Monday 19 December 2016

Phantom Branch Fitting

I must have lost it! Right?

                Who, why and where would one use this? A lot of you will use this.

                This blog is part of a series on creating branch take offs with pipe cut-backs and as you have probably quested we will create pipe side holes with branch fittings.

                Another one of my internet friends has asked about this long ago and it stuck to the back of my mind until the answer came on a sleepless night. He is doing a lot of irrigation projects in Africa and parts of the world where labor is cheap but materials are expensive and so they NEVER use tees, but rather drill the main pipe and weld a branch pipe straight on it.

                I recommend that you create empty fittings, but it could be useful to add some geometry like surfaces or work features to better locate it in the graphical window.

                What good is an invisible part when you need to select it and edit it, change size, rotation, engagement, the whole lot.

                While I documented how to create branch fittings with a single connection point (pipe clamps) I think you need and will end up using both connections.

                I have taken a normal pipe from content center and stripped it down of all the features, then I have made it an ipart and finished by copying the relevant pipe sizes from the original content center family table into my ipart.

                You don’t need to remember all this, I intend to create a video as well and I will provide the files at the end as usual.

                As this will only serve o create our pipe cutout we need to set the BOM status to Phantom and you can do that straight from the iPart by opening Tools, Document Settings, BOM tab. While you can do that from the assembly you would be better off to create it as Phantom from the start, I can’t imagine a single scenario where you would want this in the assembly as anything else than Phantom…… wait… spoken too soon.

Add caption

You can probably assign a cost, time, resources … to this file if you calculate cost from the BOM. So it will be just like a virtual part containing the cost, time, resources etc. for creating the drill in the pipe, creating the notch on the branch and welding altogether. I doubt you will do this, but ... you might model the welds in here and have them as a separate model ! will detail this later on.

I will use the ASME BPE pipe because I have that at hand as an iPart. I know you usually use pulled tees for this but this is a special case, not here to create pulled tees, that’s a different blog ;)

We will once again create some work points and work axis to help us author an empty part.

I would create a Min Max pipe size as separate rows in the ipart to use in the authoring info. Min is the actual pipe size and max is the max you have for that family. A 3/4" will have a min of 3/4" and max of 6” (in my case) but set this as you see fit.

Don’t forget to add a cutting sketch and mark the Cut Pipe option in the Authoring info.

Cut Profile

On the publish to content center window, or later from the edit family dialog window you might want to select a different picture or it will publish with an empty picture and it will be hard to identify.

How do you like this one?

CC family thumbnail

When you place this it snaps to a pipe segment and it creates the hole in the pipe without showing any model geometry and without showing up in BOM and Parts Lists.

However now it's really easy to start and connect a new route as it snaps to the authored point in the branch fitting.

Branch Cut-Off

The only limitation I see is you can’t create more than one branch in same spot, like if you need more than one side drills for take offs, or...... can you?

Brain is ticking …. Might have something, stay tuned.



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