In this blog post we will be unpacking configuration modeling in an assembly environment. Earlier in 2020, I hosted a KETIV AVA session which went over configuration modeling in Inventor at a part level and that was an easy way to dive into the iLogic interface. If you have not had the chance to watch the AVA where we explain what it takes to configure a part, click on the thumbnail below for a great introduction into this topic. By popular demand following that AVA, we are going to be explaining step by step how to configure an assembly using iLogic.
The first thing you must determine is if your assembly is a good candidate for configuration modeling or not. There is not a definitive way to say whether your assembly is a good candidate or not and it usually varies depending on what you are trying to accomplish. The best way to determine this is by asking yourself if the model is going to change in a predictable manner. It must be predictable in the sense that certain parameters are changing or in certain situation parts are added or taken away. If you answered yes to this, it is usually a good indicatory that your assembly is a good candidate to be configured.
Next, you will want to make sure that the parameters that you want to get driven in the assembly get pushed to the part. In order to do that, we will use iLogic to link the assembly parameter to the part. Without this parameter linking, the part will not understand what it needs in order to make the changes you have set at the assembly.
Opening a new iLogic form, on the left of the form, Inventor has a numerous amount of prebuilt functions that you can easily add and use. The one to use to link a part parameter to an assembly parameter is going to be “Parameter (ass’y).”
When you double click on that function, it populates it on the form. What this function is looking for is the part occurrence, the parameter that you want to link at the part level, and what you want that parameter to be equal to at the assembly level. You will have to link the parameters for all the parts that you want configurable in the assembly. Parameters that do not need to be changed do not need to be linked. If you have multiple of the same parts in the assembly, you only need to link the parameters for the occurrence once. Using this method for linking parameters, the assembly parameter does not have to share the same name as the part level parameter, but it does make it easier to follow and organize it if you do name it accordingly.
Once you set all the variables you want to configure in the assembly, you can go ahead and save the rule and start on your configuration rule. In a new iLogic rule you can go ahead and write the rules for the configuration you need such as setting different parameter lengths, setting iProperties, etc. The only thing you must be careful on is when suppressing and unsupressing parts. If you are in the master level of detail, an error message will populate saying a new level of detail needs to be made to get that portion of the iLogic code to work. Go ahead and make a new level of detail and rename it so it is easier to reference. Once the new level of detail is created, when you run the rule, it should update correctly.
After you are done with your configuration, the last thing you will want to do is write another iLogic rule and the sole purpose of that rule is to run any other iLogic rule you have. Here at KETIV the developers will just call it the “Build” rule and within the rule we tell it to run any iLogic code in that assembly. It is important to note that the order in which you put which rule you want to run first does matter and will affect if your assembly will update correctly or not. You will always want to run the iLogic rule that deals with anything that alters or changes the parameter at the assembly level first. After that you will want to run the rule that pushes the parameters from the assembly to the part. In the following example, the “Configuration” rule is used to drive what the assembly will look like after the parameter changes and the “Parameters” rule is solely pushing the parameters to the part. Since the “Configuration” rule drives the parameters at the assembly level, you will want to put that rule at the top of the “Build” rule so it runs first. After you finish the build rule, you have to suppress any rules that the “Build” rule is running. Now whenever you make any parameter changes, you will have to run your “Build” rule in order to see an update on the assembly.
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