In near future our company will upgrade to Inventor Professional 2014 for each PC. For now we are all non-professional versions and can not use tube and pipe. We work a lot with piping and of course we are considering using the Tube and Pipe environment. At the moment I'm learning home to use this new add-in for me. And right from the start I don't understand something.
We use some 6-7 different pipe types from different suppliers, or I should call them "Tube and Pipe Styles". From each supplier we use different pipe diameters, starting from DN10 to DN400. The question is: Do I have to create for each diameter a separate style?! I hope not, because I will have lots of styles, something like over 100..
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Yes, each diameter of a specific pipe spec (material, schedute etc) is a separate pipe style. The good news is, you can create one and then copy it as many times as needed and change only the size. You can even create one entire "family" of sizes, and then export that... then import it to be the template for a new "family"... then change whatever needs to be changed in the new one. It does create a lot of styles, but hopefully you'll only have to do it once. We have several hundred ourselves.... maybe closer to a thousand when all is said and done. It took a few days to get them all set the way I wanted, but now I don't have to worry unless we add a new one (which we will in a few weeks).
The main thing to remember is that, in order for them to show up everytime you start a new piping assemby, create your styles in the file : Piping runs.iam. This resides somewhere in your Acad installation files, and is the assembly template that is used whenever you create a tube and pipe assembly within a main assembly file. Look for that file and create your styles there... otherwise you'll have to re-create them with each new assembly. no one wants to think about that!
Let me know if I can help you out with setup or anything else... I don't know everything, but I've been using T&P for close to 4 years now.
Thanks Chris for explanations!
Frankly I'm still frustrated with that, and not only because I will have to create so many styles, but also because it is harder to work with many styles, it's confusing to see such a big list, you may choose a wrong style... it is time loosing process I think. It would be great to have a certain style active and work on several routes that use that style and to choose the diameter for each route.
One thing to add, it was strange for me to see in all tutorials or examples that styles names don't contain the diameter. I mean for me it is obvious that diameter value should be in the name of the style. But I haven't seen that anywhere until now.
I will most probably come back in this thread with other questions.
Let me clarify. Once you create all of the styles you need, you'll be able to (in your assembly) select and work with only those that you need. The list to choose from may be long, but if you know for sure there are some you won't need in that job, you can delete them to make it simpler (in that job only... not from that template file). As for the size being in the name, when you create your pipe styles, you can name them whatever you want so that the size is in the name. Here is a screen shot of some of mine as an example:
The naming structure of mine is Spec (from a spec list created in house) End Treatment, Size and then Service. You'll notice I created one for each pipe spec AND fluid service, so I could control the colors as well... this is not necessary... I just felt like it.
When I'm working in a route, this is what the pull down to select a pipe style for that route will look like:
All pipe segments and elbows will be populated to whatever is set up in the style you pick. Any fittings you add later from the Content Center as you are designing, it will be up to you to make sure they match the spec... example: tees, unions, valves etc.
Tube and Pipe is a bit of a wild ride... far from perfect but it beats the heck out of inserting fittings and valves and constraining them all over the place, and then creating adaptive pipe spools for in between. Once you get the hang of it, it saves a LOT of time and makes designing much easier.
The default T&P styles don't list diameter, because the diameter is set when you choose the type and size of pipe you want to run. When you create your own styles one usually does so for each size of pipe as a seperate style. Unless one copies a compatible style and changes the properties. I am still learning it and at times get completely lost , but still it beats placing it one pipe and fitting at a time. in the past i would create sketches wiuth fittings being there own short line segment so the pipe extrusions would stop at that point. combination of FG and manual fitting insert. Since i started using the T&P (which I found non-intuitive at first It has become a lot easier.) So many little steps I would forget to do at first, but with practice
I didn't have the chance to learn that much the "Tupe and Pipe" since I started this thread. But I have some questions already. Please correct if I'm wrong: the only parts that Inventor will add automatically to routes are pipes, elbows, couplings, flanges and gaskets. Things like reducers, y-bends, tees must be placed manually?