The Problem: Quite a few years have gone by since Autodesk introduced Inventor, which is now a global leader in 3D design, replacing Mechanical Desktop (MDT). Mechanical Desktop has been sent into retirement and is no longer supported by Autodesk and subscription licensing agreements for 2009 are coming due this year, creating data migration challenges for those organizations still using MDT.
Many companies switched to Inventor from MDT, utilizing Inventor as a powerful tool for 3D design. For many of these organizations, some important questions remain unanswered, for example “Is it possible to reuse designs created in MDT in Inventor?” and “Can I migrate/translate an old MDT database to Inventor?”
The simple answer is yes, but in reality it is a complex and challenging process because there are no standard tools to convert large amounts of files from MDT to Inventor. Autodesk Inventor does have a built in translator, however the main problem here is that during the translation Inventor places all new files, generated from MDT assembly files, into one folder making them almost impossible to utilize. For example if you have hundreds of MDT assemblies with children located in many different folders (like a catalogue), the result after translation will be one massive bin of Inventor files – hundreds or thousands of *.iam, *.ipt, *.idw files in one folder. Therefore migration from MDT to Inventor becomes extremely difficult or even impossible without specialized programming tools.
The Partial Solution: Yes, but you may have quite a fit with the Inventor Task Scheduler and the flat structure that is created by the normal Inventor process. Furhtermore, the files will not be in a easily vaulted state for Data Management systems since moving files after the translation could break references created by the translation.
If you want to get an idea of how to do it currently...here is a PDF I whipped up on how to complete the process with out of the box tools. Worth a good read especially if you are new to the idea of translating MDT to Inventor. Use this document for easy and small batch translations.
The Complete Solution: The good news is IMAGINiT has developed a unique solution to resolve this problem. We have developed our own automated software tool which will enables us to seamlessly convert your MDT files to Autodesk Inventor, saving a huge amount of time in this complex process.
Our migration technology provides the ability to reuse existing MDT designs instead of creating them from scratch in Inventor. It preserves all design features and drawing associations, so migrated models and drawing are completely parametric as though they were originally created in Inventor. We estimate our automated migration process is approximately 100 times faster than manual conversion.
This technology uses Inventor’s built-in translator and then automatically sorts converted files into a new folder structure, consistent with the original MDT file structure. In other words, we create a mirror copy of directories with MDT files filled by Inventor files. Here is the cool part, it will also resolve the references created by the new folder structure without manual assignment of links to the correct locations. This means your files are ready for Data Management sooner and without the need for investigation.
Moreover our software scans the translator’s LOG-files and to determine if any errors occurred in translation, allowing us to repeat this operation with adjusted settings to resolve any errors and guarantee very high level of accuracy and quality. Results for completed projects have been extremely successful.
How much time does migration take? What will it cost? These questions are difficult to answer without a detailed analysis of your unique requirements. The length of this process depends on the quality of your MDT data, complexity of assemblies and how much computer processing power is available for data conversion. Please contact us to discuss this further or develop a unique quote for your unique data migration requirements. We can assist with your data migration needs for a wide range of design software solutions.