Component Replacement on a Content Center Part: Autodesk Inventor

Posted on April 15, 2014 by Mark Lancaster, Product Support Specialist:

Is the replacement failing?

The information within this article is based on the following:

  1. A component replacement workflow associated to Inventor Routed Systems 2013 or Inventor Professional 2013.
  2. A component replacement workflow associated to Inventor Professional 2014.
  3. The Inventor Routed Systems (Tube & Pipe) add-in is loaded per the Inventor Add-in Manager.
  4. Tube & piping components were placed from the Content Center into the Inventor assembly without the use of the Inventor Routed Systems interface.

The other day I had a case where a user was trying to replace a Tube & Pipe Content Center part in his assembly and received the following message:

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This case reminded me of another issue I came across when dealing with Tube & Pipe components outside of Inventor Routed Systems.  So let’s first discuss what this other issue was all about.

A user was having trouble with replacing a Content Center elbow with a custom (Content Center) elbow he had modified.  When he went through the motions of performing the component replacement, however, nothing changed on his assembly and no message appeared.  At first, I thought it was related to trying to replace all the Content Center elbows in one step using the “Component/Replace All” command.  When we tried the “Component/Replace” command on his elbow, the results remained the same.  Same holds true when I did a component replacement on another Tube & Pipe component within his assembly.  So I decided to copy and paste his Content Center elbow somewhere out in space and repeat the process to see what would happen.  This time it worked and I was also able to replace all the elbows in his assembly.

Upon further investigating, I came across an Autodesk discussion that explained what happens when a Tube & Pipe Content Center component is placed into an assembly and the Inventor Routed Systems add-in is loaded.  Then my Inventor Routed System experience kicked in!  This issue is based on how Inventor sees the Content Center elbow (or any other Tube & Pipe component) once it gets placed into the assembly without the use of Inventor Routed Systems.

Inventor Routed Systems add-in is loaded (Inventor Add-in Manager): When a Tube & Pipe Content Center item is placed from Content Center into the assembly, a “bluish” piping tee icon is represented in the Inventor browser tree for that component.  Inventor now interprets this component as being a Routed Systems Component within your assembly.

cr4

Once this occurs, certain rules established by the routed systems module are now in effect even if you are not using that module in your assembly.  In addition, if you copy and paste an existing Routed Systems Component back into your assembly, the copied component is then considered a standard Content Center library item and will no longer abide by these rules.

Inventor Routed Systems add-in not loaded: When a Tube & Pipe Content Center item is placed from Content Center into the assembly, the standard Content Center library icon is represented in the Inventor browser tree for that component.

cr5

To help this user out, I recommended one of the following:

  1. Unload the Inventor Routed Systems add-in if he wasn’t planning on using this interface in his current assembly.  This way he could replace his existing Content Center components in his assembly because the routed systems rules are no longer in effect.
  2. Copy and paste his Tube & Pipe components somewhere else in space and perform the component replacement on those copied items.

Returning back to this current case, I started to think about these two scenarios and wonder if they were truly related.  One user gets a message indicated he cannot replace a conduit part and the other one received no message at all.  Looks like additional testing is needed!  In the end my test concluded the two scenarios are in fact related and it is solely based on how Inventor sees the Tube & Pipe components within your assembly.

I explained to the customer what happens under this condition and how it can be resolved.  However, the user informed me someone else in his organization was able to replace their Tube & Pipe component in their assembly with no issues.  Everything is the same, Inventor version, service packs, routed systems add-in was loaded, and the component even had the “bluish” piping tee icon in the browser tree.

So I started to break down the workflows between these two users and discovered the order of the component replacement steps does impact the outcome.  One user from this company was right mouse clicking on the Tube & Pipe component and selecting “Component/Replace” from the context menu.  Where-as the other user was picking the “Component/Replace” command from the ribbon menu and then selecting the component.

Inventor Routed Systems add-in loaded:   When you right mouse click on the Tube & Pipe component and then select the “Component/Replace” command, you will get one of the following results:

  1. Receive the message about the failure to replace the conduit part.  [This occurs when the replacement component is a standard Inventor part or a custom Content Center part that does not contain any Tube & Pipe authoring information]
  2. Nothing happens at all.  [This occurs when the replacement component is a custom Content Center part with Tube & Pipe authoring information]

If you select the component replacement command first (or CTRL+H) and then your (Content Center) component, the replacement will take place without any issues or messages.

Inventor Routed Systems add-in not loaded:  The replacement will happen no matter if your select your component first or the component replacement command.

Whether you have the routed systems add-in loaded or not, the key here is the order of the steps.  “If you are trying to replace a Tube & Pipe (Content Center) component with a part of your own simply select the (component replacement) command first and then the component”.  This way you are always ensured the replacement will take place within Inventor 2013 and 2014.

This workflow inconsistency has been reported to AutodeskAny questions regarding this article please feel free to contact us.

Mark L.   

Mark Lancaster is the newest member to our Synergis technical team, having just joined us back in August.  His most previous experience is as the CAD Design Manager of Pall Corporation, one of our long time customers.  In that position, he was responsible for workstation optimization and design management, established uniform standards for the local and global offices, and developed global systems to control and manage their design data.

Have a question for Mark or any of our technical staff?  Contact us and we will get back to you quickly.

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