Projects for organizing design data

A project is a system for organizing and accessing all files that are associated with a particular design job. You can have any number of projects to manage your work.

Design data in a project typically includes parts, assemblies, standard components that are unique to your company, and libraries of off-the-shelf components such as fasteners, fittings, or electrical components.

Three projects are installed with the Autodesk Inventor software: Default, samples, and tutorial_files.

Determine the type of project that us suitable for your situation, and set it up before you start designing. It is difficult to migrate your files to a project after the design becomes complex.

The Project wizard steps you through the process to create a project. After you create a project, you use the Project editor to set further options. At any time, you can add or delete locations, or change the project name.

Default project

When you install Autodesk Inventor, it installs a "Default" project automatically. If you do not create a project or specify a different project when you start working in Inventor, the default project is automatically active. The default project does not define an editable location. However, you can use it to create designs immediately, and save files anywhere without regard to projects and file management. Your files are saved to the default project.

Generally, you use the default project for experimentation only, not actual design work. You cannot delete the Default project.

Project (.ipj) file

Projects use a project (.ipj) file to store the paths to folders where your design data are located.

A project (.ipj) file is a text file in .xml format. The Project wizard creates it automatically when you create a project. The file specifies the paths to folders that contain the files in the project. These stored paths assure that links between files work properly. When you open a file in a project, the program searches these paths in the order they appear, for the file and any referenced files.

Before you work on model files, add the locations for folders to the project.

The project shortcut is located in the projects folder.

Settings in projects

A project defines the:

Note: Projects use relative paths rather than absolute paths when the project locations such as the workspace, workgroup, or libraries are in a subfolder of the folder that contains the project file.

Projects cross-file references are stored relative to the project folder locations. You can maintain the references when you move, archive, and restructure the project folders by updating the project file data.

Active project

The active project is the project you currently have access to. When you change projects, you change where the program searches for referenced files. It also changes the file access dialog boxes. It is good practice to open files from, and save files to only locations in the active project.

Learn about Projects, part 1

Learn about Projects, part 2