Archive for December, 2009

Slice Graphics Display Texture Change

December 17, 2009

CAUTION: Before attempting any change to the Windows registry, make a backup. See the Windows Help files on how to back up the registry.

There’s no UI for this, but if you REALLY want to change the dotted, concrete-looking texture here’s how.

NOTE: This regisstry modification is UNDOCUMENTED and NOT tested by Inventor QA. NO TECH SUPPORT is available on this tip.

So here goes…

1. Close Inventor.

2. Start > Run > regedit > OK.

3. In the Registry Editor dialog, go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Autodesk\Inventor\RegistryVersion(current release number)\System\Preferences\ColorSchemes\Schemes

4. Expand the “Schemes” folder & click folder of the color scheme number where you want to change the texture.

FYI – here is the mapping between color scheme number and name:
Num Name
(1)     Deep Blue
(3)     Forest
(4)     High Contrast
(5)     Millennium
(7)     Presentation
(9)     Sky
(10)   Winter Day
(12)   Wonderland

5. On a blank area of the right pane of the regedit dialog, right-click > New > String Value.

6. Rename “New Value #1” to SliceCapTexturePath. The name must be entered exactly as shown here — registry variables are case sensitive.

7. Double-click the name, and the Edit String dialog will pop up.

8. Enter either an absolute path in the Value data field or a dash ( – ). Absolute path example: C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Inventor 10\Textures\surfaces\Carpet_Pat06.bmp. See below for what the dash does.

9. Hit OK.

10. This must be done for each color scheme (see above) that you want to change.

11. Exit the registry editor & start Inventor and try the Section View and Slice Graphics.

Here’s how Inventor determines how to display sliced graphics. Thanks to Paul Hanau (Inventor developer).

If SliceCapTexturePath is absent, you get the default texture.

Otherwise (SliceCapTexturePath is present)

If string value is “” (empty), you get the default texture
If string value is “-“ (dash), you get no texture at all on cut faces.
Otherwise, Inventor tries to load the .bmp file with the given absolute path and uses it as the cut face texture.

That’s it.


Projects or Project files, which is it….?

December 17, 2009

Project files; engineering vs. Inventor…

As inventor users are aware of Inventor project files (File.ipj) are necessary for productive work. It has always been a critical part of a proper Autodesk Inventor configuration, and several years ago we had 4 different types of project files, Shared, Semi-Isolated, Single, and Vault. With the introduction of Inventor 2008, 2009 and now 2010, two have disappeared from general user view, Shared and Semi-Isolated, that in my opinion is a very good thing.

It seems that every time I visit a client we have project file issues, and it seems to develop from older materials and suggestions from the help and getting started guides provided with the applications. Something like, and I take some writers license here, “Make a project file for each design…” well this can be made to work but is usually not the best plan. Engineering firms look at “Projects” as a job or a task for a client or potential client, whereas Inventor looks at the Project as a “Vault/Inventor” Configuration file, thus the problems that seem to appear with project files vs. engineering projects. Inventor expects to see one project file that is used by all design team members that is configured to point to a replicated workspace on each designers system.  The Inventor Project file sets the relationship between the individual system workspaces and the Mapping to the Vault database and filestore, In short it places all the designers’ files in a common master location, allowing all design team members to be looking at or working with the same design data. When an individual users elects to work on a file they access it via the vault client while using the universal Inventor project (File.ipj) regardless of the actual engineering project, be it something for Texaco or something for Bob’s machine shop, and when a user checks out a file the Inventor project file (File.ipj) will correctly place a working copy of the file on the users workspace on their individual system. Checking out a file with the vault client application will mark the master file as contained in a file store managed by the Autodesk Data Management Server application as checked out, which the vault client will access via the configured Inventor project file (File.ipj)

So here’s how I see it; I.T. teams and Inventor Vault/ADMS administrators might want to highlight the difference between user projects and Inventor projects, we should define a new Inventor project file naming scheme. I know I’m going to start defining Vault project files with a naming convention that looks something like this;  Adesk_Inventor_config.ipj just to make it perfectly clear that they (Eng project vs. Inventor Projects) are something different than Bob’s or Texaco’s project work…

Just some thoughts I wanted to put down for your consumption and or planning, purely a suggestion and not set in stone.

If you have any thoughts or additions please feel free to respond and let me know…



And of course, Happy Holiday Season…!