Today we’ll examine the Vault add-in within 3DS Max 2011. The Vault add-in loads during the install of 3DS Max. And here’s a fun fact, there’s even an option during the install for add-ins that support Vault 2010 and Vault 2009 with 3DS Max 2011. That’s right, a 2011 CAD product that has backward (or forward I suppose) compatibility with older versions of Vault. Not to get off on a tangent here, but I had to check this out and verify with a Vault 2010 and Vault 2009 server – and it worked! Some guys like to golf, this is what I do.
Back to 3DS Max. Once installed, you can start by logging into Vault through Asset Tracking. Go to the File menu>Manage>Asset Tracking.
The Asset Tracking manager is the equivalent of the Inventor Browser or the AutoCAD Xref manager window. From here, all Vault interactions, settings, etc are performed. First, log into Vault from the Server pull down. The dialog box is similar to logging in to Vault through Inventor or AutoCAD: username, password, server, database, etc.
Now for some settings. The first thing I suggest is establishing the Working Folder from within the Asset Tracking dialog box.
Next, configure the user paths relative to the project folder, locations for external files, and xrefs. Keeping these relative to the project folder, and under the ‘cone of influence’ will be what works best with Vault.
Now it’s time to open up, create,or import some files. I’ll be using some sample files that have references to demonstrate the Asset Tracking interaction with Vault. With the scene file open and loaded in Max, right click on it in Asset Tracking. For the first time loading a file, click on Add Files.
This will check in the scene and all related image files. Once the files are checked in, you’ll see the familiar ‘checked in’ icon. Close the file in Max.
So let’s take another look at the add-in. From the file menu, click Open, open from Vault. You can select from any file in Vault and open.
Upon open you are prompted to Check out the file. This is nice and consistent with all the other CAD Add-ins. Vault is always watching…
Now you can repeat the steps for any other Max scene files you need to add to Vault. Within Vault, go to the Uses and Where Used tabs and note how the Vault knows all about these file relationships.
This covers 3DS Max and 3DS Max Design. Next we’ll walk through the other Add-ins on the list from the initial post. Stay tuned…