Automate the creation of DXF files from Sheet Metal Flat Patterns with Vault Professional 2024

June 15, 2023 Hal Carruthers


Utilizing the custom Vault Property “SUB TYPE”, we will automate the process of creating a DXF file when the Sheet Metal Model is transitioned to a “Released” Lifecycle state. 
We will then utilize a Category Rule to assign the Sheet Metal File to a unique Category using a Lifecycle that will submit the creation of the DXF file when the document is released.
To create and configure the custom Vault Property "SUB TYPE" please see this posting:

How To Identify Inventor File Sub Types in Vault


  • This process requires the use of the Vault Job Processor
  • The Sheet Metal file must contain a valid Flat Pattern to create a DXF file. Sheet Metal files sent  to the Job Processor Queue without Flat Patterns will be listed in the queue initially but won't produce a DXF file nor will there be a failure be listed as an error.
  • The configuration settings outlined below only focus on the steps required to automate the identification of Inventor Sheet Metal Parts and process the creation of a DXF file from an existing Sheet Metal Flat Pattern. Additional Category, Category Rules, Properties and/or Lifecycle configurations may be required to comply with the workflows of your environment.

Create a new Lifecycle: “Sheet Metal Release Process”
Configure the transition to the "Released" state to use the Action “Synchronize properties and update file types using Job Server”.

Assign the “Flat Pattern DXF” to the action “Synchronize properties and update file types using Job Server”.

Create a new Category “Sheet Metal Models”
Assign the “Sheet Metal Release Process” to be the default Lifecycle.

Assign the Custom Property “SUB TYPE” 

Add the custom Vault Property to the list of Category managed properties 

That completes the configuration settings. To test your results,  add a Sheet Metal component with a Flat Pattern to Vault and change the Lifecycle state to "Released". Check the Job Queue to see if a Job has been scheduled.  After Processing, you should a DXF file in the Vault.

About the Author

Hal Carruthers

Manufacturing Applications Expert<br><br>Hal has been working closely with clients since 1997 to develop and deliver integrated solutions utilizing Autodesk products including AutoCAD, AutoCAD Electrical, AutoCAD Mechanical, Inventor and Vault. His qualifications range from mechanical design engineering to pre-sales and post-sales consulting for the integration of mechanical software solutions. Hal has over 15 years of mechanical design experience in a variety of industry disciplines. He has worked as a Product Design Engineer to design, develop, fabricate and test new surgical instruments for use in Endoscopic and Open Surgery, specific applications for product use include: vessel ligation, wound closure, endoscopic instrumentation and specialty surgical devices. Hal has been awarded two U.S. Patents for medical devices he developed. Additionally during his tenure, Hal developed and maintained Engineering Documentation and CAD Standards and provided CAD product training and support for all users and new hires.

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