Using Inventor iCopy for Window Mullion Manufacturing

January 18, 2022 Nathan Cassou

 

     For companies that design custom window mullion and panel installations, the go-to programs have religiously been Revit and AutoCAD. While they both offer great functionality with layouts, elevations, and design capabilities; companies that want to bring manufacturing in-house may need access to glazing/panel reports, bill of materials, and cut lists. Using Inventor as a mullion and panel design platform, designers will be able to automate reports that update with the changes to the assembly. These reports can be inserted into drawings and exported.

    Creating a window mullion assembly  in Inventor is simple and provides a broad range of functionality in other Inventor environments. By using tools like iCopy and Adaptive geometry, the assembly can flex based on changes to building constraints.

     

So, without getting too much in the weeds on step-by-step instructions, the following is an overview of creating window mullion assemblies. If you'd like to practice on your own, visit the link below and give it a shot!

https://www.autodesk.com/autodesk-university/class/Advanced-iCopy-Part-Development-Inventor-Complex-Adaptive-Geometry-2013

The trick is to start with an adaptive frame sketch of a window and leave one corner unconstrained  to allow flexibility. It’s helpful to also rename the dimension parameters. Then by making the sketch "Adaptive", it can be used in a separate assembly to attach solid bodies (mullion pieces) that share the same parameter names. The key here is to make it an iCopy assembly so it can be used for any window configuration.

                  

     For designing the mullion pieces simply extrude a solid from a 2D profile and link its length to the same parameters as the sketch. Constrain the pieces to the sketch at the proper locations so that they can adapt. To make adaptation, first define the iCopy definitions at the anchor points of the sketch.

                  

A “template” frame assembly is now complete and you can use it to attach to a master sketch profile of the windows by inserting it as an iCopy assembly. Constrain each point based on the naming conventions defined in the iCopy sketch.