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Factory Design Utilities for Everyone | Expert Elite Highlight: Timon Först

By: Advocate | Posted ‎01-12-2017 03:09 AM , edited ‎01-18-2017 12:47 PM |

Timon Först shares a peek at how Autodesk Factory Design Utilities can be used outside of a factory design project. Autodesk thanks Timon for inaugurating the AutodeskHelp blog's Expert Elite Highlight series for the new year. Enjoy the blog post below!


Header - Factory Design.png

Hello folks!

Since the change of the license model from Suites to Collections, users now have more functionality in their software.

Product Design Suite users especially now have Factory Design Utilities.


So, what now?



Ok, let's be clear about one thing: you can use the factory utilities in the classic way to plan factories.

But here’s the important thing: I call it Project Utilities. I use it for many different projects!

My main clients are not the factory planners. There are people who manufacture products from mechanical engineering, special machine construction, plant construction to customer products.

Where can my clients profit from the Project Utilities?

A majority of my clients have a planning stage before they even design their products. The main questions before they start their project are:

• Where do I integrate my product in the customer premises?
• How can I use the layout from the premises?
• How can I arrange my products in the available space?
• Can I easily build a “configurator” of my main products to show my customer the planned layout?
• Can I combine the ease of 2D planning and the beauty of 3D to show it to my customer?


The good thing is: Yes, you can do all of this, and I want to show you this in a simple example of a kitchen maker.


My clients requirements were the following:
• Standardized products have to be configurable
• Fast layout
• Integrate point clouds from 3D scanners or 2D DWG files
• Convince the customer with 3D images or 3D Viewing formats
• Automated sheet metal process to dxf files

So let's talk about the theory. What is the workflow to speed up the internal process to perform more in less time?


In the factory assembly, I place all assets. It also contains the layout (from point cloud or AutoCAD DWG). This assembly can be synced to AutoCAD.
In AutoCAD I can use the same assets, like in Inventor.

002 Layout.JPG

ASSETS are simplified versions of our cabinets, in this example. But for my client I decided to extend the intelligence. So it contains more than usual.


Assets are intelligent objects that can swap parameters. e.g. you can swap the height from the first cabinet to the next one. So you only have to set the height once and all assets get the same height. Of course you can update an asset in the height and all connected cabinets update with the new value. Brilliant isn’t it?!


After that we check in the Assembly with all assets; the dwg and so on, and release them in Vault, once the customer accepts the kitchen.


Besides the Asset, we create a detailed assembly from the asset. In this example, the asset is a sheet metal multi-body part. So we can easily create components in Inventor from the single bodies.



In the next step, we use Vault Copy Design and replace the shown asset with my variant asset. The detailed assembly is automatically updated from our asset (e.g. width, height, foot suppression).


After the copy process I have to open the assembly (and drawings) and check if everything is correct. Now we can make customer required adjustments.

If everything done, I check this assembly in to Vault and release it.
In Vault we have set up a DXF creation job for sheet metal parts and so by releasing the parts, the DXF will be created automatically.

Now I want to show you some detailed information about this workflow.


Placing and adjusting the assets
I prepared the Layout ❶ assembly and synced it to AutoCAD.
I also can see here my assets ❷ in AutoCAD an Inventor.



Create the detailed assembly.

Click on the images or links below to view the steps.

Note: there is no audio provided and the Vault software used is in German, but simple enough to understand)


Video 1.JPG


Link: 2.JPG

So as we see here, we are able explore a little bit more about different opportunities of using this “Project Utilities”.
Any product that comes in a sort of variation can be used for this workflow, whether the project is a wind power station in an area, tracks for an outdoor lift or kitchen cabinets.


I hope I can and have sparked your imagination for the use of the Autodesk Factory Design Utilities.

If you have questions please don’t hesitate to contact me.


ABOUT METimon Furst - EE.jpg


Hi my name is Timon Först and I live in Germany.


As a Senior Consultant in my professional work, I help our customers to get more out of their Software. My job is not just to sell Autodesk Software, I want that my clients made the best in class. I consult my clients how they can profit from PDM Workflows, how they could connect their CAD Data with an ERP System or how they can profit with their 3D data like renderings or animations.


In my free time I like to photograph architecture. This is a good balancing to my job because I have only to concentrate on my buildings and how I can photograph them from their best side.


If you are interested in more information about me or my work, you can find it on my professional site:

private site: 


I would like it if you get in touch with me via LinkedIn (




*Autodesk would like to thank Timon for being a part of the Expert Elite program and making contributions to the Autodesk community. We look forward to many more positive communication and collaboration in this new year! Please don't forget to give a kudos if you've enjoyed this article.

By: Employee
| Posted ‎01-17-2017 06:13 PM

Great workflow and nice sharing.

By: Collaborator petestrycharske
| Posted ‎03-14-2017 07:26 AM



Good morning!  I couldn't agree more!  After first working with Factory Design Suite a few years ago, I also came to the realization that it wasn't just a tool for factory layouts.  In fact, I started telling customers that Factory Design Suite was a bit of a misnomer, and told them it should be called "configuration design suite".  We've been using it to help customers build configurable assembly assets, which in turn produce a customized BOM for each unique project.  I'm excited it's been added to the rest of the product design community, via the collections, and try to let customers know the benefits whenever I can!  Keep up the great work, hope all is well and have a most blessed day!




By: Advocate
| Posted ‎03-15-2017 01:43 AM

Thank you @petestrycharske,

I hope that customers use this oppertunity in the collection. We have so great technology!



About Först

Ich bin Senior Consultant bei N+P Informationssystem GmbH ( und habe im Bereich Manufacturing (Inventor und PSP/Vault) Erfahrung seit 2006, das ich gerne mit meinen Kunden und Kollegen teile.

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