Several readers have asked about the Inventor add-in I created, All Thumbs. All Thumbs allows you to set consistent background color and visual settings for file thumbnails regardless of your application settings within Inventor. Although I wouldn’t say it’s official supported by me anymore, it does seem to work well with the latest version of Inventor.
‘Swift Prints’ has recently been updated for compatibility with Inventor 2018. In this update, the method to which your username to Autodesk 360 is obtained to validate your Swift Prints license has been changed.
Somewhat long overdue update to ‘All Thumbs’ has been released. This update is a total re-write of the application. You will now have the ability to turn off the application from the admin interface window. If your not familiar with what ‘All Thumbs’ does, it basically allows you to set a predefined standard background color and options for file thumbnail views no matter what your Inventor background color or options are set to. You can download it from the ‘CAD Tools’ page here: http://184.108.40.206/?page_id=96
In this post I’ll go thru the process of importing an iPart into a new content center family. First things first, let’s create your new family (no diapers required). Let’s get started by opening the Content Center Editor.
Once the editor opens, you’ll need to select the read/write library we created in the first post.
Now we’ll need to create a new category to store the part family. Right click the left pane a select the ‘Create Category’ link.
Now we’re going to enter the category information. Let’s create a ‘Lego’ category by entering the name and uploading some thumbnail images. In Autodesk’s infinite wisdom, they failed to provide the size requirements for the images you upload for the category thumbnails. I’ve found somewhere around 60 pixels wide X 42 pixels high works best for the large thumbnail. I always use the same size for the small thumbnail. It doesn’t seem to make much difference as it will scale the image for you anyway.
A popup message will appear asking if you want to refresh your local view. This just allows you to see the new category you just created.
You’ll now be able to see the ‘Lego’ category in the left pane. That’s it for now, in the next post I’ll take you through the real guts of actually adding the iPart family to the category.
In the next few posts I’m going to take you step by step through the process of creating a custom content library to migrate your iParts into. Anyone who has used iParts within the Vault knows the limitations of Vault causes issues with assemblies utilizing iParts. It’s difficult to move, rename, or copy iParts within the Vault. Another issue is constant nagging by Inventor to save your assembly that contains the iParts, even if you aren’t updating anything related to the iParts. For this tutorial, I’ll be using Inventor 2009.
First thing first, open your ADMS Server console (the Vault server). You will then need to right click on the ‘Libraries’ folder and select ‘Create Library’. This will create a read/write library that you can add components to. By default, all libraries that ship with Vault are read only.
Now you can give your new read/write content library a name. For this example, I called it “CustomContent”.
Your now done using the ADMS server console. From this point we’ll be doing all the work from the comfort of your own workstation running Inventor and Vault. We just need to do a few more housekeeping tasks before we can begin adding the content. Open Vault Explorer and open the adminstration tools (from the tools; administration menu). Open the users editor from the security tab. Make sure that yourself and anyone else you want to designate as a content center editor has the role selected “Content Center Editor”.
Finally, open Inventor. From the projects dialog window, click the “Configure Content Center Libraries” button. Note that you need to make sure the current project file is not read only (already checked into the Vault).
The dialog window will show all the preloaded libraries that are configured on your server. You’ll need to click the “Add Library” button to enable use of your new library within the current Inventor project file. Follow the prompts after you click this button to add your new read/write library. Make sure you save your project file after the changes have been made.
Now you’re ready to start customizing your new library by adding part families and converting your iParts to populate these families. Next post we’ll take you through the steps to start doing this and show you different methods for creating the libraries structure so that it’s easy to find what you need for your designs.