Autodesk Inventor: Displaying Parameters in BOMs and Parts Lists By Neil Munro
This month's tutorial is a quick exercise on displaying model parameters in BOMs (bills of materials) and part lists. In Autodesk Inventor? 4, you can specify that the model parameters—sketch dimensions, extrusion lengths, assembly constraint offsets, and so on—be made available as columns in assembly BOMs and drawing parts lists. Unfortunately, the steps to accomplish this are not well-documented in the Help system. We'll remedy that with a simple tutorial, and show a workaround currently required for parameters associated with driven dimensions.
Download and Open File First download, unzip, and save to a folder on your hard drive the Parameters.zip file. Parameters (zip - 317 Kb)
Figure 1: Appearance of assembly on opening.
The zipped file contains the following:
Frame.iam (assembly file) Frame.idv (design views file) Rail.ipt Support.ipt Diagonal.ipt Frame.idw (assembly drawing file)
To open the file:
1. Extract the files to a folder on your hard drive. 2. Start Autodesk Inventor software. 3. Click Open on the Standard toolbar. 4. Browse to the folder containing the extracted files. 5. Select Frame.iam. 6. Click OK. The assembly should look like the one shown in Figure 1.
Figure 2: Length as driven dimension.
Capturing Component Lengths The brown supports and the yellow diagonal frame brace are adaptive, while the green rails are not. We want to capture the length of each frame component in the assembly drawing's parts list.
Modifying Parameter Names We need to assign a common name to the model parameter of each frame member that describes its length. We can then expose this parameter in a parts list or BOM.
1. In the browser:
Right-click Diagonal.ipt and select Edit from the pop-up menu. Right-click Extrusion1 and select Edit Sketch.
Note: The length of the diagonal brace is a driven dimension (see Figure 2). This allows the length of the part to adapt, while the driven dimension value is stored as a reference parameter that can be used in equations, or displayed in a parts list.
Figure 3: Revised parameter name.
2. On the Command toolbar, click Return to exit the sketch.
3. From the Standard toolbar, click Parameters . The parameters for Diagonal.ipt are shown. 4. Under Reference Parameters, click the cell containing d0. Enter Length as the new parameter name (Figure 3).