December 15, 2015

Posted on December 15, 2015 by Synergis Product Specialist Mark Lancaster

How to: Import an assembly as a single part file

A few months ago I wrote an article about the AnyCAD technology introduced in Inventor 2016. Today I want to discuss a specific AnyCAD workflow in the hopes of clearing up some questions I’ve been asked lately.
Prior to Inventor 2016, when importing an assembly that was based on a STEP file, IGES or even a model supported CAD application you have the ability to import it as a single part file.Mark_1
However, according to Inventor 2016 help this is no longer possible since the AnyCAD technology “maintains associative references to non-native CAD files”. As you can see if I open the non-native assembly file in Inventor and select convert model, the structure option is greyed out and it only permits the model to be imported as an assembly.Mark_2
Although the help file does indicate a solution for it, in my opinion it’s not really clear and I wanted to take this opportunity to document the steps.

Solution #1:

In your Inventor assembly, either the Place or Place Imported CAD File optionMark_3
Pick the model type you’re importing, then select the Convert Model and toggle the structure to Multi-Body Part.Mark_5

Solution #2:

Start a new part and select Import located on the 3D Model tab.Mark_6
Pick the model type you’re importing and then select the Convert Model option. However, if your imported model is based on a STEP file format, you will notice there’s no file extension (model type) listed for STEP.Mark_7

So how do you import a STEP file under this solution?

Per Autodesk Discussion Group user Matej Skarka, simply change the Files of type field to “All Files (*.*)” and then you have the ability to select a STEP file and import it like any other file types that are listed there.
One final thing I wanted to point out regarding these two solutions. In the past when importing an assembly to a single part file, you could either make it a single body structure or a multi-body one. With Inventor 2016/AnyCAD, you can now only create a multi-body structure when importing an assembly.
Until next time…
Mark L.