.

Let's Take a Look!!!
Created by Dave one of the Cad Geeks

Alias Surface Orientation Tool

The orientation of surface normals are import for many aspects of visualization and modeling in Alias. Whether you are offsetting surface or calculating Ambient Occlusion, your normals need to point out. The Set Surface Normals Tool allows you a quick and easy way to make sure everything is orientated properly.

Click HERE to watch the video

Created by Aaron... Your Alias CAD Geek!

Export Custom Content Center Libraries to Desktop Content Databases

Inventor 2010 has the ability to connect to Content Center databases on a shared ADMS server and now local Desktop Content Center databases. The Library Transfer Wizard will allow custom content center databases to be imported or exported and shared with other team members.

Click HERE for a quick video demonstration.

Posted by Pete of the CAD Geeks

How to ReName Inventor parts without detonating your assembly

If you have used Inventor for a while and have ever tried to rename a part that is used in other assemblies, you know what a painful process this can be. With parts used in multiple complex designs, this could take hours or days to properly rename parts with developmental names to their final names utilizing an actual part number.

Vault makes this process a breeze with its integrated "Rename" command. Just tell Vault what you want the new name to be (this could be automated with the Vault Workgroup automatic file naming schemes), and let Vault do all the heavy lifting of repairing and updating all of the file references.

Take a look at the Rename tool in action HERE.

Contributed by Ben of the CAD Geeks

Parametric Design in AutoCAD Part 2: Dimensional Constraints

After the shape of your design is controled by geometric constraints then it's size will be defined. dimensional constraints are very similar to the normal AutoCAD dimensions that you are familiar with.
The big difference is dimensional constraints control the geometry but the geometry controls the normal AutoCAD dimensions.
Always remember to define the shape and then the size!

Check back for Part 3: Dynamic, Reference, & Annotation Dimensions

Blogged by Josh Hunt, Yet another CAD Geek

Electrical - Point to Point Wiring Basics Part 1

In todays post I will be covering some of the basics of Point to Point wiring. This will include:

  • Adding and working with individuals wires

  • Using scoot to place wires
  • Different wire style selections on the fly

  • Options when wires cross one another

Next week I will look at adding in a splice and also working with the multiple wire bus command.

Let's Take a Look!!!
Created by Dave one of the Cad Geeks

Alias Move CV Tool

The Move CV tool is extremely useful for manipulating CVs in a controlled manner. In the video I will demonstrate how I use to tool to bring my CVs into alignment.

Click HERE to watch the video

Created by Aaron... Your Alias CAD Geek!

i CHECK IT for Autodesk Inventor 50% off for a limited time

i CHECK IT for Autodesk Inventor 50% Off

Buy via our estore HERE and use this code for 50% off that is good until 8/28


Video to see how the code works - HERE

Tata Technologies developed i CHECK IT - the ultimate quality assurance system that works like a spellchecker during the PLM design process - after years of seeing companies get caught up in the need to simplify and standardize how they go about correcting design and data errors. i CHECK ITautomates the quality assurance process so that geographically dispersed PLM design teams can work with the same information. The ever increasing globality of today’s markets and ongoing organizational change demand that smart organizations look for quality assurance and data compliance solutions like i CHECK IT.

Better Copy Design Selection Tools

One of the new improvements to Vault 2010 is a very simple addition, but can have a profound impact on those people who reuse very large designs in Inventor. The new addition is simply the ability to multi-select an entire heirarchy structure by holding down the Control key while in Vault's "Copy Design" tool.

Check out this video to see an example in action:

Watch Video Here

Contributed by Ben of the CAD Geeks

Parametric Design in AutoCAD Part 1: Geometric Constraints

It's not a new idea but it sure is new to AutoCAD. The same 2D sketch constraints that have been available in Autodesk Inventor are now in AutoCAD. I'll show you how to get your feet wet with parametric design.

Geometric constraints create relationships between lines, splines, and arcs that maintain the shape of your design. Instead of me trying to explain this, just take a look.

Check back for Part 2: Dimensional Constraints

Blogged by Josh Hunt, Yet another CAD Geek

Changing the name of Marking Menu items in Alias

When you add items to your Marking Menus it uses the path to the tool as the tool name. This can make your marking menus pretty big and clunky looking. The solution is the rename the item.

The first think you need to do is open the Marking Menu palette.

Find the tool you would like to rename and double click on the icon while holding down the Ctrl key on your keyboard.

This window will appear. Rename you tool to whatever you like and hit OK.

You are now the proud owner of a clean looking Marking Menu.

Created by Aaron... your Alias CAD Geek!

Electrical - 2D to 3D and Back

Today we are taking a look at the interaction between Autodesk Inventor and AutoCAD Electrical. I will be using information from both systems to create 2D harness information in Electrical from Inventor and also completing a 3D harness design using information from Electrical. I will also be showing the nailboard drawing that can be created inside of the Inventor product.
Let's Take a Look!!!
Created by Dave one of the Cad Geeks

Math Rules!

iParts can be a great way to simplify your parts library. However, I constantly hear that it's pain to remember which features to suppress for each configuration. My answer is to create rules with math.

We can write equations that provide values and then suppress the features based on those values. There are hundreds of ways to use these but I want to stress that sometimes this can get too complex. That is when you want to look into iLogic or Inventor Automation.

Created by Josh, Yet another CAD Geek
Props to my friend (and CAD Geek) Chris Weitzel for collaborating on these equations.

3 Vault tricks of the day

Tip #1: Use Go To Folder to browse between related files. This works with Inventor references, AutoCAD XREFs, or regular file attachments. It will take you directly to the folder where the file resides and will highlight it for you.

Tip #2: Create a Search Folder called "My Checked Out". Using the "Find" command, create a saved search and folder where the "Checked out by" contains your user name. This will allow you to immediately see any files that you haven't checked in yet.

Tip #3: Use Shortcut "Groups" to help organize your work. You could have different shortcut groups for different projects you are working on. Even though all the files you need to edit might be scattered in many different Vault folders, they could all be referenced in one Shortcut group for easy access.

Contributed by Ben of the CAD Geeks

How do I search in ACADE?

After I started using AutoCAD Electrical for a few months I came up with the simplest question. How do I find information in my project?

ACADE has 'Find and Replace' commands. I can use the surfer on the symbols if I know where they are but if you check the command line then you'll see that the surfer is your search tool!

Type it to Surf it!


Created by Josh, Yet another CAD Geek

Create Terminal Associations

Today's post shows 3 different ways of creating terminal associations. We have taken a look over the past couple weeks of working with terminals in a variety of ways. If you are in need of more information or have questions about terminals please feel free to ask the cadgeek. You can submit questions directly from this blog site.

Let's Take a Look!!!
Created by Dave one of the Cad Geeks

Alias Keyframe Animation

Alias allows you to create animations of your products using key frame animation.
Key framing allows you to capture movements over a period of time. This very useful for visualizing the functionality of a product you are designing.

Click HERE to watch the video

Created by Aaron... Your Alias CAD Geek!

Add-ins....to load or not to load....

So have you ever felt like some of the tools or utilities that you fire up in inventor take too long .... if so you might be in luck. Some of these tools are considered "Add-ins". These bundles of code help you do cool things like translations and or run Inventor Studio. However in some cases you don't need this widgets loaded, so review this menu and pick and choose which ones you always need and then pick the ones you don't need to "load on start up"

Kevin with the CAD Geeks

Some notes about the dialog box and your options from the DSS.

Available Add-Ins and Load Behavior

Lists the installed add-ins with their load behavior. Double-click the name in the list to switch between Loaded and Unloaded or between Startup/Loaded and Startup/Unloaded.

Add-ins that are not loaded at startup are listed without a load behavior.

NoteComputer performance may increase by canceling the Load at Startup option for each of the add-ins. Computer performance may also increase by unloading each of the add-ins.


Describes the add-in selected in the list.

Load Behavior


Switches the selected add-in between Loaded and Unloaded. The load behavior list is updated to reflect the selected load behavior for the add-in.

NoteAutodesk Inventor Professional Add-ins cannot be unloaded in-session. They can only be loaded/unloaded on Startup.

Loaded/Unloaded on Startup

Switches on the selected add-in between loading the add-in Startup and loading the add-in manually using the Add-In Manager.

Extend Vault Viewing with Design Review

When viewing Inventor or AutoCAD data in Vault, basic viewing controls are included right in the Vault interface. If you want to be able to do more than simply view or print the file, use the "Open in Autodesk Design Review" right click option to launch Autodesk Design review. This right click option is available when viewing the DWF files in Vault or the Vault web client that comes with Vault Collaboration or Manufacturing.

Some extra things that can be done from the full Design Review application:

  • Redline and markup with Callouts, Dimensions, and more
  • Compare DWF sheets for changes
  • Play animations published from Inventor presentation files
  • Section 3D models for internal viewing
Take a look at a video of this in action HERE.

Contributed by Ben of the CAD Geeks