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mariont55
Posts: 20
Registered: ‎01-04-2010
Message 1 of 16 (537 Views)
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Mechanical desktoop vs Inventor challenge

537 Views, 15 Replies
01-27-2014 09:45 AM

Hi,

I've been running Mechanical Desktoop for many years. Everyone tells me it's time to move on to Inventor. Use of excel and variables in MDT is very easy and crucial to my projects. I've posted my problem in Mechanical Desktop forum: http://forums.autodesk.com/t5/Mechanical-Desktop/Announcement-concerning-Discontinuation-of-Mechanic.... I believe it's page #10 of the post.

Only way I can move on to Inventor is if Inventror has the funcionality that I've been enjoying in MDT. I've attached a couple sample files (dwg and xls) in my post. I don't have any formal training in Inventor.

Can anyone take this challenge and see if what I'm asking is doable. And I don't want to write any macros, or visual basic codes to do what I need done. I'd be pretty dissappointed and shame on Autodesk if Inventor can't do what I need.

 

Marian

 

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pcrawley
Posts: 671
Registered: ‎05-23-2002
Message 2 of 16 (489 Views)

Re: Mechanical desktoop vs Inventor challenge

01-27-2014 12:45 PM in reply to: mariont55

Inventor and Excel LOVE eachother.  

 

I have a friend in the UK designing hatch-hinges for super yachts.  Each hinge is fitted with a gas strut which provides power assistance on the heavy hatches.  Using Inventor and Excel, he can draw the hinge geometry in a single sketch with blocks (or "profile" if I remember MDT correctly) then feed that data to Excel, adjust some magical numbers, then feed that back to Inventor and watch Inventor build the model.  He can even drag the hatch open and closed in Inventor and watch the force calculations updating real-time in Excel.  He's just applied some conditional formatting in Excel to make cells go red if he exceeds any particular design parameter.

 

There is a good post over on Design & Motion showing how Inventor and Excel get on so well - http://designandmotion.net/autodesk/mfg-pages/inventor/inventor-excel/  I realise you aren't interested in macro-writing, and this particular example does use macros, but don't let that put you off because it's not the point.  The point is that Excel calculates the effort required to tip the bucket and gives some graphical feedback on the process.  

 

If you can write formula in Excel, you already have enough knowledge to link Inventor to Excel.  (And if you can write a formula in Excel, you shouldn't be afraid of "macros" - or iLogic as its called in Inventor.  iLogic is a language for engineers and it's actually much easier than Excel formula - in my opinion!)

 

I don't have a copy of MDT old enough to have a look at your model, so I can't provide a comparison for you in Inventor.  Could you post some screen-shots or something that tells the story of what it does?  Maybe someone will recognise it and be able to offer an Inventor equivalent comparison.

Peter
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JDMather
Posts: 26,260
Registered: ‎04-20-2006
Message 3 of 16 (431 Views)

Re: Mechanical desktoop vs Inventor challenge

01-28-2014 09:16 AM in reply to: mariont55
Your VAR should be able to demonstrate using Excel parameters with Inventor, if not - find a new VAR.

 

Please mark this response as "Accept as Solution" if it answers your question.
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gsmith9810
Posts: 115
Registered: ‎12-28-2012
Message 4 of 16 (409 Views)

Re: Mechanical desktoop vs Inventor challenge

01-28-2014 11:50 AM in reply to: mariont55

Considering that MDT is not really a long-term option for you, this is certain: you WILL likely have to move off MDT no matter what you want. You may not want to create any routines to do what you can do directly with MDT and Excel but that may not be an option (in ANY s/w package that you subsequently select to replace MDT).

While I suspect there are any number of folks here who could "take your challenge" as JD says: talk to your VAR. He is the only person with a vested interest in seeing you move to Inventor. Anyone here would just spend their own time with no obvious return on their time (other than the altruistic benefits that might accrue).

-------------------------------------------------------
Gary Smith
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karthur1
Posts: 4,162
Registered: ‎04-27-2005
Message 5 of 16 (399 Views)

Re: Mechanical desktoop vs Inventor challenge

01-28-2014 12:50 PM in reply to: mariont55

Just so that I am clear on what you want, in your post on the MDT forum, you said:

 

" Visualization is also important. I can easily verify if I made mistakes in my excel formulas. I can easily make sure that machining stock amounts are added in proper directions. This is opposed to looking at numbers and dimensions on separate pictures. After I create the model I simply generate 2D layouts as they pertain to the different model stages. In 2D layouts all of my dimensions update accordingly to which model was activated. "

 

So you have a model of each stage of manufacture that has dimensions on it (7 total as I see it).  In order to make sure the stock has been added in the correct places, somebody has to compare dimensions between different stages..... correct? Or are you doing that some other "visual" way (are the models "stacked" on top of each other so you can see the allowance)?  the three sheets in your drawing file all have the same dimensions.

 

Kirk

 

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karthur1
Posts: 4,162
Registered: ‎04-27-2005
Message 6 of 16 (377 Views)

Re: Mechanical desktoop vs Inventor challenge

01-28-2014 02:09 PM in reply to: karthur1

Here is basically how it would be setup in Inventor with an iPart.  Only difference in the excel format is that the members are in rows where yours are in columns.  To choose a different manufactured state, you pick it from the list in the top left.  You will have a similar list in the drawing to pick from.

 

When you select a different member here, the model will adjust to the dimensions for that member.

 

2014-01-28_1604.png

Contributor
mariont55
Posts: 20
Registered: ‎01-04-2010
Message 7 of 16 (351 Views)

Re: Mechanical desktoop vs Inventor challenge

01-28-2014 05:33 PM in reply to: mariont55

Guys, thanks for all of your help.

 

karthur1, This is what I'm looking for. Only thing I wish was different in this solution is that data was in columns instead of rows. MDT had a simple excel interface that let you choose data starting cell, data in columns, or rows.

  

Few more questions:

1. How easy was it and how long did it take you to set up this simple model and the spread sheet ?

2. Did the Inventor export the first set of variable values into excel and all you had to do is to create the numbers for the different manufacturing stages ? or did you have to input all of the data into excel ?

3. I noticed you've used variable names exactly as I do (li for length internal, di for diameter internal, etc.). Is this something you had to create also ?

4. When you click on the different table number in the browser, does the model get repainted (overlayed) in the same location ?. This is what I call quick visual checking of the model behavior. Mistakes usually don't happen due to wrong number input, but more so due to subtracting instead of adding, depending on whether I'm working with internal or external features and how the model is constrained.

5. Any chance you could email me the part file and the associated excel file ?

 

I really appreciate it.

Marion

ae960@cummins.com or m.trocki@comcast.net

 

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karthur1
Posts: 4,162
Registered: ‎04-27-2005
Message 8 of 16 (343 Views)

Re: Mechanical desktoop vs Inventor challenge

01-28-2014 06:27 PM in reply to: mariont55

mariont55 wrote:

Guys, thanks for all of your help.

 

karthur1, This is what I'm looking for. Only thing I wish was different in this solution is that data was in columns instead of rows. MDT had a simple excel interface that let you choose data starting cell, data in columns, or rows.

  

Few more questions:

1. How easy was it and how long did it take you to set up this simple model and the spread sheet ?

2. Did the Inventor export the first set of variable values into excel and all you had to do is to create the numbers for the different manufacturing stages ? or did you have to input all of the data into excel ?

3. I noticed you've used variable names exactly as I do (li for length internal, di for diameter internal, etc.). Is this something you had to create also ?

4. When you click on the different table number in the browser, does the model get repainted (overlayed) in the same location ?. This is what I call quick visual checking of the model behavior. Mistakes usually don't happen due to wrong number input, but more so due to subtracting instead of adding, depending on whether I'm working with internal or external features and how the model is constrained.

5. Any chance you could email me the part file and the associated excel file ?

 

I really appreciate it.

Marion

ae960@cummins.com or m.trocki@comcast.net

 


In Inventor, the format for the iPart table has the member data in rows, not columns..... thats just the way it is.

 

For the other q's

1. Didnt take that long... maybe 15 minutes total.  That was drawing the sketch and entering the values in Excel.

2. I first linked your excel sheet to my part to get all the variables in the way you had them and the first member. I had to enter the rest of values in excel, but that went pretty quick because some of them are formulas.

3.  see 2 above.

4.  yes, it redraws the model with the new dimensions in the same location.  It does not "overlay" on top of each.

5. I can send you the part tomorrow (am).

 

I am not a big fan of doing "process" drawings.  I know that sometimes they are necessary, but I try to avoid them when I can.  There has been some discussion around about having "Design reps" kind of like view reps. That would help with making these "process" drawings.... but until then, we will have to use the tools we have.

 

Kirk

Contributor
mariont55
Posts: 20
Registered: ‎01-04-2010
Message 9 of 16 (318 Views)

Re: Mechanical desktoop vs Inventor challenge

01-29-2014 05:07 AM in reply to: mariont55

Yes please send me the drawing and the excel file if you can. What version of Inventor are you using. Also forgot to mention, is feature supression also available from within excel ? In MDT, all I had to do is put "s" in the cells where I needed features supressed.

Thanks.

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karthur1
Posts: 4,162
Registered: ‎04-27-2005
Message 10 of 16 (310 Views)

Re: Mechanical desktoop vs Inventor challenge

01-29-2014 05:27 AM in reply to: mariont55

Yes, you can suppress features, if the part is built with them.  I went back and added some features so that I could show you how the suppress/compute works.  As you choose different members, some features are removed from the model.

 

2013 version file is attached.

 

Kirk

 

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