Shrinkwrap Sub-Assemblies using the Task Scheduler

Use the Task Scheduler to group individual Shrinkwrapping jobs into a single, multi-file task.

Use the Task Scheduler to group Shrinkwrapping Tasks

You will be aware of the Shrinkwrap function within Inventor, where an Assembly is simplified into a single IPT file (which is then substituted back into the Parent Assembly). Shrinkwrapping has several options where you can choose to create a single solid or multiple solid body. You can remove geometry or parts based on their relative size, patch holes, fill voids, etc.
Using the Task Scheduler you can group individual Shrinkwrapping jobs into a single, multi-file task. The default Shrinkwrap options are still available and the task runs using all of your system resources.
Below is a step by step method to illustrate the Shrinkwrap Sub-Assemblies using the Task Scheduler workflow.

I have used an Autodesk supplied dataset of a conveyor Assembly; notice there are 2136 total occurrences in the active document and 371 open documents in session.

The Parent Assembly has 60 Sub-Assemblies, some of which have Sub-Assemblies of their own.
Shrinkwrapping these Assemblies, Sub-Assemblies individually will take up much time.

Open the Task Scheduler (Start > All Programs > Autodesk > Autodesk Inventor {version} > Tools > Task Scheduler) and open the Multi-Process Settings (Settings > Multiple Processes)

Task Scheduler - Multi-Process Settings

Set the settings similarly to the image, tick Activate Multiple Processes. Use 6 out of 8 processors and use all Physical memory.
Tick Abort when physical memory limit is reached.
Click OK

Next, select Create Task > Shrinkwrap Assemblies…

Task Scheduler - Create Task - Shrinkwrap Assemblies
Shrinkwrap Options

The Parent Assembly was NOT included in the list of IAM files in the task above.

Simplified Single Parts Created

Once the task ran, the simplified single part files were created

Switching back to Inventor and examining the Sub-Assemblies > Representations > Level of Detail Node


At this point, create and activate a new Level of Detail in the Parent Assembly named “SubstituteLevelofDetail1”

Select the Assemble TAB > Productivity GROUP > Link Levels of Detail ICON, in this dialogue box choose “SubstituteLevelofDetail1” and click OK

Link Levels of Detail

This tool will examine all Sub-Assemblies within the Parent Assembly for LOD’s named “SubstituteLevelofDetail1” and activate any/all it finds.

Use Selection filters to manually suppress part components that exist in the Parent Assembly that are not required in the simple version of the Assembly.

Selection Filters
Assemblies have been Simplified and Substituted
The Simplified Assembly

The Parent Assembly has simplified to be 135 (was 2136) total occurrences in the active document and 84 (was 371) open documents in session.

Export to SAT

Exporting the Parent Assembly as a SAT file created a file 42.4MB in size and is ready to be included in an AutoCAD DWG file.

Import into an AutoCAD DWG File

The resulting AutoCAD DWG file size is 14.3MB
This experiment took no longer than 30 minutes to complete (obviously with different data and computer spec’s timing will vary)

If needs be, individual Assemblies can be switched back to its Master LOD to show its complete detail simply by expanding that Sub-Assembly’s Representations > Level of Detail node and activating the Master LOD.

Revert individual Assemblies back to Master LOD for increased detail
For a more comprehensive examination of Large Assembly Performance, download the Autodesk Inventor 2014 – Large Assembly Performance Document 
This document is a reference book detailing recommended techniques and workflows for managing and handling large assemblies in Autodesk Inventor.

Leave a reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.