Thursday 24 April 2014

Inventor Unistrut Frame Generator

A couple of friends asked me how I’ve done the unistrut frame in the image bellow, so today I will show you how to author structural members to be used in frame generator. I will admit that the size, part number, stock number or description were not important for this project. This was supposed to serve as a guide to our installer and I didn’t have to supply stock size or lengths for it.

                I will admit that the ipart model was downloaded from Charles Bliss’s website and the only thing I’ve done was to author it to content center so I can use it in frame generator.
                Another interesting fact was that for this project the skeleton for the frame was done in Tube and Pipe module with the “3D Orthogonal Route Tool”. It was much easier than building individual sketches on a skeleton part.

                Once downloaded the parts from all I’ve done was to verify that the iparts table was functional and without errors. Then have authored the ipart and published it to Content Center.
                I have allocated it to “Other” standard so I can find it easier in Frame Generator. There’s no “Moment of inertia” or “Section area” information just because I wasn’t interested in doing FEA and frame analyses and if you need them I would suggest doing the ipart from scratch from a proper catalog like the “Eaton Strut Sections”catalog.
                Steps to author and publish bellow and the published library next.

                I have done the library for download in case you find the exercise of authoring too boring.


Friday 11 April 2014

Inventor RAL colors

A while ago I had to dig out a couple of RAL colors for a project and decided to do them all. 

                The zipped ADS_RAL library was done for Inventor 2013 but it can be migrated to latest version. You need to go to Tools/Appearance and at the lower right corner click on the gear and use Open Library pointing to our file.

                Then you can copy the colors to any Category on your library.


Thursday 10 April 2014

Frame Generator and Content Center Steel Shapes

Today I will show you how to change the default monstrous description for steel shapes in Content Center.
Place a square box section from Content Ceter and see how the default properties are shown in part list on drawing.

                In order to change the default part number and description we need to copy the family to our read/write library. Once you do the "save copy as" you need to change the library view from "Merged View" to "your library" to use the full extended menu available with right click.That's where you get the "Replace family template" that we will use later.


                Head over to your assembly and place a part from the newly created family. We will change that part and then use the “replace family template” in content center editor for that family.
                What we want is to change the default display mode for length from a 3 digit precision to a millimeter precision and remove the units from it as well.

                You can do that by right clicking the G_L parameter in parameters for the newly created part. Take off “Units String” and change precision to 0, then go to the family in content center editor and do a “replace family template” selecting the new part.

                Edit the family table and change it to suit your needs like changing the “B_L” column from a 3 digit precision [0.001;16000;;] to mm precision [1;16000;;].  The 16000 in the “B_L” is the maximum allowed length so you can change it to suit your supplier; we get max 24m length bars from ours. If you don't care about maximum length and you don't want this to be a design constraint then increase it to something big like 100m.

                Now add a new column “Description” of type “String” and map it to Inventor property “Project.Description”. Mark “Expression and type the following on the “Expression Column” field:
"=SHS DIN EN 10219-2" & " - " & {G_H} & "x" & {G_W} & "x" & {G_T}& "-" & "<G_L> Lg
                The = at the beginning tells Inventor to parse it as an equation and the <G_L> at the end tells it to get the length parameter from the model. As soon as the model is created, or modified, Description will get the length from the model.

                Default length when placing member will start at 1mm up to 16000 mm (or whatever value you have in). Now check iProperties for description to see the equation at work. Change the size a couple of times to see it changing.

Unfortunately when using Change Size from the assembly window it will revert your part number to default Content Center value so as long you don’t need to change the size you can change the length from within the part. You go to part parameters and change the value of B_L.

If you do need to change the size of the steel shape then make sure you set the part number as well.

In frame generator as soon as you use Miter, trim, extent, etc. the length of the part changes as well keeping an accurate report on the part list.

                This way you don’t need to make a drawing for each component, or use “leader texts” to get the size of the parts. You have all the info needed in the parts list for manufacturing. 

Couple of names used in the industry to get you started


Checkout Curtis Waguespack's blog Frame Generator Part Numbers:


Ad of course the video: 

Thursday 3 April 2014

Authoring tube and pipe fitting in Inventor

Today I am going to show you how to author and publish to Content Center a tube and pipe fitting. The thing I want to show you is how to push the ISOGEN code and description for the family items from Content Center.
If you author and publish a fitting, you will have the same ISOGEN description and code for all the family members. So the trick is to make it ipart first. That way you can create custom fields that can be linked to the ISOGEN fields and link back to content center as well.

The default author window is shown below and if you tryout you will see that you can only put a static value.

Once you make it a ipart and you add your custom fields you have them as a selection option in the author window.

After publishing to Content Center each family member can have different ISOGEN description and code.

And here’s the video as well.