Inventor’s Tube and Pipe module, which is part of the Routed systems module, is a great tool for easy pipe, tube and flexible hose routing. It does come with some sample tube and pipe components but most designers out there will more than like want to create and use their own content at some point.
In this example I am going to create and publish a “Festo” flexible hose component. The procedure is the same for rigid pipe and tubing as well.
1. The first step is to create a custom library from your projects window. We do this to be able to have a library to publish the Festo Hose to.
When you create the Library it will be created as “Read/Write”.
2. Create a basic piece of hose as below:
3. Open your parameters box. In your parameter box, create a few user parameters for OD, ID, PL and SN. Then link the OD to the outer diameter of the models parameters, the ID to the inner diameter of the model parameter and PL to the Extrusion parameter.
See the example below:
OD = Outer Diameter
ID = Inner Diameter
PL = Part Length
SN = Schedule Number
Set the part material to the necessary material, I have used Nylon 6/6 purely for example purpose.
4. Save the Part as any name you would like, for example “Festo_Hose_1”.
5. The next step is to create an iPart of the Festo hose.
Once the “iPart Author” Window has opened, select the “Other” tab. Click to add a value and type in “NS” (nominal size) in capitals and press enter. This column is needed to differentiate between inches and mm.
Expand the “Properties” tab and then the “Physical” panel. Double click “Material” to add the material column, notice the small icon at the top that is meaning it’s directly linked to the parts material. See how the material carries through. Then expand the “project” tab and double click “Description” to add it as a column as well. Add the required description of the hose.
Change the OD, ID, ND, NS values, appearance and description. For NS values very important to add an “M” before the number to specify that it is Metric. For the appearance make sure to type the exact appearance wording, as it is case and character sensitive. For the description add in the description you require for the part.
Right click on “PL” column and set it to “Custom Parameter Column” in order for the parts length to be able to adjust to any length of pipe needed. (The column will turn blue to indicate it’s a custom parameter). Please note that the part length can be any length when created because when it is made a “Custom Parameter Column” it gives it the ability to change its length as necessary.
Once this is done, click ok and save the iPart.
6. Next step is to create working features to be able to author the part as a hose.
Start by placing an axis in the center of the pipe, next create a working point at the center of both ends of the pipe. This needs to be done so when we author the part as a hose, the features will be picked up correctly.
7. Next we need to Author the part as a hose to be able to get it to work correctly in tube and pipe.
To do this we need to go to the manage tab again. Under the author panel select the “Author to Tube and Pipe” to open the Tube and Pipe Authoring window.
Once you have the “Tube and Pipe Authoring” window open, you need to select the “Type” first and make sure it’s on “Hoses”. Then, where it says “Connection Number”, number 1 is already selected and under “Connection”, Point should be pre-selected. Select the point on one end of the hose and then the center axis. Select “Connection Number” 2 and click the other point on the opposite side of the hose. You then need to select the center axis. Now you have defined your end points and the center of the hose.
You now need to Map the Parameters in the Authoring window to the correct Parameter of your part, assign them as follows: Nominal Size = NS, Schedule Number = SN, Inside Diameter = ID, Outside Diameter = OD and Pipe Length = PL.
Once this is all assigned and selected correctly it should allow you to click ok. Click ok, when you click ok a window will pop up saying “Authoring Successful. Use the Publish Part command to publish the part into the Content Center”, and click ok then save the part.
You now need to select the custom library you created right at the beginning. Mine was “Festo Hoses”. Click next and you will see that the correct category is already selected because that’s what you “Authored” it as. Click next again.
Then select “Description” and “OD” and make them “Key Columns” by selecting them and select the arrow indicating the direction to the “Key Column”. Then it will allow you to click next, so click next.
Another window pops up saying “Publish Completed Successfully”. Click ok, save the part and your iPart will be available in the content center for Tube and Pipe when you create your custom style in Tube and Pipe.
Your custom Tube and Pipe should be available for you to use in the Tube and Pipe environment.
When you create your Tube and Pipe Style in the Tube and Pipe Environment, you must select the color from the appearance selection.