Garin Gardiner

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March 2011

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Garin Gardiner

Looks like I had an issue with getting the right podcast through iTunes. It is now pointing to the correct file. Let me know if anybody still has an issue.

Eric Pearce

Loved the Podcast - I can't wait will we have 2009 - hopefully soon - dang CAD Admins.

I don't know if this is the appropriate place, but we are doing a lot of frame generator assemblies and I have found that I can make parts and the base frame structure as parametric and intelligent as I possibly can, but the second I apply Frame Generator to it and create members, it becomes a relatively static assembly. I can change the overall dimensions and the frame members update wonderfully, but if I need to change the type of member being applied to certain parts of the assembly, there doesn't seem to be any access to that desperately needed parametric. Also, if as the length changes, the number of members along that length need to change Frame Generator starts hacking up hairballs. What we need is the capacity to say that this patterned geometry – say a series of vertical lines all receive a particular member cross section. Now it doesn’t matter how many there are – we can provide frame generator enough intelligence to deal with the changes.

Just a couple of thought we have been struggling with here.

Garin Gardiner


Thanks for the feedback. Frame Generator typically has been used for standard sizes and presently isn't set up for one-off sizes. You can edit the content center family and add the sizes you would need. If you are talking about one off scenarios it would be interesting to hear what you are doing.

As for the hairball issues - I would like to see where you are getting these issues. Typically when I make a change to the underlying part my frame updates fine. You are probably doing a more complex update than I am but I would like to see what you are doing to get these issues.
Can you email me your contact info to



Eric Pearce

Thanks for your response. I have emailed you my contact information per the email address above. Just to clarify, when I used the term hairball, I was generally referring to the failure of the model/assembly to update and in my deranged mind the software hacks it back up in a grotesque, unwanted form, similar to a hairball. Thankfully, I haven’t noticed the odor with these particular hairballs.

So how do I get it set up for the one-off's? We design custom products so the one-off's are our business. Structural Steel frames are the foundation of our product. I just sat in a meeting with our general manager who isn't sure that the 3D world is the right place to be. I feel an overwhelming need to prove to him that it is, but I need the robust tools to do it with. If I make a change to an assembly such that the length/width/depth changes some, frame generator really does a fantastic job updating members. It is when we have to add or remove frame members or change the type of a member that the parametrics fall to pieces and I get the proverbial hairball. I have actually found every frame member size I have looked for so I think the Content Center is in okay shape. It is when I have to change from say an L3x3x1/4 to an L2x2x3/8 that I have to manually go in and tell Frame Generator to perform the operation. I would really like to have one of the driving parameters be the member cross section. I would also like to be able to tell Frame Generator that all the lines in a specific sketch are to receive a particular cross section, it then follows that orientation would also need to be an accessible parametric. Along that line – how is the orientation for frame members defined – it never seems to be the same from one member to the next? Just curious. Finally, it would be really nice to have to good VB/VBA hooks into Frame Generator? Could you please post any available information concerning what and if any API elements exist for Frame Generator? That way I can explore alternatives to my needs.

Thanks again for your time. Oh, and sorry for the long-windedness - my wife and kids rag on me all the time about it.

Garin Gardiner


Thanks again for the information you have provided. I received your email and have passed it along to the Product Design team to review as they look for ways to enhance the FG environment.

Thanks again.

Mark Cooper

I really enjoyed the podcast, however I am stuggling to get my custom steel sections to assign a filename when created.

I have an AS standard Unequal Angle I have created using the suppliers brochure. Can get it to work fine, however I want to assign the filename the same as the Part Number or Description (150 x 100 x 10 [G_L LONG] ANGLE)

I tried using the filename column but everytime I save the part it uses its default naming scheme (i.e. ISO 00000001.ipt, ISO 00000002.ipt ... etc)

What am I missing?

Petter Moldestad

Very nice podcast.

I couldn’t find a way to get quantity instead of length in the parts list. The part I published had base quantity “Each” in document settings. When I used Frame Generator the parts got length as quantity. Is it possible to solve this somehow? If so, could you give a hint, please?

Charles Parnell

Garin, I enjoyed you podcast about using the frame generator. I have a question about a frame generator parameter. I have been able to create an iPart upright with slots and holes to the length of 29-1/4 and by using a cut extrusion on each end cause the part to shorten on either end or both ends. I was told that the Frame Generator uses the parameter of G_L to populate the cut length for use with the parts list. I have been able to create a frame generator 1 x 1 square tubing and get the length to populate the parts list however I have not been able to get my upright length of 29-1/4” nor the new cut length to show in my parts list. I did create a new property in my parts list column chooser of G_L, my BOM is set to Phantom, my .ipt parameters has a user parameter of G_L. Everything that I can think of is the same from my frame generated files to my upright files. Can you assist me in getting my parts list to show the cut length?

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