Authoring and Publishing Frame Member Cross-Sections
Expected completion time: 20 minutes
Use with: Inventor 2009
In this Exercise:
In this Skill Builder exercise, you explore the creation of a frame member cross-section. The cross-section is used with Frame Generator. After you complete this exercise, you will understand the steps required to:
- Create and author a structural shape.
- Publish it to Content Center to use with Frame Generator.
To complete this exercise, you will:
- Download and open a zip file containing two Inventor parts.
- Author an iPart as a structural shape.
- Publish an iPart to Content Center.
- Use the custom cross-section in Frame Generator.
- Install Inventor R2009.
- Install Content Center and configure it with a read/write library.
- Understand how to use iParts.
- Understand how to use Frame Generator in Inventor. Complete the Using Frame Generator tutorial supplied with Inventor. from the Inventor Help menu, Select Learning Tools > Tutorials, then select Using Frame Generator..
- Download (and unzip) the zip file containing the source files to use during the exercise.
| ||fg_author.zip (zip - 179Kb)|
The zip file contains two Autodesk Inventor 2009 files. One is an iPart that is used to author and publish the cross-section. The second is a simple skeleton that is used in Frame Generator to leverage the custom shape you publish.
Author and Publish Frame Generator Cross-sections
Frame Generator uses a library of cross-sections to generate structural shapes around skeleton geometry. The libraries supplied with Inventor contain mostly steel shapes. You can add your own cross-sections to Content Center.
You can publish custom components to the Content Center to use with Frame Generator. It is useful for aluminum components because the standard library is steel shapes. There are two steps to the process: authoring the component and publishing the component. Authoring the component adds the required data to the part file. Publishing the component adds the part file to the Content Center.
Typically, the member includes different sizes for the same geometry. While not required, it is common to author and publish cross-sections using iParts. Using iParts creates multiple sizes in one Content Center family.
Open and Examine the iPart
1. Open the Frame_Gen_iPart.ipt file included in the downloaded zip file. It is an iPart containing three members. The part contains an extrusion and sketch located under the extrude feature.
2. Right-click Sketch1 and select Visibility to display the sketch in the graphics window. The sketch contains the entire profile for the part and the dimensions to control its size.
3. After you examine the sketch, switch the visibility off (right-click Sketch1 and select Visibility).
4. Click the Parameters command to display the Parameters dialog box. Parameters d11, d12 and d22 are set to User Parameters called Height, Width, and Length. These parameters are used when authoring the structural shape.
5. Click Done to close the Parameters dialog box.
6. In the browser, right-click Table and select Edit Table to display the iPart Author dialog box. The iPart contains three members with different width and height values.
Length is a required parameter used by Frame Generator. The Width and Height parameters are used to control the size of the profile and to differentiate between members when the part is published. Stock Number is used as part of the file name when members are created in Frame Generator.
7. Click Cancel to close the iPart Author.
Author the Structural Shape
1. Click the Structural Shape Authoring command to display the Structural Shape Authoring dialog box.
2. On the Layout tab, select Other in the Category drop down. Categories are created using the Content Center Editor command. They are used to group like components within a Content Center family.
The Base Extrusion is automatically set to Extrusion1 because it is the only extrusion in the file. Structural shapes typically only contain one extrusion.
The Default Base Point is set to the center of the profile. This point controls the orientation of the profile when you place it using Frame Generator. You can manually select a point by selecting Select Geometry from the Selection drop-down menu.
3. Select the Parameter Mapping tab. This tab contains a list of parameters that can be set for the profile. The Base Length parameter is required. The other parameters are properties of the profile used for calculating loads with the Beam and Column Calculator.
For an iPart, the Table Column drop-down menu contains iPart properties. For regular parts, the Part Template Parameters dialog box displays.
4. In the Base Length field, select Length.
To use the Beam and Column Calculator with this structural shape, calculate and include the engineering properties of the profile in the iPart table. Select the properties in the Parameter Mapping tab.
5. Click OK. You could click Publish Now to proceed directly to the Publish Guide, but let’s investigate the results of the authoring command.
6. A message is displayed containing the path to the log file. Click OK.
The extrusion is modified and objects are added to the browser to support Frame Generator. Start and end work planes are added to the browser. Extrusion1 is changed to a From/To extrusion using the start and end work planes. A Driven Length object is added to the browser. This object contains two sketches (one is hidden) and a hidden work plane. These features are hidden so they are not inadvertently modified or removed. All these objects are created to support length determination in Frame Generator.
Publish the Part to Content Center
1. Click Tools > Publish Part to open the Publish Guide.
2. Verify that your read/write library is selected in the drop-down menu (Select Library to Publish to). Select the language from the Select Language drop-down menu. Click Next.
Only read/write libraries are listed in the Select Library to Publish to menu.
3. Verify that Other is selected in the Select Category to Publish to menu. Click Next.
4. The parameters you set in the Author dialog box are maintained in the Publish Guide. You can make changes. Click Next.
5. Add Width and Height to the Key Columns area. Click Next.
These parameters are concatenated to create the Size parameter for the members. In this case, the Size shows <Width> x <Height>. The key is also used to differentiate between members of the iPart family.
6. Enter ADSK in the Name field and Custom Extrusion in the Description field. These fields are combined in the Insert Frame dialog box to make the Family field.
7. Select My Standard in the Standard Organization menu. If it is un available, you can type in the field to create My Standard. You can leave the remaining fields blank. They are not used by Frame Generator, but can be used to filter Content Center data. Click Next.
8. The thumbnail is automatically generated and previewed. This thumbnail is used in the Add Member dialog box. You can browse to and select an image file to use as the thumbnail. Click Publish to add the member to Content Center.
9. The Publish dialog box displays when publishing is complete. Click OK.
Use Cross-section in Frame Generator
1. Create an assembly using the Standard (mm).iam template.
2. Place one copy of Frame skeleton.ipt. The part contains a simple skeleton that is used to place your custom frame member.
3. Use Insert Frame with the cross-section you published to place frame members on the skeleton. Select My Standard for the Standard and ADSK Custom Extrusion for the Family. Try different sizes within the assembly.
4. Optionally, complete the design using end treatments.
In this Skill Builder, you:
- Examined an iPart.
- Used that iPart to author a structural shape.
- Published the structural shape to Content Center
- Used the custom structural shape in Frame Generator
Now that you know the fundamentals of authoring and publishing custom structural shapes, you can publish your own custom shapes. Using Frame Generator saves time when designing any type of frame assemblies. Author and publish cross-sections to customize the libraries available to Frame Generator and create designs specific to your industry.