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Autodesk Inventor 8 Essentials

Autodesk Inventor 8 Essentials

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Project Files - Concept

When you create designs you probably organize them in different folder locations. The
same is true for Autodesk Inventor Project files. You will generally create one project
file for each design you create.

There is no limit to the number of project files you can create, but only one project can
be active at any time. In the below image, the active project is identified by the check
mark.

Project File Categories

Each Project file is divided into separate categories in which you will define different
paths. A typical Autodesk Inventor design will make use of some or all of these
categories depending on the structure of your assembly and the environment in which
you are working.

Included File: In a semi-isolated environment, the master project shared by
the design team is included in individual projects so that all data in the
workgroup folder are accessible and managed from a single project.

Workspace: A personal location where you edit your personal copy of design
files in single-user, semi-isolated, and vault modes. For single-user and vault
modes, the workspace should be the only defined editable location. Only one
designer should use a project with a defined workspace in a single session of
Autodesk Inventor at a time.

Local Search Paths: Avoid using a local search path except for design
exploration. Do not use it for design project data. Do not make a local search

Example List of Available Projects

Project File Categories

Chapter 1: Introduction to the Modeling Process

22

path a subfolder of the workspace folder.
Local search paths are searched after the workspace is searched.

Workgroup Search Paths: Workgroup folder locations are defined in the
project workgroup search path and are the master project locations used by
shared and semi-isolated modes for file check out and check in.

Libraries: You use this category to define search paths for part libraries. Part
libraries can consist of standard off-the-shelf components that you use in your
designs, or can also include common parts that you design. The common
factors in all Libraries is that the path is considered by Autodesk Inventor
software to be read-only and parts stored within a library search path rarely, if
ever, change. If library folders are defined, each needs a descriptive name that
should not change. Because the library name is stored in the reference,
changing the library name later will break library references.

Options: You use these properties to set specific options for the Project file.

Project Categories - Search Order

Knowing and remembering the category search order is critical to properly
implementing and managing project files. The below image represents a typical Project
file with path locations defined in each category. When Autodesk Inventor software
needs to locate referenced files, it will search for files using paths contained in each
category using the following order.

1.Libraries

2.Workspace

3.Local Search Paths

4.Workgroup Search Paths

A simple way to remember the search order is to remember Libraries first, then the
order each category appears in the Project window.

When examining this diagram, you will see the assembly file is stored in a different
location from the component files.

Component files exist in the Components folder.

Assembly files exist in the Robot Assembly folder.

Project Category Search Order

23

Copyright © 2004 Autodesk, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Because the Components folder is a sub-folder of the defined workspace, it is used to
resolve the component locations. The Hex Cap Screw is stored in a folder defined as a
Library category.

File Resolution Example

Chapter 1: Introduction to the Modeling Process

24

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