Inventor Express mode explained

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What exactly is Express mode?

Ever load up a large assembly and see the “loading express” text pop up while waiting for the model to fully load? That’s Autodesk’s clever way of reducing the computational intensity associated with large and complex assemblies.

Express mode is an option that ,once enabled, allows two open options –  Load Full which loads all component data and enables all commands, or, Load Express which loads only cached graphics and excludes some commands. For large assemblies, Using Express Mode can have a positive effect on performance and load times.

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How does it work?

Basically, whenever you save an assembly (*.iam) in Inventor, there is some additional cached graphics saved as well.  This extra data, referred to as “Express data”, is what enables Inventor to open the assembly faster as compared to having to load each an every single part to know what to display.

An assembly loaded using Express mode data.

Enabling express mode, can reduce loading times by up to 5x.

How do I enable Express mode?

From Inventor 2014 onwards, Express mode is enabled by default, however, it is set to activate only when opening assemblies with greater than 500 parts. If you would like to increase or decrease that trigger, do the following:

Go to Tools tab:

>Application Options >Assembly

Set the option to “Open express when referenced unique files exceeds” and change the threshold on the right. As can be seen above, I changed it to 300 parts from the default 500, so that my transformer assembly above (432 unique parts) will benefit from the cached graphics.

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