Nice work - very impressive.
Thank you. I just looked it up and it took 247.48 hours to complete the framing and drawings. That's a bit longer than if I had used one of our other programs but I learned a lot and it was nice not having to deal with all the different file types and junk that comes with using the other software.
Here's what it looks like without the raised pattern floor plate:
Hi guys. I've been using inventor for about a year now in the oil / gas industry. I do alot of piping and pressure vessels, which works out great with inventor. But we also get large structural platforms, walkways, and pipe racks which I do with inventor but it drives me nuts sometimes.
I do a skeleton part file
Drop in all of my beams with FG
Trim/ cope as needed
Design all different sheer plates, gusset plates, stiffeners and angle clip connections. (This is the most time consuming and laborious task)
I do a lot of mirroring of connection when possible. I try to ground everything to avoid a “unresolved constraint” nightmare.
I then create sketches on the faces of the structural members and project all the hole centers and use the hole tool to make all my holes
By now I’ve had a design change and am getting “invalid sketch axis origin”, “unresolved sketch geometry” etc.
I get all that sorted out and shrink-wrap the main framing members.
I create the handrails and stairs in a separate assembly using the shrink-wrap part
Then I shrink-wrap those and place them back into the original assembly to make the bolt holes. Oh and I make sure I break the link on the shrink-wrap parts to avoid a cycle.
Then I proceed to the mind-numbing process of breaking my assembly into levels of detail for each individual part (beam/ column w/ plates/clips). For any of you who has tried to break the frame into LODs you know what I’m talking about. You can’t select individual structural members in the assembly environment; you have to select them individually from the tree.
Then I do my drawings with balloons. It takes me about 30 minutes to straighten out the BOM.
Theirs probably other parts to my workflow but those would be the main parts. Anyone in the US use ASI profile? It looks like this would speed things up quite a bit.
Anyone have any suggestions or questions for me? It looks like a lot of you are dealing with issues like I’m dealing with. Or if you’re not any tips/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
"You can’t select individual structural members in the assembly environment"
You can do this by changing your "Component Priority" to "Select Part Priority"
Nice hearing from you again.
I find it encouraging to hear your methods.
The reason is b/c your methods are the same as mine.
I never took software training, but I learned the product and used it year after year, trying different methods to accomplish my tasks.
Every now and then I came into this forum and gleanded a method or 2 from some smart fellow who added to my 'bag of tricks'.
I even discovered a few undocumented functions on my own, and integrated them into my work-flow.
My biggest goal is alway to devise ways of doing things that don't 'break' after an update or change, as well as simple and quick ways to make major changes to a design.
So, your words have confirmed that I'm making the best use of the program to attempt to do steel design and detailing.
Unfortunately, due to work load, I have not created the library yet.
Plus, I need to reformat all the CC parts for my BOMs.
Very few 'loose ends' remain for me at the end of project work, which enables me to 'bang-out' projects with minimal to no errors.
The way I 'reuse' stairs and ladders is to I forrage around in previous projects to find one already done, and do exactly as you do:
Pack-and-Go the files into the new project folder, and then use the DA to change file names.
I hate Vault, and refuse to use it. No loss there!
The manual method works better, is simpler, doesn't bog down the computer, and doesn't require a new set of procedures.
I hate the FG b/c it constantly breaks when I have to change my design.
That requires deleting members and creating new ones.
That always results in lost FG features, wasted time, etc.
BUT I'd like to try using your methods w/FG, if I can understand them.
The biggest issue w/me at this point is getting the iFeatures to work on parts and not 'break' when the model adjusts or changes.
Since all my work is custom design work, it's critical that every part and assembly/sub is driven off the main sketch wireframe/parameters.
That way, everything is interconnected and parameter/formula-driven, with a myriad of relationships between all the parts.
Tanks and other vessels + structures are the most difficult, esp. if they have platform/h.r./ladders.
Doing it that way, I can make any change necessary with the press of a button in the main sketch, and be faced w/only minor edits in the idw files.
I sure wish I could learn how to use FG like it's Advance Steel or TEKLA!
You've convinced me that I need to allocate time to build my library of stairs/ladders/platforms, structural connection iParts, and structural member end treatments and weld prep. The biggest hurdle is the various standards that the different customers use in their plants and mining operations.
Otherwise, I do exactly what you do. The toughest jobs are the h.r. that's made w/angle instead of pipe. So many copes, and holes and all that added garbage. Amazing how buraucrats can complicate an otherwise simple matter!
One thing I discovered 'in my travels' is NOT to use surfaces in the skeletal files.
They bog the computer like nothing you've ever seen.
And the further they are away from the parent sketch (such as a hopper sketch built on top of a derived conveyor work surfaces), the worse the wait when an update occurs. I've had projects where the program stall for up to 10 seconds per key stroke in such cases, which kills the whole job. Luckily, those edits were at the very end of the job, and I never had to revisit them. But I'm sure you know what I mean. I also discovered that I can only go derived part/sketches deep in any given part, or IV chokes! So most of the time I use one parent sketch for the General Arrangement, and then derive that in every subassembly sketch, which gets derived into each part of that sub. I've had over 1000 part (not including fasteners) GA's w/little performance loss.
The other huge hassle w/the FG is BOM's ("Parts List") in the idw files.
There are many other issues I have w/FG, which is why I usually use it only for pipe member h.r. and other kinds of weldments that require no individual member detailing. Otherwise, I hate FG!
Also, end treatments is near impossible due to the variety of cuts and whatnot that coped/welded connections require.
Have you resolved this w/iFeatures, or some other way?
Anyways, see attached a couple examples of stuff I've done using "my" method.
Wow since I last posted on this thread we have purchased Advance Steel. Let me say this its great for modeling macros are awesome for handrail and stairs. Dont get me wrong some of its weird to me because of the european origins but it saves time. Where advance steel has failed is with the drawings. I have had a hellacious nightmare trying to put drawings together. The auto drawings are garbage out of the box for what we do. Everything trys to auto update when you make changes and cause hours more work fixing it back. Also I'm disapointed with Graitec. The documentation they have is few and far between and they will only go so far with you with customer support which their is a large annual fee for BTW. Then they want you to pay them more for "customization" which is total BS since we already paid out the @$$ for the software. They offer training to customize their drawing styles but that cost an arm and a leg also...I miss the slick intellegent interface of Inventor. Why wont someone make a package for inventor with conections and stair macros!?
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