Doing a skeletal frame that size looks entirely doable to me. Using that one skeletal model in several subassemblies is probably a good idea though.
Our frames, though smaller in size, are generally welded together, where frame generator works quite well with its built in end treatment tools. When you have bolted connections and webs that's an different story though.
I would suggest you look at the following plugin for Inventor, ASi Profile:
A big shortfall with FG is that you can only apply end treaments, trims etc using frames from the same assembly so it can be a pain when using sub assemblies with frames.
I too use frame generator a fair bit, typically on smaller frames though. You have touched on something with the parts list that is a pain for us as well. We have resorted to using full partslists where possible but it would sure be nice to show partslists that are filtered to the view rep WHERE THE QTY OF THE PARTS YOU SEE IS CORRECT. Is this the same issue you are talking about?
Frame generator can handle a lot as you can see with the following picture. But for obvious reasons i didin`t make it adaptive. i'm pretty sure the only thing that could stop inventor is the computers hardware. Note that at that level of complexity i had to forget about any bolting.
This is typical of frames that we build with FG all the time, they can be up to 12' x 40'. We generally break them down into sections to simplify both the modeling process, and the drawings. Easier to weld up in smaller sections and then assemble. We do not (at this time) use bolted connections on our frames... but we're looking into it.
Is this the same issue you are talking about?
This is just one of the BOM issues that have been brought up on this forum, and yes, it is specifically the one I am talking about in this scenario. There are others that have been talked about (and apparently logged as "feature requests") for years and still aren't a part of the operational software. I am no computer programmer, and I imagine that adding functionality to code this large (and purchased from another company), is difficult to say the least. But ten years of people asking for other BOM/Parts List options should be an idea of what you might want to add next IMHO.
Thanks for the responses Raskel and cbenner! Both of those works are impressive. Most of our previous FG work would be closer to the work cbenner is doing. I have already begun the modeling process for my frame using the suggestions here. With the field bolting and bracing connections involved she's going to be a doosy. I've split this into phases like everyone suggested (and like we've done in the past to some degree) and I'll post a screenshot upon successful completion.... if there is a successful completion .
This 3rd party addition ASi Profile looks intriguing. I'm going to get my reseller looking into that for sure. Thanks for the information!
....I've convinced my clients (the ones I could) that they dont really need per sheet parts lists, so long as they have a material ordering list and global cutting list with trackable members.....
Thats an interesting concept.....
I forgot to post the result when I was done with this. Here it is:
Over 1000 shop fabrication drawings and 50 design drawings later, it's done.
Frame Generator worked great. I split this up into phases as suggested so I was working with more manageable assemblies as I went. In the end it has 6,000 parts and my computer handles it nicely with no LOD's or memory management workflows. It takes about 20 seconds to open but it works great. By far the biggest structure I've done with Frame Generator.
The model with all the equipment and mechanical looks really cool but I can't show you that one .
Thanks to everyone for helping me make this a success and giving me the confidence to try this with FG in the first place! Normally we use a different program for this.