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Generating Structural Steel Parts Lists With Frame Generator and Content Center Parts In Autodesk Inventor R11

Revision B

2006 Rob Veer COV

Introduction
Working with parts lists and the bill of materials can be confusing, especially when working with the frame generator parts and content center parts that are the same. The content center has slightly different naming conventions than the frame generator which also makes things more difficult when trying to make a comprehensive parts list. Presently, frame generator does not have a great way of dealing with different files of parts that are actually the same. I have used the Autodesk recommended solution for this in the parts list (do not use legacy). I have decided to share my workflow to possibly help others who are trying to set everything up so that there is minimal editing of iproperties after parts are generated. It may also lead to better ideas by others using Frame Generator Please back up any frame generator databases or content center families that you will be editing. I am not responsible for any resultant errors.

Lets Begin
My tutorial will assume you have a decent working knowledge of Inventor. We will use equal leg angle irons as the example. Access the Content Center Editor and right click on the ANSI L (Equal angles).

We will need to change the Stock Number column to match the Code column which appears in the Frame Generator Database. The reason for this is to keep the stock number of parts consistent between Frame Generator and Content Center.

Just copy the expression that I show above. Because I also will need a description in my parts list, and content center does not allow you to change the mapping of the description iproperty, I use the Title iproperty as my description. Create another column in the family table called Title as shown:

After publishing, the last 2 columns of your family table for ANSI L (Equal angles) should look like:

Presently there is a bug that will not allow you to map to inventor properties through the column properties dialog box shown above. To map the Title, close the family table and right click on the ANSI L (Equal angles) like in the first step. Instead of choosing Family Table, choose Family Properties and press click on the appropriate tabs as shown in the dialog box below and make sure the Summary Information: Title is shown.

OK that family is setup. We now have to make sure that the Frame Generator is set up the exact same. Navigate to: C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Inventor 11\Frame Generator\SHARED\Profilesystems\Ansi

Open the Ansi.mdb using Microsoft Access (ensure you make a backup of this database first)

Open the ANSI_L_EQUAL table as shown above. You are going to want to change the column ARTICLE to match your Title column that is in your Content Center. This can be done by copying and pasting. (The default row order of both the database and Content Center family table will be the same.) After pasting your database table should look similar to:

It is important to note that the ARTICLE column gets pushed out to your part upon creation as a custom iproperty called AFG_Item automatically as shown in the iproperties below:

Now, to ensure that the Frame Generator parts and the Content Center parts look exactly the same in our drawing parts lists as shown, we need to set up our parts list.

Edit the parts list style.

Click on the TITLE property. Substitution should be set up as shown.

Click on the PART NUMBER property. Substitution should be set up as shown.

Now, lets build an assembly with Frame Generator Parts and Content Center parts. If we insert (4) L2x2x3/16 angles at 24 from content center and also build a frame using Frame Generator of (2) L2x2x3/16 at 24 (exist as different part files) and (2) L2x2x3/16 at 48 it might look like the following. (I realize we could have built this using only Frame Generator but then we would not see the use of Content Center and Frame Generator.)

Our drawing will look like this and the Parts List will have only 2 lines in it even though there are (5) separate part files (plus the skeleton part).

Important Notes: 1. You cannot use the Legacy Parts Lists. (Rollups need to be enforced.) 2. After all your Frame Generator parts are inserted, you will have to change the part number of these parts to match the same parts that were inserted using Content Center as shown below. 3. Sometimes Frame Generator parts have a different base unit than other parts i.e. inch instead if in which can also be changed in the BOM and is also another bug that could cause wrong quantity issues. 4. You will probably import parts using Frame Generator that should have decimals in them Example: L2.5x2.5x3/16. Frame Generator will give you a stock number that has commas in it instead L2,5x2,5x3/16. (European Standard) You could manually edit these after insertion OR edit the CODE and DESIGNATION columns in the database table to contain periods. This will also require editing of the LocalizationXML.xml file, specifically the Internal Name Field: {InternalName="ANSI L 2.5x2.5x3/16"}.

See Note 2

These (4) part numbers were the only things edited after all the parts were inserted into the assembly.