one method is that if it was a single curve, eg a rolled piece of rhs or similar, then i show the length in the idw as an exported parameter that shows up in a parts list.
the length of this parameter is taken from a couple of calcs that use dimensions on the geometry ie the radius of the curve and the angle that the curve is taken through. These inputs can be reference dimensions that you may need to put on yourself Later in the job.
if there is more than one curve i would need to do this several times, then add them all together and export the total dimension.
also, in the idw for the same pice of rolled steel, i could put a dimension on the curve, in the idw, click on the edge of the geometry as if you were wanting to show the diameter or radius, then right click and you will see an option to show the curve length. This should be the same as the dimension that is being calculated mentioned above, depending on whether it is the inside or outside radius etc.
i can zap you some screenshots if you like. It will be easier than trying to explain it.
Inventor 2014 Pro on Windows 7, 64bit
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thanks for your reply, but Wow that is complex! and it needs forward planning.
I use Rhino 3d and when working in 2d drawing mode I can select a line and a curve or multiples of lines and curves and get an instant "total length" dimension / result.
in inventor i can't seem to do this?
I have just drawn some pipes that are bent in variouse places, in the 2d drawing I can get the centre line of the pipe on the drawing and I would then like to know the length of the centre line, which is a combination of arcs and lines, but this does not seem possible in inventor so i have to export the dxf / dwg and then look at it in Rhino 3d but I would rather keep it all in inventor.
from an engineering point of view I see this as a basic tool that should be a part of inventor 2d drawing?