TODOT CAD AUTOMATION
Quick Guide for Autodesk Inventor
In this section we analyze how to use ToDoT CAD Automation with Autodesk Inventor. Find out how the interface, the main. menu and the file menu are composed. Learn how to convert the drawings of a group and from a folder and set up automatic paper printing.
If you need further support, contact the help desk: email@example.com
To return to the main page of the guide: click here
The interface consists of these elements:
- Main menu
- Selection area
- Converted files destination
- Notification area
The help tab contains links to the online help and information on the license, as well as on the activation of the purchased copy.
From the Home tab you can access the main program commands:
- Browse assembly: allows you to select an assembly from which to extract his drawings and designs all of its components
- Browse folder: allows you to select a folder and extract all the idw file in the folder and its subfolders.
The other buttons launch the conversion of the selected IDW files:
- Export to DXF: from IDW to DXF
- Export to PDF: IDW to PDF
- Export to DWG: IDW to DWG
- Export to DWFx: IDW to DWFx
- Export to DWF: IDW to DWF
The file menu contains two commands:
- New: clears the selection area and prepares to load a new assembly
- Exit: closes the program
To clean the contents of the selection area, you can also use the corresponding command on the context menu that appears by clicking with the right mouse button in a point of the selection area.
CONVERTING THE DRAWINGS OF A GROUP
First you need to load the assembly structure in ToDoT: by pressing the "Browse Overall" command, a window appears from which you can browse the file system. Once the desired assembly has been identified, select it and choose the “Open” command.
For each element or subgroup, ToDoT checks whether there is a drawing in the same position as the corresponding 3D: the components of the assembly can be in different folders, the important thing is that each is in the same position on its drawing. The assembly structure with these conventions is displayed in the selection area:
- parts and assemblies are indicated with the same Autodesk Inventor icon, together with the file name and structured with the same levels visible in the CAD tree
- if the corresponding drawing is available, the IDW file icon appears
- if a presentation file is available, the IPN file icon appears if a description has been filled in the iProperties will be shown in the last column
- The check mark indicates that the corresponding IDW will be processed when the export is launched: by default all drawings are selected. If you do not want to export some drawings, just remove the check mark.
- In the notification area (6) you can see how many drawings have been found and how many of these are selected.
By selecting a code in the tree, a 3D image appears in the preview box (5). By clicking on the associated drawing icon in the preview, an image of the drawing will be displayed. Same goes for a presentation file.
With the selector (4) you can decide where the converted files should be saved, the options are:
- Save each new file to the same path as the source .idw drawing
- Choose a folder and make sure that all files are stored there
To start the conversion, use one of the Export commands on the Home tab, according to the format you want. At this point ToDoT starts Autodesk Inventor and proceeds to open and convert all the selected drawings.
In summary, the procedure is as follows:
- Choose the assembly to process
- Modify the selection of drawings by unchecking those that should not be converted
- Choose the destination folder for the converted files
- Launch the appropriate command to start the conversion (eg "Export DWG" if you want to create DWG files)
- Wait for the procedure to be completed: ToDoT will launch each of the chosen files in Inventor and convert it to the required format
CONVERT DRAWINGS FROM A FOLDER
First you need to indicate the starting folder using the “Browse Folder” command, which calls up a window from which to select the directory from which to search for the IDW files.
After highlighting and confirming the starting folder, the program scans the files and subfolders extracting the list of IDW files. The result is loaded into the selection area:
The tree structure shows the folders within which the search was made and the drawings found and their 3D file for each.
The procedures are similar to the case discussed above:
- By default all drawings are checked
- To exclude some drawings from the conversion just uncheck
- The notification area shows the count of the total and selected files
- The preview box shows the code selected in the tree, or the drawing if you click on the IDW icon
The saving position of the converted drawings can still be set with the selector (4):
Once you have checked the documents you want to convert and the folder where to save them, click on the export command (on the home tab) of the chosen format, the procedure starts: ToDoT opens the selected drawings in Inventor and exports them in the chosen format.
Do you need further support?
Contact the help desk: firstname.lastname@example.org
PAPER PRINT FROM INVENTOR
ToDoT CAD Automation can automatically print on paper. In the menu you will find the "Print Inventor" group:
The group includes these commands:
- Print: starts printing the drawings selected in the tree of the main window
- Printing options: you can choose different printing profiles (for example to print the drawings in true size, or send everything reduced to A4)
- Set print options: to change print profiles, decide which printers to send copies to, etc.
VIDEO: REAL SIZE PRINT
See how to set the print options to print all Inventor sheet formats in actual size:
Print option settings
Clicking on Set print options opens a form that allows you to assign certain parameters to each Inventor sheet format.
Overview of the Set Print Configurations
A) Configuration management. The operations available in this section are:
- Selection of the configuration from the list;
- Adding a new configuration;
- Deleting a configuration;
- Saving configuration changes.
B) Options associated with the selected configuration.
The operations available in this section are:
- Display of the printing options of the various sheets for the selected configuration;
C) The buttons act on the selection of options in the grid B. In particular they allow:
Remove selected print options;
Change the selected print option.
D) Sheet printing options. In this section you can set the following parameters for each Inventor sheet format:
- Inventor sheet format. The list contains the Inventor sheet formats for which the print options have not yet been saved and therefore are not present in grid B;
- Printer. List of printers available on the computer;
- Printer format. The sheet format available on the printer on which you want to print that Inventor sheet format;
- Scale. The type of scale to adopt. The available options are:
- 1: 1
- Current window
- Number of copies. Number of copies of each single sheet to be printed
- All colors as black;
- Rotate by 90 degrees;
- Remove Object Line Weights.
At the first start some default settings are loaded. The name of the printer with a red background indicates that that printer is not available on your computer. For a correct functioning of the printout there must be no cells with a red background.
The drop-down list contains the names of the saved configurations
The Add configuration button allows you to create a new configuration.
The button opens a mask in which you need to enter the name you want to assign to the new configuration
By clicking on the OK button, the new configuration is added to the list and the options grid is emptied.
By clicking on the Delete configuration button, the selected configuration will be deleted.
By clicking on the button Save configuration you will save the changes made to the options of the selected configuration.
When new print options are changed or added to the grid, the Save configuration button is activated.
Print options grid
The grid shows the details of the configuration selected from the list. For each inventor sheet format, the following options are displayed:
- Name of the print on which to print;
- Format of the sheet to print on;
- Number of copies to print;
- All colors as black;
- Rotate by 90 degrees;
- Remove Object Line Weights.
With the Remove print options button you can delete the print options selected in the grid.
With the Change print options button, the print option selected in the grid is opened for modification (in the case of multiple selection, the first print option of the selection will be opened for modification).
Adding a new configuration
To add a new print option, set the various print options to the selected Inventor sheet format and press the Add print options button.
Edit selected configuration
By selecting an option in the grid and clicking on the Change print options button, the settings of the selected option are reflected in the “Sheet printing options” box.
VIDEO Automatic paper printing in A4 with Autodesk Inventor
Let's see how to set up automatic printing with ToDoT CAD Automation, so that all the drawings are printed in A4 format with automatic forwarding to the same device.
In this case it will no longer be possible to change the format of the Inventor sheet, but only the other parameters.
Adding new configuration: "print all on A4"
Open the print options management mask by clicking the Set print options button
Click on the Add configuration button
After clicking on the OK button in the mask for entering the name of the configuration, the new configuration is loaded into the main mask, which at the moment will not have configured print options.
In this example we set up to print all inventor sheet formats on the same printer and with the same target format.
The first thing to set up is the Inventor Sheet Format. By clicking on the format, a list appears that contains all Inventor sheet formats. Select the format you want to assign print options to. Let's start for example with the A4 format
The next step is to indicate on which printer you want to send the print of the selected Inventor format. The default printer value is the default printer name. By clicking on the name of the printer, the list of printers available appears on the computer and you can select the one on which to send the printout.
Once the printer has been selected, the printer sheet format can be selected. By clicking on Printer format you see the list of all formats available for that printer. Select the output format for printing.
Another option to set is the Scale to be adopted when printing our A4 sheet. We set Adapt so that the contents of the Inventor sheet are adapted to the format chosen as the destination.
You can now set the number of copies you want to print.
We set that all the lines in the drawing are all printed in black. To do that you must click in the pane All colors as Black
We leave the other two settings blank, that means Rotate by 90 degrees and Remove Object Line Weight. Once all the options for printing the A4 format Inventor sheet have been set, we can add these options to the print configuration by clicking the Add print options button.
At this point the print options for A4 format will appear in the list of print options:
Then you just have to set the options for the other sheet formats as well. You will then select the A3 format. Every time a format is added to the configuration options list, it is removed from the Inventor sheet formats list. For each print configuration you can associate print options to each single Inventor sheet format only once.
Once the print options have been added for all sheet formats, it is necessary to save the changes made by clicking the Save configuration button
The new print configuration is now visible in the configuration list.
When the window for setting print options is closed, you are asked to restart the ToDoT.
Once the ToDoT is restarted the new print configuration will be available in the Inventor Print menu
Changing a Print Configuration
To change a configuration print option, select the line that contains the option you want to change. In our case we have selected the row of the A3 sheet format.
Click on the Change print options button
In the Sheet Printing Options panel, you can view the settings of the printing option selected and opened for editing.
It is possible in this mode to change all the settings, except the Inventor Sheet Format. In our case we want to change the setting: All colors to black.
Let's make the change and click the Add print options button.
The print option for A3 sheet format will be updated in this way.
To make the change effective, click the Save configuration button
Adding new configuration "Print 1: 1"
To print each sheet format (A1, A2, A3 ect ..) automatically to its own printer, just create a new configuration and map it.
In this case we will call it "Print 1: 1", therefore, as explained in the example above, the initial procedure remains the same:
Click on Add configuration button
To add print options to the new configuration, you must set the desired values in the Sheet Print Options panel
We proceed with the creation of the various sheet formats we need.
In this case we start by adding an A4 format
Then select the printer on which I want our newly selected sheet format to arrive
Since we are configuring 1: 1 print, having set an A4 under the item "inventor sheet format", even in "printer format" I keep an A4
Under the voice scale instead I go to select 1:1
At this point we can set the number of copies we want to print.
We set that all the lines in the drawing are printed in black. To do this, click in the All colors as black box
We leave the other two settings (Rotate by 90 degrees and Remove Object Weight Line) blank.
Once all the options for printing the A4 format Inventor sheet have been set, we can add these options to the print configuration by clicking the Add print options button.
Now the print option for A4 format will appear in the list of print options:
Now you need to set options for the other sheet formats as well. We select the A3 format. Whenever a format is added to the configuration options list, it is removed from the Inventor sheet formats list. For each print configuration it is possible to associate print options to each single Inventor sheet format only once.
I set up the printer where I want the sheet size is a 1: 1
I continue with choosing the printer format and its scale (in this case 1: 1)
I choose the number of copies, if I want to print without colors or rotated ect ..
At the end I click on Add print options
At this point, the A3 format will also appear in the list of print options
Then I complete the options of the new configuration that I am creating by also adding the sheet formats that I will need (in this case I continue with A2 A1 and A0)
Once I have added all the sheet formats I need, I save this new configuration.
After saving, we will proceed by closing the program.
Once reopened we can see our new configuration created in the list as shown in the figure