Busy Week in the Cloud: GrabCAD and Autodesk 360

Whew… what a busy week in the cloud. GrabCAD started the week off on Tuesday by announcing Workbench is now out of beta. GrabCAD boasts Workbench has more than 20,000 registered users. That’s an impressive number for just losing the beta label. Workbench still has all the great features that made it 20,000 strong…

  • Desktop Sync – Users can link desktop files to files in online Workbench projects, ensuring local files are always up to date.

  • File Locking – Lock files for exclusive edit while letting the rest of the team know. Project owners can always override the lock.

  • Partner Spaces – Release product data to customers and manufacturers without them seeing all of your project data – or each other.

  • Visual version comparison – Visually overlay two versions of a 3D model to see what has changed.

  • Revision Management – Ensure that your team is always working off the right version to avoid wasted time and manufacturing mistakes.

  • Automatic version backup + restore – Automatically tracks file versions, browse version history, and instantly restore older versions.

…but it also comes with a surprise set of new functionality. Workbench now can be used directly from within your native CAD application. Workbench uploads , downloads and resolves conflicts within your CAD application. GrabCAD is first supporting SolidWorks with this functionality since they say it’s the most popular on GrabCAD. I do know SolidWorks makes up the lion share of CAD files on GrabCAD, but possibly this is because the alternatives are lacking for what the users really desire. Workbench also touts a generic CAD file format translator to export your designs to STEP, IGES or STL.


Pricing for Workbench with the full feature set starts at $59.00/user per month. Enterprise users will pay $89.00/user per month.

GrabCAD Workbench Pricing

Also this week, Autodesk answered back with some Fusion360 and Autodesk360 annoucements. The latest Fusion360 update allows you to capture the commands you use in a timeline while you edit your model. This brings the best of both modeling worlds together with a feature based solid model you can manipulate as you wish.

Fusion360 also has a refreshed version of the projects dashboard with the focus on productivity gains from the improved interface.

Lastly, Fusion360 lays in a new set of tools such as text as a sketch, as built joints, and sculpt pipe commands.

Fusion360 pricing starts at $40.00/month, $150/quarter or $300/annual.

Not to be left out, Autodesk360 annouced a technical preview for the next update. Currently by invitation only after you request access, the technical preview has quite a few new tools and features that will make it quite compelling to consider using if you do not already. Based on the teasers, it sounds promising.

Putting projects in the center…

All your people, data, and activities in one place. Projects are now centered around design and engineering workflows. Connect and collaborate with your teams easily, from wherever your work takes you. Data is easily viewable, searchable, and social.

Access for the whole team…

Not just for designers and engineers. Regardless of skill set or role, Autodesk 360 keeps everyone on your team aware of all activities related to a project. Keep everyone involved, informed, and aligned so no one is left out. And no training needed-it’s easy!

Every Kind of Data…

Autodesk 360 works with virtually any data type-not just design or Autodesk file types, data can come from anywhere. Securely store and control your data. You decide who gets access to it, where it resides, and how it is retrieved.

Any device, anywhere, any time…

Data that can live anywhere-and can be accessed by all who should have access to it-regardless of skills, tools, or location. Get to the latest designs as you need them, when you need them.

Searchable, shareable, beautiful.

Advanced search and viewing capabailities help users find critical design information quickly and easily. Streamline workflows and unlock new ways to innovate.

Autodesk360 is still completely free but comes with extra storage and access to Autodesk’s other 360 based products on subscription.

It’s been a busy and exciting week in the cloud collaboration realm. We are definitely on the brink of true maturity of cloud based CAD collaboration.

More Wine Please


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Permanent link to this article: http://cadtoolbox.com/2014/01/23/busy-week/

Vault 2014 Subscription Enhancements

Autodesk has made available for Vault 2014 a set of two subscription only enhancements, “Vault 2014 Data Standard” and “Vault 2014 Subscription Release 1”.

Vault 2014 Data Standard

Data Standard is a data control feature for the Vault Client, Inventor, and AutoCAD that allows administrators to enforce how users enter Vault data.

For some companies, users have too much freedom regarding Vault data. Users can deviate from company policy by selecting different folders in which to store design data, modifying properties for one file but not another, or ignoring naming schemes in one application but not another.

Data Standard allows administrators to customize dialogs that enforce a standardized workflow for entering Vault data across the Vault Client, AutoCAD, and Inventor applications. Since the Data Standard dialog is fully customizable, administrators can design the workflow that best suits their company’s design needs.

The basic features of Data Standard are the same across all supported applications. Start your application, create a new document and start writing/designing your content. After the user first saves a file, the Data Standard dialog appears requesting certain data. Once the user has completed all of the fields, Data Standard generates the file name and location based on the data. The Save button becomes active only when all obligatory fields are complete.

Vault 2014 Data Standard installs on a client machine in two separate executable files. The first patches the Vault Explorer client, the second patches Inventor or AutoCAD. There is nothing you need to install on the Vault server in order to enable Data Standard.

Without customizing anything, you can see how the enhancement works by opening Inventor and creating a new file. You will see a new ribbon toolbar called “Data Standard”. You can enable or disable Data Standard from this toolbar.


When you save the file for the first time using the save button from the Data Standard toolbar or the normal save functions of Inventor, the Data Standard dialog will appear prompting you to enter the required fields based on the administrative configuration.


For the default configuration, the dialog prompts you for the folder to save the file to, title, description and comments. Whatever is entered into the folder field will result in the file being saved into a folder of that name withing your Vault project folder structure. I’ll show you how to customize this dialog in a future post in order to make it more meaningful and to standardized without the chance of free text errors we’re trying to avoid in the first place by installing Data Standard.

The dialog can be fully customized allowing for some unique methods to drive your organization to conformance upfront during the design process.

The Data Standard dialog will also appear within the Vault Explorer client along with some additional powerful tools for creating new files based on standard templates as well as an assembly CAD BOM viewing from directly within the Vault Explorer complete with quantities.




The second enhancement is the subscription release 1 which we will also get into more detail in future posts.

Vault 2014 Subscription Release 1

Autodesk Vault 2014 Subscription Release 1 focuses on improving the editing workflow , introducing a brand new thin client experience, and broadening the feature offerings in the Revit Vault Add-in.

Cracking the Vault | Autodesk Help

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Permanent link to this article: http://cadtoolbox.com/2014/01/15/vault-enhancements/

Follow @CADBlogWatch

If you’re on Twitter, the hashtag #CADBlogWatch is now its own account and can be followed at @CADBlogWatch to be notified of new blog posts on all your favorite CAD Blogs. There are over 34 blogs currently being indexed and more being added every day.




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Quick Tip: Adding a new Content Center Library

Sometimes it’s those features of Inventor that have been around for years and years that always get some people stuck or confused as to what to do next. Here’s a quick tip for all of those CAD managers out there that have spent a lot of time creating a new Vault based Content Center library for their users but can’t quite get everyone to see the library from within Inventor.

After you create your new Content Center library, don’t forget to edit the Inventor project file that everyone uses by adding the new library. This is the only way Inventor will recognize the new content.

Add Content Center

Click the “Configure Content Center Libraries” button from within your Inventor project file editor. Find the new library and click the checkbox to add it. You can then check your project file back into the Vault and inform your users to get the latest version in order to enable your new library.

[important]As a side note, any libraries listed in the editor highlighted in red and marked “not available” are listed within the project file but have not been added to your Content Center libraries in Vault. You’ll need to install these if you wish to use them.[/important]

How many of you use the Content Center? Do you use it with Vault or local libraries? I would love to hear from you. Comment here or find me on Twitter, Facebook or Google+.


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Permanent link to this article: http://cadtoolbox.com/2014/01/04/add-content-centerlibrary/