Reverting to previous versions of files is a core feature of Autodesk Vault. In addition to per-file access to previous versions, users can ‘label’ a design. Labels, by definition are applied to a folder, and this folder could represent a project, job, purchase order, or customer. A Label is a tool that allows the CAD user to back track to older versions of designs in a folder.
The use of Labels also provides an export function for each captured stage. Optionally, users can create DWF Package files and leverage the Compare feature in Autodesk Design Review. In this post, we will discuss leveraging Labels as a milestone design review tool.
1. Check all files pertinent to the design back into the Vault. Make sure DWF’s have been created for all files, specifically .idw’s. In Vault, right Mouse Click on the top level Vault folder of the project. Select New Label.
2. Assign a Label name and enter comments to document the milestone that the Label represents. Next, go to Tools>Labels. Note the Label Name, Created By, and Create Date.
3. Now it’s time to modify the files. Check Out the entire design from the Inventor drawing. Edit the Inventor part or assembly. Switch over to the Inventor drawing. Save the changes and Check In from the .idw. Be sure the option to create DWF’s is selected (upper right hand corner of the Check In dialog box).
4. Back in Autodesk Vault, right click on the same folder as step 1, and select New Label. Assign a new name and enter comments.
5. From Tools>Labels, you can see a list of existing Labels. This time, select the initial Label created and click the Pack and Go option. In the Pack and Go dialog box, select DWF Package as a type, and Send to Destination Folder.
6. Repeat this for the second Label created. Note that each DWF package created will have the Label name and a .dwf file extension.
7. Launch Autodesk Design Review and open the first Label. Select the drawing sheet from the Contents area.
8. To display the differences between the Labels, we’ll leverage the Compare functionality in Autodesk Design Review. With the Drawing selected, go to Tools>Compare.
9. Browse to the second DWF Package created from the Pack and Go and click Open. In the Compare dialog box, choose the Drawing sheet and click OK.
10. The differences between the Inventor .idw’s are listed as Markups and highlighted in Autodesk Design Review’s graphic window.
Finally, the Labels can be restored within Vault if necessary. Labels should be viewed as a milestone utility to capture design options during the prototype stage. The key concept with the use of Labels and Autodesk Design Review 2008 is to keep the entire “What-If” process entirely digital by using a combination of features in Vault and Autodesk Design Review.