22 Nov 2011

Working Smart in Assemblies Articles

We often get asked about Assembly best practises, or recommended workflows. It seems Autodesk also get these questions and have put together some interesting and useful articles to help advise users of how to manage their Assemblies.

If this is something that would be useful to you, then please visit Autodesk's articles here.

21 Nov 2011

Inventor Data Migration

What is data migration?

Data Migration
is the process of updating Autodesk files and Design Data from a prior release to a newer release.

Do I need to migrate?

It depends. When you upgrade to a new release, Migration of files is not essential; files will be Migrated on their own when you Open and Save a file created in an earlier release (R11 – present) to your current release. Legacy data that is out of production does not require any kind of Migration process.

18 Nov 2011

25 Worst Passwords of 2011 [STUDY]

Pro tip: choosing “password” as your online password is not a good idea. In fact, unless you’re hoping to be an easy target for hackers, it’s the worst password you can possibly choose.

“Password” ranks first on password management application provider SplashData’s annual list of worst internet passwords, which are ordered by how common they are. (“Passw0rd,” with a numeral zero, isn’t much smarter, ranking 18th on the list.)

The list is somewhat predictable: Sequences of adjacent numbers or letters on the keyboard, such as “qwerty” and “123456,” and popular names, such as “ashley” and “michael,” all are common choices. Other common choices, such as “monkey” and “shadow,” are harder to explain.

Autodesk Vault Updates

In the past Autodesk would release a Vault Hotfix for each issue that is discovered. This was a good strategy to get Hotfixes released to address specific issues that were affecting production. But the feedback received from Customers was that it was very difficult to roll these out individually over multiple systems.

So lately you may have noticed that many of the Hotfixes being released for Vault 2011 and 2012 are now cumulative. So a Multi Issue Hotfix, which should contain most (if not all) of the hotfixes that preced it. There will still be Hotfixes released to address hot issues, but these should be consumed with the next Multi Issue Hotfix.

There may also be a situation where a specific Hotfix is released immediately prior to a Multi Issue Hotfix, but is not consumed within it. In that case, Autodesk just could not get it published in time, but did not want to delay a big patch that could help most users. You should look at the readme of the Multi issue Hotfix to see if any issues you are experiencing are listed. If it is not listed, it should be consumed in the next Multi Issue Hotfix.

So as a rule, always install the latest Multi Issue Hotfix, and any other relevant Hotfixes between that and the preceding Multi Issue Hotfix.

17 Nov 2011

Autodesk Announce Inventor Optimization

Some of you may be getting the message below when starting Inventor:

So, what is Inventor Optimization all about? Extend ideation and simulation beyond the desktop by testing the performance of multiple product design options with the Autodesk Inventor Optimization service, powered by Autodesk Cloud. This capability makes it easy to create higher-quality products and more sustainable designs that lower costs.

See the video below for further information:

Vault Data Migration

Concept and Terminology

As customers upgrade from release to release of their Inventor platform this typically also involves migration of CAD files and increasingly CAD data stored in Autodesk Vault document management solutions.

Migration from an Autodesk Vault perspective is twofold, often the change of database versions is referred to as Migration and indeed during the installation process the Autodesk Data Management Console will report that it is “migrating” databases.

This Migration however refers only to the Metadata component of the Vault system where new tables and property definitions are added to the Database set, during this process no managed CAD files are modified, created or touched in any way.

Migration of your CAD data becomes a secondary operation to be completed after the Database Migration, this CAD file Migration is what this article is intended to cover.

As Autodesk Vault allows support for the latest plus 2 previous versions of Inventor with Vault, permitting users to work with legacy Inventor formats, it is important that there is no assumption made about the need to migrate CAD data.

Migrating CAD data to the latest version of your CAD system means that the latest version only of each CAD file in the Vault will have a new version created – in essence every unique CAD record will have a new version, increasing the Filestore size.

In a design environment where Item or File Lifecycle schemes are utilised by either Vault Workgroup, Vault Collaboration or Vault Professional there are a number of additional file access and security considerations which will need to be addressed in order to successfully Migrate the Vaulted data. See Autodesk's document on Migrate released or locked CAD files.

16 Nov 2011

Activate the Old Menu bar in AutoCAD

Most of you will be aware that AutoCAD has been using a Ribbon interface for a number of years. On the whole, people have moved to using this, helping integration across different applications, such as Inventor, which also runs a Ribbon interface.

If you are still using the old Classic interface and want to transition to the newer Ribbon interface, or perhaps already using the Ribbon interface, but from time to time you are unable to find the exact tool you want. There is a neat interface tool you can utilise:
  • If you go to the Quick Access Toolbar along the top of the AutoCAD window, then click on the small black down arrow at the end you will find a list of tools you can turn on/off by default. Scroll down a little further and there is an option to Show Menu Bar.

15 Nov 2011

Make Your Mouse Work Harder

We recently had a support query from one of our customers, with regard to setting the extra buttons on their new shiny Microsoft mouse to operate AutoCAD functions, helping to speed things up.

We thought this was a useful workflow, which others may not have found yet, so thought we would share the details as below:
  • This has only been tested with a Microsoft mouse, but suspect other manufacturers (i.e. Logitech) will have a similar system.
  • Firstly, connect your mouse and download/install the Microsoft Intellipoint software for your device, see the Microsoft website here.
  • Once installed go to Control Panel > Mouse, this should give you the Mouse Properties dialogue as below.

14 Nov 2011

Autodesk Suite Updates Page Added

With the introduction of the Autodesk Design Suites (2012), you now have lots of packages to manage, ensuring they are all up to date with the latest Service Packs etc. So, to help make this easier, we have added an Autodesk Suite Updates page to the Technical Downloads section on our website.

This will give you an idea of the latest Service Packs for each product in the relvant Autodesk Suite you have installed.

Please visit the new page at:


Nvidia Release Quadro Driver 276.28

Just a quick pointer that Nvidia have just released a new driver for their Quadro/FX graphics cards. This is available for Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 (32 & 64 bit). See below for important highlights from the release notes:

Open Issues in Version 276.28

As with every released driver, version 276.28 of the Release 275 driver has open issues and enhancement requests associated with it.

Windows Vista/Windows 7 32-bit Issues

Quadro FX family: Autodesk applications–random crashes occur when launching the application.

Windows Vista/Windows 7 64-bit Issues

Quadro FX family: Autodesk applications–random crashes occur when launching the application.

Download for yourself at http://www.nvidia.co.uk/drivers.

9 Nov 2011

Autodesk 123D Catch Released

Turn ordinary photos into extraordinary 3D models with Autodesk 123D Catch. Take photos of your favorite people, places and things and let the power of the cloud magically transform them into detailed 3D models.

123D Catch is free beta software. Try it out and share your projects with us in our gallery.

How it works:
  • Snap - Take multiple digital photos of stationary people, places or things with any standard digital point-and-shoot camera.
  • Submit - Powerful photo stitching technology operates in the cloud, generating high-quality 3D models. Add or remove photos to adjust the results.
  • Share - Save your project as a movie and share it via email or post it to YouTube. Export the model to .obj or .dwg to use it in other 3D tools.
Visit the 123D Catch website to find out more, or download to try for yourself.