Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Aligning Weird Angle Fittings

Sometimes, if you work out Tube and Pipe long enough you will have this problem where fittings are shown at weird angles misaligned with the run. Even if you haven’t encountered this you will at some point so do yourself a favour and read ahead on how to solve it. It is very rare when this happens and starting over your T&P layout again is always an option but you don’t have to because there’s a quick fix.

Aligned fittings

You haven’t done anything different than the usual, but when you place a fitting it comes up at a weird angle and if you try the Change Fitting Orientation command, Inventor will report “0.00” angle and so you don’t know by how much to rotate it to get it to line up with the rest of the run again.

Angles do puzzle me some times but this should be straightforward.

TIP:  The reported angle depends on the type of elbows specified in the route style, how much you drag the rotation arrows or your manually entered angle value. Nonetheless if you get a weird angle and don’t know how to align it then keep reading for a solution.

At this point you might be thinking to use the Change Fitting Orientation command and right away activate Rotation Snap on the right click menu. You will then think of dragging the arrows until they snap to adjacent geometry. Good luck with that! The randomness of getting that command to work has drove me crazy too many times.

You can also measure the angle with All Digits precision active but an almost right value is never the right value.

When I get this problem I unground the component, constrain it, ground it back and then I delete the constraints. Kind of crazy but read ahead why.

 Once you enter Tube and Pipe environment you will get customized menus, layouts and browsers so you the usual commands are not always there and for a reason I might add. While these commands are working you might brake T&P functionality and end up with unadaptive routes or even worse, crashes or corrupted files; none are fun to deal with so keep to the manual or standard procedures as much possible.

One of the missing commands is Grounded status on the right click menu, graphical window or browser. There is a reason for that, and we shouldn’t mess about with it but sometimes we have to and as long as you remember to tick it back on then we are ok.

T&P has custom menus, UI layouts and browsers.

Right click the part in the browser or graphical window, choose Occurrence tab and tick off Grounded then click OK.

Ground option is only available on iproperties.
Now you can constraint you fitting however you want it. I usually use the origin planes of the fitting and of the pipe or element right next to it.

Constrain the fitting to fix the orientation

Use the part iproperties to put the Grounded option back on and then click OK. Unfortunately there is no shortcut option to ground components but this is not that time consuming.

Delete the constraints you just created but notice that the part stays put because of the ground status.

And that’s how to align a weird angle fitting.