Ribbon Cable: Part 3, Ribbon Cable Exercise
This is the third in a set of three Skill Builders. In this Skill Builder you practice the skills you learned in the second Skill Builder, this time using a more complex sample model. Though not necessary, you may want to complete the second Skill Builder, Creating Ribbon Cable, before proceeding.
Expected completion time for this Skill Builder is 45 minutes to 1 hour.
This Skill Builder is intended for use with Autodesk Inventor 2008.
In this exercise you recreate an existing ribbon cable. As you work through this exercise, you may want to keep the original, unmodified sample file open for reference as you work with the sample file copy. Optionally, rather than keeping both sample files open, you can print a screen copy of the unmodified sample file. Either method is only intended to provide a visual reference of the completed ribbon cable.
Set your active project to Samples.
Click the Open tool and then select (select but don’t open) Personal Computer.iam, located in Assemblies > Personal Computer. Click the Options button and select the Ribbon Cable Creation Level of Detail Representation. Click OK, and then click Open.
Save a copy of this file. Use Personal Computer tutorial.iam for the file name.
Open Personal Computer tutorial.iam.
Redefine the default isometric view, as shown.
The assembly already contains two ribbon cables. Edit the CD Ribbon Cable sub assembly.
Note: To create a screen print of the existing ribbon cable, select File > Print. You can then print a paper copy to refer to as a guide as you re-create the ribbon cable.
Expand the browser node for the CD Ribbon Cable part (). Turn off the visibility of RibbonCable1, nested under the Ribbon Cables folder.
(The three ribbon cable connectors should still be visible.)
Click the Create Ribbon Cable tool .
Select the first connector.
Select the end connector (this is the third connector in the series). A temporary spline is drawn between the connectors.
Flip the direction of the connection () for the end connector.
Select 28AWG_40Con from the Name menu.
The spline needs nine intermediate points. Three of these points are located on the second and third connectors. The other points are located relative to surrounding geometry. (You add one of these points near the end of this Skill Builder.) You set these points in their approximate locations and then precisely align the points after creation.
Click on the motherboard mounting plate to set the first point. (The distance in the tooltip is the default offset from the reference geometry.)
Set the second point. Again, the reference geometry is the motherboard mounting plate.
Set the third point. The reference geometry is the bottom of the CD drive.
To set the fifth point, select the work point on the second connector.
Rotate the model similar to the image. Set the sixth point on the work point on the other side of the second connector, as shown. This is the work point in the center of the pin row, located between two of the pin points.
Press F5 to return to the previous view.
Before setting the next point, right-click and select Edit Offset. Enter 1 in and click OK.
Select the work point on the third connector.
Right-click and select Finish. (The cable does not render because the folds have not yet been created to remove the unrealistic lateral bends.)
Next, you align the spline points relative to the connectors and one another.
Right-click the first intermediate point and select 3D Move/Rotate.
Click the Redefine alignment or position button . Select the triad sphere and then select the work point on the first connector, as shown.
This point is now in lateral alignment with the center of the connector.
Drag the red arrowhead approximately 2.6 inches.
Drag the green arrowhead approximately 0.5 inch.
Right-click the next point and select 3D Move/Rotate.
Click the Redefine alignment or position button. Select the triad sphere and then select the point you just adjusted.
Drag the blue arrowhead approximately 2.8 inches.
Click OK. The alignment of these two intermediate points relative to the first connector is such that the ribbon cable will be configured with a perfect 90-degree direction change, after the first fold is created.
You move the next point such that a bend is created as the ribbon cable travels along the housing plate to the bottom of the CD drive.
Use the 3D Move/Rotate tool to align the point, as shown in the following images.
Align the point with the preceding point.
Drag the triad along the Z axis 0.125 in.
Drag the triad along the Y axis -0.125 in (negative 0.125 in), and then click OK.
To align the fourth intermediate point with the third intermediate point and the work point on the second connector, you need to measure the X and Z offsets between the third intermediate point and the point on the connector.
From the Tools menu on the Standard Toolbar, select Measure Distance. Select the third intermediate point (the point you just aligned).
Select the point on the second connector.
Make a note of the Delta X and Z values. Close the Measure tool. This image shows the Delta X offset direction.
Right-click the fourth intermediate point and select 3D Move/Rotate.
Click the Redefine alignment or position button. Select the triad sphere and then select the point on the connector. This image shows the triad relocated to the point on the connector.
Select the red arrowhead on the triad and enter the X delta in the X axis field of the 3D Move/Rotate dialog box.
Select the blue arrowhead on the tool and enter the Z delta in the Z axis field of the 3D Move/Rotate dialog box (this will be a negative number).
Click OK. The fourth intermediate point is now precisely aligned with the preceding point and the point on the connector.
Next, you add folds to two of the intermediate points. Note: You could have created the folds prior to aligning the spline points. The workflow order in this respect is not critical.
Click the Fold tool and then select the first intermediate point.
An indicator appears, attached to the fold point, to indicate the orientation of the fold.
Click the Shaft button in the Create Fold dialog box. Select an edge or face on the first connector to align the shaft portion of the indicator normal to the connector.
Click the Arrowhead button . Select an edge or face on the connector so that the arrowhead portion of the indicator is parallel with the pin row.
Ensure the Single Fold button is selected, and then click Apply. The path geometry for the fold is created. Two additional work points are also added to help define the path.
The cable does not yet render due to the one remaining unrealistic lateral bend. You use another fold to remove this bend.
Select the other fold point.
Adjust the alignment indicator, as needed, so that the fold will be aligned properly to the surrounding geometry and the connector. (The arrowhead portion of the indicator is normal to the pin row of the second connector. The shaft portion is parallel to the pin row.)
Ensure the Single Fold button is selected, and then click OK.
The ribbon cable should preview with a wire render or partially-transparent solid render. This example uses solid render , as selected on the standard toolbar.
If the ribbon cable in your sample model will not preview:
- Edit RibbonCable2 (nested under the CD Ribbon Cable part) and ensure that 28AWG_40Con is specified in the Name menu of the Edit Ribbon Cable dialog box.
- Ensure that the path points are aligned such that there are no unrealistic lateral bends or displacements. For example, each segment of the path between the two folds should lie in the same Y plane. (The work plane in the illustration is meant only to show the alignment.)
- See the second Skill Builder in this set – the end of the Skill Builder contains tips for troubleshooting.
In this example, notice that the point between the second and third connectors is not in alignment.
This may be acceptable, as-is. If not, use the 3D Move/Rotate tool to align the points.
There is interference where the ribbon cable passes through the CD drive.
Right-click the spline, and then select Add Points. Add a point to the spline, as shown.
Right-click and select Finish.
Use the 3D Move/Rotate tool to adjust the point and remove the interference.
Return out of the ribbon cable subassembly.
Save the assembly. This is the end of this Skill Builder.
In the three Ribbon Cable Skill Builders, you learned how to:
- Place a pin group on a ribbon cable connector.
- Author a ribbon cable connector.
- Create a spline to define a ribbon cable path.
- Place and align intermediate spline points to fully define and refine the ribbon cable path.
- Add folds to the ribbon cable to define lateral direction changes in the ribbon cable.
Remember to check Help for further information on ribbon cable and ribbon cable connectors.