• Blog posts


    by Chris Turner

    Autodesk Vault ‘Copy Design’ is a great tool and I know that even some single users not working in a collaborative environment, install Vault specifically so they can manage their Autodesk Inventor and use this functionality. However, even being an experienced Vault user, I learnt this tip recently when I went to the Autodesk Annual Summit in Amsterdam. It’s a really useful!


    There have been a few Blogs on Cadline Community showing ‘Copy Design’ with ‘Rename’ etc, but if you want to use ‘Copy Design’ to make unique copies and reformat the results quickly into a ‘single flat structure’, here is how you can do it. J


    If you are already familiar with Vault and ‘Copy Design’, you may want to go down to number 7 where the Tip details of using ‘Find and Replace ALL’ for the path is described.

    1. In my example here, I have a design which is made up of various parts and subassemblies. Its important to note that there is a few different folder locations and libraries paths. Remember, my goal is to make a ‘unique’ copy of the whole design and just place it in another single folder for me to work on later.

     2. After selecting the top level assembly in Vault and right-clicking to execute Copy Design, I am faced with the typical dialog box which I’m sure most Vault users of familiar with.

    3. First thing I am going to do is navigate to where I want my design ‘Copied To’ in the Vault. I have made a new folder in this case called it Cadline.

    4. Next thing I’ll do is hold down CTRL and click the ‘copy’ icon of my top level assembly. This automatically now selects all of the related parts in a single selection. Notice how some of the ‘Paths’ have appeared in RED in this case. This is because these are LIBRARY/CONTENT CENTER components and hence should not be copied but rather RE-USED.

    5. I’ll follow best practice here and de-select these to RE-USE them, but keep in mind that if you did want ‘unique’ copies of these as well, you can use the same techniques I will show in the next sections.

    6. Next, I’ll PREFIX all my files with ‘Cadline-‘ and I have also ticked the box to ‘Update Part Numbers for Copied Files

    Okay… So nothing NEW so far on how the ‘Copy Design’ tool is traditionally used! SO HERE NOW IS THE TIP!

    7. In the ‘Vault Path’ Column, notice where all the files are being ‘Copied To’ and the subfolders that are automatically created. All my copies are being placed in ‘subfolders’ under the ‘Copy Design To’ folder that I showed above. This is not what I need as I want a FLAT structure and I don’t wish to have to move the files again in the Vault later etc… I also don’t want to sit and edit EACH line item in the Copy Design dialog as this this will take me forever. 

    8. So, to put the files in the same flat structure and folder location, you can use the following trick to ‘Find and replace’ all the Vault Paths. This can be a little tricky, but WITHOUT actually having a path selected, just right-mouse-button click over one of the paths and select ‘Replace’. 



    9. This now gives you the opportunity to ‘Find and Replace’ all occurences of a path in just a few clicks.

    10. In just a few picks, I have now reformated all the ‘paths’ of the new unique files into a flat structure and single folder in the Vault.

    11. The final RESULT in Vault… Apart from the library files being re-used, all my copies are in one folder and completely independent from the original

    This is a great tip and I hope this helps some people who I know want to do this.


    Autodesk are looking at ‘re-designing’ the Copy design function in Vault, but until then in a future release, I hope this helps you do things more quickly.