A funny thing happened on the way to the review……… I have been planning on writing this review for a couple weeks now, but something always came up to put it off. I had set aside yesterday afternoon as the latest of the scheduled writing times, but an email problem on my web server stole that time.
So I rescheduled for today, and the family settled in to watch the next episode of the Making Stuff series of Nova. This particular episode was Making Stuff: Smaller. In the beginning there was some cool stuff about making transistors smaller and other such wizardry, but the segment that caught my eye was the one on the eye robot –a robot that is injected into, and navigates around in, an eyeball! And they were using a SpaceNavigator (one step down from the SpacePilot) to steer the bazillameter long robot!
Check it out for yourself………..the segment starts at about 3:58, and if you pay attention, you will see the SpaceNavigator on the desk in the background throughout the segment, but at 7:42 they show the show’s host David Pogue using the SpaceNavigator to control the robot……..inside an eyeball!
For those who haven’t noticed, there is now a drop-down over in the right column (near the top) that lists Series Tutorials such as one for the Shaker Table. All new series will be listed there as they are posted. Hope it helps with navigation.
Newsletter – There is now a sign-up for the OpenDesignProject Newsletter a bit further below. When there are enough people on the list I’ll fire that puppy up and start sending fan-damn-tastic stuff directly to your inbox. The signup thingy needs a facelift, but that’s way down there on my to-do list.
Questions and Answers – Q & A is in the works (still). This is a badly needed feature as I get soooooo many questions via email, and can no longer answer any of them. It has been started —the submission form is there, but I have a much cooler Idea that I want to implement. I’ll be working on it some this weekend, and I hope to have at least a POS manual version up-and-running by Sunday afternoon (possible lie) .
This post is a follow-up to the Assembly Automation Tutorial for Inventor iLogic post where we added the fifty-some odd lines of iLogic code to our Inventor Assembly. Today’s post will attempt to explain that code.
This post was supposed to be published yesterday, but I spent most of the day screwing around with a plugin that will eventually allow me to post Inventor iLogic code with the proper syntax highlighting that can be copy & pasted right from the webpage into your iLogic Code Editor without intermediate programs adding special characters that screw up the code. I’ll be posting a bit more on that in the next post. Until that is up-and-running, I’ll use images…
The first two lines of code (above) are creating variables. The Nut_Offset variable gets its value by reading the Nut_Offset parameter in the Hanger Bolt:1 part. The second variable, Overall_Size is reading two local parameters (Blue) and multiplying them against each other to get its value.
In this Inventor iLogic tutorial we will insert a small subassembly (the Hanger Bolt) into the main assembly (the Shaker Table), create a bidirectional information flow between the two with iLogic code, and create an interface that will run the assembly as well as report model information.
This Inventor iLogic tutorial builds on the Shaker Table series of tutorials and picks up after the end of the previous post.
In this Inventor iLogic tutorial the first thing we will be doing is making a few changes in the Designing a Shaker Table with Autodesk Inventor.ipt. The first is to how the dimension that has the Bracket_Offset parameter driving it was placed. I decided to use the Bracket_Offset dimension to drive the model via a dimension, but it will need to be placed a bit different. In the Shaker Table part, double click on the Corner Bracket Sketch to make it active. Make sure you have your dimensions showing expressions (right click > Dimension Properties > Document Settings > Modeling Dimension Display > Show Expression), highlight the one that has Bracket_Offset as an equation, and hit delete. We will place it again, but do so in a way that cannot turn inside-out when driven to zero. To begin with, draw what I refer to as an ‘outrigger’ line starting at the inside corner of the leg and moving towards the outer corner. When you see the Parallel glyph to the centerline of the bracket, click to end the line…
In today’s installment of the Shaker Table illogic Tutorial, we will add the layout part to the main assembly, create a new LOD (Level of Detail), and create some holes to accept the Hanger Bolts we created in a previous exercise.
Because we will be going back and forth between the Layout Part and the assembly (most of the physical changes are going to be made to the layout part, not the components in the assembly), I usually place my layout parts in the assemblies they control as sort of a quick launch scheme. Sounds a bit convoluted, and some of you old-timers may be thinking of the dreaded cyclical dependency, but that is not the case. In some of my models I have dozens of layout parts, some controlling hundreds of parts (as can be seen in the image to the right). Having quick access to layout parts becomes very important as models become larger.
I moseyed on over to Autodesk Labs today to see if they had any goodies to try out. For the uninitiated, Labs is the place where Autodesk places new technologies previews in order to get feedback from the public.
When I got there I switched over to the Inventor section to see if there was anything new since the last time I visited…..and indeed there were several new technology trials, as well as a few plug-ins. I’ll check them all out eventually and post the details here, but for now, a few words on the Mesh Enabler for Inventor technology preview.
As I said in a earlier post Rhino Import Translator for Autodesk Inventor, this importer is likely to solve some headaches in companies that are transitioning to Inventor, but still have a seat or two of some gosh-awful expensive old-school swoopy surface software. Converting files can be a huge headache, and if the one guy who can do it seems to be away from work more than at work, it can truly be a nightmare (been there).
Which is where Inventor comes to the rescue. Inventor now has more import formats than you can shake a stick at. The addition of the Rhino importer was a big one for me as I was working with ship hulls that were created in Rhino and Rhino Marine by the Naval Architects, but I’m sure there are tons of folks out there that need to convert Catia files. Remember, there is no guarantee that this experimental software will ever see the light of day outside of Labs, but I would bet my bottom dollar it will part of Inventor as soon as the wrinkles are ironed out. that’s the MO at least.
Which brings up an interesting fact. There are stand-alone convertors and conversion services out there that cost a hell of a lot more than a seat of Inventor (especially Inventor Lt which is about a fifth of the price of the full-blown Inventor Suites). Check out the comparison of file import capabilities in the image below that compares the screen capture from my January 2010 post to one I just captured today…