pdf drawings are king at our company. When we creat a product, pdfs (and sometimes stp files) are generated and placed in folders organized numerically by part number.
Our challenge is that finding all the current pdfs for an assembly is not automated. Thus, to get all the current drawing pdfs, someone has to open up the top level pdf, read all the part numbers, go get/print the pdfs of the parts, subassemblies, subassembly parts, etc. This is time consuming and error prone and getting worse as the number of parts we always increasing.
I'd like to automate the process. I'm thinking about a program/script that:
Has anyone done anyting similar? Have any advice? See any reason why it wouldn't work? Able to articulate why pdfs as king is a horrible idea?
It looks to me like item #1 is the biggest challenge, if you can go back to the original model and extract the parts list the next items would be much easier. When it come to extracting data like you are wanting to do PDF is not king anymore.
These link might be of interest:
I hope this helps.
Best of luck to you in all of your Inventor pursuits,
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I have implemented such a system.
These are my hints:
- make a 'release' macro: export the partlist as xls (1 level, no tree) and save drawing as pdf. If you use version or revision numbers you can add them to the drawing number (filename).
- Make a macro in excel: file open dialog for selecting partlist xls of main assembly drawing. Calling a subroutine recursively you can gather all necessary data. read the cells containing other drawing numbers and call the subroutine again. During the exploration of the tree you can copy the xls's and/or pdfs to a different folder. You can also join the xls data in a tree file.
- When the program is done you still have to join them. There a free programs to do that (e.g. PDFTools or PDFforge).
Whether pdfs are a good choice: Depends on your needs. If you stick to the 'release' plan it's usually fine, I think. But remember that they basically are a 'screenshot', so not continuously updated. For that you need IV.
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