Bolted Connections do automatically update!

I have heard Inventor users say that the Design Accelerators are great, but they can be frustrating if they don’t automatically update with model changes.  “Bolted Connections” for example don’t update when you move one of the bolted objects, leading to misaligned bolt holes, wasted time, expensive rework etc.  In some cases I’ve heard that designers leave the bolted connections to the last possible minute in the hope that nothing else will change, but then they run out of time and drawings get issued with no bolt holes at all.

The solution to automatic updates has been been there all along.  You just need to know where to click.

Right-click a bolted connection (either in the graphics area or in the browser) and find the “Component” fly-out menu, you will find a series of bolted connection specific options:

  • Calculate
  • Solve Off
  • Manual Solve
  • Automatic Solve
(These options are available on some of the other Design Component generators too.)

The solution to automatic-updating bolted connections is right there.  Now moving or changing any part of the model that the connection passes through is no longer a worry because the connection just updates accordingly.

The following are a few selected extracts from the Inventor help file that explain each option:

Calculate:  In the context menu click Component > Calculate.  Available for Design Accelerator generators only. When you disable the calculation and open a Design Accelerator generator using “Edit using Design Accelerator”, the Calculation tab (and Fatigue Calculation tab if applicable) is disabled and you can “Design Component” only.  No calculation is available.  Performance of generator is much faster.
Solve Off:  Disables Update.  No components are automatically solved or updated during edit.  For example, you change the dimension of one part where the bolted connection is placed.  Bolted Connection is not updated automatically.  Open Bolted Connection Generator and adjust bolted connection manually.  No icon is displayed in front of the Design Accelerator component in the browser.

Manual Solve:  The icon is displayed in front of the name of the Design Accelerator component in the browser.  It represents the selected option as well as state of update.  The icon does not represent an error – there is nothing wrong with Design Accelerator component.

“Manual Solve” is the default state after the installation.  Select this option to update the assembly manually. For example, if you change a part within your assembly that should affect the length of your bolted connection, open the bolted connection generator manually to update the connection.

Automatic Solve:  The automatic update recognises any changes made within the assembly that should affect the components inserted by Design Accelerator commands and such components are updated automatically.  For example, if you change a part within your assembly that should affect the length of your bolted connection, the bolted connection is updated to reflect the changes in your assembly.  If a strength check is not required, the generator updates the data.  If a strength check of the design is performed, the calculation check is required and then the data is updated.  If a check fails, the icon is displayed, and you must perform the change manually.

If you want to have a look at Bolted Connections, there is a tutorial here.

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