Did you already have a look at Vault Data Standard 2016 for Inventor? Maybe you have seen that there are new commands in the Data Standard ribbon. These commands for the new “Replace with Copy” feature help you to create new variants of existing designs.
Let me show you with an example, how powerful this new feature is. I use the Metal Container of the Inventor samples. This is a DWG file that references an assembly with 3 components. Now I want to create a variant “Aluminum Container” based on the Metal Container. The gasket shall be reused, while the Box base and the Lid shall be copied. The DWG file also should be copied, and the reference shall be set to the new “Aluminum Container” assembly, so that I don’t need to crate all annotations again.
The first thing is to open the assembly “Metal Container.iam”. There is no need for it to be checked out, as I don’t want to modify the assembly. Then I call the command “Copy incl. Drawing”
The Data Standard dialog for the copied assembly opens where I can select the new location and insert the metadata like the Title of the new assembly:
It’s quite interesting that the header and some property values contain a string “Copy of“ and then the name of my original file. Also a thumbnail of the original file is displayed, so I know which document I am working on.
When selecting OK the copied assembly is checked in and the Data Standard dialog for the related drawing appears. Again I can type in the metadata and after the OK the DWG file is checked in. The DWG is still open, and when I check the reference, I see that it points to the copied assembly. Also, all annotations are still there. The values in the title block are already correct as well.
Let’s go back to the copied assembly. I kept it checked out, as I want to replace the box and lid with an aluminum variant. I just need to call the command “Replace with Copy” from the Data Standard ribbon on each of these components. I can select the component either in the Inventor browser or in the geometry area. The Data Standard dialog shows up again and I can type in the data. The component is replaced with the copy after pressing OK. I just need to check in the assembly and I am done!
If you wonder where the “Copy of” string in the Data Standard dialog came from, have a look into the Inventor.cfg file (in folder C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\Vault 2016\Extensions\DataStandard\CAD\Configuration).
There you find an attribute “InitialCopyValue” that defines the initial value for the property where it is defined. So for the property Title, it consists of a UIString that gives back the localized string of “Copy of” and the original file name.