Adding Custom Threads to Autodesk Inventor 2010

Out of the box, Autodesk Inventor 2010 provides the end user with a set of commonly used thread profiles. There are times when a non standard or special class of thread is needed. Take a look at this short video to learn how to add a new custom thread group.

Posted by Pete Migrin, one of the CAD Geeks

Preparing Alias files for Showcase

Today we will discuss the steps to successfully prepare an Alias model for use in Autodesk Showcase.

Check out the video here......

Created by Aaron... your Alias CAD Geek

Go Beyond Sort and Scroll

Most users within a Vaulted environment use the sort and scroll method to find files within a project folder. Using built in and custom Field Filters will allow easier access to the target files. Click here for a short video demonstration.

Posted by Pete Migrin, one of the CAD Geeks

Working with Multi-Body a Few Good Reasons

With the release of Autodesk Inventor 2010 a great new feature was added called Multi-body or the ability for us to create multiple solid bodies within a single part file. I believe their are a few good reasons to add this to our workflows:

1. Skeletal Layouts

2. Plastic Part Design

3. True "Top Down" Design Approach

4. More Options than Working with Derive Component

5. Similar to Designing in 'MDT" Mechanical Desktop

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

Place Open Parts Without File Browsing

Today I just wanted to post a very simple but time saving tip. I know you really don't want to browse through dozens of folders just to find the part or assembly that is already open on your screen. All this just to place a component into my assembly. I prefer to Drag and Drop!

Blogged by Josh Hunt, Yet another CAD Geek

Controlling user access with folder security

In companies where Vault is being used as a central repository for everyone to edit and view files, it can be easier to navigate the Vault if only the locations that are relevant to you are displayed. The folder level security in Vault Workgroup and above allows just this type of control. Maybe the engineering and design team can view all vault folders, but maybe manufacturing and purchasing should only be allowed to view the drawings.

Take a look at this video for a quick look at configuring this basic security model.

Contributed by Ben of the Tata Technologies CAD Geeks

This Thursday....Michigan Event: Autodesk Assistance Program Network Social

Assistance Program Networking Social

  • Together with our co-sponsors, Tata Technologies and, Autodesk invites you to come and learn about the benefits of the Autodesk Assistance Program. At this free event you will hear from Autodesk executives, and our co-sponsors, about how to get a competitive edge with Digital Prototyping, and see the latest 3D design and engineering software in action.

    Job Seekers – Network with your peers, and meet potential employers and industry recruiters who can help you plan your next career move.

    Potential Employers – Meet local talent with updated software skills and training who can bring the power of Digital Prototyping to your organization.

    Date: Thursday, September 24th

    Time: 5 p.m.–8 p.m.

    Townsend Hotel
    100 Townsend Street
    Birmingham, MI 48009
    (248) 642-7900

    Please RSVP to Angela Simoes at +1-415-547-2388 or

Parametric Design in AutoCAD Part 4: Parameters Manager

Now we'll get to the real advantages of parametric design. You may write math formulas into your dimensions to drive your design with only a few parameters.

Hidden user variables can control the values of multiple dimensions in the design.

Check out the VIDEO

If you interested in a really powerful example of parametric expressions then check out my post on Autodesk Inventor, Math Rules!

Blogged by Josh Hunt, Yet another CAD Geek

Copy a Electrical Project with Acade or Vault

Today I am looking two ways to copy our AutoCAD Electrical projects. The first way that I show in the video is using AutoCAD Electrical. Of course this is nice for everyone who has a seat of software loaded on their work station. The second way of copying a project is utilizing Autodesk Vault. This may not require a seat of Electrical software installed on a work station depending on the type of Autodesk Data Management a company maybe running. This is perfect for managers and other people in a company who don't need Electrical loaded.

Created by Dave one of the Cad Geeks

Alias Construction History & Instance Workflow

In this weeks video I will demonstrate a workflow that takes advantage of Alias's Construction Histroy and some instanced geometry. This will allow me to visually see changes being made to multiple objects at the same time.

Click HERE to watch the video.

Created by Aaron... Your Alias CAD Geek!

Change Impact Decisions - Directly within Inventor

One of the tools added to the Vault 2010 products is the ability to view the "where used" status directly within Inventor. This allows you to see how a change could impact other designs prior to making a change. Historically, a user would need to switch over to a separate Vault window, search for the file, and then view the "Where Used" tab to get this valuable information.

Now a user simply needs to right-click the part in the Vault browser and select the "Show Details" option. The "Where Used" tab is now available right there.
The "Where Used" will display any files that reference the current part or assembly in question including their respective detail drawings.

Contributed by Ben of the Tata Technologies CAD Geeks

Saving Our Favorites When Searching the Help System

If you are a new user to the Autodesk products or even someone who has used them for some time being able to save your favorite help system searching can be a real time saver. For new users its a great way to quickly access those new commands you are learning about. For us who are longtime users we may use it for those commands that we only use once in a great while and need that little bit of information to ensure we are using it correctly. Lets take a look at this very simple feature that can save us time in using our help system.
Created by Dave one of the Cad Geeks

Alias Basics Training Class - Novi, MI

Tata Technologies will be holding two Alias Basics classes in September and October.
These classes are intended for new Alias users and focuses on the basic techniques required to be productive with the software.

Classes will be held in our Novi, MI training facility.

There are limited seats available so sign up today!

Follow the link below for more details...
Course Information and Registration

Copy Model iProperties

While onsite at a customer I was asked is thier any way to copy specific standard iProperties from the model into the drawing? My response was use the Copy Model iProperty Settings from within the document settings of the drawing template. With this option configured common iPorperties such as Company, Description, Project, ect... need only be filled out in the models then copied into the drawings.

Click HERE to watch the video

Added by Justin, another one of the CAD Geeks.

How do you manage file names in Inventor or AutoCAD?

I seem to constantly get into discussions with companies about how they should manage their file names and part numbers, but there is usually never a clear cut best practice. Usually different approaches are needed for multiple document types, and this usually leads to confusion in most environments. Once a naming convention is decided, the File Naming tools in Vault Workgroup or Collaboration 2010 can be used to ensure each new CAD document has a unique file name.

This tool can be configured in the Administrative Options area:

When in the Numbering Schemes dialog, multiple schemes can be created and saved for different purposes. If you would like one of the schemes to automatically be assumed for your CAD files, just set it as the default.

A Numbering scheme can consist of several different elements including auto-generated sequences, fixed text, drop-down lists, free text and delimiters.

When saving files in the CAD software, a default naming scheme will automatically suggest the file name.

Contributed by Ben of the Tata Technologies CAD Geeks

How Solid Bodies can Make Components

Some that are using the new 2010 have noticed that new Solid bodies folder in the part modeling browser. This tool allows us to specify different features inside a single part as unique solids. Before Inventor 2010 all features that were modeled in a single part existed to create that sinlge part. Mass properties and inertial properties were calcualted on all the geometry in that part file. With the New Solid option inside of the common 3d features like Extrusion, Revolve, Loft, Sweep, etc you can specify multiple solid bodies in one part file, instead of them automatically joining as they have in the past. Also new is the the Make Components command that works great with the Solid Bodies feature. You can use the Make Components command to take all those solid bodies from the single part and turn them into parts of an actual assembly. Imagine a combination of some of the more complex derived component and skeletal modeling approahces that some of us have taken in the past. I am currently talking to a number of users about how this will help in creating some of their more complex assembly designs. For a quick example of the workflow required. Take a look at the video below.

Added by Rodney, another one of those CAD Geeks.

Electrical - 2010 Update 1 Released

As of August 25th 2009 Autodesk has released service pack 1 for AutoCAD Electrical 2010. Below I have listed the areas of the software which this service pack or update relates to.

Circuit Builder can become unstable with huge drawing extents.
Circuit Builder does not support nested circuits inserted from single marker block.
Insert/Edit Components/Footprints
Insert Connector From List becomes unstable when performing File Pick cancellation.
Changing the scale changes the length in Din Rail insertion.
The INST/LOC attribute's visibility changes when editing a component.
Component pin values can be deleted when assigning catalog without pin list.
PLC Database Editor crash when editing a module on 64 bit operating system.
Wire Connection does not synchronize with Symbol Builder library.
Migration Utility
Migration Utility fails to run on 64 bit operating system.
Project Database Service
Project Database Service can become unstable under certain conditions.
Project Manager
Project Manager becomes unstable upon hitting TAB key.
Adding an ITEM sort option on BOM report.
One-line data is not listed on certain schematic reports.
Wire From/To report ignores Wire Tee markers when determining wire sequencing.
Content in Description field can be missing from PLC report.
Terminal Strip Editor becomes unstable when changing terminal level numbers and rebuilding strips.
Terminal Strip Editor fails for terminal with copied catalog from another terminal.
Auto wire connection can be broken when inserting a motor.
Multiple wire numbers can get inserted on a wire when performing remove and re-insert wire number.

You can find this update at:

Assigning Decals in Autodesk Showcase

Graphics add the finishing touch to any image and Showcase allows you to apply them quickly and easily. This weeks tip will walk you through the process of creating your own custom decal and applying it to you model.

Click HERE to watch the video

Created by Aaron... Your Alias CAD Geed!

Using Parameters in iProperties

More recently I have seen a large demand to customize the information within iProperties. One great way to do this is take advantage of the expressions that can be created in iProperties using either other iProperties or parameter values that have been created during the modeling process. Using Parameter values in expressions in iProperties can allow a user to automate such common iProperties such as description. The keys to doing this successfully are to carefully name your parameters ( User Parameters work best), export those parameters so that they will be shown on the custom tab of the iProperties, and create the correct expression. There is a simple example here in the video to get you started.

Added by Rodney, another one of those CAD Geeks.