Thursday, 16 April 2015

TP Mixed Styles and Align 3D Ortho Tool

Let’s discuss mixed styles and aligning the 3D ortho tool for today. I am not talking about mixed flange styles but having route with both fittings and bends all in one route.
In some cases you’re having a route with fittings but for space and/or access consideration you might need a custom bend segment to be manufactured. While routing a “Rigid Pipe with Fittings” you can actually switch on the fly to creating segments with bends.
Once inside the sketch after starting the route command if you right click you will find a “Custom Bend” option on the contextual menu.

As soon as you choose Custom bend, the direction arrows change from straight to arc and 4 more arrows appear on the node. If you click on any of the node arrows, or start typing while holding your mouse over them it will change the value of the bend radius. You can do it globally not in the styles but in the parameters where a User Parameter “B” stores the default bend radius value.

Once you finish orientating the triad and you specify a distance you will end up with a fillet between your segments. This is not perfect and if you ask me when bending 90 degree it should constrain the segments perpendicular to each other and at all times the arc segment should be tangent with the straight lines but it’s not doing it. I’ve had times when the new segment was constrained to existing straight lines automatically but most of the times you need to constrain it yourself.

Sometimes these are not enough so you need to add a dimension angle between the segments and draw some construction lines to help you dimension the segment but more on that next week when we’ll cover construction lines in detail.

If your beds are 45 or 90 degrees only and you need more than one bend I would not bother to use Custom Bend especially since you need to activate it for every new segment you create. I would do my sketch as usual and then use the bend command in the Create tab of the route to add a radius between straight segments.

When you populate your route it will create straight pipe segments with fittings and sweep pipe segments from the same route.

This only works on “Rigid Pipe with Fittings” style where you have declared your fittings in the style setup, because in “Tubing with Bends” style you have no fittings declared and Inventor doesn’t know what fittings to populate.
You can drop a fitting into a tube segment and it will split that pipe segment in two separate segments.

You can also delete the arc segment inside the sketch connecting the straight segments but if the angle is not 45 or 90 (selected fittings in style) you will get a route violation, angles no permitted. If the angle is.

What’s all this got to do with aligning the 3D Ortho Tool? If you use the align command and the consecutive segments are not 45 or 90 degrees it will create a custom bend. Sometimes even if the angle is permitted by the route it will still ad a fillet for custom bend but you can remove it as described above.
If you find yourself having the 3D orho tool skewed or you want to align it to existing geometry you can do that by right clicking on the axis to align and choosing “Parallel With Edge” or “Perpendicular To Face”. This works for all axes so you can change them one after the other to an advanced align like for example if you needed to match those on the origin (check graphical window lower left corner). The colours of the ortho tool match those on the UCS origin, red X, green Y, blue Z making it really easy to do this.

And that’s it for today. Join me next week when we’ll discuss construction lines, how use them in sketching your routes faster and constrain them on weird angles.

And the video: