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August 3, 2016
It is easy to export a parts list or a BOM to Excel from Inventor. A parts list with thumbnails from Inventor into Excel, not so much. It seems there is NO straight forward method that can be used to export the thumbnails into Excel since Excel does not support embedded images in a cell.
I have found an option for Word that works rather well which I will address momentarily. As for Excel, there are a few options although for a fee.
If you click on the Autodesk Exchange App icon in the upper right in your Inventor program it will bring you to the App website. Type BOM into the search bar and press search.
The top four results are programs that say they can export the BOM or Parts List to Excel along with thumbnails. I have played around with BOM Tools Pro and can report that it works pretty well. It is not too hard to use and you can configure it to a degree. The only other one that I looked into is iBOM. I watched the video and read some of the reviews. It looks like it has the ability to fill many of the needs for which many people are looking.
I found a very nice alternative that is free, has been around for 6 years and works well with the output in Word. Posted in 2010 by Brian Ekins & Adam Nagy from Mod the Machine.
I was a bit skeptical that a solution from 2010 would still work with a 2017 Inventor program and model so I followed the article directions, downloaded the VBA code and ran the Macro. Poof, it worked great. Below is a quick recap of how the program works.
After reading the Mod the Machine article, I copied the VBA source code to my clipboard.
In Inventor I opened the VBA editor located on the Options panel under the Tools tab.
In the Editor, select File, New Project. Click on the new project, UserProject1, which was added to the Projects list, click Modules then double click Module 1.
Click inside the new module window and paste the source code that you copied to the clipboard. Save the Project to a known location that you will go back to load the project if you want to run it again in the future. In my case I named the file PartsListWithThumbnailImage.
There is one more thing to do before we go to our drawing. In the Visual Basic Editor, select References under the Tools tab.
The program uses Word and you need to add the reference to the Word Object Library. Yours may differ, mine happens to be Microsoft Word 15.0 Object Library so check the reference that applies to the version of Word you are using. Click OK and close the window.
Now you can open a drawing. You must click on the Parts List so that it is active. The parts list will show green.
Since the code is loaded into the VBA Editor you can go to the Tools tab and select the Macros button on the Options panel. Your macro should appear in the list of available macros. Select CreatePartsListWithThumbnail from the list and select Run.
Below is a partial view of the Word doc of my parts list with thumbnails.
There you have it. Works well with Inventor 2017 and if you can live with a Word document, it may fit your needs. I am always amazed at the information available. That so many people put in a good amount of time to produce apps and programs to help the rest of use accomplish our work. Thanks again Brian & Adam!
I hope this helps to ease your work load!