Hi guys, I was hoping I could get some input from you inventor masters out their. I've been working with inventor professionally for about a year now doing piping and vessels for the oil field. This also involves a lot of pipe supports and platforms.
I'm trying to streamline the process right now by coming up with a way to make some adaptive bracing that I can reuse so I don't have to model it over and over. Most of the engineer drawings I get are basically the same; 2d lines for beams with work points for the bracing and typical connection details.
I start with a skeletal model and use frame gen to drop my beams in. But bracing is where I run into difficulty. I get it done but its just tedious and time consuming
Is their a way I can make a reusable adaptive or flexible bracing for this task?
Here's some pics of what I've been dinking around with to try and automate this (I haven't found a good solution yet).
1. Created my skeleton
2. Dropped beams in
3. Created bracing template
4. Dropped bracing temp in assem
5. Constrained it into place
6. used make parts to place the gusset plates into my assem
7. gusset plates fully parametric
I'd like to have a better process of doing this. Ideally I'd like to drop a whole brace sub-assembly (gussets, brace and bolts) in to the main assem and constrain to the drawing specified work points and be done with it.
I'm glad to hear from you Jeanchile. I've been reading up on the use of structural items like this in inventor and have came across a lot of your post. It seems like you and I are after alot of the same thing. I assume your located in the U.S? Could you post some pictures when you get settled back down? This seems like exactly what I'd like to do (setting up a bracing library). As you know structural steel can be an irritation to do in inventor BUT I think with the proper set up it could be great. I've tried other programs like Advance Steel but inventor being my main software since schooling; its difficult for me. Plus it seems like the parametric capabilities of inventor are better. I like the idea of having one skeletal model controlling my entire assembly. I couldn't do simple things quickly like I do with inventor in AutoCad based Advance steel. I mean don't get me wrong the connection macros are amazing for placing standard connections but when it came to things more complex or not so standard it got difficult. Also little other annoyances like their bracing macro doesn't have WT as an option. WTH, no WT? That's the main type of bracing we use. And the holes on the stairs would only go down to 1/2" when I needed 7/16". And the auto drawing tool drove me nuts lol. 10 million unwanted views and dims on a page? Anyway your input is appreciated Jeanchile
Sorry Paul, I've been out of town a lot lately but just got settled back in. Yes, I am in the US and we have been using IV to detail our structural steel, vessels, piping, and other items for 2 years now. It is cumbersome at first but with an investment in workflows and content it has worked out great for us. There is certainly things AD could do to make our lives a lot easier, especially because their AutoCAD Steel Detailing program is pretty much the laughing stock of that industry, but we've managed to make IV an effective tool.
There are some things to note though:
1.) In most of our projects, by the time we get to modelling the structural steel in IV most of the design decisions and constraints have been identified so things like member sizes and stuff don't change all that often (they do sometimes just not every time).
2.) We don't use Vault so we're stuck using the Design Assistant for all of our file management and copying operations. The DA sucks for the most part, and isn't intuitive to say the least, but it's all we have. It would be nice if AD would recognize that not eveyone can use their Vault programs and update the DA a little.
3.) We spent a year and a half analyzing our workflows in an attempt to streamline our software and during that process we were able to identify the best practices for us while using IV to detail the steel. I cannot stress enough how spending some time up front really "saved our bacon" on a lot of issues.
Here's some pictures of what I was talking about:
1.)Here is a picture of a typical double angle chevron brace:
There are about 23 user parameters in the file with comments and instructions to our users. Like I said in my other post, when we need bracing in our design we choose the type and style then use the DA to copy that from our library to the current project. Then we link parameters from our main structure skeleton files to the individual bracing skeleton files (Work-point dimensions, framing sizes, etc.).
When the main skeleton file changes, the linked parameters in the bracing skeleton files change, and everything updates. The only thing that we have to be careful of is when the member sizes change on the structure (columns, beams, etc.) we have to make some parameter changes in the bracing skeleton file. For example, if the beam in the picture above was a W12x35 and it changes to a W16x31 we have to go back to the bracing skeleton file and change the depth, flange width, etc. because we don't put all of the individual framing members profile dimensions in the main skeleton file (it's obviously just lines and such for the framing).
So pretty much we do what you do but take it one step further by having the bracing already complete in our library. You just need to link the parameters that define your work points in your structural skeleton file into skeleton files for the bracing, then assemble everything into the proper assemblies.
I was able to complete this platform in 2 1/2 days last week (detail drawings and all):
I hope all this helps some. Good Luck.
Jeanchile, thanks for the response, and i'm also sorry for such a delay, I'm just getting a little down time. Now if we could only design a macro for this in ilogic along with one for handrail and stairs.. Then I would be a very happy camper! But for now Im getting along just fine. I have actualy gotten pretty fast using view reps and locking. So much easier than LODs! The only downside is the BOM.
AUTODESK PLEASE GIVE US THE OPTION FOR ACURATE PER PAGE BOMS!!
Impressive indeed! Humbled in the presence of greatness.
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