Almost a decade ago Autodesk reintroduced the DWG format to Autodesk Inventor in order to facilitate a greater collaborative effort between AutoCAD and Inventor. New benefits such as adding Inventor views to AutoCAD layouts, creating a format any AutoCAD version 2007 and newer can open, using AutoCAD blocks in Inventor drawings, and opening AutoCAD files in Inventor has opened more available workflows for customers. With these new features a new type of confusion arose as well.
What program created the DWG???
Since the authoring program of the DWG has to be one that edits the native geometry of the DWG, a user has to know the correct program in which to open the file and make the edits. For instance an Inventor DWG that contains modeling data will not be able to be exploded in AutoCAD because Inventor contains the modeling and assembly feature data. Likewise an AutoCAD drawing containing vector geometry should be edited in AutoCAD so that the entities are properly modified or adjusted.
Companies will approach this issue a couple of different ways. One way is to segregate the geometry into different folders called AutoCAD and Inventor and maintain those files in those folders. Other methods are not to use Inventor DWGs at all due to this issue of identification thus eliminating the potential benefits of the DWG extension. The only real ways to discern an AutoCAD DWG file from an Inventor DWG file is to right click on it and see if it shows the Inventor iProperties option through the Windows shell integration or use the Provider field in Autodesk Vault to see the creator of the program.
I know right? There has to be an easier way!
Well, thanks to a new enhancement to a tool I have used for a long time, we can now see what program created the DWG directly in Windows Explorer and our Autodesk open windows. This tool will show all kinds of information about DWGs in Windows Explorer such as which version of AutoCAD the file is saved in and a lot of the DWGPROPs in the file. It will even tell if the file is AutoCAD Mechanical, Electrical, or another vertical of the software. But most important is the new field to the tool called DWG Created By which will show if a file is an Inventor DWG or and AutoCAD DWG!
What is this tool? Well, its the same tool created by the company that created many great tools for Autodesk products including an improved license reporting tool for Network Licensing among other productivity tools. This company is JTB World and you can find this particular set of tools in the Autodesk App Store or from their website directly. This tool comes in three flavors...Free, Trial, and Paid. Free will get you only the DWG version and not what we are primarily concerned about in this discussion, the Trial will get you full feature for 30 days, and the Paid version will get you whole ball of wax for all your DWG information needs.
Detailed Info on Company Page: JTB World DWG Columns
This is a must for any company with mixed AutoCAD and Inventor DWG files in legacy or production use around the company. If you are looking for a large amount of seats there is even a volume discount for your engineering teams. Go check it out and see the other things it can do as well. Even for a single seat it is really inexpensive to increase your sanity and productivity.