One of the very cool new features in the A360 Viewer is the ability to upload Composite Designs. What is really nice about this is that you can upload a file that references other files. Here is a direct link for working with uploads including Composite Design.
Upload a composite design
A composite design enables you to store, view, share, and manage designs as a single item. A composite design is a set of files that contains connections, references, and links to supporting files necessary for working with the design properly. For example, 3DS, DWG, IAM, OBJ, and RVT files can be composite design files. To maintain these connections and upload the supporting files, use this upload method:
- Click Upload and select the composite design file.
Tip: You can also drag files into the Upload box. If you’re using the Google Chrome browser, you can drag entire folders for uploading. The Select Folders option isn’t available in other browsers currently. A360 recognizes composite designs and provides Upload Options.
- Optional: From the list of files to be uploaded, in the Status column, locate any unwanted files and click the corresponding “X” to remove the unwanted file.
- Under Upload Options, select Composite Design.
- From the Parent Design drop-down list, select the design file to which all other files are related.
- Optional: Click Change Destination to locate the project and folder where you want to store the content.
- Click Upload.
Tip: Downloading a composite design, a folder, or multiple files provides a ZIP file of all the files.
Now that we have read the help, let’s take a look at how it works and some limitations that you will want to know about. We can start with an Inventor design that has multiple parts in it. This is one of the sample parts that you can find on the Autodesk WEB site for Inventor.
Once you have the samples download and extracted let’s take a look at how you can upload the composite design to A360.
TIP: The main files and all reference files need to be in the same folder or sub folder locations for this to work. A360 is a WEB Based and browsers are not going to know where to find your reference files.
Let’s start by prepping your project for the Composite Upload. Go to the DATA Section and create a new folder. I’m starting with an Inventor sample file of a Computer, so let’s create a folder called Inventor and then a subfolder called Computer.
TIP: Keep in mind how you want to track your data when naming the folders or sub folders for in the DATA section of A360.
We have extracted the files and know where they are and have created the folders to upload the files to. Now let’s start a composite upload.
TIP: After clicking on the “Select Folders” you will get a “Browse For Folder” dialog. You already know the path for the Composite upload, so copy and paste in the path to the folder.
Once you click on OK it will bring up the “Select files to upload” dialog. It’s very important that you click on the “Composite Design” option. By default it’s going to be pointing at the “Individual files” option. Once you select “Composite Design” you will see a new option – “Parent Design”. In the case of this example, there are both DWG and Inventor “.iam” files.
Click the dropdown and select the “Personal Computer.iam” file.
Here is what the entire folder structure looks like after extracting the Inventor sample file. Note that everything is in the folders needed to view the computer as a Composite Design.
Now that we have everything selected, click on the Upload button. This will start the process of uploading the files to A360 into your Inventor/Computer subfolder. You will also bet a nice progress bar showing that the files are all being uploaded. This does not take very long.
Once the files are all uploaded, you will see the Inventor icon showing you that the files are uploaded as a Composite Design.
TIP: At this point we are doing our magic behind the scenes to make this file viewable to you. You don’t need to stick around for this part, go ahead and do something else while these files are doing what we internally call translation. Once this is complete, you will see a thumbnail view of the computer.
Now you can see what this looks like after the file has been uploaded and translated. What is nice about this is that you can open up this file on both WEB and Mobile and see all the parts. You can rotate it, isolate the parts, and even comment on the design.
Give this a try with your files and let us know how it goes! You can also find more about this in the help for A360.
TIP: Be sure to spend some time in the A360 Help, there is a lot of great information there.