I have been doing the design and shop drawings for lattice structures using AutoCad in 2D. It works fine but there are a few problems where parts collide in final assembly. My client suggests Inventor as he thinks it iwll be faster (and thus cheaper) and it would also automatically make shop drawings of each piece.
While I have no doubt it is possible to design and draw a lattice structure in Inventor, would it be efficient or would it be a waste of time compared to another program. Would 2D AutoCad be more efficient?
I will be very interested in your thoughts on this question.
I think inventor would be much more efficient. But there is a cost. Inventor is available as an upgrade from AutoCAD so the software isn't to bad (and you get to keep AutoCAD). However you should budget for upgrading your hardware and training.
There is also an investment In time required. Inventor won't 'automatically' create your shop drawings, but if you learn how to set it up right you can certainly produce them quicker and more accurately than with 2D AutoCAD. The main advantage being that the whole thing is parametric, so if you change your model, all your drawings will update.
The 30 day trial is free. Give it a try!
we build latice structures in inventor, and give the models to engineers to stress. The best part of a parametric modeller is that when the engineers change everything all we do is update the parameters to suit and provided the model is built well its ready to go. Things like the welding space between 2 members conecting to a third at a point can be parameterised with formular so they are a minimum of 50mm or 4x wall thickness, whichever is greater.
It is also very useful at visualizing complex joints where 4 or 5 members are hitting the same area
We create all of our structures in Inventor.
Bolt holes now line up in the field and everything goes together much more quickly and easily.
I know it's been a while but I finally have a copy of Inventor and I'm trying to learn how to use it. When I get some proficiency, one of my first "projects" will be a small lattice structure.
Thanks for the comments.
JDMather, I have already downloaded your PDF and have purchased one of Curtis Waguespack's books. As I go through the book, I look at the relevant part of your PDF. I find a second explanation often clears up something I didn't understand in the first refence. I haven't yet used the Autodesk tutorials - perhaps I should look at them along with the other reference material. It's slow slogging but I'm getting there.
Thanks for your suggestions.