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KNOWLEDGE BASE

Autodesk Inventor and Working from Home – part 1

You may be faced with a situation where you need to access your Inventor models from a remote location, such as working from home. There are several methods to do this, each with their advantages and disadvantages, and this series of blog posts can shed light on different methods to do this, and hopefully you find one that best suits your needs.

Method 1 – Pack and Go

Pack and Go is a feature In Inventor used to identify a file and all of its referenced files. Once Identified, all files are copied to a destination folder. It’s great when you want to create a complete copy of your model to send to someone else, but in some cases can be used to transfer models from one computer to another. Beware though that if you’re planning to update the network drive with the updated files once you’re back at work, it’s a manual process. There is also the added complication if you’re sharing the files with different users, you will have to manually decide whose file wins.

Accessing Pack and Go

Pack and go can be used from 3 different locations

  • From within Inventor File> Save As> Pack and Go

  • In Windows Explorer locate the file. Select the file, right click and pick Pack and Go

  • In Design Assistant (Windows Start > Programs > Autodesk Inventor 20xx > Design Assistant 2020) locate the file. Select the file, right click and pick Pack and Go

 

Using Pack and Go

1. Set the Destination location of the files

2. Set the Options

  • Copy to Single Path will put all the files found in the same destination folder.
  • Keep Folder Hierarchy will maintain sub folders for any files or reference files found
  • Keep Model files only will only reference model files e.g. ipt, iam, idw, dwg or ipn files
  • Include linked files with reference other files including spreadsheets and text files
  • Skip libraries, when ticked associated library files are included
  • Collect work groups, when ticked combines work space and work groups into destination folder
  • Skip styles, when ticked styles associated with reference files are included
  • Skip templates, when ticked template files are included
  • Package as .zip, when ticked packages the destination into a zip file

3. Check that the Project file listed is correct, if not use browse to manually select it

4. Select Search Now. Pack and Go will now search for all referenced files within the parameters that you set.

  • It will display the total amount of files found and disk space required to create.

5. If you click on More>> (Less<<) You can view the files found and also do a secondary search (Search Now) to find additional files.

  • This secondary search will look at all the files in the Files Found list, and check for any other files that reference those files, like Drawings (IDW/DWG) or Presentation (IPN) files.

6. Click Start to begin. Once finished the progress bar will be filled and you can click on done.

  • You will notice that all of the files will have been copied to the destination folder and a new project file and log file have been created.
  • If the missing file dialogue box displays you will need to click Set Project to start locating any missing files.

 

Conclusion

PROS

  • Pack and Go is a standard functionality within Inventor and does not cost anything more to use
  • An entire project and all files can be identified and taken for use offsite or at home

CONS

  • Pack and go takes a copy of files, the existing files are still left and can still be used/accessed
  • Pack and go is typically designed for a single user to take files and is not designed for multiple users to work with the same data at any one time
  • If the data taken by Pack and go is edited, it will need to be returned to update the original files  (provided the originals haven’t been updated since the copies were taken)
  • It is a manual process to record/track who may be taking and returning data

The other methods we will tackle is using cloud drives like Autodesk Drive or Fusion Team, and, the most robust solution – Autodesk Vault. We will be updating this blog with links to those other posts as soon as we publish them.

 

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