Inventor General Discussion

Inventor General Discussion

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Active Member
s.shumeyko
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎09-07-2011
Message 1 of 14 (1,423 Views)
Accepted Solution

Frame Generator WorkFlow

1423 Views, 13 Replies
09-08-2011 04:34 AM

I've read and searched this form, but this is my first official post.

 

Recently the company bought a single license of Inventor to test out and see if it meets our company goals and is efficient to use for what we do.  I've been working with the frame generator, which is fairly easy to use and make the initial assembly, but I am having trouble and breaking out individual sections to detail. 

 

I am stuck with using LOD for this platform, but for future references I was wondering if anyone could provide a general workflow procedure of the best way of creating assemblies and subassemblies.

 

 

What I am currently using Inventor is to build a condenser platform. Generally we like to weld as much of it in the shop before it goes to the field for final assembly.  The platform consists of beam supports, grating, stairs, and handrail. In this case we would generally take sections of the handrail and weld in the shop, we would also have the stairs with the handrail welded on it as well. I would like to refrain from converting this to weldment.

 

I have tried promoting and demoting but this loses constraints and references. Also I cannot create a single skeleton of the whole frame at one time because a lot of the frame members depend on the other members structural sizes (flange width, height, etc.).

 

If anyone has suggestions and constructive criticism, I would love to hear it. I've read of people creating multiple subassemblies and grounding them, but I would like to think that their has to be away that I could just build off of the base skeleton and not have to cycle through different assemblies.

 

Thank you in advance.

Sorry about the mix-up on the email address.

   Part of the reason I wanted to take this offline was that I needed to clarify something about sharing content. There are some things that I can send your way and there are others that my company has spent years (and tens of thousands of dollars) researching, developing, and implementing. Those kinds of things I am reluctant to share and most definitely not on a public forum for everyone.

   My company provides many different services and in an attempt to consolidate our software packages, we performed a software implementation study on Inventor being used for this type of framing (in lieu of Tekla). So far we have been able to accomplish what we want with a few workflow changes. The content and customization we have developed puts us in a certain market position regarding one of the services we perform and I am not going to be able to share this information with anyone. If I can find a way to share the content, without “giving away the farm” as it were, I would be happy to help. Please keep in mind that this information is not ground breaking stuff, but it took us a while to develop and I can’t just hand it out, but anyone with some IV knowledge can figure out ways to make their process more efficient. Until I can find a way to share it (if it is even possible) I will have to be more general in my help. Obviously there is no intellectual property to protect when it comes to platforms, stairs, and guardrail but with the content and customization there is.

   Here’s my basic workflow on a platform like yours. Please keep in mind that the entire frame (supports, railing, stairs) is not one GIANT frame generator file. They are all individual FG files that are controlled by a master skeleton file. It takes some experience (and time) to set all of this up and there is no easy way about it other than developing your own process as you go along, but hopefully there is some usable information here:

1.)    Skeleton Geometry / Sketches:

  1. This is the most important part of any frame generator assembly. I would advise spending a bit of time in the beginning about how you lay out your sketches and geometry that frame generator uses. Sometimes the best thing is a simple sketch, sometimes it is actual extrusions, sometimes a combination of both with work-planes and axes combined as well. I find that most of my FG issues go away with proper planning of my skeleton.
  2. It’s best if you decide at this level where things are going to be split up and shipped. The finish requirements obviously play a role. In the picture below, most of the beams and purlins were shipped separately but there is a braced frame in the background that went shop welded together. Sometimes it is critical to develop your skeleton in a way that keeps this in mind. There are times when you can use the split face tool on skeleton geometry to accomplish what you need after the fact, but sometimes it’s best to do this before you get going.

2.)    Main FG Components:

  1. This is where the steel members are placed onto the skeleton geometry. It’s a good idea to get into the habit of placing this geometry onto the skeleton in the order it would likely be erected if possible (sometimes with shop welded frames this isn’t possible). I would absolutely avoid using frame generator components to dictate placement of other components. This was something I picked up from my training and have never done. I’m not even sure of the ramifications if you do this, but I was told never to do it and it sort of makes sense from a model stability standpoint (changing member sizes, etc.).

3.)    Demote components as needed:

  1. This is where the decision that was made earlier about what is going to be shop welded vs. field bolted is implemented.
  2. I demote the items that are going to be shop welded together into sub-assemblies inside the frame generator assembly.

4.)    FG End Treatments:

  1. I use the standard FG end treatments where possible and I use them in conjunction with the custom table driven iFeatures in the next section. For example, before I cope a beam like this:FG Help Pic #1.png

I first use the FG “trim” tool with a ½” gap specified to get the beam length needed with the necessary gap between the beam and the purlin.

5.)    Copes & Blocking:

  1. This is where I place our iFeatures for the AISC copes with radii, blocking, cuts, etc.
  2. We set these up long before as table driven iFeatures with options for the supporting beam’s size, whether we are coping top and bottom flanges, etc.

6.)    Connection Items:

  1. Then I place all of the connection elements needed using our iAssemblies and iParts. We created all of our connection elements as iParts. The clip angles are standard table driven parts. The bolts are a simplified version of a bolt complete with the nut and washer. This was done to remove the threads from the display and to simplify the load on our CPU’s as we can have thousands of these bolts in a larger assembly and using the content center fasteners with all the constraints was a nightmare.
  2. The different types of connections have different BOM settings (e.g. all field bolted connections like the one shown above are set to phantom so each element is promoted to the top level BOM). Shop welded/field bolted connections are done differently and can be done several different ways. If you need more help here I can suggest some more options but I would need more information.

7.)    Stairs & Stair Railing:

  1. These components are actually set up differently in my office. We don’t use frame generator for the entire thing. The stairs are pre-designed assemblies that we have in our library complete with drawings. When we need a stair we use the Design Assistant to copy an entire design to the current project. We have a skeleton file (of mostly parameters and a sketch) that we use to drive all of the stairs components (e.g. # of treads/risers, bevel cuts, etc.). The stair railing is a FG component that uses the stair’s skeleton sketch as a derived part and builds from there.

8.)    Guardrail & Toe Plate:

  1. This is done similarly to the stairs and stair railing. Because of the many different ways to fabricate the railing and the many different designs, I’m going to leave this up to you unless you want to provide more info on this matter. Our railing designs use a master skeleton sketch to control individual skeleton sketches that, in turn, control the rail frame generator components.

9.)    Grating /Raised Pattern Floor Plate:

  1. This is done using simple extrusions and a semi-transparent color style. Modeling all of the openings for the grating is too CPU intensive. We do the flooring as simple extrusions that are not usually controlled by a skeleton sketch but you could do that just as easily.

 

Let me know if you have any questions (I imagine you might). I hope this helps, good luck!

 

Jean

Distinguished Mentor
pauldoubet
Posts: 703
Registered: ‎10-11-2006
Message 2 of 14 (1,371 Views)

Re: Frame Generator WorkFlow

09-08-2011 02:05 PM in reply to: s.shumeyko

I looked at the steps and platform. You can definitely do what you want with Inventor using Framer Generator and other features of Inventor. It is probably beyond what can be explained in the forum. You can share parameters from an Excel file or an ipt or iam file to help drive your model.

 

"Also I cannot create a single skeleton of the whole frame at one time because a lot of the frame members depend on the other members structural sizes (flange width, height, etc.)."

 

To briefly answer this concern you should look into using Work Planes in your skeleton to locate additional sketches for these elements.

 

The best advice I would give you is to get some good training and buy a good text book on Inventor.

 

Hope this helps, Paul

Active Member
s.shumeyko
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎09-07-2011
Message 3 of 14 (1,340 Views)

Re: Frame Generator WorkFlow

09-09-2011 04:23 AM in reply to: pauldoubet

Thanks for the advice, I am going to buy some refrence and help material.

 

In regards to the planes, I will attempt making the skeleton from a single sketch and adding unto that sketch as I place different members.

 

Another issue that I was wondering about is why doesn't inventor include smart notch features to the AISC standards for assembling strutural beams? I would imagine that the AISC standards are used widely in different industries.  I would really hate to create a notch profile for each different combination of structural members.

 

Lastly, anyone have a good way of populating clips into the drawing without placing individual clips one at a time? We use clips at basically all connections, welded or bolted, which is to AISC standards.

 

 

Valued Mentor
jeanchile
Posts: 779
Registered: ‎11-10-2009
Message 4 of 14 (1,319 Views)

Re: Frame Generator WorkFlow

09-09-2011 08:13 AM in reply to: s.shumeyko

s.shumeyko wrote:

Another issue that I was wondering about is why doesn't inventor include smart notch features to the AISC standards for assembling strutural beams? I would imagine that the AISC standards are used widely in different industries.  I would really hate to create a notch profile for each different combination of structural members.

 


You need to use a combination of the trim tool and iFeature to create these notches. It doesn't take that long to set up. The AISC provides an Excel database of all shapes and dimensions to members. You just set up the iFeature and copy and paste the information as needed from there.

 


s.shumeyko wrote:

Lastly, anyone have a good way of populating clips into the drawing without placing individual clips one at a time? We use clips at basically all connections, welded or bolted, which is to AISC standards.

 


This is where you need to create iParts, iAssembies, and iFeatures to do what you want.

 

Keep in mind this software tool is not Steel Detailing software. For that you need either AD's Steel Detailing software or Tekla or SDS2. All of which are crap. We have found that by investing the time and research, IV can be a useful steel detailing tool but it doesn't come that way "out of the box" nor was it designed to be.

 

The picure attached is an example of what we do all the time using FG, iFeatures, iAssemblies, and iParts. You can do the work no problem but not without spending time setting it up.

 



Inventor Professional 2013 (SP-2.3), Product Design Suite Ultimate
Desktop: Intel Core i7 3.4GHz, 16.0 GB RAM, Windows 7 Ultimate SP-1, 64-bit OS, (2) GeForce GTX 580 (331.81), Space Pilot Pro (3.16.1)
Laptop: Intel Core i7 3.9GHz, 16.0 GB RAM, Windows 7 Pro SP-1, 64-bit OS, GeForce GTX 780 (331.81), SpaceNavigator (3.17.7)
Active Member
s.shumeyko
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎09-07-2011
Message 5 of 14 (1,297 Views)

Re: Frame Generator WorkFlow

09-09-2011 11:02 AM in reply to: jeanchile

Thank you, I wasn't aware that AISC provided a table, that would be quiet helpful.

 

The platform that you show is quiet similar to what we build, thanks for that.

 

If it isn't against your company policy would you be able to either send the assembly with necessary files, or maybe just somehow getting the browser uploaded in PDF form so I would be able to see what workflow was implemented. Once again only IF there would be no rights issues, thank you.

 

I am fairly new to the frame generator in inventor so I have much to learn if you have a good reference book that you use that show and teach Inventor capabilities, I would like to know what book it is.

Valued Mentor
jeanchile
Posts: 779
Registered: ‎11-10-2009
Message 6 of 14 (1,265 Views)

Re: Frame Generator WorkFlow

09-12-2011 10:46 PM in reply to: s.shumeyko
Let me see what I can do. I'm out of town for the next little while. I can recommend Mastering Inventor 20XX by Curtis Waguespack. It has several chapters that will help you out but you'll need to go through several in order to do everything you want, not just the frame generator chapter.

I'll try to post more information later... Don't let me forget!
Inventor Professional 2013 (SP-2.3), Product Design Suite Ultimate
Desktop: Intel Core i7 3.4GHz, 16.0 GB RAM, Windows 7 Ultimate SP-1, 64-bit OS, (2) GeForce GTX 580 (331.81), Space Pilot Pro (3.16.1)
Laptop: Intel Core i7 3.9GHz, 16.0 GB RAM, Windows 7 Pro SP-1, 64-bit OS, GeForce GTX 780 (331.81), SpaceNavigator (3.17.7)
Active Member
s.shumeyko
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎09-07-2011
Message 7 of 14 (1,216 Views)

Re: Frame Generator WorkFlow

09-14-2011 01:11 PM in reply to: jeanchile

Thank you, I've bought the recommend book, should be in tomorrow so hopefully that would give me a better understanding.

 

But, of course, a nicely done assembly would be nice to look at to even get a better understanding. If possible, I would like to look at the detailing and how it was layed out in .idw.  I am currently detailing different parts and subassemblies in the drawing I am working on and running into some issues trying to find the best work around of labeling individual parts accordingly to the overall assembly tagging.

 

To clarify I am not asking someone to spoon feed me the information, however, having a completed drawing to look at certainly would be helpful to learn from and possibly improve upon.

 

Thank you.

 

 

Valued Mentor
jeanchile
Posts: 779
Registered: ‎11-10-2009
Message 8 of 14 (1,190 Views)

Re: Frame Generator WorkFlow

09-15-2011 08:08 AM in reply to: s.shumeyko

I'm not going to be able to give you full content but I can help you get where you need to be, and I can share some things with you. Perhaps you can send me an email and we can take this information further. As Paul said (and he's an expert, he would know) there is too much info to share here. This combined with everyone's processes needing to differ it may be easier if you and I do this outside the forum.

 

Send me an email and I will try to help where I can: rmdetail_at_qwest_dot_com.

Inventor Professional 2013 (SP-2.3), Product Design Suite Ultimate
Desktop: Intel Core i7 3.4GHz, 16.0 GB RAM, Windows 7 Ultimate SP-1, 64-bit OS, (2) GeForce GTX 580 (331.81), Space Pilot Pro (3.16.1)
Laptop: Intel Core i7 3.9GHz, 16.0 GB RAM, Windows 7 Pro SP-1, 64-bit OS, GeForce GTX 780 (331.81), SpaceNavigator (3.17.7)
Active Member
s.shumeyko
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎09-07-2011
Message 9 of 14 (1,149 Views)

Re: Frame Generator WorkFlow

09-16-2011 03:30 PM in reply to: s.shumeyko

Thank you for the offer, email sent but was undeliverable for some reason. (to above)

 

I know I have been lacking on specifics of what I am trying to accomplish but I hope the following example would be helpful in providing information so someone would have suggestions.

 

The model I had created had a sloppy work flow, that combined with wrong usage of LOD's and suppressions caused the previous model to lose a lot of projected geometry references which made the handrailing and stairs I created previously unrepairable.

 

Looking at the provided picture how would you all suggest creating stairs (exact location not provided because it shouldn't matter on the workflow, if needed however I will specify)?  I would like to avoid referencing existing parts/members so there won't be a chance of it losing that reference.

 

Should the sketch be added onto the original frame skeleton sketch? If so what would be the best way of locating the workplane? I would like to have adaptivity so that if a frame member was to move, the corresponding parts would change along, but I am worried about it losing reference.

 

Same question as above goes for the handrailing that would be running around the outer edge of the platform and across the angle located across the ladder.

 

This is being done in Inventor Professional 2012, SP1.

16GB Ram, Quadro FX 580

 

(the bottom left corner is just a reference of an existing platform, it isn't part of the "actual" model)

 

(the included picture is of what I salvaged from the previous model, what is left is sound in workflow so the structure of it is solid)

 

Sorry it is so long.

Valued Mentor
jeanchile
Posts: 779
Registered: ‎11-10-2009
Message 10 of 14 (1,140 Views)

Re: Frame Generator WorkFlow

09-16-2011 04:55 PM in reply to: s.shumeyko

s.shumeyko wrote:

... email sent but was undeliverable for some reason.... 



That is because I am an idiot and gave you an incorrect address:smileysad:. The real one should be ".net" not ".com", sorry.

 

Before I start on a suggested workflow for this I would need to know your intent. Are you guys designing this with the intent to fabricate it or just design it? In other words, are you preparing fabrication drawings from these items or just design documentation and then a fabricator will prepare the shop drawings? Are you a steel detailer or an engineer?

 

Knowing the end result can help refine the workflow to accomplish what you need without any wasted time.

Inventor Professional 2013 (SP-2.3), Product Design Suite Ultimate
Desktop: Intel Core i7 3.4GHz, 16.0 GB RAM, Windows 7 Ultimate SP-1, 64-bit OS, (2) GeForce GTX 580 (331.81), Space Pilot Pro (3.16.1)
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