iLogic is by far most-used application within Inventor. Autodesk Vault is the most-used PDM system for Inventor. This article explores how to achieve synergy between the two by connecting them.

iLogic and Vault

Benefits of Managing iLogic Rules and Settings in Autodesk Vault

A Vault administrator can manage all users' access to external iLogic rules and set files based on lifecycles or object-based permissions. As a best practice, all files consolidate in a single folder structure. For this sample implementation, we extended the Inventor iLogic default location managing External Forms as part of the Design Data library (Figure 1).

Related: Inventor iLogic Best Practices and Fundamentals for Success with Thomas Fitzgerald

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Figure 1

Benefits of managing rules by a Vault Lifecycle (Figure 1)

  • Read/Write access for Rule Editors to rules in the state "Work in Progress."

  • Optional – Download restriction for non-editors for rules in the state "Work in Progress."

  • Read access for all iLogic rule consumers to rules in the state "Released."

  • History of rule changes and revisions (Figure 2)

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Figure 2

Benefits of managing iLogic settings by a Vault Lifecycle

  • Restrict the change of settings to CAD Administrators or iLogic Rule Authors (Figure 4)

  • Restrict to Edit or Add External Forms by managing the file iLogicBrowserUIFormSpecification.xml (Figure 3)

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Figure 3
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Figure 4

Tip: Include iLogic rule and settings in Thunderdome deployments.

The Vault Extension "Project Thunderdome for Autodesk Vault" includes all rules and setting files in Client deployments. Use the option "Enforce Deployment" to automatically share all changes to any client. Click on Figure 5 below to navigate to the Autodesk App Store.

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Figure 5

Benefits of Connecting iLogic Rules with Vault

There are many use cases and automation workflows that benefit from directly accessing Vault files by iLogic rules. Here, we address two frequently-asked solutions demonstrating what you can achieve by searching in Vault or downloading needed files from Vault.

Dynamic Rules

This article defines a static Multi-Value as a Text Parameter Multi-Value list saved in an Inventor file (Figure 6) or rule.

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Figure 6

We called rules that actively retrieve list definitions based on a search result from Vault "Dynamic Rules" (Figure 7).

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Figure 7

Benefits:

  • Dynamic rules deliver individual results based on the Vault connected to or related to an individual company Vault's content.

  • Dynamic rules or the Inventor part or assembly file do not require any change to update or edit Multi-Value lists and their consuming iLogic Forms.

Design-Reuse

Building assembly variants by updating multiple parameters may result in an unmanageable number of variants and files (Figure 8).

A valid strategy to avoid this is not to save the configured variant and derive neutral files and drawings like STEP and PDF files from the updated model.

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Figure 8

Another strategy is managing all created combinations and variants in the Vault. A lookup of iLogic rules in Vault for existing variants and model sizes is critical to realize this strategy. The sample model does not update the model with each parameter change; instead, the "Refresh Configuration Preview" button runs a rule that updates the current model's sizing and components and reports search results from Vault about matching variants existing in Vault.

Based on the search result, the rule can open and re-use existing components or assembly models (Figure 9) or run another rule creating a new assembly by adding new to or reusing existing Vault components (Figure 10).

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Figure 9
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Figure 10

Writing iLogic-Vault Rules

Note: The instructions on writing iLogic-Vault rules do not walk you through any steps to build the sample models and rules. They describe major steps and concepts on how to achieve the results demonstrated in the related presentation.

Download the Inventor iLogic Trial Sample Dataset and Step-by-Step-Guide

Inventor Data Set

Step-by-Step-Guide

Open the Inventor main assembly file "WheelAssembly.iam" in Inventor and complete all steps following the step-by-step-guide. Save and check-in the result into your Vault. By completing this step, your model behaves, as shown in Figure 6.

Download and Install the iLogic-Vault sample library, "QuickstartiLogicLibrary."

Download the latest release.

Follow the web page instructions on reading and accepting the disclaimer text file before opening and using this sample.

Install the Extension library by copying the library files to the iLogic add-ins directory configured on your computer (Figure 11).

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Figure 11

Merge the iLogic-Vault Snippets with your User Snippets, and do not forget to save the snippet file (Figure 12).

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Figure 12

Copy the iLogic-Vault rule sample files to one of your configured External Rule Directories (Figure 13).

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Figure 13

Your First Dynamic Rule

Create a copy of the WheelAssembly.iam while replacing the wheel part with a copy using Vault Copy Design.

The file names used in the video demonstrations are:

WheelAssembly_VaultSearch.iam

M-RS-0019-A OZ Racing Alleggerita Wheel 20 inch.ipt

Open the new assembly and select the 20-inch size to update the wheel's size accordingly.

Create a new Text Parameter "Wheel" with text "M-RS-0019-A OZ Racing Alleggerita Wheel 20 inch" (Figure 14, (1)) and change the rule to replace the wheel with changing sizes (Figure 14 (2)).

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Figure 14

Save the result and create more copies of the wheel in Vault for each size and update the model accordingly. Release two of them (Figure 15).

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Figure 15

Create the new rule "SearchWheels" as shown in the video:

https://youtu.be/Ab8KcxNIxe0

The last necessary step is not shown in the video. You need to update the Form by changing the dropdown list for the size. Bind it to the new rule (Figure 16).

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Figure 16

 

Want more? Download the class handout to read on.

Markus is a solution engineer for Vault Products. He is driven by customer needs and practical workflows and is always eager to overcome barriers by extensions or automation. That is the simple reason that he started programming Inventor, Inventor iLogic, and Vault APIs with the background of a mechanical engineer.

Companion Class

iLogic is by far the most used application within Inventor software. Vault software is the most used product data management (PDM) system for Inventor. This class elaborates on how both can collaborate by connecting to each other. Attending this class, you will discover the answer to these four questions: What can you achieve for iLogic rule execution if your rule connects to Vault? How can you achieve the iLogic-Vault connection without knowing the Vault API? What can you achieve for Vault Job...

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