In the quest to have all our purchased components in our Inventor models, I have finally gotten to modelling the connector that is attached below. It has a connector on one side, then a length of cable, then goes into another connector. (we have many connectors like this, this is just an example of one).
Of course suppliers don't have models for this part, and even if they did it would probably be next to useless. What I need is to have this connector fully modelled, and flexible, so that no matter which assembly it is in, I can route it the correct way.
I am just getting started on it, so I haven't played around with it much, my first order of business will be to model up the two connectors that are found on either end and get them into Inventor. But while I was doing that I figured I would post here to see if anyone has had to do something similar, and can help me cut down on my trial and error with finding the best way to do this.
What I was thinking was modelling each connector as its own .ipt. Then I would make an assembly, that does not have them constrained to each other, and create a harness between them. I would then make this assembly flexible in whatever assembly it was placed in, and constrain both of the connectors how I want them, and just have the cable update itself.
But I can't see this working, as all the wire routings are defined in the harness assembly, so every time I tried using the same harness in a different setting with a different routing, it would change all instances of that harness assembly. There is no way in the parent assembly to define wire routings etc AFAIK.
So is the only way to go, to create a new harness assembly for each situation? Oh yes, I am in Inventor 2013. Thanks,
Inventor harness assembly is using Adaptive. According to the adaptive rule, the adaptive status can only be associated with one parent assembly. When placing the multiple occurrences (aka secondary occurrences) of the harness assembly, the secondary occurrences dependent on the primary occurrence. Changes to the primary occurrence automatically update all associated secondary occurrences.
For the design intent you mentioned, it’s sort of reuse workflow. You may try “Make Adaptive” command, which generates a new harness based on the existing one and make it available for edits and updates independently. Adaptive occurrences can be edited in the Cable and Harness environment and will update to assembly changes.
Please refer to the link below (Flash, .swf) for an idea of reuse workflow. I hope this helps.
You can prepare some “connectors” assemblies and Harness sub-assemblies, and then reuse them separately. (Make good use of “Make Adaptive”, “RefDes” definition, “Reconnect Wire Pins”. Cables under Harness assembly only remembers the RefDes & Pin information.)
http://screencast.com/t/QuyMy3ap (It's about 7MB, may need wait a while for loading)
jeff.. the workflow you talked about is something I have been suggesting to Autodesk for years.. Its way more "real life" than the way it works now.
Nicolas showed an interesting workflow but the bill of materials created by that workflow is just totally wrong and really can't be used.
Anyone that has ever had to buy a premade harness (and I'm sure thats a lot of users) could use this functionality.
Think of a computer manufacturer buying sata cables.. It would be SO much easier if you could define a harness in its own assembly, declare a max length and then be able to freely drop that harness iam into multiple assemblies, set it flexible and constrain the ends as you wish.. Then being warned if your constraints cause the wires to violate the maximum length you defined.
I agree, the workflow provided may be overly complex, and I'm also unsure about how the bill of materials will end up when I am done. Due to the size of our assemblies we aren't making drawings, we are just putting a computer down in the shop that they can use to look at all the wiring on. I can see it causing confusion with it setup like that.
I definately like mcgyvr's suggestion, and it would make the whole workflow much, much easier.
So mcgyvr, sounds like we are after the same workflow, what do you find works best for you? Do you use a workflow like Nicolas, or do you just make a new harness assembly for each instance? At least with new harness assemblies, it will show up as one part when placed in the assembly, not 3 seperate ones.
Since you seem to use this quite a bit Mcgyvr, I have another question for you. How do you handle pigtail connectors? I have one sitting on my desk, connector on one side, then just bare wires on the other that will get spliced into our harness. I don't know what to do with the end of the pigtail with the bare wires though. I haven't looked to much at it yet, as I'm trying to tackle the two connector scenario first, but I figured while I had your attention I'd see what you thought.
well.. way too much to write and its Friday so I don't feel like it..sorry
I really should write a book about it.. I've spent HOURS and HOURS figuring out what works best for me.
I basically start (first time using a specific harness) with creating a harness in the top level assembly. Then I create it again in its own assembly showing how it looks with all the wires more or less straight (i use iparts for straight wire,etc.. its a complicated system/workflow but it works great for 99.9% of the stuff we do)for assembly people purposes ONLY.. (we make most of them in-house and I've never liked Inventors nailboard environment at all so I don't use it)
Then I basically re-create the harness over and over again or drop it from another top level assembly into another (only when the routing is identical)
Its really a HUGE trial/error process figuring out what works best for you.
Pigtails work the same way..
Its really a shame that Autodesk has put NO thought into improving the cable/harness module over the years.. Its a decent system now but it could be MUCH better. I wish they would really decide its time to update cable/harness and come to my work and spend a few hours/days with me.. I would really fix it right to work for EVERYONE. Not just your typical real life nailboard harness shop that makes 1 off harnesses that are only used in 1 assembly model.
MANY users reuse a "standard" harness over and over again with only end connector positional differences..
I do lots of single wire assemblies (ring terminal on each end of a wire basically)
I do lots of mother/daughter PCB assemblies with soldered wires connecting them.
I reuse lots of "standard" harnesses.
Inventor is not setup for any of those situations but you can get it to work with enough time under your belt playing with them.
Thanks mcgyvr, that helped quite a bit, gives me some ideas to throw around in my head on how to make this work best. I realize there is alot of trial and error with this trying to get it working properly. I was hoping this would be something I could learn and then train others into doing, but looks like there is a long ways to go for me to perfect my process before I think about that.
I agree, it is a shame that cable and harness hasn't been updated. It has the potential to be a really great feature, but right now I just dread using it. Hopefully one day we'll get a significant overhaul of it.
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