iLogic Tutorial for Creating a Woodworking Cutlist 2

iLogic Tutorial for Creating a Woodworking Cutlist Part Two image 1 - Excel, Access, DBF 4, DBF 3, Text, CSV, Unicode, and Unicode CSV output formatsAs a bonus (or total let-down), for this final post in this iLogic TutoriaI mini series, I contacted TigerStop to see if they can shed some light on automating the final list output beyond a printed list. We’ll cross our fingers on that one.

I’ve used the TigerStop stop/gage and pusher system at a couple of the places I’ve worked at, and neither of them had any sort of automation —like using your vacuum cleaner as a push broom. We manually typed in values that were manually pulled from crappy drawings. So we will find a good way to automate…..or die trying. Maybe not. But we will look gosh-darned hard!

On to what can be done in Inventor, making a automated cutlist (pretty damned cool if you ask me). Firstly we should quickly create some proper views. As you can see in the image below, the View Cube is showing an upside-down top view for what should be one of the side views. To remedy this, right click on the View Cube, select Set Current View as… and choose Front.

iLogic Tutorial for Creating a Woodworking Cutlist Part Two image 2- Fixing the view cube in this Autodesk Inventor Tutorial

Another thing we should do quickly is change the Layout part’s BOM Structure to Reference. To do so, right click on the part in the assembly’s Browser Bar and  choose BOM Structure > Reference. This will keep the layout part from showing up on our cutlist.

Now we will create a new drawing to put the model into. Click New way up in the upper left corner, and choose the .dwg format. It doesn’t matter what size sheet, border, title block, or any of that. We just need a place to put our assembly and cutlist. Click Base from the Create Panel on the Place Views Tab to start the Drawing View dialog. If you still have your Shaker Table assembly open, when you place the Base View into your drawing it will be on the File list, otherwise, track it down. Create a simple three view layout as shown below…

iLogic Tutorial for Creating a Woodworking Cutlist Part Two image 3 - A tutorial for placing views in Autodesk InventorSwitch over to the Annotate Tab, and select the Parts List tool from the Table Tab. The Select View tool should be active, and we will select the only thing there using the drop-down list. That’s about all we need click OK. If you haven’t enabled the BOM View in the assembly, you will be prompted to do so now. Just click OK again and place the list wherever it fits. Save your work (or you won’t be able to modify the list). Just use the name the save dialog suggests (the name of the assembly). You should now have a list like the one below… 

iLogic Tutorial for Creating a Woodworking Cutlist Part Two image 4 - A raw parts list in this Inventor TutorialWe now need to create the WIDTH, LENGTH, and THICKNESS iProperties that will become new columns in our table. Go back to the assembly, and click on iProperties up in the Quick Access tool bar. If it is not there, add it. On the Custom Tab, add WIDTH, LENGTH, and THICKNESS iProperties with a Number Type. They can all be left at zero. Click OK when you are done, then save.

Switch back to your drawing, and double click on the Parts List. The Parts List editing dialog will pop up where we will make quite a few changes. The first thing is to change the name from PARTS LIST to CUTLIST via the Table Layout tool… 

iLogic Tutorial for Creating a Woodworking Cutlist Part Two image 5 - Changing the name of an Inventor parts list table to cutlistYou can do other things on the Table Layout dialog, but for this exercise, just change the name to CUTLIST. We do not need the Hanger Bolts for this exercise, so right click on their row and uncheck their visibility. The next thing to do is add descriptions for all of the parts. Start by describing all of the legs as “Legs”… 

iLogic Tutorial for Creating a Woodworking Cutlist Part Two image 5 - Using Autodesk Inventor's parts list editor to create an automatic cutlistUnless you went ahead and created the linkage for the other parts, the only things that will be reporting information to the cutlist will be the legs, but we may as well add the descriptions for all of the parts. I needed to peek at the model to refresh my memory as to which were the side aprons, but the rest is pretty straight-forward. Remember to make them all plural descriptions with the exception of the Top part… 

iLogic Tutorial for Creating a Woodworking Cutlist Part Two image 6 - Descriptions of the parts in the new automated Autodesk inventor cutlist

 

 iLogic Tutorial for Creating a Woodworking Cutlist Part Two image 8 - Group settings in Autodesk Inventor's automatic cutlist generator

 

 The Top part is the odd man out here as there is only one of them. Normally for the top, I would create a glue-up schedule, but we’ll leave that for another installment. Now we will group the parts by description. The second icon from the left is the Group Setting tool. Click on it to bring up the dialog. All we need to do is click the Group checkbox, and choose DESCRIPTION as the First Key. Uncheck the bottom two checkboxes if they are checked, then click OK.

 

 

Now get the Column Chooser tool (mouse over to see names),  and get rid of ITEM and PART NUMBER. While we are in the Parts List Column Chooser dialog, we need to add the WIDTH, LENGTH, and THICKNESS using the New Property button shown below… 

iLogic Tutorial for Creating a Woodworking Cutlist Part Two image 9 - Autodesk Inventor Column TutorialThey must be done one at a time, and will appear in the right Selected Properties window as you create them. When done click OK to return to the Parts List dialog. You should have WIDTH, LENGTH, and THICKNESS columns now, and the legs should be showing a width and length, but no thickness… 

iLogic Tutorial for Creating a Woodworking Cutlist Part Two image 10

 Which is because we entered a manual value in one of the rules earlier, and all of the thickness dimensions are not the same. Click OK to apply the changes, and you will have the following cutlist in your drawing…

iLogic Tutorial for Creating a Woodworking Cutlist Part Two image 11 - The thickness is missing in this automated woodworking cutlist

iLogic Tutorial for Creating a Woodworking Cutlist Part Two image 12 - In Autodesk Inventor automated cutlists, there is never a bad value!I changed the widths of my columns a bit, but the info should be the same. Now go back to the leg (or legs) with the hard coded number for THICKNESS , and change it to use the Leg_Width parameter as it should….

Save your assembly and go back to the drawing where you should now have the thickness reporting correctly…

iLogic Tutorial for Creating a Woodworking Cutlist Part Two image 13 - Automated woodworking cutlists in Autodesk Inventor are always correct!Now make some changes in the overall height and to the leg width in the layout part (we haven’t mapped the leg width in the assembly, so we need to do this in the layout part), then switch to the assembly where you will do a local update, then back to the drawing where the cutlist will reflect the changes…

 

 

 iLogic Tutorial for Creating a Woodworking Cutlist Part Two image 14 - New values are automatic with Autodesk Inventor cutlists for woodworkersThe rest of the parts are done similarly. The bracket length is dynamic based on its distance from the leg, and to get a length from it we would need to go back to its sketch and add a driven dimension on its length and use that to report LENGTH. The top would use the overall width and length dimensions, etc. I’ll leave it at that and let you try the rest on your own. The next exercise will likely rely on a full cutlist, so if you wish to continue, you should get to work.

That will finish up this iLogic Tutorial. Next I hope to be able to show some automation. Inventor will export this list in eight different formats, so we should be able to connect to some machinery without too many bell and whistles.  Later.

 

One thought on “iLogic Tutorial for Creating a Woodworking Cutlist 2”

  1. Hi Mark,
    you have great tutorial here thanks a lot. Here is question. Since all 4 legs are same they are logicly in qty. of 4 but here is problem what i have. Problem is with part number creating with solid bodies i do have different part numbers and after grouping in table it shows qty but not part number. How to fix that can you help please.
    Thank you.
    MrZ

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