Automatically Create DXF Files

Flatter Files now provides the capability to automatically create and upload a DXF file of your sheet metal parts for Inventor and SolidWorks files.  DXF files are commonly needed in a manufacturing environment.  With Flatter Files, you no longer manually must create and send the DXF.  Instead the DXF file can be accessed directly from Flatter Files.   There are two ways to download the corresponding DXF for a drawing.  The first is whenever you are viewing an item there is a download button.  By clicking the download button a list of the available downloads is displayed in the top right as shown below:


If the part is a sheet metal part, then the DXF option will apear in the list.  By clicking on DXF a zip file containing individual DXF files for each sheet of the drawing will be downloaded.  In addition you can download the DXF file by right clicking on the drawing from within the library view as shown below:


The uploader application has been updated with a couple of new options.  Anytime the SolidWorks or Inventor file type is selected then the DXF creation option will appear such that you can determine whether the DXF files should be uploaded.  In addition, you can now turn off the uploading of the actual native files for each item and you can turn off the uploading of the 3D geometry files.  By turning the 3D geometry option off you will no longer be able to view a 3D view from within Flatter Files.



These new options allow you to further customize the uploader's operation such that it fits your needs.  For example, if including the native files is not important to you then by turning off this option each upload will take less time.


EPDM Integration

Flatter Files contains a simple revision control and notification system for keeping track of you content.  This revision control system makes it incredibly easy for everyone in the organization to be able to view the latest revision at any time as well as being able to view previous revisions when needed.  Flatter Files significantly reduces the potential of an incorrect revision being used.  Some companies need more advanced revision controls especially as related to the managing of a workflow within a CAD department than what Flatter Files offers.  A popular software product that provides such a capability is SolidWorks Enterprise Product Data Management (EPDM).  Flatter Files is now integrated with EPDM such that you can get the best of both worlds.

Flatter Files integration with EPDM is extremely simple to use.  First, install the Flatter Files Uploader onto a computer that has access to the EPDM Vault.  The Flatter Files Uploader is configured in the same manner as before by configuring a folder to upload.  The folder should be within EPMD Vault.  There is now an additional setting for when using the EPDM integration as shown below.



As you can see, check the box for the option "This is a folder within a PDM Vault."  Then click "Configure Vault."  This will display the following screen for configuring the access to your vault.



Currently, "SolidWorks EPDM" is the only available PDM solution integrated with Flatter Files.  Therefore, it is already selected.  The next item is the name of your vault.  Enter the appropriate name.  The last item is the final state of your workflow.  When an item reaches this point in the workflow it is considered complete and will be uploaded to Flatter Files.  Once the appropriate items have been entered click "Submit."  This will return you to the main folder configuration screen.  By clicking "Add" the folder configuration is complete.

Now that the folder is configured for use with EPDM, you are ready to begin uploading your content to Flatter Files.  This works in the same manner as before except files aren't uploaded unless a new revision has been created from within EPDM.  In addition, once the file is uploaded it is automatically checked in and immediately available for viewing.  Whenever a file is checked out it will also appear on Flatter Files as checked out such that if anyone views the file it will notify them that it is currently checked out.  The result is that all of your content is available for viewing from within Flatter Files but all of your revision control occurs entirely from within EPDM.

If you are currently an EPDM user then it is likely that you already have many revisions for many of your drawings.  Flatter Files will automatically upload all of the revisions that currently exist such that all of your existing content is available.



Autodesk Exchange Apps Store

Flatter Files is now in the Autodesk Exchange Apps Store.  By downloading from the store, a button is created in both AutoCAD and Inventor that will launch the Flatter Files Uploader application.  This button simply works just like a desktop shortcut to the Uploader application except it is built directly into AutoCAD and Inventor for quick and easy access.  In addition, if you click this button and the Uploader application is not installed on the computer, then the Uploader application will automatically be downloaded and you will be prompted to install it.

To download from the Autodesk Exchange Apps Store please click the appropriate link below.  If you use both AutoCAD and Inventor you must install it for each independently.

AutoCAD

Inventor

Once the AutoCAD version is installed, you will find the new button located in the Plug-ins tab.  To launch the application simply click the button or type the command FLATTERFILES.


Once the Inventor version is installed, you will find the new button located in the Tools tab.


Installing this button through Autodesk is not required to use Flatter Files if you are using AutoCAD or Inventor.  Instead it provides another way to access the Flatter Files Uploader Application directly from the CAD application.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected]

Uploader Video

This video shows the operation of the Flatter Files Uploader application.  The video shows how to configure and perform your first upload, check in all of the uploaded items, and edit and update a single item.


Uploader Update

The Flatter Files Uploader application has been updated to include a few new ways to simplify revision control and save you time.  The new menu includes three new items as shown below.



The first new item is "Check In All."  By simply clicking this and then selecting a reviewer all of your currently checked out items will be submitted for review.  In addition, this will automatically perform a complete upload such that all of the latest files are uploaded.  This is very convenient when you are working on large projects where you are simultaneously editing multiple items.

The second new item is "Check Out Open Files."  Whenever you start editing a drawing or document, the first thing you should do is check the item out.  This is a way to notify anyone that might view the item that it is currently being modified.  After you open the files you plan to edit, simply click "Check Out Open Files" and all of the appropriate files will be checked out.

The last item added is a listing of all of your unread notifications.  This is a simple way for you to view and quickly respond to any notifications.  This includes being able to accept or reject a revision directly from within the Uploader application.

These three items, make it even easier to upload your content and keep it up to date such that everyone in your organization always has access to the latest drawings and documents.

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