Talking Vault – 2 Men and a Autodesk Vault – Part 3

Part 3 of Talking Autodesk Vault

Part 3  – How using Autodesk Vault can improve designs and solve work-flow issues.

So, we move onto do I have the right version of this file and the authority to change this file?

Within Autodesk Vault, you can change the status of a part to review and enable the reviewer to gain access to that file. Vault will also lock the file, which is then only released once signed off. When you release a general assembly drawing, Vault will ask whether you wish to release the parts and assemblies as well so the reviewer can check all elements of the drawing. If this is the case all dependents can be included. Just to note, the reason you are checking the file in and out, is that this allows the opportunity for comments to be made. This is an incredibly useful feature as it allows the different stakeholders to add comments relating to the changes made and the reasons why they were made. This provides and extra level of traceability and review.

Autodesk Vault – Sharing your model

With Vault Professional each user license is costed. But it can be installed on as many machines as required, as long as you only have so many using the licenses at one time. However, as a benefit of Vault Professional you also get access to a ‘thin client’, a free read-only portal enabling access to the Vault. This isn’t sharing data outside the company as it dials into your server but it enables you to share your designs with members of your wider team (purchasing, sales, management, shop floor) to view the model in a read-only view. Enabling you to share the design with the right people at the right time.

Revision tracking

If there is a change that needs to be made, the file can be put back into working progress mode, at which point the file can be edited again. When the ‘thin client’ is set up initially, rights and credentials can be assigned so you know exactly what members of the workforce have access to the file. The shop-floor would only see the released files, whereas the Managing Director, who more than likely than not, wouldn’t have access to CAD software, can see the working progress files but can’t change them.

BOM – All additional elements and components

Understandably, a draftsman wont model every element involved in a design, grease/lubricant etc. But these however are still important for the wider business to know about. Within Vault a CAD engineer can itemise any additional elements, that they wouldn’t necessarily model but are still crucial to the manufacture of a product. This listing of components in Vault means that it becomes a Global BOM not just a CAD BOM.

In Vault Basic, it understands what that the top-level assembly uses. Vault Professional, however, will tell you how much of everything is required. This process helps support purchasing departments and finance systems by ensuring that the components required to build the design are correct and available.

ECO – Engineering Change Orders in Autodesk Vault

Where life cycles manage the change to a design the ECO environment documents the change.

Anyone can request a change where the nominated Change Administrator decides if the change is valid or not. When the ECO is submitted for action the engineers responsible for making the change are notified of the requirement. The completed ECO is then submitted for review and finally approval.

Who, what and when is always recorded with a status transition, the facility to red line mark up the visualisation file and attach supporting documentation is also available. All ECO’s are accessible both with the file and in a separate ECO list for easy access during design reviews or design change audits.

For more information about Autodesk Vault and how we can help you with your data management solution contact or click here

Vault product data management (PDM) software helps streamline workflows. Everyone works from a central source of organized data—collaborating, reducing errors, and saving time.


More about Quadra Solutions

Quadra Solutions Ltd specialise in design and data management software solutions for the manufacturing, construction, engineering and PCB design industries. Quadra is a Gold Autodesk Partner, an accredited training centre and specialists in electronic and PCB design. We provide Autodesk Design software solutions for the Construction and Manufacturing industries. InventorRevitAutoCAD, Collections and Vault software helps our customers design, visualise, innovate and implement solutions that help customers grow and develop their business.

Our software solutions, consultancy, training and technical support to the manufacturing, architectural, construction and product design industries if some of the best in our industry. With a wealth of experience and knowledge, Quadra specialises in helping businesses adapt and adopt efficient and effective design workflows, innovate and embed data management solutions. We pride ourselves on our consultative approach to working with customers as their technology partner.

Talk to our team  Click here for LiveChat 

Talking Vault – 2 Men and a Vault – Part 2

Part 2 of Talking Vault

Comparing Vault to Microsoft Windows Explorer

The challenge

We are using Windows Explorer to compare and contrast with Autodesk Vault, as it is the nearest and most regularly used alternative to Vault. Windows Explorer gives us some information about the files/items; folder structure, files type and when it was saved. But it doesn’t tell you where that item is currently in use and therefore what other drawings and models would change as a result. So, for example, if we were to drill a hole through a part in order to complete another design, but that item is already being used on another assembly, suddenly we have changed potentially numerous other designs that relied on that part to be as it was. Ultimately, changing the other designs.

Therefore, we need to find out where else it is used. If it is a fairly basic change it may not affect all other designs. However, if the design intent is being changed, then knowing that it is used on other assemblies becomes much more important and something a design engineer would want to know about.

Checking that a file isn’t being used in another assembly, using Windows Explorer, creates a lot of extra work, especially if the file isn’t located within the scope of the current project or has been renamed. And it won’t tell you who changed the file and what they changed the file to.

Using Vault

Inventor will tell the user that an assembly is made up of sub-assemblies, which in turn contain numerous components, so it is possible to track the components involved in an assembly within Inventor Professional. However, without Vault there is no indication of where else that component/ assembly has been used previously.

Vault Basic is part of Inventor and it looks after the files for you, but that’s about it. Professional allows access to other areas of the business outside of the drawing office. Vault Professional and Work Group are licensed products and provide users with access to view and manipulate the data, if you have the rights to do so.

So firstly, we need to make Vault aware of the files, checking in, create a drawing and filing it once finished with. The next time this drawing is required a copy is available, a blueprint. By copying these files to Vault we have effectively locked it away and snap-shotted the data at that point in time. The view you get within Vault is very similar to Windows Outlook and similar in terms of navigation/usability.


  • Parts can be linked
  • Without Vault it could take a long time to find where a part is currently being used
  • Every change you make and commit back to Vault sits on top of what was already there, it doesn’t override it
  • It is also useful for ‘what-if’ design scenarios
  • Taking ownership of the file can be done whilst that file is still being used (in read-only mode)
  • The history tab will show us a record of all the changes that have been made.

For more information about Vault and how it could benefit your business contact us.

What is BIM and where can I buy it?

The common misconceptions around BIM have been creating questions like this one for the last 10 years and here at Quadra we have heard them all.

In reality, the ideas and technologies behind BIM have been evolving for more than fifty years. Joanne Reid talks to Lancashire-based Cassidy + Ashton about their BIM journey and the challenges they faced.


I first met up with Chris Taylor, Director at Cassidy and Ashton, in January 2017 and quickly dealt with some of the common miss-conceptions about BIM, with the ultimate goal of looking to improve their workflow and enhance what they were doing using BIM. It became clear quite quickly that even though Cassidy and Ashton were aware of BIM and some of its many facets, they needed a plan of action to help support them implement BIM and that Quadra would be best placed to help them do this.

Based in Preston & Chester, Cassidy + Ashton Architects, are Building Surveyors & Town Planners and have worked on a wide range of private, public and infrastructure projects. One of the key drivers for them, was the potential for being left behind in the industry and a drive to maintain their competitive advance when bidding for work. Their key focus areas were to:

Revit Cassidy and ashton

– implement software to support the process

– provide training for all directors, managers and key project-based personnel

– communicate these BIM processes and protocols across the business

– develop and ensure standards and procedures are in place and adhered to

The biggest challenge they faced was embedding the BIM-related working practices into every day working and ensuring that all members of staff were bought into the process.


Recently, Cassidy + Ashton have sent a number of people on Revit Fundamentals Training Courses and have also purchased BIM 360 Team which, when they are up to speed, will enable them to work efficiently together in a centralised cloud workspace.

Chris from Cassidy + Ashton said;

 “Quadra’s involvement helped us motivate and highlight some of the areas where we needed to improve. The training ensured that we were all fully prepared to employ BIM practices into everything we do.”

But the training wasn’t the only thing that helped with the process of becoming BIM compliant for Cassidy + Ashton.

“Quadra Solutions got involved with project design meetings and worked closely with the design team to help guide them. We would definitely recommend working with their knowledgeable and helpful team.”

If your team could benefit from the knowledge and experience of our BIM Support Team please contact us and we can help point you in the right direction. For more information contact

Meet the Quadra PCB design team

,Meet the Quadra PCB Design Team. Quadra Solutions provide a full range of PCB Design services that enhance and extend the capabilities of your engineering design team. You can rely on our highly experienced and IPC CID+ accredited team of PCB Design Engineers to provide a full range of services that leaves you free to focus on the design concept and product strategy.  Let’s introduce you to the team…

Meet the Quadra PCB Design Team

pcb design services

Alan Bradshaw

Alan has worked at Quadra for over 10 years and with his 40+ years of experience within the industry, it makes him one of our most experienced PCB designers. His background in consumer electronics and ICT Testing puts him in a great place to help support and guide your design work. With experience in Multi-layer and Flexi boards and expertise in various software packages (including Altium, Mentor and Cadence) his knowledge and skill is an invaluable resource.

pcb design services

Keith Watkins

Keith is the Director of PCB design at Quadra. He has vast experience of  impedance control, power integrity analysis and knowledge of DDR2,3,4 and PCI. Dealing with diverse and complex PCB design briefs is commonplace.  He is also highly-trained in advanced technologies, design for manufacture and high-density circuit boards.  Aerospace, Defence and Automotive industries are just a small selection of the projects Keith has been involved in recently.

PCB design services

Gill Green

Gill is another highly experienced PCB designer, with experience of working in satellite and defence industries. Not only does she have an HNC in production engineering, but also has her IPC and IPC CID+ qualifications. Alongside her career/academic successes, her PCB design skills include single-sided and multi-layer board design, PTH and thermal analysis.

pcb design services

Marc England

With over 37 years of experience within PCB design, Marc has designed high-density boards for a wide range of industries. He has had experience of computing, nuclear and medical industries. He has a comprehensive knowledge of Zuken’s CADSTAR and it’s capabilities and regularly undertakes PCB reverse engineering works and Multi-layer design work. His skills also extend to RF Microwave design, SI and PI analysis.

pcb desginer

Gary Mulqueen

Gary’s PCB design experience spends the majority of his time working on Altium design work. In his previous roles, he has worked heavily with Autodesk Inventor. His experience with mechanical CAD enables him to have a strong understanding of both electronic and mechanical design. He has a strong understanding of connected PCB’s and dense, high-speed designs.

For more information on our PCB design services or to have an informal chat about your upcoming design work contact

Talking Vault – ‘Two Men and a Vault’ – Part 1

In part one of Talking Vault ‘Two Men and a Vault’ we compare and contrast it with it’s biggest rival, Windows Explorer. Mike and Matt take you through some of the data management pain points which are felt regularly in the world of design and how Vault seeks to solve and overcome some of these issues.

Don’t forget there is a great offer currently* available on Vault Licences

*this offer runs until the end of January 2018


Hello and today we are Talking Vault

We are going to initially look at the pain points associated with the day to day workflows of an engineer and the sort of questions that get asked.

  • We can’t find the file
  • How do I record the changes?
  • We manufactured to an older version
  • Has the change be implemented yet?
  • Can we appropriate access to the data at the right time?
  • Who was it that actioned the change?

The main competitor, as seen by most is, Microsoft Explorer, however this method for filing, recording and tracking AutoCAD, Inventor and other CAD files is not sufficient.

With AutoCAD and Inventor files, every part could have multiple components, connected workflows and general arrangements. With an Inventor file, the difficulty is that it can be used in multiple locations in multiple designs and changing that part could affect and have a knock on effect on numerous different files, parts and assemblies that if changed could cause lots of problems for those designing and manufacturing etc. Autodesk Vault provides more information about where that file is used and ultimately what other designs will be affected as a result.


What happens when you open up other peoples drawing, make changes, save over it and overwrite copies of the file (ultimately changing the file forever) with no traceability of what change was made and what impact it has had elsewhere in the business…..?

Flexibility of Autodesk Vault

Vault no longer just stores DWG files. It can host a hold range of files which relate to your design. Anything that can be put into Windows Explorer can be put into the Vault.

The Design Engineering challenges which make Vault an important tool include:

  • Recreating misplaced data
  • Copying similar designs into a new project
  • Chasing approvals
  • Moving data between WIP and Approved folder
  • Tracking earlier revisions
  • Second-guessing which revision is current
  • Investigating access, amendments and reasons why

For more information about Autodesk Vault contact us

All 2018 Autodesk Certified Scheduled CAD Training Courses

2018 Essential Autodesk Certified CAD Training Course Dates

*please note these dates are subject to change. For the most up-to- date course listings click the course links below or contact


Inventor Introduction into Solid ModellingMon 15th(4 days)
Revit Template and Family CreationMon 22nd(2 days)


Revit Template and Family CreationMon 5th(3 days)
Inventor Introduction into Solid ModellingMon 12th(4 days)
Revit FundamentalsMon 19th(3 days)


AutoCAD EssentialsMon 5th(3 days)
Inventor Introduction into Solid ModellingMon 12th(4 days)
Revit Template and Family CreationMon 26th(2 days)


AutoCAD EssentialsTue 3rd(3 days)
Inventor Introduction into Solid ModellingMon 9th(4 days)
Revit FundamentalsMon 23rd(3 days)
Fusion EssentialsMon 23rd(3 days)


AutoCAD EssentialsMon 7th(3 days)
Inventor Introduction into Solid ModellingMon 14th(4 days)
Revit Template and Family CreationMon 21st(2 days)


AutoCAD EssentialsMon 2nd(3 days)
Inventor Introduction into Solid ModellingMon 11th(4 days)
Revit FundamentalsMon 18th(3 days)


AutoCAD EssentialsMon 4th(3 days)
Inventor Introduction into Solid ModellingMon 9th(4 days)
Revit Template and Family CreationMon 23rd(2 days)
Fusion EssentialsMon 23rd(3 days)


AutoCAD EssentialsMon 6th(3 days)
Inventor Introduction into Solid ModellingMon 13th(4 days)


AutoCAD EssentialsMon 3rd(3 days)
Inventor Introduction into Solid ModellingMon 10th(4 days)
Revit FundamentalsMon 17th(3 days)


AutoCAD EssentialsMon 1st(3 days)
Inventor Introduction into Solid ModellingMon 8th(4 days)
Revit Template and Family CreationMon 22nd(2 days)
Fusion EssentialsMon 22nd(3 days)


AutoCAD EssentialsMon 5th(3 days)
Inventor Introduction into Solid ModellingMon 12th(4 days)
Revit FundamentalsMon 26th(3 days)


AutoCAD EssentialsMon 3rd(3 days)
Inventor Introduction into Solid ModellingMon 10th(4 days)
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