Inventor Best Practice – iProperties – Part 2

In this post, we are going to continue our look at iProperties, and how to use them to speed up your designs.

The Project tab contains much useful data for reducing your documentation time. As you can see in the image below, I have used the same notation as Part 1.

iProperties Project Tab

The list below highlights where the intended data use, as foundin the help file, and my own findings where it is actually used in the Default ANSI titelblock and Style.

  • Location – Storage location of the selected file on your drive – absolute path -not editable
  • File Subtype – Autodesk Inventor file type – Modeling, Assembly, Presentation, etc – not editable
  • Part Number – The file name is automatically assigned as the part number, unless otherwise entered – edit to suit your numbering
  • Stock Number – The stock number as used in parts lists, etc
  • Description – Part or assembly name as used in parts lists, etc
  • Revision Number – Part revision number – change to match your system
  • Project – Specifies a project name – Not Used
  • Designer – Specifies the designer for the project or model – Not Used.
  • Engineer – Specifies the engineer for the project or model – Not Used.
  • Authority – Specifies a signature authority – Not Used.
  • Cost Center- Specifies a cost center – Not Used.
  • Estimated Cost – Assigns a cost to the file. Must be a real number – Not Used
  • Creation Date – Date that Inventor created the file. Used as the drawn date, and can be changed.
  • Vendor – Manufacturer or supplier name for components – Not Used
  • WEB Link – Displays a Web site address – Not Used.

So there a lot of possibilities that are not taken advantage of in the stock ANSI title block. In my own customized title block, only use a few of the iProperties.

  • Part Number – The part number as following my clients number scheme
  • Stock Number – Industry standard format reference, unless defined by my client – often blank – more detail below.
  • Description – Part name as used in parts lists, as well as title block
  • Revision Number – Matches my clients system – typically 0 or –

Let’s consider the possible iProperties for a standard socket head cap screw, 3/8 course thread, 2″ long. it could use these iProperties:

  • Part Number:3/8-16 x 2 SHCS, Stock Number: bin/container reference to your stock, Description: Socket Head Cap Screw
  • These would work quite well with the default parts lists, etc. BUT so would…

  • Part Number: 91251A632, Stock Number: 3/8-16 x 2 SHCS, Description: Socket Head Cap Screw, McMaster#
  • If the shop ordered Standard Hardware from Mcmaster-Carr. It gets even less clear if you consider the other iProperties on this tab. the Vendor could be set as McMaster, and the Weblink to the product detail page.

    The bottom line is that be default Inventor doesn’t use many of the iProperties it has pre-defined…but you can. It all depends on your use. If perhaps, your company exported the finished Bill of Materials to MS Excel, having a link directly to the order site would be great for purchasing, and having the purchased cost on the date created would also be valuable.

    But at what cost…there in lies the balance, The vendor might change there website, so now the link is broken, the price will change, so then it’s bad data, and all this data is managed by your CAD guy, should it be? What’s right? Ultimately that’s up to you and your company to determine.

    Do you use iProperties in your company? How? Do you have better ideas? I’d like to hear any ideas you might have.

    Standards and Templates – Best Practice

    So in over the past couple of weeks, I’ve tried to write a number of posts and I kept getting way too deep into each subject. My problem stemmed from the fact we haven’t discussed standards and templates yet. In my opinion the use of standards and templates is the single largest contributing factor to making a good set of drawings, quickly, that accurate and concise and precise.

    To start, let’s be clear on what defines standards and templates. Any Inventor file can be used as template file. The only requirement is that they are place in your template folder so that they are on the list in the Create New File window. A standard is different. Standards are simply way of working that you repeat every time that condition is encountered. Many times standards are included in your template files, but not always. For now I won’t be including national or international standards – these will come up in a future discussion.

    Let’s consider the following example. You are working on a design for your employer, managed by a specific project manager. The design is large machine that does something. It is manufactured primarily from structural steel shapes, cut to length, and welded together. Some parts are purchased, while other are fabricated.

    Here’s a list of some of the items you could include in your template files.

    • Company name
    • Project name
    • project number
    • project manager
    • Parameters for Length, Width, and Thickness
    • Pre-selected material for steel
    • Pre-modeled block using the Length, Width, and Thickness parameters
    • Component manufacturer, part number, other ordering information

    So if items like these are included in every file, in a consistent manner, they become part of template, but also part of your standard. Other items, that are often standards within companies can not really be included. Items like:

    • All round holes are created using the Hole feature rather than round extrusions
    • Specific tolerance for dimensions controlled by your manufacturing equipment
    • Fully constrained sketches
    • All work features are on or off
    • All suppressed features are removed
    • All holes are in standard drill increments
    • No broken constraints

    Over the coming months I will pick individual ideas from the lists, for further discussion, showing you how to implement these into your standards and templates, and reduce your design time, while improving your design quality.