Autodesk Inventor iAssembly Best PracticesHave you ever wondered if there is a correct way to manage your iAssemblies? Do you often suffer with iAssembly members not generating how you would expect them to? Or regenerating the members results in broken links within your designs? Are you happy with the way your iAssembly member folders are named? If you are wondering what the answer is to any of these questions then read on.

iAssembly Creation

  1. Perform all these steps for each iPart you wish to use in the iAssembly.
  2. Once complete, create a new assembly and build your iAssembly with either iParts solely or with a combination of standard parts and iParts.

To learn how to create iAssemblies in detail, you can follow this procedure in the Inventor Help File.

Tip: Make sure you don’t use any special characters in the Member name or Filename columns within your iAssembly Table. It can create undesirable file naming problems, or errors appearing when switching between different iAssembly members.

Autodesk Inventor iAssembly Members Folder NameThen rename the top browser node (highlighted above), type in the name of the folder you would like the iAssembly members to be saved to.

Autodesk Inventor iAssembly Members Folder Name ExampleJust remember the Top Browser Node (Green Rectangle), ISN’T the filename. This is just a workaround to control the name of the folder the iAssembly Members get published/generated/saved to.

Autodesk Inventor iAssembly FilenameThe actual file name can be found in the iProperties dialog if you need it, shown above.

Autodesk Inventor iAssembly Table Filename ColumnThe filename of your iPart members is controlled in the iPart table, by setting the column you want to become the filename. By default this is the Member name column, shown above.

Generating Members

Rule number 1, NEVER delete the iAssembly members from their folder once they are in use within designs. You will break association and potentially cause yourself A LOT of rework.

Rule number 2, DON’T assume all the members are regenerated. I experienced far too many occasions where a number of the members haven’t regenerated, post factory edits, when I was expecting them to. I found a failsafe though, if you change the value of a property in the factory, they regenerate without fail every time.

While this guide focuses on first time creation, it’s important to build in stability for future edits you will almost certainly have to perform. For this reason, its good practice to test applying some changes to your factories and make sure they translate into your members as expected. An even more thorough test would be to have the first version of members constrained in an assembly. That way when you regenerate the members you will be able to see if constraint errors occur, and tend to them immediately rather than after the iAssembly Factory has gone into ‘production’.

Autodesk Inventor iAssembly Regeneration Custom iProperty

  • Create or Modify a custom iProperty called ‘GenAssy’ as shown in the image above. This will force each iAssembly Member in the table to be regenerated.

Autodesk Inventor iAssembly Rebuild All

  • From the manage tab, Update the Mass, then Rebuild All. DON’T forget this, you may regret it later.
  • Save your file.

Autodesk Inventor Generate iAssembly Members Check

  • Highlight ALL the Members in the Inventor Browser, then select Generate Files from the context menu.
  • Switch to Windows Explorer and browse to the OldVersions folder found in the iAssembly Member folder (shown above).
  • You should see the same number of OldVersions files, as there were Members highlighted in the Inventor Browser.
  • You should also check the Date Modified properties of the files, to make sure they were generated within the expected timeframe.

You should now test your iAssembly Factory, by opening a new assembly, and placing the Factory. If everything has worked you will be able to place one of each of the members.

Autodesk Vault Check In

Autodesk Inventor iAssembly Vault Check In

  1. Switch to the Vault browser
  2. Highlight the iAssembly Factory, make sure you expand at least one Member to get to it
  3. Check In from the context menu
  4. Add a comment to describe this version of the files
  5. Click Ok.

Congratulations, you have successfully created, published and Checked In an iAssembly Factory and its Members to Vault.

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions, or require clarification just fire away in the comments below.