Inventor Apprentice

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Apprentice Server is basically a read-only subset of the Inventor API unless you are doing some file manipulations - like savecopyas. It's not a great subset either. I have not been able to use it much in my apps yet.


Inventor Apprentice is a freely available programming component that can be used by a program to read information from Inventor files. In a few cases, it is also possible to write information. A key part of understanding how to use Apprentice is to understand what its capabilities are, both what it can and cannot do. This class will look at the functionality of Apprentice using several sample programs to illustrate its capabilities.


The simple way to think of Apprentice is that it's a smaller version of Autodesk Inventor that does not have a user interface. Without a user interface the only way to access its functionality is by using its API. Apprentice is actually an ActiveX component. It runs within the process space of the client that's using it. For example, if you write a Visual Basic program that displays information about the contents of an assembly, Apprentice will be running within your VB program's process space. Apprentice can be very efficient for certain applications because it's smaller than the complete Autodesk Inventor application and because it runs in the same process as your application.


The API exposed by Apprentice is a subset of the complete Autodesk Inventor API. Apprentice provides access to file references, assembly structure, B-Rep, geometry, attributes, render styles, and document properties. Access to the assembly structure, B-Rep, geometry, and render styles is read-only.

Text, images and diagrams © 2021 Owen F. Ransen. All rights reserved. (But copy the source code as much as you want!)