This post takes a first look at the benefits of Autodesk Vault with Inventor iParts and iAssemblies, also known as Configurations.The benefit of using Autodesk Vault family of products with Inventor Configurations begins with Vault's intricate understanding of the unique file types. Inventor's Configurations fall into several categories:
- iPart Factory - individual Part (.ipt) configurations with embedded MS Excel spreadsheets that contain the 'recipe' of the file that can be generated
- iPart Member - a generated derivative of the iPart Factory according to the parameters and rules from the iPart Factory
- iAssembly Factory - individual or nested Assembly (.iam) configurations with embedded MS Excel spreadsheets that contain the 'recipe' of the assemblies that can be generated
- iAssembly Member - a generated derivative of the iAssembly Factory according to the parameters and rules from the iAssembly Factory
As with other file dependencies like Drawings, Assemblies, and parts, Autodesk Vault recognizes all parent/child relationships of Inventor factories and members, providing a Uses/Where Used interface on all versions and revisions.
While Configurations share the same file extensions (.ipt or .iam), Autodesk Vault goes a step further and recognizes the Factory files from the Members and for Vault Workgroup/Collaboration/Professional customers, provides the ability to categorize these files to enforce security and standards.
For instance, once a part or assembly Factory is established, Vault can recognize the file type automatically and apply a protective security model to these files, preventing inadvertent changes by users in Inventor.
Vault can also recognize and categorize the members (generated) files. The members get their own category and follow a different Data Management security behaviors according to company needs.
Stay tuned, and we’ll dig deeper into some iPart/iAssembly workflows and discuss best practices.