Capturing Dimensional Parameters into Title Blocks (Avatech Tricks Tutorial)

31 Jul, 2007 By: Bill Graham

Use expressions to reduce manual updates of drawings in Inventor 2008.

Documenting a design is the last step of the design process. Many of the parameters we create provide meaningful ways of identifying a particular design. Examples of these parameters are length, width, height, and mass. Inventor 2008 introduced the ability to add expressions into iProperties. This ability can greatly reduce the amount of time spent manually updating drawings.

Identifying Parameters for Use
To use a parameter for use, you first must flag it for export. To accomplish this, open the Parameters dialog box. Mark all the parameters to be exported. Rename the parameter to a more meaningful description. Just keep in mind that parameter names can't have spaces or certain standard special characters, such as @, &, and ?. I suggest that you use an underscore between words or capitalize the first letter in each word to separate multiple words in a title.

In the Parameters dialog box, mark all to be exported.

Enter Expressions into iProperties
Once you export a parameter, it can be linked in an iProperty. Expressions within iProperties are designated by an equal sign at the beginning of the iProperty. Following the equal sign, you can place a combination of text and parameters to form a description that is meaningful for you. Parameters are recognized if they are contained within the less than and greater than symbols.

An example of an expression built to specify a base plate by length and width.

The expression calculates after you choose Apply or OK at the bottom of the iProperties dialog box. All expressions that have been applied provide a symbol on the right-hand side of the iProperty to provide feedback that it isn't simply text, but an expression.

The applied expression.

Hover your mouse over the iProperty to check the value of an established expression. You can also access model parameters such as mass and volume in addition to parameters flagged for export.

Hover your mouse over the iProperty to check the value of an expression.

Reduce Time
Using expressions can greatly reduce the amount of time you spend manually updating iProperties. These iProperties can then be pushed into drawings providing automatic updates to title blocks.

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