Create a Recycle Bin for Vault

If you’re familiar with Autodesk Vault you know it’s great at retaining versions of your design files. These versions can accumulate quickly through your design process and Vault allows you to purge unnecessary versions as you see fit.  Sometimes though, you just need to delete a file or folder. Either it was created in error or it is just plain clutter that needs to be removed for whatever reason.

Any good CAD manager will probably tell you that giving your employees the power to delete files from the Vault at will can be a dangerous thing. Most Vault instances are setup where normal users only have read, write and modify permissions on a folder. Normal users do not have the ability to delete files or folders.

When a file is not yet controlled by a lifecycle state, promoted to an item or some other means by which Vault prevents deletion the folder permissions are the only means by which deletion of files is prevented.

So the question is, how do you handle cases where a file or folder really needs to be deleted? You could setup some separate process where users can request a file or folder be deleted and then a Vault administrator would perform the deletion. This can become quite burdensome quickly.

A possible solution to this problem is to create a Vault recycle bin folder.

Set the permissions for the “Recycle Bin” folder to allow deletions of files by everyone.

Now that you have created this folder, here’s how it will work. If a normal user has a file or folder in their working design folders they would like to delete, they simply move the file or folder into the recycle bin folder.

They can now delete the file or folder from the recycle bin since permissions allow them to do so. If the file is still used elsewhere in your project folders, Vault will not allow the file to be deleted since permissions prevent them from doing so.

This method provides the means for users to delete files or folders on their own while also providing a secondary step before deletion in order to reduce accidental deletions.

Ideally, it would be great if Vault provided a system wide recycle bin that saved a deleted file for a set duration before the file is purged permanently. This is definitely something that I’ll be adding to the Vault wishlist.

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101 Autodesk Inventor productivity tips (from

This is by far one of the best compiled list of tips and tricks for Inventor I have seen in a long time. From Paul Munford of

Read the complete post here:

We can all use an extra edge to help us get our drawings out just a little quicker. Here are over 100 links to my favourite Autodesk Inventor tips from my favourite Inventor Bloggers from around the web.
There are some great resources out there on the web, and I try and track as many as I can. In researching this post, I had a great time trawling through the Archives of some of my Favourite Inventor bloggers. A big thank you toCurtis WaguespackJohn Evans and Scott MoyseMark RandaJon Landeros,Chris from SymetriJamie DitsworthMark FlaylerSteve Bedder and Thomas Rambach for all your hard work and dedication to the cause.

Did I miss any? Please feel free to leave a comment if you have any Tip Top Inventor tips that you would like to add!

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Are your add-ins up to date?

The addition of the Exchange App Manager within Autodesk products and the accompanying Exchange Apps store was a welcome addition in the 2013 product lineup. This allows Autodesk to manage a central, quality controlled library of user created add-ins for Inventor, AutoCAD and other Autodesk products.

Certainly the quality control aspect of the store is a big plus for anyone wanting to gain the productivity from a cool add-in without some of the risk that it will destroy something else on your system. I can tell you from going through the process with Autodesk for Swift Prints and Design Notes, Autodesk is very thorough.

The Exchange App Manager running within Autodesk products also offers an easy way to tell you if you have the latest version of the add-in. This is a nice way to verify you have the latest and greatest version installed on your system.

Open the Exchange App Manager from the tools menu.

View the list of installed apps to check the status. The manager will tell you if the app is up to date.

If an app is missing the ‘Up to Date’ check mark, you can launch the Autodesk Exchange Apps website from the dialog window to download the latest version available.

I would recommend closing Inventor before running the downloaded installer file. Once you run the setup and re-launch Inventor. Open the Exchange App Manager again to verify the app is up to date.



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Tip: Swift Prints – Keyboard Shortcut Printing

Here’s a good tip from Nick Ely at Process Development & Fabrication Inc. in regards to keyboard shortcut printing with Swift Prints

In the customize window I assigned the keystroke CTRL-ALT-P which will launch the Swift print window, then you can press the corresponding letter to the saved print name, then press TAB then Enter. I programmed the macro into my gaming keyboard, and now I have 1 button printing.

Nick also gave some great feedback on Swift Prints:

Works great and easy to setup. I will be buying some more seats now that I see how well it works. I really like the ability to export and import saved config’s. Saves me from having to setup everyone’s computer around here.

Thanks Nick for the great tip!

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