The question seems specific to woodworking, but it is not. It is just one possible application domain, another one would be the creation of a plug assembly, no wood there (hopefully), but still features defined from the assembly back to the individual parts.
I am searching for the proper workflow to model joinery. That is modeling features on the parts with input from their arrangement in the final assembly. I do know that the frame generator has some capabilities there, but this is too limited for my work (not everything is built from mitter joints and tenons/mortisses alone). The added requirements would be including tolerances in the process, so that your tenon always fit in your mortisse and if someone change the assembly geometry (change in angle for example), the joinery cuts should update...
I can think of two main workflow to sort of do that. None of them really seem right though...
The multi body approach: In the case of a regular frame, that would mean starting with the whole thing as one piece and then carving out the rails and stiles from it. That requires one to start from the top most object and split it in 2 each time. That is a lot of splitting and that many temporary files and garbage on the disk If you add the tolerances, then you have to split each join twice... That does not sound too practical for a large object, like say, a sofa...
The temporary assembly approach: It is more of a bottom up method, one would create the rough pieces and assemble them on a skeleton. From that temporary assembly, one can copy the surfaces of both part of the joint and create a cutting part object. Since this object is created from both part geometry while they are mated for assembly, the geometry of B can be used to cut A and the geometry for A can be used to cut B. The same cutting object can also be used with slightly different parameters for the tolerance part. Creating the final assembly would require creating new parts, deriving them from the original rough cut ones, adding the cutting object and then do the cutting into the final part. The good news is that there is less trash on the disk (from ~2^N temp files to ~2*N where N is the number of joints) but that still sounds like a lot.
Is there a way to do things without creating that many steps/temp files?
Thanks a lot
You can create more than two parts from one multibody part. http://opendesignproject.org/2011/12/14/inventor-t
Hi there! - Great to see another woodworker taking up Inventor.
Here are a couple of tutorials you might find useful:
This is a general introduction to Inventor for woodworkers:
This one is on part modelling
This one is an introduction to the main techniques of building parameteric models (Top-Down, Botton-up, in-place)
I use the multibody master part technique extensivly, and I have built models with over 1000 parts this way.
I you have any questions - Give me a shout!