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    By Nick Harris 

    Autodesk Design Review is a great tool for reviewing and red-lining a variety of file formats including dwf and dwfx files stored in Autodesk Vault as visualization files. It is used by default when previewing CAD data from within the Vault Explorer.

    Although the tool is well known to those directly using and accessing Vault, it can also be used as a separate stand-alone application for those users that don’t have access to Autodesk Vault.

    Simply set up a duplicate folder location outside of the Vault database e.g. a common shared folder on a company server.  The settings for this can be accessed by an Administrator task navigating through the following menus within Vault Explorer: Tools > Administration > Vault Settings and then selecting the Visualization tab and clicking the `Define’ button.

    Note that this tool can be used in any of the Autodesk Vault products including Vault Basic.

    From the default option set of Disable, choose either a flat-folder or duplicated folder structure to set up the external Windows folder tree.


    New file versions are duplicated (mirroring the Vault versions) into this folder structure, triggered by the usual check-in procedure for all Vault products. They can also be triggered by preconfigured release management processes available in Vault Workgroup and Vault Professional.


    Non-Vault users will be able to access the data by navigating to the Windows folder set-up in the previous step and using Autodesk Design Review to open each file. Design Review is available as a free download via the following link: