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Thursday, 20 August 2009

Using Autodesk Inventor Content Libraries

Autodesk Inventor ships with over 1.1 million standard library parts – nuts, bolts, bearings, pins, frame, tee’s, elbows, pipes etc, they are all there for you to use within your designs quickly and easily.

All of the standards parts are categorised into their own Content Centre library by international standard, there are seven libraries available:
  • ANSI (American National Standard Institute)
  • BSI (British Standards Institute)
  • DIN (Deutsches Institut für Normung (German))
  • Feature (Part features library)
  • GOST (Gosudarstvennyy Standart (Russian))
  • ISO (International Standards Organisation)
  • JIS & GB (Japanese Industrial Standards & Guobiao(Chinese))
  • Other (Components that don’t fall into any of the other library’s)
  • Parker (Hydraulic hose components)
  • Routed Systems (Tube, Pipe, Cable & Wire harness components)
  • Sheet Metal (Sheet metal fasteners)
Each library is a database file that contains all of the relevant information for the components and their families. You don’t need to know anything about managing databases though as we make it easy to use the libraries either as Desktop Content or via Autodesk Data Management Console (Vault).

If you launch Autodesk Inventor and go to the Content Centre tab of your application options you will see whether you are using Desktop Content or managing your libraries via Autodesk Vault. You can also switch between the two at this point if you want to.

Desktop Content uses a file stored on the local users workstation and are designed to be used by one engineer, whereas libraries managed by Autodesk Vault are managed via the Autodesk Data Management Console and can be shared amongst many design engineers.

To see which libraries you have installed, log in to the Autodesk Data Management Console and in the Libraries folder see if you have all the libraries you require. If you don’t use the installation DVD to install the required libraries.

Once you do have all the required libraries installed, all you need to do is check that your Inventor project can see all the libraries you require.

Select Projects from the Get Started ribbon, and click on the ‘Configure Content Centre Libraries’ button towards the lower right of the dialogue. This will allow you to see which libraries you have access to and which libraries are available in this project. Make sure they ones you require have a tick next to them.

You will also be able to see if you are using Desktop Content (with the folder location of the library database files) or if you are using Autodesk Vault to manage your libraries.

Theres also a whole host of supplier content available to use via the on-line Autodesk Supplier Content Center:


You can access the above web page directly from within Inventor using the Team Web tool on the Tools ribbon.