I mentor a high school robotics team that uses Inventor 2020. Since we got stuck at home shelter-in-place, I figure out I should clear some of the long overdue wish list items. One of which is to re-organize our CAD library so it is easier to share between students for collaboration. We are using GitHub as our Data Manager for file sharing.
I am almost done with re-organizing and the new structure works very well. All the vendor parts are moved to a Library folder so CAD projects of any season can reference all the vendor parts. Inventor can now resolve all these references automatically without asking “where are they” even on different students’ laptops. All they need to do is to go to GitHub to pull down the CAD Library repo as well the CAD repo for the season and the part will build.
Having said that, I do run into one issue that I don’t know how to get around and hence the post here.
In Inventor, one could create an assembly that uses standard nuts and bolts from the Inventor “Content Center”. I found out the references to these parts don’t get resolved on another student’s laptop. After playing for a while, I developed a theory why. I think when you select a part from the “Content Center”, Inventor goes to the “Content Center database”, extract the part out to a cache folder “[UserRoot]/Documents/Inventor/Content Center Files”. So if student A created the assembly that references some standard nuts and bolts, the CAD files for these nuts and bolts will appear in his/her cache folder. Now student B sync’d the project and tries to open the assembly. Inventor will try to look at the cache folder on student B’s laptop and not able to find the nuts and bolts files and will ask student B where those files are.
If this theory is correct, how do I fix the issue? At first, I thought I can copy the “Content Center database” to our CAD library. The “Content Center database” is found at “/ProgramData/Autodesk/Inventor 2020/Content Center/Libraries”. But then I thought the “Content Center database” is only referenced when one tries to pick a part from the database and Inventor will then extract the part out to the cache folder. If one just open an assembly that has references to those parts, it will just find them in the cache folder and will not go to the “Content Center database”. In other words, it will still prompt the user on “Where are those parts?”.

Anyone have experience with this issue? Any thoughts on where to go?