How to utilise Vault to consume CAD files


In any Engineering workflow process one finds themselves having to share information or documentation with colleagues who do not have access to the CAD or Engineering software that you utilise.  With Autodesk Vault, you have a single location to collect all that data but how do you share it in the format that it needs to be delivered.

Inventor, AutoCAD and Autodesk Vault work with the following file types which are not easily consumed if you do not have the design software.

  • DWG
  • IDW
  • IPT
  • IAM
  • IPN

The most common form for 2D documents to be consumed downstream is the PDF file format.  Everyone has Adobe reader and it makes sense to use that file format.

Now how do we automate those type of files with the Vault?  There is an Automatic IDW/DWG publish to PDF within Vault using the Job Server.  This works either on a lifecycle (or manual process) so when you either release a file from work in progress (WIP) to released it can create this file.  You can also have this file saved outside the Vault in a folder of your choosing so that anyone who does not have access to the Vault can view.  The other way for those users to view the file is by giving them thin client access.  This will allow viewing access to the Vault through your Internet browser.

The files that are represented on your Browser would be DWF/x files.  A very lightweight CAD viewing file that Autodesk has created.  Think of it as a ‘PDF for CAD’ file.