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iParts - Beyond the Basics
Beyond the basic iPart (Inventor R2008) Estimated Time Required to Complete: 25 minutes This is the second in a two-part Skill Builder series that explore iParts. A previous exercise covered iPart basics. This exercise covers controlling color, material, feature suppression, multiple keys, and using Microsoft Excel functions to edit the table. Scenario The handle has: Three sizes Small, Medium, and Large Two material types 6061 Aluminum and ABS Plastic Two mounting configurations Bottom mount (6061) and Top mount (ABS) Color code assigned by material and size

In This Exercise In this Skill Builder, you use some of the advanced configuration and editing tools for iParts. In this exercise, you learn to: Control Material and Color in an iPart Use feature Compute and Suppress Use multiple Keys Use iMates in an iPart Distinguish the difference between Edit via Spread Sheet and Edit Table Use Excel functions in an iPart

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Columns with embedded Excel functions appear red in the table

Workflow Overview Download the file dual_mount_handle.zip Extract the files dual mount handle complete.ipt and dual mount handle iPart.ipt Prerequisites Have Inventor R2008 or R2009 installed. Understand how to open, create and save part files in your active project. Download (and unzip) the zip file containing the source file to use during this exercise. Complete the first iPart Skill Builder exercise. Have some familiarity with Excel. Download dual_mount_handle.zip (zip - 298Kb) The zip file contains two Autodesk Inventor R2008 part files named dual mount handle complete.ipt and dual mount handle iPart.ipt. The part file dual mount handle complete contains a finished example of the iPart using the steps covered in this exercise.

Examine the Part Open the file dual mount handle iPart.ipt and examine the model browser. Note that the file is not yet an iPart. Also notice that all iMates and three features are suppressed.

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Unsuppress the feature named Tapped Hole. The iMates associated to this feature are unsuppressed as a result of the operation. Use an Undo command to restore the part to the previous state, then unsuppress the features Thru Hole and Counterbore. The iMates associated to these features are unsuppressed while the iMates associated with the tapped hole are suppressed. Execute an Undo to restore the part to the previous state. Notice that the iMate states are dependent on the parent feature state. When an iPart is created, both named parameters and features that have been suppressed are automatically added to the table. A feature that is not suppressed prior to creating the iPart can be manually added to the table via the Suppression tab in the iPart Author. Features that are included in the table can be computed or suppressed on a row by row basis. You can create iParts that do not share all of the same features.

Let’s get started!

Create the iPart Before you begin, make sure that the Tapped Hole, Thru Hole and Counterbore features are suppressed. 1. Click Tools > Create iPart to open the iPart Author dialog box. The suppressed features were added to the table along with the iMates associated with them. It is not necessary to control the iMates from the table. Inventor suppresses or enables them depending on the status (Suppress/Compute) of the parent features in the table. Select all the table columns labeled as iMates (IM0001, IM0002, etc.), right-click, and select Delete Column from the context menu. Delete the column Handle_Rad. It is not necessary to control this variable in the iPart. It is driven by the value of Major_Rad (Major_Rad*2 ul).

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2. Navigate to the Threads tab and add Tapped Hole:Designation (M5x0.8) to the columns to control the tapped hole size. 3. Navigate to the Properties tab, expand the Physical entry and add Material to the columns. Note: The part was previously saved with the material Aluminum-6061 assigned to the Physical iProperties.

4. Next, you will add a column for Color control. Navigate to the Other tab in the iPart Author. Choose Click here to add value, and then name the new entry Color. Right-click the new entry in the Other tab or alternatively the column header, and select Display Style Column from the context menu. The column can be used to designate the color for each row of the iPart. In the column under Color titled New Item, enter 6061 Small which is a locally saved color style.

5. Choose OK to exit the iPart Author dialog box. We will finish configuring the iPart in Excel. 6. Save the file.

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Adding functions in Excel Spread sheet programs offer functionality such as solving mathematical equations and combining the contents of several columns into one (called Concatenation). We recommend that if you are planning to use Excel functions that you use Edit via Spread Sheet as early in the creation process as possible. This allows you to use Excel for managing cell types such as designating a column as Numeric (in Format Cells). Before we proceed with the exercise, there are some things to be aware of concerning the way Excel treats cells with a unit designation. The best way to describe this is by showing two workflows to create an equation in Excel in which the variable Height (E2) is equal to the value of Length (C2) x Width (D2). Workflow 1 - Table cells contain unit formatting 1. Appearance in Edit Table:

2. Appearance in Edit via Spread Sheet:

3. Before starting the function in Excel, delete the mm value from cells C2 and D2. This converts the cells to a number format without having to use the Format Cell function. An easy way to tell if the cell was formatted correctly is to observe the cell justification. If it changes from left to right, the cell was formatted correctly.

4. The next time you use Edit Table, the column managed by Excel is shown in red and cannot be edited outside of Excel.

Workflow 2 - Table cells contain no unit formatting 1. Appearance in Edit Table (Length and Width do not have unit designation):

2. Appearance in Edit via Spread Sheet:

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3. In Excel the fields for Length and Width contain a small triangle in the upper-left corner which indicates that the field is a number currently formatted as text. To use these cells in an equation, you must change them to a number format.

4. Once the cells are formatted as numbers, the equation will succeed.

5. The next time you use Edit Table, the column managed by Excel is shown in red and cannot be edited outside of Excel.

Configure the first row Let’s continue the exercise. In the next section we will use Excel to create a column that calculates the overall handle length. We will also create a column for a catalog description that concatenates (joins) plain text and information from several cells. Some of the following steps contain explicit cell designations (for example C2). Your cell numbers may not match if you used a different sequence to create the iPart. This will not impact the outcome. If your cell numbers don’t match, follow the text describing the field name and enter the appropriate cell number. 1. Right-click the Table in the browser and select Edit via Spread Sheet from the context menu.

2. When Excel opens remove the “mm” designation from the cells for Handle_Mtg (C2), Minor_Rad (E2), and Thru_Hole (I2). It

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converts these cells to a number format so they can be used in a formula. Note that when you remove the “mm” designation the cell justification changes from left to right.

1. To the right of the column labeled Color<style></style> (P1) enter the text Overall_Length to define a new column. We will use this column to calculate the outside to outside width of the handle. In the empty cell below the column header (P2) we will calculate the value of Minor_Rad x 2 plus the value of Handle_Mtg. Enter this formula in the cell below Overall_Length (P2): =(E2*2)+C2 then choose the checkmark to the left of fx to finish.

When you finish, the calculated value should display in cell P2 as 106.5 We will now create a new column that uses the calculated value from column P and some plain text to create a catalog description for each row. This joining is referred to as a Concatenate operation. 4. To break this down into plain English (and in case your cell numbers don’t match), this is what we are doing: The letter M plus the value of cell I2 (Thru_Hole) followed by a lower case x, then the value of cell P2 (Overall_Length) followed by the minus character (-) and ending with the value of cell N2 (Material). Note that all text characters have a quotation mark (“) before and after the character entry. The cell entries have none. In cell Q1 enter the text Catalog. In cell Q2 enter the following: =CONCATENATE(“M”,I2,”x”,P2,”-“,N2) then click the check mark to finish.

When you finish, cell Q2 should read: M5x106.5-Aluminum-6061 We will now add 5 more rows to complete the handle iPart factory. 5. Navigate to the left-hand side of the Excel spread sheet. Highlight the lower right corner of cell A2, press and hold the left mouse button and drag down to cell A7 for a total of 6 rows. Note that Excel renumbers each cell appropriately.

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6. Repeat this process for cell B2 to add the Part Numbers.

7. Configure each row as follows. Do not enter any information for Overall_Length and Catalog. We will use the same drag and populate technique used on the file and part number cells with these cells. Do not enter the units for numbers in the new rows. If you do, the formulas will not work until you remove the units and format the cell as a number. Handle_Mtg Major_Rad Minor_Rad Handle_Height Thread_Depth SHCS_ Head 94 10 6.25 40.5 6 9.5 94 10 6.25 40.5 6 9.5 132 12.5 8 50 8 11 132 12.5 8 50 8 11 179 14.5 9 58 10 14.5 179 14.5 9 58 10 14.5

Notes: It is not necessary to type the entire word Compute or Suppress. All that is required is a capital C or a capital S. If you type the entire word, it is case and spelling sensitive. You can also use a 1 for Compute and 0 for Suppress if you plan to exchange this iPart between different Inventor language versions. The information you enter for the color and material columns in the table must exist in the local or external style library and the spelling must match the style name. The exercise file contains the following local color styles: 6061 Small, 6061 Medium, 6061 Large and ABS Blue, ABS Red, and ABS Yellow.

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Thru_Hole

5

5 S C C

6 C S S

6 S C C M6x1

8 C S S M8x1.25

8 S C C M8x1.25

Tapped_Hole Compute Counterbore Suppress Thru Hole Tapped Hole: Designation Material Suppress M5x0.8

M5x0.8 M6x1

Aluminum-6061 ABS Plastic 6061 Small ABS Blue

Aluminum-6061 ABS Aluminum-6061 ABS Plastic Plastic 6061 Medium ABS Red 6061 Large ABS Yellow

Color

8. To populate the final two columns use the same click and drag technique used in steps 5 and 6. Excel will populate these fields automatically with the correct information.

9. Save and close the Excel file. In the Inventor Model browser select Edit Table from the context menu. Notice that the data you entered in Excel is painted red in the iPart Author. This means that these fields cannot be edited in the iPart Author, they must be edited in Excel. 10. Save the file.

Test your design

There are multiple ways to check your work for errors. If you are using Edit Table, select the Verify button at the bottom of the iPart Author dialog. Any cells containing errors will highlight in yellow. If you are using Edit via Spread Sheet, Excel informs you of any errors in the cells. Another method of testing the design is to build the iPart to each row value by double-clicking each entry under Table in the browser or setting each row as the default in Edit Table. This method has the added benefit of visual inspection of the resulting part. For example, if the row contains a hole to be suppressed but the hole is present when the row is active then there is an error in the table. These types of

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errors will not be noted by Verify or Excel. Navigate to the Model browser and expand the Table and the iMates areas. Double-click each row in the table to build the part to the values in the row and visually check for configuration errors in the iPart. Notice the iMates enabled/suppressed state is dependent on the state of the parent feature. Also, the color of the part changes with each row activation. Make sure that dual mount handle iPart-01 is checked as the default before moving on.

Create the Keys In this exercise we will designate three keys to present the user with three values when placing the part in an assembly using the Key tab. 1. Right click the Table and choose Edit Table from the context menu. 2. Navigate to the Catalog column, right-click the column header and select Key 1. You can also navigate to the “Other” tab and right-click the Catalog entry to assign the key.

3. Repeat these steps to assign Material as Key 2, and Handle_Mtg as Key 3. Click OK when finished to close the dialog box. Expand the Table in the browser. Notice that assigning keys changes the appearance of the table entries in the browser. No Keys:

With Keys:

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You can switch the browser display between these two representations by rightclicking the table in the browser and setting the display preference from the context menu. If the browser display is set to List by Keys you must double-click the lowest entry (last key) for the row in the table to rebuild the part to that row.

4. Save the file. 5. Start a new assembly. Using the Place Component command, select dual mount handle iPart.ipt file, and then select Open. 6. The Place Standard iPart dialog box appears. There are three entries in the Keys tab. Place different configurations of the handle in the assembly.

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Congratulations! You created, saved, and used a complex iPart. Let’s review your accomplishments… Summary In this Skill Builder you: Used a supplied part to create a table driven iPart file that contained six definitions – each a specific size, color, and material. Computed and suppressed individual features. Controlled the material and color definitions of different iPart members. Used Excel to modify the iPart table. Specifically: Used Excel functions to calculate overall length. Used the Excel function Concatenate to combine text and values from different cells to create a new entry for the catalog description. Create multiple keys to simplify selecting the correct part when you place the iPart in an assembly. Inserted different versions of an iPart with multiple keys in an assembly. © Copyright 2010 Autodesk, Inc. All rights reserved.

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