Monday, 26 January 2015

Sharing your custom Content Centre Library

This week I've taken on some home based design/drafting for my day job employer. Getting the templates is easy as is the Design Data, but 1 thing I struggled with was the custom Content Centre (CC). At my day job I have heavily customised the CC to suit our requirements. I have added a lot of content based on custom rolled profiles we make and to make up for the basic amount of Australian Standard (AS) data that comes with Inventor. Through my day job VAR I found that the good folk at Autodesk made a method to allow me to export this custom CC and to bring that into my home Inventor so that I can work with the custom CC data and expanded AS families. In this posting I'll only be showing how to get a Vault CC Library exported for Desktop Content, but the reverse is also possible through the same set of dialogue boxes.

The first step in this process is to make sure you're in the correct Project as the CC library you want to export may not be available in all Projects. Once the correct Project is set use the drop down button in the bottom right to "Configure Content Centre Libraries".

This will show the "Configure Libraries :Vault" window and the available Libraries to export. Select the ones you want and continue by clicking the icon in the lower right "Library transfer Guide".

 Next the "Library Transfer Guide" window will be shown. Here there are 2 options, both self explanatory, and I chose the first option of "From Autodesk Vault server to Inventor Desktop Content".

Hit Next and a new window will be shown where you can enter the Vault credentials to continue with the transfer. If you're not transferring from Vault to Desktop you may not see this, or it might be different. Enter the credentials and hit Next.

This will show another window with the Libraries to be transferred (exported) and the existing libraries already in the Desktop location.

Click Next again and the Library Transfer will begin. Depending on the size of the Library it can take a while.

Once completed you will be shown another window with the results of the transfer (hopefully everything went okay).

To verify this click on the "Click to open logfile" link to see the results. I recommend this because up till now you have no idea where the Library file has been exported and saved to. In the logfile you will see the path to the Library file.

Copy the path shown in the Logfile and paste it into a Windows explorer window. You will then see that the Library file (with the extension .idcl) has been saved. Now you can copy this to your other computer. In my case I copied it to a portable HDD and then copied and pasted it into the path shown in my Inventor/Tools/Application Options/Content Centre tab on my home PC.

At this point I thought I'd have to do some trickery or magic to get my home PC to see the exported CC Library, but I couldn't figure that out so I just fired up Inventor and went to Tools/Editor and 'abracadabra hey presto' my copied and shared CC Library was already in my Desktop CC. Inventor has some mechanism to see new Desktop CC Libraries and load them up. #Bonus.

All together it's much easier than I thought to get all of my heavily customised CC data from my day job Vault server to my home Desktop PC.

Now, a few mental notes I've made along the way :-
  1. Any updates to my day job Vault CC Libraries won't automatically be reflected in my non-Vault Desktop CC. I think there must be a way of getting the updates and if I find it I'll write a new blog on the process.
  2. See that I went from Vault/Inventor CC dataset in 2014 format to my home PC also at 2014 version. I'm not certain but I would think this is normal and any attempt to get previous version CC into later version Desktop won't work and probably the same result the other way.

Finally, for those interested, below is a video of the process.

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