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Posts: 236
Registered: ‎08-15-2007
Message 1 of 6 (196 Views)

Create a new body with an ifeature for "Reverse Nesting"

196 Views, 5 Replies
12-18-2012 07:21 AM

I am trying to create multiple bodies within a part file using multiple ifeatures. It seems that it is not possible to force the ifeature to create a new body when it is inserted. If it is inserted into a part that has multiple bodies present, I can pick which solid I want it attached to, but I am unable to specify a new body.


Does sanybody know a way around this?


Here is what we are trying to do - I call it "Reverse Nesting". We have a sheet of a certain size (18" x 32" in this case). I need to completely cover a much larger (and oddly shapped) panel with these sheets. I want to cnc cut these sheets into the correct shape and be able to assemble tham together on the larger panel.


Here is what we have looked at doing:

  1. Create an ifeature that creates a sheet of the correct size. In a part file with a sketch (or surface) of the panel we need to cover, we can insert the ifeature and constrain its skect to the original sketch. My hope was that I would be able to do this multiple times (each as its own body),orient them as req'd to cover the panel, and the use the original panel sketch to do an interference extrude through all the bodies. I could then use Make Componets to create an assembly of all of the parts, and generate flat profiles for each piece for CNC cutting. This doesn't work because I can't geerate multiple bodies with multiple iFeatures in the same file.
  2. Create a template part that is teh size of the sheet and constrain rthem together on the panel I want to cover. Use assembly features to cut way what I do not need. This does not work because there are performance and associativity issues with assembly features and no way to push the cuts back to the parts for CNC profiles.
  3. Similar to #2 except derive the panel we need to cover into our part and use split to remove what we do not want from our sheet. This does not work because it is not easy to move a derive around within a part and link it to the other sheets that are adjacent to it.
  4. Create a template that contains parameters that conatin teh sizes of the sheet. Manually create sketchs and constrain them to eachother on the derived (as a surface) panel, extrude each one as a seperate body and then  run Make compnenets. This will work, but it is very time consuming.
Mechanix Design Solutions inc.
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Message 2 of 6 (170 Views)

Re: Create a new body with an ifeature for "Reverse Nesting"

12-19-2012 01:35 PM in reply to: cmcconnell

Forgive me if I'm way off base here.. I'm not 100% sure that I'm following along correctly. This is a bit tricky to visualize.


The ifeature should be a subset of a solid body. Why do you need to create a new body during the placement of an ifeature? What does the ifeature do exactly, remove material, add, or both? Could you create the smaller sheets with an iPart instead of an ifeature? 


Nathan Chandler

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Posts: 236
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Message 3 of 6 (165 Views)

Re: Create a new body with an ifeature for "Reverse Nesting"

12-19-2012 02:07 PM in reply to: innovatenate

I would like to export them as an assembly (make components) so I can generate flats of all the pieces.


Iparts would work, but there is no way to drive flat patterns with an assembly feature - or make a robust, associative assembly cut for that matter.


Here is what I have come up with for a workflow - it seems ok, other than some texture glitches due to the new Appearances toolset.

Mechanix Design Solutions inc.
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Message 4 of 6 (154 Views)

Re: Create a new body with an ifeature for "Reverse Nesting"

12-19-2012 02:36 PM in reply to: cmcconnell
Are you only machine 2D profiles? Do you even need 3D parts?

Let's assume you do - how about part #1 contains only a sketch the size of your sheet. Put this in an assembly with all the other parts so that you can visually nest them. Shrink wrap the assembly if you need them to be one Part.

What cnc programme are you using?
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Posts: 236
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Message 5 of 6 (152 Views)

Re: Create a new body with an ifeature for "Reverse Nesting"

12-19-2012 02:41 PM in reply to: PaulMunford

Some of them will be folded as well.


We want individual parts for each piece that are assoiative to the original panel or sketch. An assembly would work if the pieces needed need to be cut into odd shapes to cover the panel completly.

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Message 6 of 6 (138 Views)

Re: Create a new body with an ifeature for "Reverse Nesting"

12-19-2012 03:59 PM in reply to: cmcconnell

Just look at either Striker Systems or Radan or Hypertherm (formerly MTC) for profile nesting software. Striker requires the parts to be all Sheet-Metal (able to pull the thickness from the parameter). They have "Kitting" which will open the Inventor assembly, look at all the pieces, pull out all the Sheet-Metal, do the flatten, sort them by thickness and material and auto arrange them on the plate.


Tell the software you want to make 6 items and it does all the work, creates the nesting on the correct plates. Yes is may cost $9,000.00 for the software.

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