So we're really doing it....like the phoenix we are rising the Manufacturing Toolbox from the ashes! Which means, i guess, that Loren took this blog and burned it to the ground doesn't it?! Hmmm, well at any rate, Travis and I are going to get into a rhythm so please retweet, favorite, email, print out and mail to everyone you know who likes awesome stuff. Here we go.
I might have over sold my first post in nearly 4 years, but I am sticking with the title. Over the past couple years I came across 3 hidden gems in Inventor that I think everyone needs to know because knowing is half the battle and yeah, maybe, they won't alter the course of your existence but I've been sleeping better at night since I learned these, so you be the judge.
I say the sweet is never as sweet without the sour, which is to say that if you've never experienced a situation where one of these tips would have come in handy then you might not find them as wonderful as I do, but I think there is something for everyone!
A. Inventor Reset Utility
First, some light stretching. Did you know that there is an executable in the Inventor Install that will reset Inventor back to the out of the box settings? I didn't know until Nathan Chandler, one of our rockstar support guys for Inventor and Fusion360, told me. If you browse to C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Inventor 2016\Bin there is a tool appropriately called "InventorReset.exe" (Pretty clever)
This is a super helpful utility if you need to troubleshoot a machine, want to wipe settings, have any issues with addins etc. Check out the Knowledge Network for some more details and best practices for exporting application options, saving customizations prior to running the utility because when I say it's wiping back to factory settings, I mean it!
2. Save Diagnostics
Have you ever uttered the words "...I don't need to save (or check out) that file, I didn't even touch it!" Well there is a reason for everything...even if it is obscured from us (Side bar...I just coined an amazing quote for a motivational poster...send me $5.99 and you can have the official motivational poster of the Manufacturing Toolbox for your office)
So another simple, untold and undiscovered treasure is that you can ctrl + rmb on any item in the save dialog box and see why Inventor is looking to save the file. Does it need to be migrated? Did the properties change?
I'm going to disclaimer this to protect the innocent. This is a diagnostic tool that I believe was likely exposed for internal QA reasons, but can really come in handy next time your favorite user swears that he didn't do anything to that model. Also, I couldn't tell you what some of the items mean, though most are self explanatory. Take it for what its worth and I hope it helps, and don't shoot the messenger, or the developers, in fact, don't shoot anybody we're only trying to help!
D. Bad Body Check
Now for the coup de grâce...Whether it's data that translated poorly, modeling techniques, corrupted data, or just an average assembly that Stan checked in to the vault (you all know a guy like "Stan" who can never put together a decent model) models aren't always perfect. It happens and I'm not pointing fingers (but seriously Stan can you just add a few dimensions to your sketches and pretend that you care) but often it isn't easy to know where and why our models are performing poorly. Even what seems like a benign error can slow performance and certainly compound as your models grow. In 2015 there was an undocumented diagnostic utility that will check an open model for bad bodies or bad entities. Again, this tool is meant for diagnostics but in my opinion (IMO if you sit at the cool kids table) this is the single most useful tip or trick that I've come across in a long time. All you have to do is press ctrl + f7 (I've found though testing that it works best after running the inventor reset utility) and be patient. While it looks for a minute like nothing is happening, a window will pop up after the utility has gone through every part, solid, surface, loop, line, shell etc. in your model and checked it for errors.
Components with Bad Bodies:
Compressor_Welds.ipt => [Bodies: 3 4 ]
[Body DXID: 5783 5784 ]
Oliedeksel.ipt => [Bodies: 0 ]
[Body DXID: 5838 ]
Now tell me that isn't useful and didn't change your life. (Only tell me if it changed your life)
Until next time remember there is a reason for everything, even if it's obscured from us.
Comment or send me a tweet if you know what movie the title of this post is from!