Autodesk Inventor iCopy: When You Need a Little Change

January 24, 2017 By Brad Bland Leave a comment

Autodesk Inventor iCopy

Have you ever had a design that needed several similar assemblies, but with slight variations? For instance, designing a building column where each instance increases in size. Or, making an artistic stand with a series of rectangles in a linear pattern in which the size progressively shrinks.

iCopy in Autodesk Inventor will create new assembly instances at specified intervals and change the size of each instance as it progresses throughout the pattern. This process uses an adaptive master part file placed into an assembly template file where the master part is adaptive. The user will define connection points, add frame generator items, and can constrain additional components. Finally, the template file will be placed into the final assembly to create the instances.icopy 1.png

Authoring the Assembly Template File

icopy 2.png

Use the iCopy Author tool to identify the layout part (which is the initial adaptive master part you create). Use the geometry tab to add connection points for the assembly and type in prompts to help the user understand the purpose of the point. Additionally, you can add user parameters to adjust dimensions upon placement of the assembly.
icopy 3.png

The final assembly needs to have a skeleton. The idea is similar to frame generator; you need to have access to points to attach your connection points made in your assembly template. With the initial required leg members we are going to place a series of rectangular assemblies moving up the structure. The center vertical line will be used to define the path.

icopy 4a.png

Once you have your template assembly defined, you will place the assembly template file into the final assembly using the Assembly Tab > Expanded Pattern Panel and choose:

icopy 4b.png
A dialog box appears prompting you to connect your connection points.

icopy 5.png

Use the Pattern tab to define the path to follow, the number of instances and preferred distance.

icopy 6.png

Use the following option to determine what component you would like to exclude, reuse, or copy.

icopy 7.png

Choose Next to set up File Names. You can choose to manually rename every item, use find and replace, or add a prefix or suffix.

icopy 8.png

When you click OK, it will generate each new copy.
icopy 9.png

Since each assembly is an instance, you can change them individually. If the final assembly skeleton is updated, the intermediate rectangles update as well. Compare the original skeleton to the modified version as shown below:

icopy 10.png
For more information, please contact us.

Tagged with Autodesk Inventor, 3D Modeling, iCopy

About Brad Bland

Brad joined Advanced Solutions in October 2015 as an Education Specialist based out of Kansas City, MO. Brad has a Bachelors Degree in Manufacturing Enginering from Missoui Western State University. He is professionally certified in Autodesk Inventor.


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