Factory Assets are parts, assemblies, and blocks used to create factory layouts. The Factory Design Suite tools include hundreds of components in both 3D models and 2D blocks that can be inserted and constrained as a factory layout is created.
The most common method for adding assets to a layout is through the Factory Asset browser or pallet. This pallet is available in Inventor and AutoCAD as well as AutoCAD Architecture, the AutoCAD vertical that is included with the Factory Design Suite.
The system assets contain categories for Architectural, Automotive, Building Utilities, Conveyor Systems, Material Handling, Process Equipment, Retail, Robots, and Safety Equipment. Each of these categories has additional categories giving users access to numerous components for the overall factory layout.
The Asset browser will appear when creating a new layout in Inventor or it can be accessed in either Inventor or AutoCAD from the Factory Tab of the Ribbon under the palettes button on the tools panel.
The palette can be docked to either side of the interface or sent to a second screen to increase the graphics area.
The factory Asset palette contains subfolders with the predefined assets. Some of these are installed with the suite and others need to be downloaded from the factory asset cloud.
Cloud Assets can be downloaded using a right click menu and typically download in a very short period of time. Once they are downloaded, they are available for use with any layout. The assets contained in the asset browser consist of both 3d models and 2d blocks. As a design is created, users can place assets by simply dragging them from the browser into the graphics window and locating them as desired. When an asset is placed into a 2D layout and that layout is then opened in Inventor, the 3D model of that asset will automatically populate in the desired location. The reverse is also true. If an asset is placed in the 3d Model, the 2D layout is automatically updated.
Factory Design Assets contain special connecting points and a predetermined landing surface that make placing and connecting components together extremely easy. The connections will snap together during the placement preview. These connection points become relationships or constraints if the layout is created in Autodesk Inventor.
Many of the assets that are included with the Factory Design Suite have properties that can be changed. These properties cover changes from overall size, height, and even type of component.
If assets have been placed in a factory layout and connected together, the entire line of connected assets will update any changes that were made to the properties of any single component in the line. If an asset is placed and connected to other components after the properties have been changed, it will also automatically update to match the properties of the other components.
Users can also add their own custom assets using the asset builder. These Assets can then be used in other layouts. The process to create custom assets begins with choosing the type of asset to create from the factory components panel.
From this point the typical modeling process can begin. When the design is complete the Asset builder can be accessed from the Factory tab and Factory Assets Panel.
The Asset builder provides tools for adding the landing surface, connectors, property controls and publishing. If the customer assets are created in Inventor, the publishing process allows for automatic creation of the corresponding 2D block for placement through the AutoCAD tools.
Assets can be published to the single user’s system and accessed through the asset browser or published to the Factory Asset Warehouse, which is a cloud site that is available to subscription users. This Warehouse allows sharing of assets for all users in a company.