Inventor is relatively new to our drafting department. We have been using it here and there for things but we are now really starting to go to a higher level with the amount that we use it. For so many things now we use inventor models and create drawings from them. We dont use project files at all. I did some research and found it is very helpful when you organize your files on a project base. Our issue is that we organize all of our drawings by drawing number and size. First A, B, C, D, size, then under that you will find the folder that houses the drawing by its thousands place. Ex, Drawing 23595B would be in the B folder, then under the 23K folder, then you would find the drawing. This however is a very poor way to organize parts and assemblies. We dont store the part or assembly files under those drawing directories because it would be very unorganized and hard to find things. We have run into the issue where when you open a drawing, the reference errors pop up (unresolved reference). Sometimes it cant find a part. Other times it warns us that the file is "not in the current project".
Being so new to this we need to figure out an effective way to manage our files and I am reaching out to you all for some help. My friend told me Project files are the way to do it. At this point we have so many drawings out there from AutoCAD or now from Inventor that we dont want to change the structure of where the drawings are filed.
I appreciate any help.
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I'm a strong proponent of the Single project method. We use one project file for everything. As long as all of the files you regularly use are in a folder structure that falls underneath the folder that your project is located in you should be fine. Are you using Vault? Content Center? There are other considerations for those.
No we are not using Vault. I was curious if people would suggest using it.
I understand what you are describing for how you use a single project file. Currently we have a drive. It is the G: Drive. Under there we have the folders for Drawings, Templates, and others that hold all of the parts and assemblies we have created. If we just put that project file into the g drive at the top level, you're saying everything should be fine?
We do use content center. (we have created a custom content center on the network so that when we use a part from it the file reference doesnt get lost) The default puts it on in the c drive in "my docs" and if my coworker puts a part from content center from his c drive, my machine doesnt have that reference so it would get lost.
Here is what we do:
Our top drive is K:
Under K:, I have a folder called Work. That's the folder specified in my project file, and under that I have all of our Job folders, parts (not Content Center, but things we model ourselves... sort of a WIP parts folder), Quotes, etc. Above the project folder is my Content Center, Design Data, Templates. I'm unsure of the reason for this, but when I was migrating everything from 6 different projects to the single project, the system told me that library files needed to be above the project folder (content center for example)... so leave some space between your G: drive, and the Project folder.
But, yes, I think that once you set up your project like that, you should be able to open and edit anything that is under the project file.
We were having trouble because our parts files were in a separate project. So, if you were building an assembly and needed to stop and fix a part... you had to save, close, change projects, then open and edit the part.... save, close, change projects again.... got to be a major pain.
Despite my signature line... when it comes to projects, I'm still a bit of a novice... but I'm happy to help you through and/or pull in some other guys who may know more as you move forward.
We keep our Project files rather simple, we only break down our Projects to 2, one for our own products and the other for special customer work. We will end up with 3 different directories.
1: Our Work Directory
2: Customer Work Directory
3: Library Parts> components from Supplies that we can't change
For the Customer Directory, our Work Directory and the Supplier Directory are Library's that can't be edited. This way if we use some of our existing components for a special customer job, they can't be modified.
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