We've been using Tube and pipe for a few months now, and still working through the quirks and tricks for producing a stable route. One problem however as more users are starting to use T&P is when in the top level T&P assembly they are dragging on a route and not always aware they have done so - this can result in the route being rotated fractions of a degree or moved fraction of mm and causing no end of confusion and frustration later on trying to diagnose and fix. Is there a way to 'lock' a route in place so it cannot be dragged in the top level?
Have tried switching off adaptivity in the iProperties of 'Tube & Pipe Runs' assembly, but this usually switches back on automatically. One user had a problem where the included geometry (taken from the x,y,z axes) had also moved and had to be deleted and redone - Wouldn't have thought anything based on the x,y,z axes should move?
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I've had a lot of frustration with this as well. I think Autodesk need to look at this. When a route is "connected" to a starting point... that should act as a constraint which, at the top level, hold the route firmly in place. But since actual assembly constraints are not used to fix a pipe route inside the Tube & Pipe environment, I think the top level sees it as under constrained and allows dragging. The route WILL pop back into place when you let go... but some of the route's members can be messed up or rotated by this. I fought with this all day yesterday.
I'm finding it increasingly difficult to justify to my bosses the use of tube and pipe as they only seem to home in on the bad things i.e.. complete routes going wrong, additional fittings appearing that cannot be deleted - just 2 examples. 'Most' things are down to user error and can be sorted with a little tinkering. It would be so simple if one could constrain from the Tube and Pipe environment to the top level environment - we have tried placing skeletal geometry to constrain the first placed fittings for example, but of course you can't do this unless the geometry is placed at each Pipe Run. We don't have geometry to constrain to such as pumps, tanks etc in the top level as most of our piping assemblies are stand-alone manifolds tied into a pipeline. The piping assemblies and structural assemblies are always seperate and placed into an overall assembly.
BTW my models don't always jump back into place, even after rebuild all...!
Any further suggestions welcome...
Sounds like we structure things similarly. I don't know what you did before Tube & Pipe, but I can tell you it is worlds better than assembling all of these things with standard assembly constraints. Like you mentioned, a lot of the problems (at least here) are usuallu user errors, and practice helps a lot. We still run into some funky stuff, but I'd never go back now. Same with Frame Generator, takes some work, but I'll never look back.
Yes - miles better - we used frame generator with bespoke pipe sizes prior to T&P, other projects are still doing this and we are seen either as taking a big risk, where other people have tried and failed or pioneering and being watched with interest! Either way I intend to soldier on and try establish some kinda workflow!
It might be we try throwing some dummy 'connecting' flanges attached to a skeletal model (as BOM reference) into the top level and try routing from these, what you think?
To all... Are you constraining the pipe route to included geo and/or work planes in the model? Meaning does the entire route have the same color? If not the route has the ability to flex around each node. Which causes the route to rotate and move at those points if edited.
The undocumented rule is... Inventor will always try to apply for each route segment a parallel and perpendicular constraints to the previous two route segments. If this can not be done... The route color changes where it fails and the rest of the route will have some degree of freedom to move.
If you apply the correct constraints (to included geo and/work planes) to the 2nd route segment (in most cases since it has turns 90 degrees and only a perpendicular constraint can be applied) you can locked it down when the entire route color changes to be the same. The key here... The route segments must always be the same color. If not then you have a route that can float. However keep in mind... Applying those constraints to the route segment is not always straight forward. A lot of times you will get the message the constraint can not be applied (so dont get frustrated when doing this). Also I am recommended that all auto-routes be converted to sketches and the constraints applied to it.
Though this will help somewhat in keeping someone from dragging pipe runs iat the upper levels... I tell my users before routing pipe,constrain the origin planes together from the run sub-assembly to the top assembly.
Hope that helps...
We've been constraining to origin x,y,z axes which locks down the individual routes fairly well.
I've noted what you said about constraining origin planes together from sub assemblies to upper and top assemblies - can't believe I missed that, but that's exactly what is required to stop the runs being dragged in the top assembly, as long as each run is constrained to the 'Tube and Pipe' assembly which is in turn constrained to the top level. Most excellent!
Thanks for your help...
Well, dang.... that's so simple, you would think that would have been chapter one in the tutorials!
We've had nothing but joy with Tube & Pipe since we started using it 3 years ago. It's so wonderful to have instability with the styles and content center integration. We've loved trying to get our sketches to run properly only to have it fail every time. Our company has loved the many many hours of rework we've had to do as a result of the constant file corruption issues. Such a great tool!
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